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News stories tagged with "mohawks"

Mohawks: tobacco smuggling answers lie in cooperation

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity released an exhaustive investigation on the confluence of illegal tobacco, drugs, and organized crime on the Mohawk reservations on the St. Lawrence River. Yesterday we spoke with the report's author.

Today, the Mohawks' side of things. Chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe near Massena say Canada and the United States are raising cigarette taxes without considering historic tribal rights to trade tobacco. Chief Jim Ransom says the author of the Center for Public Integrity report didn't even request an interview with tribal chiefs. The Mohawks have endured a reputation as smugglers even before tobacco companies worked with some natives to traffic untaxed cigarettes into Canada in the 1990s. This year's surprise hit film, Frozen River, has brought Akwesasne's reputation to the big screen and the nation. Chief Ransom told David Sommerstein he condemns the drug trafficking and crime that happens in Akwesasne. But he says the characterization ignores the history of oppression and environmental degradation brought on the Mohawks.  Go to full article

Mohawks: shipping power downstate "shameful"

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe lashed out against Governor Paterson and the New York Power Authority Tuesday for sending low-cost hydropower to Long Island. The 9 megawatts was reserved for the Mohawks and their growing casino, which has been running on generators. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: CITGO to suspend free fuel to Akwesasne?

A piece of news yesterday brings us the next installment of our new series, "Story 2.0". We're revisiting stories from the North Country Public Radio archive to see what's happened since. CITGO, the U.S. branch of the national oil company of Venezuela, is stopping shipments of free heating oil for poor families in America's cities. That word came yesterday from the non-profit organization that distributes the fuel. CITGO also donates free heating oil to native tribes, including the Akwesasne Mohawks. The company has given away $1.5 million in heating oil to Mohawk families. David Sommerstein was there in 2006 when CITGO began the program, sparking some geopolitical controversy.  Go to full article

Oneidas turn to federal trust in land claim fight

Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Oneida Nation's claim to land in the central New York town of Sherill. It was considered a blow to native efforts to reclaim territory lost in the 1700s, including land claimed by the Akwesasne Mohawks in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. The ruling was especially troubling for the Oneidas, because the land in question includes their lucrative Turning Stone casino and resort. The Oneidas are now taking a different tack. They're asking the federal government to put 13,000 acres into the native trust. That would make it sovereign territory, and part of the Oneida reservation. The town of Oneida, some citizen groups, and the State of New York are trying to block the trust in federal court. David Chanatry reports. This story was first produced for the NPR program Day to Day.  Go to full article

Mohawks sue over casino ruling

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is suing the federal government over its decision against a Mohawk casino in the Catskills. The Department of the Interior ruled earlier this month that the site is too far from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks pursue tobacco tax deal

In February, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe came closer than ever to building a glitzy casino in the Catskills. They signed a compact for the gaming resort with Governor Spitzer. At the same time, two of the three Mohawk chiefs signed another document. It was a letter agreeing to pursue a "trade agreement" with New York on the sale of untaxed cigarettes and gasoline on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. The Mohawk chiefs were in Albany last week for talks with Governor Spitzer. As David Sommerstein reports, tribes and non-native business owners across New York are watching carefully.  Go to full article

Seaway sets earliest opening date

The St. Lawrence Seaway will re-open for shipping this year on March 21st. As David Sommerstein reports, it's the earliest opening in the waterway's 49-year history.  Go to full article

Mohawk casino closer, sort of

2007 begins with the St. Regis Mohawk tribe in the lead to reach a long-awaited prize -- a gaming resort in the Catskill mountains, closer than any other casino to New York City. But don't expect to belly up to the blackjack tables too soon. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

Framing Latin America's Left for the North

Bush nemesis Hugo Chavez is giving free heating oil to Akwesasne, Daniel Ortega's back in Nicaragua, and Democratic control of Congress could alter free trade with Latin America. The Miami Herald's Andean region bureau chief, Steven Dudley, talks with David Sommerstein about how Latin America's trend of leftist politics could affect us in the North Country. Dudley gives a talk, entitled "Latin America's leftist tilt: how much weight will it have?" tonight at 7:30 in Kellas Hall at SUNY Potsdam.  Go to full article
Patricia Towne (r) and Ann Fillhart
Patricia Towne (r) and Ann Fillhart

StoryCorps: Growing up Non-Native American among the Mohawks

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each week NCPR brings you a story from StoryCorps' visit to the North Country earlier this summer. This week Patricia Towne, who now lives in Florida, talks with her daughter Ann Fillhart from Lacona, New York.  Go to full article

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