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#528314 --- 02/18/07 11:44 AM Tribal News
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Gambling With Terrorism
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?a1956736-63a9-4133-ad3d-55a36a08c4eb
Professor John Kindt was a speaker at CERA's lobbying conference in May of 2006 on Federal Indian Policy.

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#528353 --- 02/18/07 12:30 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 32557
Loc: USA
Okla - how many terrorist have you helped?
_________________________
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."

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#528640 --- 02/18/07 08:05 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Oh Timothy - Tim Lattimore !!! You didn't happen to see the bottom of the page on this web site did you? http://www.polosyv.org/ It's called A N N E X A T I O N !!! It does NOT have to be on any prior reservation and trust status is favorable to "contiguos" lands that have already been granted trust status.

Get the picture?

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#528671 --- 02/18/07 09:20 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
This Hawaii Reporter seems to be getting the picture quite well:

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?29ffb2e0-1829-4902-b02b-3c71e88c0d25
The Rise of Tribal Opportunism in America

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#528899 --- 02/19/07 10:38 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
CitizenStraub Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 536
Loc: Seneca County, NY
I always get a kick when I see this billboard that is located south of Syracuse on I-81 near the Res. It's been in place for many years and is a real testament to free speach. It needs to be updated again now that the inauguration has taken place but it still conveys the point. Enjoy!

[img]http://new.photos.yahoo.com/citizenstraub/photo/294928804239510686/0[/img]
_________________________
"When you're looking at the business end of a grand jury, chances are, someone is going to prison."

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#528900 --- 02/19/07 10:41 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Guess what comes after "trust staus" ? I pointed out the Winter's Doctrine at the Seneca Co. public forum when Lana Marcussen, Esq. was here. It's not JUST about casinos.

http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096414532&print=yes

Judge says state-recognized tribe can claim water rights
© Indian Country Today February 19, 2007. All Rights Reserved
Posted: February 19, 2007
by: Bobbie Whitehead / Indian Country Today


WASHINGTON - A Virginia Circuit Court judge has said an Indian tribe's reserved water rights claim cannot be dependant upon a tribe's federal recognition status alone.

In a lengthy opinion, Judge Charles Poston, presiding over a case in the Newport News, Va., Circuit Court, also wrote that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, referred to as the ''Winter's Doctrine,'' gives American Indian reservations first water rights and could be applicable to tribes in the Eastern United States.
.................


Edited by Rich_Tallcot (02/19/07 10:57 AM)

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#528913 --- 02/19/07 10:55 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/triberecognition17.htm

And here come the Wampanoags - millionaires in their own right investing in "rights" for tax free status, land claims, casinos, and barring from recognition all those who oppose the existing tribal government. Sound familiar? Click on the url above for story.

Promoting privileges through tribalism at the cost of oppressing others and claiming those opposed to these politics of privilege are oppressing those privileged is the standard game plan.


Edited by Rich_Tallcot (02/19/07 10:56 AM)

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#528921 --- 02/19/07 11:09 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
CitizenStraub Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 536
Loc: Seneca County, NY
Quote:


WASHINGTON - A Virginia Circuit Court judge has said an Indian tribe's reserved water rights claim cannot be dependant upon a tribe's federal recognition status alone.
.................


Oh boy. Now they're going to try to fence off Cayuga Lake, keep the white man out, and sell all the water and fish to finance more casinos! You know what this means? Screw the fishing limit and pass the dynamite... I mean bait!
_________________________
"When you're looking at the business end of a grand jury, chances are, someone is going to prison."

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#528956 --- 02/19/07 12:29 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: CitizenStraub]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Originally Posted By: CitizenStraub
Quote:


WASHINGTON - A Virginia Circuit Court judge has said an Indian tribe's reserved water rights claim cannot be dependant upon a tribe's federal recognition status alone.
.................


Oh boy. Now they're going to try to fence off Cayuga Lake, keep the white man out, and sell all the water and fish to finance more casinos! You know what this means? Screw the fishing limit and pass the dynamite... I mean bait!


The lake? Questionable. Not likely unless the tribe got a ruling or deal with the governor similar to the one a tribe pushed through in Idaho by their then governor Kempthorne - now head of the Interior Dept. Land owners on the lake are now assessed a fee by the tribe for their docks even though their land is fee simple and not under tribal jurisdiction. Kempthorne gave the tribe jurisdiction over the south end of a lake because the rez bordered it. Prior to that, the state DEC had jurisdiction.

The Winter's Doctrine has been used to control the flow and quality of water to lands owned by tribes. When one tries to open a golf course or ANY business or industry that uses water, spray pesticides, spread manure, or even put in or take out a culvert on any land that has water running to the tribe's land, the tribe has jurisdiction in the watershed. It doesn't have to be on tribal land and it doesn't matter what race you are. This applies to Indians as well. Most Indians aren't tribal members. If you don't get permission from the tribe first, you pay a fine in court - federal court. New York is oblivious to cause and effects because they haven't faced it yet. That's what the Winter's Doctrine is.

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#529067 --- 02/19/07 03:48 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
It appears that Spitzer has rolled over for the special interests group. I hope he remains in office long enough to see the effects of his ill fated decision to press for land into trust in a state where no trust land for Indian tribes has ever existed. There will come a day when this decision will come back to haunt he and his colleagues.


Spitzer agrees with Mohawks for casino in Catskills

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press
Last updated: 1:42 p.m., Monday, February 19, 2007

ALBANY -- A decades-old proposal for a casino in the Catskills took a major step Monday with Gov. Eliot Spitzer's agreement for the St. Regis Mohawk tribe to build and operate a gaming center at Monticello Raceway.
The Sullivan County casino that would be expected to draw gamblers from the nearby New York City area is also expected to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to state government, as well as help revive the economically hard-pressed region. The $600 million casino is expected to provide 3,000 permanent jobs and create a building boom in the area.

The casino would also mark a return of the region as an entertainment hot spot, where top comedians, bands, singers and boxers once made regular stops. The names of the now closed Catskills resorts and the stars who honed their craft there are part of American entertainment legend.

"By working together, we can establish a premier gaming facility that will produce significant revenues for the tribe and the state and help spark a resurgence of the Catskills region," Spitzer said.

Under the agreement, the state would receive 20 percent of the revenue from slot machines for the first two years, 23 percent for the next two years and 25 percent after that. Ending another major sticking point, the tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws. For a sovereign tribe, the state couldn't simply require adherence to state laws.

"We commend Gov. Spitzer's decisive action and commitment to our Sullivan County casino project which we believe will generate tremendous opportunities in and around the Catskills region," the Mohawk St. Regis Tribal Council said in a prepared statement. "We rejoice in the prospects this important project presents for the future of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the people of Sullivan County, and New Yorkers across the state."

The 30-year effort, however, isn't over.

Spitzer and the tribe are now urging the secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior to make final approvals, including taking raceway land into a trust. The department includes the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Democratic governor wouldn't predict how the Republican Bush administration will react.

"I will be in Washington and will certainly convey to the secretary how important this is for the economy of the Catskills and Sullivan County," Spitzer told The Associated Press.

Spitzer said local concerns over traffic are eased at Monticello because the roadways to handle heavy traffic are in place, but not used to their potential. He said the state will also address concerns about gambling addiction.

Spitzer stated, as he did during his campaign, that "casinos are not the totality of economic development," but they can be effective and lucrative especially in areas like the Catskills that have historically been tourist destinations.

In December, the U.S. Interior Department approved an environmental review of the St. Regis Mohawk Indian tribe's project. The agency found the proposed casino on 30 acres next to Monticello Gaming and Raceway would not have a significant environmental impact.

Last week, a group of farm and conservation groups sued the federal department to halt the project, arguing that a more thorough environmental review is needed. The case is in federal court in Manhattan.

The Mohawks, whose reservation straddles the U.S.-Canadian border, are among a number of groups that have been trying to build a casino in the Catskills for the past decade.

Construction cannot begin until the Interior Department puts the land into trust for the Mohawks.

The harness racing track is owned by Empire Resorts, which would build the new casino. The casino would offer blackjack, roulette, craps and traditional slot machines.

Empire spokesman Charles Degliomini has said construction could begin within the year at the site 75 miles north of New York City.

In January, a judge dealt at least a temporary blow to a casino proposal for Buffalo through the Seneca Indian Nation. The judge ruled that the a federal agency erred in 2002 when it approved the plan. The Senecas already have casinos in Niagara Falls and Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, and they hope to begin operating a temporary casino in Buffalo in April.

The Oneida tribe's Turning Stone casino near Utica opened more than a decade ago and has flourished, now covering more than 1,000 acres with hotels and golf courses.

While the casinos have made traditionally poor tribes rich, some communities have complained their tax-free trade and enterprises have hurt non-Indian business.


All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2007, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.





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#529105 --- 02/19/07 04:53 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: Rich_Tallcot
This Hawaii Reporter seems to be getting the picture quite well:

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?29ffb2e0-1829-4902-b02b-3c71e88c0d25
The Rise of Tribal Opportunism in America


I read this article and agree with its theme. Allowed to continue this will be the downfall of the USA as we know it. Race based entitlements will destroy this country.

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#529130 --- 02/19/07 06:05 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: grinch]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 32557
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: grinch

Under the agreement, the state would receive 20 percent of the revenue from slot machines for the first two years, 23 percent for the next two years and 25 percent after that. Ending another major sticking point, the tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws. For a sovereign tribe, the state couldn't simply require adherence to state laws.



Dear Mr. Spitzer - Are you a FOOL?

Less than 50 days into office and you have just put NY into a severe situation.


"The tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws."

And when the tribe refuses to comply with state tax, labor and health laws what will Mr. Spitzer do?


Mr Spitzer if you wanted casinos then you should have changed the state constitution.

You have just opened up a pandora's box.

25% goes to NY and 75% goes to the tribes?

Mr. Spitzer you are not a business man.
_________________________
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."

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#530611 --- 02/21/07 10:36 PM Honor the Treaties - hah [Re: CitizenStraub]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5568
Loc: Greeneville, TN
HONOR THE TREATIES -

From the article:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7513849

Cherokee Tribe Faces Decision on Freedmen
NPR Radio
Morning Edition
February 21, 2007

A federal court hearing Wednesday pits Native Americans against the descendants of African slaves once kept by tribal members. The Cherokee Nation has moved to expel the people known as Cherokee Freedmen.

The Freedmen argue that a 140-year-old treaty protects their citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. The conflict puts the tribal government in the unusual position trying to argue against a long-standing treaty.

With the Cherokee's financial picture brightening somewhat and a tribal ruling in their favor, Freedmen such as Johnny Toomer -- a forklift operator in Muskogee -- have staked their claim to membership.

Toomer's great, great grandmother was the daughter of slaves held by the Cherokee. Her people likely walked to Oklahoma from Georgia on the infamous Trail of Tears, a march forced by the U.S. government that killed nearly a fifth of the tribe.

Toomer says the proof of his claim is in the photocopied documents arrayed on his coffee table. His relative's name is on what's called the Dawes Rolls, a federal government list of Cherokees, and members of four other tribes, living on Indian lands around 1900.

But a century ago a bureaucrat marked that Toomer's great, great grandmother was a Cherokee Freedman. It's that notation that now puts his tribal citizenship at risk.

"Is it because of the color of my skin, [the] reason I'm not accepted?

That's the way I feel about it sometimes," Toomer said.

A tribal court ruling last year forced the Cherokees to recognize Freedmen as citizens. That prompted Toomer and about 1,500 other Freedmen to sign up for membership cards.

That sparked a referendum to amend the tribe's constitution and formally expel the Freedmen.

"It's an Indian thing, we do not want non-Indians in the tribe, our Indian blood is what binds us together," said Jodie Fishinghawk, who helped lead the drive to expel the Freedmen.

"It's a democratic process, people are allowed to vote. That's what America is based on, that's what we use here in the Cherokee Nation," Fishinghawk said. "And I don't see any problem with it."

The Cherokee Freedmen do. After fighting on the loosing side in the Civil War, the Cherokees signed a treaty guarantying their newly freed slaves citizenship in the tribe.

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#530863 --- 02/22/07 11:04 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: bluezone]
Okla.ndn Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 3074
Loc: Osage Indian Nation in Oklahom...
Originally Posted By: bluezone
Originally Posted By: grinch

Under the agreement, the state would receive 20 percent of the revenue from slot machines for the first two years, 23 percent for the next two years and 25 percent after that. Ending another major sticking point, the tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws. For a sovereign tribe, the state couldn't simply require adherence to state laws.



Dear Mr. Spitzer - Are you a FOOL?

Less than 50 days into office and you have just put NY into a severe situation.


"The tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws."

And when the tribe refuses to comply with state tax, labor and health laws what will Mr. Spitzer do?


Mr Spitzer if you wanted casinos then you should have changed the state constitution.

You have just opened up a pandora's box.

25% goes to NY and 75% goes to the tribes?

Mr. Spitzer you are not a business man.
You say he's not a business man, when was the last time you got 25% of a business that you didn't put anything in? LOL
_________________________
I am a General Council member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe I speak for my self not my Tribe.

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#531060 --- 02/22/07 02:54 PM Re: Tribal News [Re: Okla.ndn]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 32557
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Okla.ndn
Originally Posted By: bluezone
Originally Posted By: grinch

Under the agreement, the state would receive 20 percent of the revenue from slot machines for the first two years, 23 percent for the next two years and 25 percent after that. Ending another major sticking point, the tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws. For a sovereign tribe, the state couldn't simply require adherence to state laws.



Dear Mr. Spitzer - Are you a FOOL?

Less than 50 days into office and you have just put NY into a severe situation.


"The tribe agreed to comply with state tax, labor and health laws."

And when the tribe refuses to comply with state tax, labor and health laws what will Mr. Spitzer do?


Mr Spitzer if you wanted casinos then you should have changed the state constitution.

You have just opened up a pandora's box.

25% goes to NY and 75% goes to the tribes?

Mr. Spitzer you are not a business man.
You say he's not a business man, when was the last time you got 25% of a business that you didn't put anything in? LOL


"Didn't put anything in?"

Are you saying that the land is indian land?

Are you saying that all the roads, bridges, sewers, water, telephone, cable, hospitals, police, fire, schools... were built by the tribes?

You should remember that all businesses pay taxes and this 25% is less than would have been collected from another business from property, sales, corporate, employee... taxes.

And where will all the "customers" be from?

Will they all be indians?
Are will they all be NY'ers?
Guess NY is supplying you with customers and profits.

After all, that is the sole reason that the tribes want OFF-REZ casinos ----aka near populated cities with people with money to lose at the casino.

Why would a tribe put a casino on a rez out in the boonies?

And where can you just build a building and receive 75% in large proftits with a casino monopoly?

Let Trump build and there will be more profits to the state and he will have to obey the laws.

_________________________
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."

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#534050 --- 03/01/07 07:03 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: bluezone]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
It will be interesting to hear what caused this fire. The tribes reject inspections by local code enforcement officers and others charged with enforcing safety laws. Possibly they might have avoided this loss should they have allowed such inspections. Oh yes, they utilized the services of 20 volunteer fire departments in putting this out. I wonder if they are contributing to the cost of those departments. Sad part about this, 10 people are out of work.



Fire in Verona
Updated: 2/28/2007 9:34:50 PM
By: Web Staff


A fire has destroyed a woodworking shop located near the intersection of Routes 31 and 365 in the town of Verona. The one-story building is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation and served as a wood carpentry shop, that employed ten people.

The fire started between 7 and 8 o'clock when an employee at the nearby SavOn Gas Station saw it and called firefighters. More than 20 different departments responded.

Once they got the flames under control, crews brought in an excavator and knocked the building down.

No one was inside at the time of the fire. There’s still no word on the cause, but crews will be back on the scene in the morning.

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#534901 --- 03/02/07 11:10 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: bluezone]
Okla.ndn Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 3074
Loc: Osage Indian Nation in Oklahom...
Sure let Trump open one. And he will pay a lot less then the Tribes do.
_________________________
I am a General Council member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe I speak for my self not my Tribe.

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#534915 --- 03/02/07 11:37 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Okla.ndn]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
The following editorial was published in the NY Post on Feb 21st and calls the gov to task for "getting into bed with the Mohawks". Wow has this upset Indian Country. I will post an article from the Indian Times that out lines their anger and protest over this article.

THE GOV'S GAMBLING GOOF February 21, 2007 -- Gov. Spitzer is getting into bed with the St. Regis Mohawks, giving the green light to a partnership between the upstate Indian tribe and a private firm to build a $600 million casino at the former Monticello Raceway in the economically troubled Catskills. Bad move. We're no fans of legalized gambling; it's socially corrosive on several levels. But that horse is out of the barn. Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York already have casinos galore, and it's clear that the N.Y.C. area will, too - even if it means subverting the state Constitution's ban on casinos via compacts with Indian tribes. However, doing a deal with this particular tribe - with its extended history of often-violent criminality - is a travesty. Over the past eight years, the feds have cited the St. Regis Mohawks in connection with a $687 million smuggling operation involving illegal liquor, cigarettes and guns. They've also done a brisk business smuggling people - transporting more than 3,600 illegal aliens from China into America through the St. Regis reservation, which transverses the U.S.-Canadian border along the St. Lawrence River. They've also occasionally engaged in shoot-outs with the New York State Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian army. Not exactly good neighbors, we'd say. Yet the last two governors have worked overtime to expand the Mohawks' control over casino gambling in New York. Yes, the Catskills need economic help. And there's no denying the potential revenue lure of this casino, which would be closer to the metropolitan area than either Atlantic City or Foxwoods. But it would be fully 400 miles from the St. Regis reservation; in no credible sense is it part of tribal lands - logically, a prerequisite for the establishment of an Indian-owned casino. And while the 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows for some latitude in this regard, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne - who must sign off on any deal - has said lawmakers didn't intend to OK casinos so far from tribal land. All of which suggests that the court battles are far from over. Competing casino interests, opponents of legalized gambling and local residents fearful of the casino's impact on traffic and other conditions all have vowed a fight. We hope they wage it with vigor. Happily, there's no sign that Kempthorne will rush to any decision in the matter. In fact, the matter will likely stay up in the air for years. Which means there's time enough for the state to do this right. If casino gambling is as inevitable as it appears, then it's time to amend the state Constitution to open gambling to everyone - not just dubious partners like the St. Regis Mohawks. This would be an extended process: Two successively elected Legislatures would have to agree, and then there would be a statewide referendum. There would be no guarantees, to be sure. But it's the way to go. Meanwhile, Spitzer needs to read the relevant State Police files on the St. Regis Mohawk tribe. When he does, he'll come to his senses quickly enough - and ice this project.

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#534921 --- 03/02/07 11:46 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: grinch]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
This editorial responds with the time worn rebuttal calling the editorial from the NY Post "racist".

It is obvious they are incensed that a national publication is making these back door deals public and garnering public support against off reservation casinos, paticularly with this tribe.

I never knew that the Mohawks built all those buildings in NYCity, I had thought they worked on the buildings as they did not fear heights. I tend to believe the engineering and development were handled by others.

Overlooked in this rebuttal is the record of the Mohawk concerning smuggling and their open borders through which pass many people sneaking into the USA. Also overlooked is their lawlessness and open defiance to NYS Police and Federal Authorities.

Hey Gov Spitzer, you best take a closer look at who you partner with.


Mohawks move forward; racist rhetoric sets us all back
© Indian Country Today March 02, 2007. All Rights Reserved
Posted: March 02, 2007
by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today


New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's approval on Feb. 20 of an off-reservation casino for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe marked a rare occasion in Indian gaming. Only three times before has a state supported a tribe in such an endeavor. For the community of Akwesasne, the territory within which the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe operates as the elective, federally recognized government, the controversial issue of casino gaming in the Mohawk's ancestral territory, New York's Catskills region, seemed to have reached its long-awaited conclusion.

Immediately, de rigueur lawsuits were filed by casino opponents, including anti-gaming organizations and environmental groups, to delay final approvals of the proposed $600 million casino. The Mohawk tribal officials have long been prepared to fight this initial backlash in the legal courts.

However, what the tribe seemed less prepared for was the obnoxious uproar from the court of public opinion that has an entire community of Indian people again defending itself against what amounts to a racist and ethnocentric defamation of character by the media. There is outrage that ''news'' organizations based in New York City purport to know anything true about the life of Mohawk people. There is plenty of anger and emotion, and rightly so, on both sides of the issue. But the editorials, opinions and letters appearing since the February announcement have offered plenty of vitriolic hate speech and libelous statements.

To provide an introduction for this particular display of ignorance is to be transported back in time when the American rubric for discourse on the ''Indian problem'' included references to lynching, sterilization and extermination. It is misguided thinking to generalize a tribe ''as disreputable as the St. Regis Mohawks'' as bad business partners. But to then ask, ''How can a man whose goal it is to clean up Albany invite nefarious lawbreakers like the Mohawks to sit at his table?'' is reminiscent of signs barring ''Indians and dogs'' from public establishments. The comments, by reader Tom Cahill of Manhattan in a letter to the New York Post on Feb. 24, do not end there. ''Let the leaders of the tribe perpetuate their social corrosiveness if they wish; maybe it's the prerogative of their tribal law,'' his disgusting conclusion begins. ''Keep it away from we honest, God-fearing and law-abiding citizens.''

And so was the tone of several of these letters published by the Post, referring collectively to the ''Mohawks'' (no further distinction was deemed necessary by any respondent) as ''Indian gangsters,'' ''corrupt folks,'' ''crooks'' and the St. Regis Mohawk tribe as a troubled ''organization'' with ''a history of unacceptable behavior.'' What is worse is that these comments were fueled by the paper's editorial, ''The Gov's Gambling Goof,'' published three days earlier, in which they roll out imagined statistics in an embellished version of the ''extended history'' of the tribe. It is a ''travesty'' to partner with the Mohawks, says the Post, because of its connection with widespread drug and people smuggling operations along the U.S./Canada border that cuts directly through the Akwesasne community.

Sure, these are the misguided and racist comments of a tabloid and a few of its blowhard readers, but consider the reach of the New York Post. According to its circulation department, the Post publishes more than 700,000 daily issues and has a readership of 2.3 million. That's just in New York City, where, incidentally, many hundreds of Mohawk families live, work and go to school. As part of News Corp, the massive media conglomerate that is the world's leading publisher of English-language newspapers, the Post is also distributed in Miami, Tucson, Los Angeles, and Chicago, with its tabloid tentacles continually reaching other major cities. And, like Indian Country Today, the Post participates in Newspapers in Education, which is an international program to advance the use of newspapers in schools. The main purpose of NIE is to improve reading, spelling and writing abilities of school children. But also, it is a great tool for spreading knowledge, or intolerance and hatred, about other peoples and cultures.

It is unconscionable that media outlets like the Post do not find it ethically and socially irresponsible to allow such discourse to occur in their pages. Could we imagine opening a major newspaper tomorrow morning to read editorial praise for the Holocaust, or letters to the editor advocating for the return of slavery? Of course not, not in a ''civilized'' society like the United States of America. But it happens every day and Indian peoples, as communities, tribes and sovereign nations are the targets.

We have examined the grotesque offense of these media reports, but where is the defense? The lack of official response from the St. Regis Mohawk tribal leaders, in this case, has been considered by community members and supporters as collusion. The thinking is that if they have not disputed or corrected with all the might of their office these attacks on the character of not only the tribal government, but of Mohawk children and elders too, it must be true. It is a dangerous slope for tribal leaders to push mightily for an issue (and doubly so if that issue is large-scale gaming) at the expense of the outer public's perception of their constituents.

The community of Akwesasne has a well-documented history of outstanding service and contributions by Mohawks to society:

" The Akwesasne Freedom School, an independent elementary school founded in 1979 by Mohawk parents concerned about the educational and cultural inequities in the state education system, is flourishing today with its Mohawk-language immersion curriculum.

" Akwesasne is home to several renowned makers of fine ash splint and sweet grass baskets, most notably Mary Adams, Mae Bigtree and Henry Arquette. They have been honored as masters of traditional arts in upstate New York. Adams has baskets at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Vatican.

" Hundreds of Mohawk ironworkers built much of the New York skyline, including the World Trade Center's twin towers, the Empire State Building, the United Nations building, Madison Square Garden and the George Washington Bridge.

" The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe collaborates with state and local universities, including Cornell University and Clarkson University, on a variety of health, education and environmental projects. It is now developing a biodiesel plant to convert used vegetable oil from its gaming facilities into clean fuel for tribal vehicles.

" A long tradition of athletic excellence continues as the girl's high school hockey team, comprised mainly of Mohawks, won the New York state championship for the fourth consecutive year. Several Mohawks are in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame; their legacy is a vast minor lacrosse system that is maintained by community volunteers. Many of those young boys grew to play professionally in the National Lacrosse League and continue to do so.

" The community has disproportionately high numbers of U.S. military veterans and college-enrolled students.

The Mohawks of Akwesasne, like all Indian peoples, are no strangers to bad press. They are the proud survivors of generations of U.S. and Canadian policies aimed at separating Indian people from their inherent sovereign right to wander, trade, travel, work and marry freely on the back of A'nowara'ko:wa, the Great Turtle that Haudenosaunee peoples believe is the base of the North American continent. The international border that many Indian and non-Indian activist often describe as an imaginary line, a construct of oppression, is a very real and ominous presence in the lives of Mohawks.

A conundrum the mainstream media rarely examines in their regular attempts to examine the roots of the border problem at Akwesasne is how such a visible and heavily-policed piece of land - after all, the border is ''protected'' by at least half a dozen federal, state and tribal law enforcement agencies - could breed such terrible consequences. The waters of the St. Lawrence River were once an abundant sacrament of spiritual and cultural wealth and physical health for the Akwesasne Mohawk people. Today it is both battleground and weapon, consistently used by bureaucrats to destroy the very fabric of what it means to be Mohawk. Just as the community did not choose to be exposed to widespread public persecution over casino gaming, it did not choose to host an international, a state or a provincial border and all their implications. Having endless strength to face these challenges is now a defining characteristic of Mohawk people. That is the story to tell.







Edited by grinch (03/02/07 12:02 PM)

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#534927 --- 03/02/07 11:54 AM Re: Tribal News [Re: Okla.ndn]
grinch Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 4617
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: Okla.ndn
Sure let Trump open one. And he will pay a lot less then the Tribes do.


If he paid a few dollars it will be more than the Oneida pay.

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