Onondaga Nation bringing George Washington’s wampum belt to Washington D.C.

I received this press release today – Onondaga Nation seeks justice and honoring of treaties despite courts, Doctrine ofDiscovery

In part, the release states:  "On February 28, 2012, Onondaga Nation and other Haudenosaunee leaders will bring to Washington D.C. the wampum belt the first U.S. President, George Washington, commissioned for the Haudenosaunee to commemorate the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.  They will use it to remind the American government and people of their treaty obligations, which have yet to find justice in the U.S. courts.  The Onondaga Nation will announce the appeal of their Land Rights Action to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  A press conference with the wampum belt will be held at 9:30 am in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C."  

The Onondaga Nation’s suit for its land rights was dismissed on October 23, 2010 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  That court relied on the dismissals of the Oneida and Cayuga land claims, which were themselves dismissed based on the 2005 City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation U.S. Supreme Court decision. 

The Sherrill Court cited the Doctrine ofDiscovery in the first footnote of the decision.  The lasting impact of the international law Doctrine of Discovery’s on Indigenous Peoples will be investigated by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues May 7-18, 2012 in New York City.

The court filings and background materials concerning the Land Rights Action – including affidavits from prominent historians, and primary source documentation is available on-line: www.onondaganation.org

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