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News stories tagged with "tribe"

Mohawks protest arming Canadian customs agents

Mohawks are gearing up for a fight with the Canadian border agency. Canada will begin arming its customs officers on June 1st. But Mohawks say the step is inappropriate at the port of entry on Cornwall Island, which is tribal territory and a residential area. A protest is planned for Saturday. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The 1851 letter.
The 1851 letter.

1851 letter holds more mystery than answers for Mohawks

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is hoping an 1851 letter it recently acquired will shed light on ownership of former tribal land. But right now the document raises more questions than answers. The tribe bought the letter from Gregory Caron of Hopkinton for $1000. Caron bought it at an auction for the same price. The letter is written in dense legalese. It makes a case for British settlers to pay the tribe years of back rent for using Barnhart and Baxter Islands in the St. Lawrence River. The Mohawks owned the islands until they were ceded to the United States (without Mohawk consent) after the war of 1812. Today, Barnhart Island is the home of the massive New York Power Authority hydropower dam across the St. Lawrence. Arnold Printup is the historic preservation officer for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. He spoke to David Sommerstein about the letter and its significance.  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

Cayuga Decision Clouds Mohawk Claim

The ruling on the Cayuga land claim could also endanger the Akwesasne Mohawks claim to 22,000 acres of land in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties. That case was almost settled. The Mohawks stood to get $100 million, the right to double the size of its reservation near Massena, and the first chance to build a casino in the Catskills. The state Assembly, both county legislatures, and three Mohawk tribal councils have all signed off on the deal. Governor Pataki was prepared to sign it into law when the State Senate failed to act last week. Jim Ransom, chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, says he's disappointed with the latest turn of events. To learn more about the federal court's ruling on the Cayuga land claim, David Sommerstein spoke with Robert Odawi Porter. He's a law professor at Syracuse University and directs the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance, and Citizenship. Porter says the Cayuga decision is derived from the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the Oneida Nation. That one said the Oneidas are not immune from taxation on land it had bought in central New York.  Go to full article

Wisconsin Oneidas Eye Antwerp Land

The plot continues to thicken in Governor Pataki's efforts to resolve land claims in New York with native tribes. The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin may acquire 1000 acres of state forest land in Jefferson County as a part of a settlement. As David Sommerstein reports, the Nation would be prohibited from developing the land commercially.  Go to full article

Mohawk-Canada Trade Dispute Revived

An international human rights commission is reviving a 15 year-old Mohawk trade dispute with Canada. The case centers on whether Akwesasne Mohawks in the U.S. can carry goods duty-free across the border to trade with other native tribes. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Seek to Limit Tribal Jurisdiction

Across the country, some native tribes are buying land far from their reservations with the intent of opening gambling ventures there. New York's congressional delegation is proposing a bill that would curtail the practice, which lawmakers are calling "reservation shopping". The legislation stems from a dispute over a bingo hall the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Oklahoma wants to build in the Finger Lakes area. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks Return to Polls

Members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe will return to the voting booth for a run-off election tomorrow. Two candidates tied for a chief position in an election earlier this month. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article

Mohawk Election: An Historical Perspective

David Sommerstein talks with Jon Parmenter, St. Lawrence University professor of history, about the history of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and what's at stake in Saturday's election.  Go to full article
Campaign placards crowd Rt. 37
Campaign placards crowd Rt. 37

Tribal Election Tests Mohawk Politics

The Mohawks of Akwesasne have reached a defining moment in their history. The tribe is preparing to vote on a proposed settlement to the Mohawks' decades' old land claim and a chance to build a new casino in the Catskills. Some members say it's the best possible deal and they want to move on. But others say they can do much better and heal a divided community in the process. As David Sommerstein reports, a tribal election this Saturday will test the deal's popularity and the tribe's political system.  Go to full article

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