The Shinnecock Indian Nation is being featured in a new documentary that will be shown for the first time on Monday in Patchogue.
The film, called “Shinnecock,” was filmed over a three year period and filmmaker Thom Hoffman, of Sayville, said it focuses not only on the Shinnecock Indian Nation, but the the history of Native Americans on Long Island.
Hoffman, a life-long Long Islander, said he decided to film the documentary after he found that there is little research and information available on Long Island's native American history.
"I couldn't even find much in the Suffolk County Library system," said Hoffman, who said he has always been fascinated with native american history, attending multiple pow-wows during his life.
"But I felt the pow-wows weren't really representing the real and full story," he said. "They are more of a celebration than an educational venue."
Then, he met Janine Tinsley-Roe, a native american policy analyst who introduced him to the Shinnecock Indian Nation.
It was then the filming started, said Hoffman, who has a 25-year background in advertising and moved into film making recently.
Hoffman said his film, starts out with a time-line of American Native American History and then moves to focus on Long Island's Native American history and heritage, as well as contemporary stories.
"I wanted to really flesh out their culture," Hoffman said. "Focus on history that has been glossed over by school history books."
Hoffman said he has learned a lot during the process of filming, including preconceptions the he found are just not true.
"Most people are fairly ignorant about the things that took place on Long Island," he said.
One example he said is that there was a popular children's author in the late 1800s who he said advocated for the alienation of native people.
Hoffman said he hopes that his film will inspire people to get involved, educate them about the Native Americans living around them and engage them to help out with projects and educational efforts.
View the trailer here.The film will be shown on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Plaza Cinema Arts Theater in Patchogue. Tickets are $15 and a discussion will follow the film.