On This Site: Indigenous Long Island
On This Site is an art-based photography project by Shinnecock artist Jeremy Dennis. The purpose of this project is to preserve and create awareness of culturally significant Native American locations on Long Island, New York.
This project presents an opportunity to reflect upon archaeological and oral histories to answer these essential culturally defining questions.
My hope is to create curiosity for all audiences, as it creates a dialogue between indigenous and non-indigenous people on Long Island, and legitimizes the Long Island indigenous population beyond their borders on reservations.
Preserving our Sacred Cultural Landscape
On This Site makes possible the preservation of local lands, water, and natural resources while also preserving the cultural landscapes associated with the land. Many of the sites are public, every day places that we pass without noticing. By highlighting their importance, connections are built among the diverse Long Island community.
By presenting archeological research using the format of digital landscape photography, the project presents to the public a new understanding of communal awareness and cultural enlightenment, which leads to cultural critique, historical inquiry, and educational development.
On This Site receives the Dreamstarter Grant from Running Strong, which has provided ten $10,000 grants each year to community non-profits who will mentor a young Dreamstarter and work with them to implement a project inspired by the young person’s dream for her or his community. Working with Pennsylvania State University, Jeremy Dennis works to complete a Dreamstarter application outlining the project idea, its funding needs, and how it will benefit youth.
The Water Mill Center hosts Dennis for an artist residency, providing financial backing, a studio, and time to produce a physical book of the project in it’s current stage of research.
On This Site has it’s first photo exhibition at the Shinnecock Indian Nation Cultural Center and Museum.
Peconic Landing artist residency to research and document North Fork sacred sites. During this time, cultural art workshops are held at Peconic Landing and Dennis resides for the month continuing research.
Present & Future
This project has been made possible by:
Professor Lonnie Graham
Professor of Photography at Pennsylvania State University and a cultural activist whose work addresses the integral role of the artist in society. Professor Graham is the primary mentor and adviser for the project from beginning to end.
Professor John Strong
Retired Professor of history at the Southampton College of Long Island University. He is the author of The Algonquin Peoples of Long Island from Earliest Times to 1700, and his articles have appeared in Ethnohistory, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and the Encyclopedia of North American Indians.
John has worked closely with me to assist in research, advising and encouragement through his own work in this area.
Running Strong for American Indian Youth’s Dreamstarter
Running Strong for American Indian Youth believes in the dreams of young American Indians: creating stronger communities, overcoming poverty, and building a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.
Fifty years ago, Billy Mills achieved his dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, and since then, he has used that victory to help him give back to the American Indian community. To celebrate Billy’s dream and his leadership, Running Strong has created the Dreamstarter grant program to help the next generation of American Indian youth make their dreams come true.
Director Graeme Sullivan
Director of the School of Visual Arts at Pennsylvania State University, Sullivan has assisted in the formation of the project. Pennsylvania State University is the hosting organization that allows this project to be done.
I also thank, acknowledge, and dedicate this project to the following individuals and institutions for their inspiration, support, and contributions throughout the duration of this project, and to those not currently listed that support this project going forward.
Big Ten Network LiveBIG
Bridgehampton Historical Society
Chief Harry Wallace of the Unkechaug
Chief Osceola Townsend of the Matinecock
Donna Marie Barron
Dr. Gaynell Stone
Dr. George Milner
Dr. Marcie Venter
East Hampton Historical Society
Eastville Historical Society
Esta Tierra Magazine
Garvies Point Museum
Guild Hall of Easthampton
Jim “Zak” Szakmary
John Jermain Library
Kelly Dennis, Esq.
Mark S. Tweedie
Mohegan Archaeological Field School
National Museum of American Indian
New York State Museum
New York State Archaeological Association
New York State Historic Preservation Office
Penn State University
Port Jefferson Historical Society
Rogers Memorial Library
Sandi Brewster Walker
Suffolk County Archaeological Association
Shinnecock Youth Council
Smithsonian Cultural Resource Center
Southampton Historical Society
Southold Indian Museum
Stony Brook University
Suffolk County Historical Society
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm
Tela Troge, Esq.
Three Village Historical Society
Yaphank Historical Society