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News stories tagged with "indian"

Coalition Calls For Gambling Moratorium

Among the top issues on Governor Pataki's agenda in 2005 will be forging ahead on building native-owned casinos in the Catskills. The Governor says the gaming resorts will help resolve decades-old tribal land claims in New York and generate revenue to plug the wide budget gap. A new statewide coalition, including a North Country group, wants to stop the spread of all kinds of gambling in New York. As David Sommerstein reports, the groups will start by lobbying on the legislature's first day back in session.  Go to full article

Mohawks Proceed on Land Claim Deal

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe was awaiting word last night on a request to stay the 22-year old Mohawk land claim court case. The request comes after the traditional government in Akwesasne failed to approve a proposed settlement of the lawsuit, but it did throw its support behind two other tribal councils to pursue the deal. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

Sorting Out Land Claim, Casino Deals

In the past month, Governor Pataki has announced four deals with native tribes to resolve land claims and build casino resorts in the Catskills. Three of those agreements are with tribes from outside New York. A fifth casino deal could pop up if the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe approves a proposed land claim settlement. The deals push the number of casino plans beyond the number approved by the legislature. The Governor wants the legislature to accommodate the new plans. Martha Foley talks with David Sommerstein to sort it all out.  Go to full article

Locals Speak Out Against Land Claim Deal

The St. Lawrence County legislature is expected to oppose a proposed settlement of the 22-year old Mohawk land claim. Legislators complain they weren't consulted before the deal was made public. At a finance committee meeting last night, lawmakers put off taking formal action against the deal. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the full Board will consider a resolution and a list of concerns about the settlement on Monday.
The agreement between three Mohawk councils and Governor Pataki still must be approved by tribal members by referendum on November 27th. The leaders of towns in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties that would be affected by the settlement are also speaking out. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks, State Reach Tentative Land Claims Deal

The three tribal councils that govern the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena yesterday announced a proposed settlement with New York State to end the 22 year-old Mohawk land claim. The councils represent the American, Canadian, and traditional constituencies in Akwesasne.
Under the deal, the state and federal governments would pay the Mohawks $100 million to compensate for land in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties taken illegally in the early 1800s. The tribe would get Long Sault and Croil Islands on the St. Lawrence River, a 215 acre parcel on Massena Point, and the right to buy more than 13,000 acres of land within the claim area from willing sellers. The Mohawks would also get low-cost power, free SUNY tuition, and aboriginal hunting and fishing rights. Non-native towns would share a $10 million fund to compensate for lost tax revenues.
The agreement will now go before the Mohawk community for a referendum on November 27th. In a prepared statement, a spokesman for Governor Pataki said he was "encouraged by the good faith efforts being made by all sides to resolve this long-standing, historic dispute."
The proposed settlement is different from a deal reached last year by a previous tribal council in several key ways. David Sommerstein spoke yesterday with Chief Jim Ransom of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.  Go to full article
A Mohawk anti-tax billboard on Rt.37
A Mohawk anti-tax billboard on Rt.37

Mohawks Threaten Toll Booths to Offset Tax

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe says it may charge a toll for drivers and Seaway ships to cross its territory. The move would be in retaliation for the federal government enforcing a gas tax that could cost the tribe millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. As David Sommerstein reports, tribal officials say the tax threatens non-native economies too.  Go to full article

Mohawks Request Border Security Funding

The maze of islands and St. Lawrence River channels along the St. Regis Reservation near Massena have given the Akwesasne Mohawk community a reputation for smuggling. In the 30s, alcohol came across a mostly porous border with Canada by boat and automobile. In the 1990s the contraband was cigarettes. Around 2000, it was illegal aliens. Today, smugglers favor hydroponic marijuana from Canada. Mohawk tribal police work closely with law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada to stem the tide of illegal border crossings. Yet the tribal police receive no money from Washington for their efforts - even as border security funding rises in response to international terrorism. As David Sommerstein reports, Mohawk chiefs are trying to change that.  Go to full article

Lawmakers Ratify Casino Compact, 11 Years Later

In last minute action yesterday, the Assembly ratified the St. Regis Mohawks' compact for its casino in Akwesasne near Massena. The compact was drawn up in 1993 between then-Governor Mario Cuomo and tribal officials, but it was nullified by a court of appeals ruling last year that said the full legislature needed to approve it. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Disecting the Cayuga Land Claim & Casino Deal

Last week Governor Pataki and the Cayuga Nation, based in the Finger Lakes region, announced an agreement in principle on land claims and a casino in the Catskills. New York would pay the Cayugas $247.9 million to settle its decades old land claim lawsuit. The money would come from the state's share of gaming revenues from a casino resort the Cayugas would build in the Catskills. The Cayugas could then use that money to buy up to 10,000 acres of land. The deal would also establish tax parity between Cayuga-owned gas and tobacco stores and non-native stores. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, near Massena, signed a similar pact just over a year ago. But a tribal referendum killed the deal. David Sommerstein spoke with Jon Parmenter, a history professor at Cornell University and an expert in Iroquois history and politics. He says there are important differences between the Mohawk and Cayuga situations.  Go to full article

Oneida Air Service Takes Off

The Oneida Nation is expanding its already thick portfolio of business ventures to include an exclusive charter air service. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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