Onondaga Nation Files Appeal to 2010 Dismissal of Land Rights Action
February 28, 2012 – Washington, D.C.—The Onondaga Nation’s lawyers filed the appeal of the 2010 dismissal of their Land Rights Action to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City today, but Onondaga and other Haudenosaunee leaders chose Washington D.C. to announce the filing, bringing with them the original wampum belt U.S. President George Washington commissioned for the Haudenosaunee in 1794.
The Press Conference begins with Tadodaho Sidney Hill opening the event the traditional way, with the words that come before all else. These are spoken in Onondaga, with an explanation afterward.
Freida Jacques, a Clanmother of the Onondaga Nation, shares the first paragraph of the Land Rights Action, originally filed in 2005, which was dictated to the Onondaga Nation’s lawyers by the Council of Chiefs
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan for the Onondaga Nation introduces the Chiefs, Clanmothers, and Faithkeepers of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Six Nations Iroquois) who were in attendance, and explains the long history of treaties between the Haudenosaunee and the United States.
The original wampum belt created by George Washington in 1794 to commemorate the Treaty of Canandaigua with the Six Nations is shared.
The Onondaga Nation’s General Counsel, Joseph Heath, explained the legal aspects of the case.
Suzan Shown Harjo, a well-known Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee advocate for American Indian rights currently based in Washington D.C., who is working on an exhibit of treaties at the National Museum of the American Indian, shares her perspective.
After Q&A, Mohawk Chief Howard Thompson closes with the Thanksgiving Address, spoken in Mohawk.
See the full press conference here: