A PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 22 - 1997
TIME: 2 P.M.
PLACE: TONAWANDA SENECA TERRITORY, 383 Bloomingdale Road, Basom NY
CONTACT: Denise ph./fax. 716/298-8671
We wish to inform the world of the actions being taken by the Women of the Confederacy.
As a result of Governor Pataki's recent imposition of New York State jurisdiction upon SOVERIGN HAUDENOSAUNEE TERRITORIES, our people now face an economic crisis. New York State has imposed an illegal economic embargo on our territories. Fuel, tobacco, staples of the economy, and even heating fuel cannot be sold to Indians unless a totally absurd agreement is signed by them. This agreement is likened to what the early colonizer coerced our ancestors to sign. We now know it was for the sole purpose of theft of our lands and resources. Times have not changed. History is repeating itself. This time round it will be the total demise and destruction of our people. THE WOMEN OF THE CONFEDERACY were not informed nor did they participate in any of the negotiations that took place, nor was there any sanction by the women for this interim agreement. This action by a few, perhaps four men, is in total violation of the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution. The agreement is therefore ILLEGAL and must be deemed NULL AND VOID. As progenitors of future generations of Haudenosaunee Nations, we must implement Haudenosaunee Law on the land. Women carry the responsibility of supervising domestic, as well as, foreign policies. It is we who bring the children inot this world and we must protect their futures.
Background: See letter to Bill Clinton dated Feb. 3, 1997.
February 3, 1997
Ranatakiias Bill Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC 20350
Greetings from the women of the Haudenosaunee. Haudenosaunee means the "People of the Longhouse" or in your language, Iroquois people. We are comprised of Six Nations, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga and Tuscarora. As women of the Haudenosaunee we have been entrusted with the responsibility of the survival of our people. Any issues dealing with our way of life and anything concerning our children and future generations rests with us.
The women of the Haudenosaunee have been meeting to discuss issues concerning the imposition of taxation by New York State on our territories. We write to you today to request that you instruct the United States Congress and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior to abide by the Treaties and agreements that have been made between our Nations and to address these concerns.
The women of the Haudenosaunee are instructing you of the procedures and laws that we abide by. The Haudenosaunee are governed by the Kaianerekowa, the Great Law of Peace. Our forefathers, yours and ours, devised the Two Row Wampum and the treaties between the United States government and the Haudenosaunee. The United States Federal Government and New York State have violated and ignored many of the treaties and obligations that were made with our ancestors. Always remember that our forefathers did not offer to come and make these treaties and wampums with you; your forefathers came and made them with us because they recognized the power and authority of the Haudenosuanee here in North America.
The United Sates Federal Government and New York State Government have specifically violated Wampum #93 and Wampum #95 of the Great Law of Peace, which reads as follows:
"Wampum #93...The ReferendumNew York State has imposed a gag order on these secret negotiations, negotiations which have been taking place behind locked doors. They have tried to force agreements for the taxation without the knowledge of the Haudenosaunee. Some of our People were escorted out of a meeting site on December 18 and 19, 1996, in Syracuse, New York. These meetings were attended by a U.S. federal mediator. According to our way of life, the leaders of the Haudenosaunee carry the word of the People to any negotiations. The People meet in Clans, they are informed of the issue at hand by the Clan Mother and the selected representatives of each Clan. The Haudenosaunee way would be to have many meetings to inform the People of the issues to be decided, never to impose a gag order. The People would then empower their leaders with specific instructions to safeguard the Haudenosaunee and the Great Law of Peace.
The People decide on the Most Important Matters: Whenever an especially important matter or a great emergency is presented before our League Council and the nature of the matter affects the entire body of Five Nations, threatening their utter ruin, then the Chiefs of the League must submit the matter to the decision of their People and the decision of the People shall affect the decision of the League Council. This decision shall be a confirmation of the voice of the People."
The Council Fires of The Women of Every Clan have the Same Rights as The Councils of the Men: The Women of every Clan of the Five Nations shall have a Council Fire ever burning in readiness for a Council of the Clan. When in their opinion it seems necessary for the interest of the People, they shall hold a Council, and their decision and recommendation shall be introduced before the Council of Chiefs of the War Chief for its consideration."
You have also violated the Two Row Wampum which, in its essence, speaks of our People living on our land together and agreeing not to interfere in each others ways, laws and customs. That "interference" is exactly what is being done now. We will discuss with you and your delegates these violations and other issues at hand.
Many of the People currently recognized by the United States Government/Bureau of Indian Affairs are those who have alienated themselves from the Haudenosaunee way of life and not sanctioned by the Women's Council and the People of the Haudenosaunee. If the United States federal government and New York State negotiate with any of these people, without the consent of the Women's Council and the People of the Haudenosaunee, the negotiations will be invalid, illegal and will be opposed to any length necessary. These People have lost their way and cannot speak for all the Haudenosaunee.
Haudenosaunee People are non-taxable People. It is our People who will guide you to proper channels to resolve problems between our two parties; the United States of America and the Haudenosaunee.
We are informing you that your Supreme Court decisions do not apply to our People. The Two Row Wampum Agreement provides that this cannot be; we must discuss the interpretation of our agreements.
We are prepared to meet with you and your people to try to peacefully resolve some of the violations and the issues at hand. We expect an immediate response because of the urgency of this issue. We are providing you with a list of our People to contact.
Women's Council of the Haudenosaunee
signed - Giennohgohs
Mariann May Smith Doctor
signed - Shirley Snyder
cc: Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Governor George Pataki, Josephy Heath, Esq.
SUNDAY APRIL 20TH AT NOON
WE HAVE A GREAT VOICE IN NUMBERS
WELCOMING NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE TOGETHER AS NEIGHBORS WE CAN SHOW OUR SUPPORT
NO VIOLENCE, ALCOHOL OR DRUGS
THIS IS A PEACFUL DEMONSTRATION
BRING YOUR SIGNS BANNERS, SHIRTS TO SHOW SUPPORT OF THE GROSS INJUSTICE TAKING PLACE ON NATIVE TERRITORIES TODAY!
WHERE: THRUWAY 90 EXIT 58, TO ROUTE 5 AND 20
IRVING NY, CATTARAGUS BRIDGE
PLENTY OF PARKING AVAILABLE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 1-800-439-6899 OR 1-800-336-4220
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 15:30:33
From: Mohawk Nation Office - Kahnawake Branch
Subject: Iroquois Anti-Tax Summit
SENECA NATION OF INDIANS PRESS RELEASE
IROQUOIS ANTI-TAX SUMMIT
"PROTECT INDIAN SOVEREIGNTY"
Sponsored by the SENECA NATION
Saturday April 26, 1997
9 a.m. (sharp) - 4:30 p.m.
Lunch will be provided
CATTARAGUS INDIAN RESERVATION FIREHALL, ROUTE 438
An invitation to all leaders and members of the New York State Tribes to unite and oppose the intrusion of NYS jurisdiction and taxation on NYS Reservations. Guest speakers and honorable legislators will be in attendance. At 5 p.m. there will be a PEACEFUL RALLY.
For further information contact the Public Relations Office
SENECA NATION OF INDIANS