The Oneida Indian Nation Land Claims
and the State of New York
For over 200 years the state of New York has "honored" their "purchase" of Indian land by making payments of money and salt. For example: the state sends $23,972 annually to the Cayuga Indian Nation in payment for 64,000 acres of land along the north shore of Cayuga Lake. Payment is also made, in like manner for what was Indian land, to the Onadonga and Iroquois Nations.
These purchases of land were done illegally. A quote from the Oneida Nation web page:
"1795: Ignoring federal law, an illegal "treaty" enacted by New York State transferred 100,000 acres of land within the Oneida reservation recognized by the Treaty of Fort Schuyler and guaranteed by the Treaty of Canandaigua. This was one of several such actions by the state to diminish and assimilate the Oneidas and take their land, while clearing the way for westward expansion. The action was taken within a year of the U.S. guaranteeing the Oneidas that their homeland would be protected. New York State was advised by the federal government that the transaction was illegal, but went ahead with it anyway."
Twice the United States Supreme Court has decided in favor of the Oneida Nation:
ONEIDA INDIAN NATION v. COUNTY OF ONEIDA, 414 U.S. 661 (1974) and COUNTY OF ONEIDA v. ONEIDA INDIAN NATION, 470 U.S. 226 (1985)
Excerpt from the 1985 case: "Respondent Indian Tribes (hereafter respondents) brought an action in Federal District Court against petitioner counties (hereafter petitioners), alleging that respondents' ancestors conveyed tribal land to New York State under a 1795 agreement that violated the Nonintercourse Act of 1793 - which provided that no person or entity could purchase Indian land without the Federal Government's approval - and that thus the transaction was void..."
In December 1998, the Oneida Indian Nation asked the Federal government for permission to make additions to the 1974 lawsuit which at this time, remains unsettled. The Oneida are asking for possession of 250,000 acres of land, plus a settlement for damages and back rent on the land. The United States Department of Justice has backed this request, which was filed in December of 1998.
Historical, as well as current information can be found on both the Oneida Nations site
As one might imagine, the Oneida are under attack on a number of fronts. Not all of these are legal assaults.
Wake up Amerika, all is not well in my country tis of thee sweet land of liberty.
This site is maintained by JS Dill and your opinion would be appreciated...