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The six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy c. 1720. Graphic: <a href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png">Nonenmacher</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy c. 1720. Graphic: Nonenmacher, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Onondaga land claim will go to OAS human rights commission

The Onondaga Indian Nation has brought its decade old land claim case to an international human rights commission.

A lawsuit first filed in 2005 argues land was illegally taken from the Onondagas in the 18th and 19th centuries. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in October.  Go to full article
[courtesy A Tribe Called Red - copyright www.patbolduc.com]
[courtesy A Tribe Called Red - copyright www.patbolduc.com]

Beats & politics at A Tribe Called Red's 'Electric Pow Wow'

Two weeks from tonight, one of ten artists will win Canada's biggest music award, the Polaris Prize. Previous winners include world-renowned acts Feist, Carabou and Arcade Fire.

One of the bands nominated on the Polaris short list is Native American DJ collective A Tribe Called Red. The three DJs are from Ottawa. They're transforming traditional aboriginal music, and in the process, building one of the hottest club nights in the city.

A Tribe Called Red mixes electronic dubstep beats with pow wow singing and drumming, and a big dose of politics. David Sommerstein profiled the group last year. Here's that story.  Go to full article
Native-owned casinos like Turning Stone would have competition under Cuomo's plan. Photo: Oneida Nation
Native-owned casinos like Turning Stone would have competition under Cuomo's plan. Photo: Oneida Nation

Cuomo: now voters decide on gambling expansion

Governor Cuomo says it's now up to the voters to decide whether they want to expand gambling in New York State. He's signed into law a plan build casinos upstate, but the public must approve a change in the state's constitution in order for it to move forward.  Go to full article
Chief Paul Thompson speaking at Wednesday's press conference, with Chief Ron LaFrance (left). Photo: David Sommerstein.
Chief Paul Thompson speaking at Wednesday's press conference, with Chief Ron LaFrance (left). Photo: David Sommerstein.

Mohawk chiefs hope casino pact paves way for more land

On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo and the chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe announced a surprise deal in Albany. It grants the Mohawks' exclusive gaming rights in the North Country. In return, the tribe will resume sharing millions of dollars in casino revenue with New York State and St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. That after a three-year dispute.

Yesterday, the chiefs were back in Akwesasne, holding a press conference at their brand new hotel and casino expansion.

They called Cuomo "sincere". They said it was the promise of resolving the Mohawks' 31-year old land claim that made the gaming pact possible.
David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Akwesasne Mohawk casino. Photo: David Sommerstein
Akwesasne Mohawk casino. Photo: David Sommerstein

What the Mohawk casino deal means for the North Country

Mohawk tribal chiefs joined Governor Cuomo in Albany yesterday to announce a new deal on casino exclusivity.

They signed off on settling a long-running dispute over revenues from the Mohawks' Akwesasne Casino near Massena. In return, the Mohawks will get exclusive gaming rights in the 8-county North Country region.

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley to sort out what the deal means for the North Country and the Mohawk land claim.  Go to full article
St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs and North Country leaders with Governor Cuomo Tuesday in Albany.
St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs and North Country leaders with Governor Cuomo Tuesday in Albany.

Mohawks ink gaming exclusivity deal for North Country

Fresh off a deal with the Oneida Nation, Governor Cuomo stood with chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe this afternoon to announced a deal to resolve gaming issues that affect the North Country.  Go to full article
Louis Cook (2nd row, center) with NCPR staff in the late 1980s.
Louis Cook (2nd row, center) with NCPR staff in the late 1980s.

NCPR jazz host and producer Louis Cook dies

A prominent voice from the early days of North Country Public Radio has died. Louis T.K. Cook, of Akwesasne, was the late night host of "Jazz Waves" in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Cook also educated listeners - and producers at this radio station - about native political and cultural issues with his series, "You Are On Indian Land". Cook is remembered here at the station as full of life and was known as a wild guy.

His cousin, Ray Cook, who is now Op/Ed editor at Indian Country Today Media Network, says he owes his career in media to Louie Cook. He describes Cook as a natural teacher. "He was an artist in the traditional form," says Ray Cook. "He believed in the power of music and how it can soothe the soul and he always treasured the stories that he recorded and the people he talked to when he was in the production mode."

Louis T.K. Cook died Monday from injuries he suffered in a car crash last week on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. He had been working with a not-for-profit there that helps families on the reservation build and maintain gardens.  Go to full article
St. Regis Mohawk tribal government building in Akwesasne. Photo: David Sommerstein.
St. Regis Mohawk tribal government building in Akwesasne. Photo: David Sommerstein.

How the sequester could affect Mohawk health care

The effects of across the board federal spending cuts - known as the sequester - are still being sorted out. Mohawks in Akwesasne are bracing for cuts to health care and law enforcement.  Go to full article
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Story 2.0: Mohawks give thanks to Venezuela's Chavez

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is stirring up as much controversy after his death as he did during his life.

Chavez was a strident opponent of the United States. But he also helped many poor people, even in the U.S.

Republicans slammed New York Democrat Jose Serrano yesterday for praising Chavez on this point. Under Chavez, Venezuela's national oil company, CITGO, donated 200 million gallons of home heating oil to low income Americans, including to Mohawks in Akwesasne.

David Sommerstein reported on the program in 2006. He checks back in for our Story 2.0 series, where we revisit stories from the NCPR archive.  Go to full article
A family at last Saturday's Idle No More march over the Cornwall bridge.  Photo by David Sommerstein.
A family at last Saturday's Idle No More march over the Cornwall bridge. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Big expectations for "Idle No More" meeting in Canada

First Nations chiefs are meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa today. The meeting is a response to months of protests by a grassroots aboriginal group called Idle No More.

The group is demanding the government address issues such as poverty, land claims, and profits from natural resources.

As Karen Kelly reports from Ottawa, it may be difficult for today's meeting to soothe decades of discontent.  Go to full article

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