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News stories tagged with "indian"

U.S. defends Mohawk land claim

The U.S. Attorney General's office is defending the St. Regis Mohawks' land claim in its entirety. That's after a judge recommended throwing out most of it last fall.

In a brief filed earlier in November, Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno made two important points about the decades old Mohawk claim to 12,000 acres in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.  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'

In Ottawa, a Native American DJ collective is transforming traditional music to challenge stereotypes. In the process, they've built 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 reports on the 'Electric Pow Wow'.  Go to full article
Kateri Tekakwitha shrine in Fonda, NY. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmcordell/">Diane Cordell</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">some rights reserved</a>
Kateri Tekakwitha shrine in Fonda, NY. Photo: Diane Cordell, CC some rights reserved

First Native saint "beacon of empowerment"

Catholics across Upstate New York and Canada are celebrating the canonization of a 17th century Mohawk woman. She'll become the first Native American saint in a ceremony this Sunday at the Vatican.

Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced "gah-deh-LEE de-gah-GWEE-tah") was born in the Mohawk Valley, near what is today Albany. Smallpox killed her parents and partially blinded her when she was six. She fled her village and devoted her life to the Catholic Church at the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve near Montreal. She died when she was just 24 years old.

That church, St. Francis Xavier in Kahnawake, is holding vigils, masses, and other special events throughout the weekend.

Hundreds of faithful are travelling to Rome to witness the canonization in person. Among them is the mother of Darren Bonaparte, a Mohawk historian and author of a book called A Lily Among Thorns: the Mohawk Repatriation of Takeri Tekakwitha.

Bonaparte told David Sommerstein Kateri Tekakwitha's story needs to be seen in its historical context. He says the Dutch and the French were vying for Mohawk lands in the 17th century, spreading smallpox to the native people as they went.  Go to full article
Part of the 7.2 mi. contaminated stretch of the Grasse.  Photo by David Sommerstein.
Part of the 7.2 mi. contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Mohawks seek better Grasse cleanup

The St. Regis Mohawks say the federal government's plan to clean up toxic chemicals from the Grasse River has improved, but it's still not good enough. The Alcoa aluminum plant in Massena dumped cancer-causing PCBs into the river before they were banned in the 1970s.  Go to full article
The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.
The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.

Judge sustains part of Mohawk land claim

Native tribes' claims to ancestral lands in New York haven't fared so well recently. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially dismissed the Oneida Nation's land claim, saying too much time had passed since the 18th century treaties the claims are based on. Other courts have followed that ruling with other tribes' land claims.

So this week, when a judge recommended throwing out 85% of the Mohawk land claim in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe focused on the 15% that has a chance to survive. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Male traditionalist dancers compete. Photo: David Sommerstein
Male traditionalist dancers compete. Photo: David Sommerstein

Balance of dance and drum at Akwesasne's pow wow

The weekend after Labor Day is a special one on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. People from across the region gather on Cornwall Island for the Akwesasne Pow-Wow, a friendly competition of dancing, drumming, and singing that's at the heart of native culture.  Go to full article

Web extra: Akwesasne Singers perform Alligator Dance

The hometown favorites of the pow wow, the Akwesasne Singers, perform the Alligator Dance, a song from tribes in the Everglades in Florida.  Go to full article
Akwesasne Freedom School
Akwesasne Freedom School

Akwesasne Freedom School's mission: Cultural survival

At the Akwesasne Freedom School on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena, kids spend their whole day, including recess, completely immersed in the Mohawk language. Nora Flaherty has more.  Go to full article
Seneca president Robert Odawi Porter displays the historic cloth Tuesday.  [photo by Chris Caya]
Seneca president Robert Odawi Porter displays the historic cloth Tuesday. [photo by Chris Caya]

Senecas reassert sovereignty; Cuomo eyes gambling

Seneca Nation president Robert Odawi Porter is using an historic piece of cloth to deliver a message to New York State about native sovereignty. He said payment of the cloth and a small sum according to an 18th century treaty symbolizes native nations' freedom from state taxation and right to land.

The history lesson came on the same day that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is considering legalizing gambling in New York. That would have a profound effect on native nations and tribes around the state who rely on their casinos for revenue. Martha Foley and Dave Bullard report.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo considers adding non-Native gambling

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's re examining the state's approach to casino gambling, and is looking at whether and how gaming in New York should be expanded.

Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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