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the following was published in Akwesasne Notes New Series,
Fall -- October/November/December -- 1995, Volume 1 #3 & 4, pp. 10-15.
and is reproduced here with permission.

Sovereignty and Treaty Rights - We Remember

Guest Essay

by G. Peter Jemisom

Ancestor Holding Wampum Belt
Drawing by Brad Bonaparte.
Black and white poster available from
the North American Indian Travelling College,
Box 273, Hogansburg, NY 13655

Nyaweh Skannoh gah awe goh![1]

I want to talk about our original treaties because we not only made treaties with the United States, but we also made treaties with other foreign countries, and perhaps the first one that we made was with the Dutch. We used a wampum belt. That is, a two row wampum belt with two parallel lines on a field of white. We used wampum belts to help us commemorate our treaties. Wampum, as you may know, is made of shell, a combination of quahog and the periwinkle shell, cut and made into tubular beads and then strung into a belt. The purpose of the belt, to use an anthropological term, is as a mnemonic device for remembering important ideas, so that when the reader of the belt holds it in his hands, the idea literally comes from the belt.[2]

These two parallel lines signify this to us: On the one hand, we are travelling in our canoe, down the river of life, and travelling in a parallel line in their boat are those Europeans or Euro-Americans who are here on our land, Turtle Island. We are travelling along and we have an agreement with one another. I am not going to get out of my canoe and get into your boat and try to steer it, and I am going to ask you not to get out of your boat and get into my canoe and try to steer it. We are going to allow one another to exist. We are going to accept the notion, that we are sovereign, that we have our own form of government and that you have yours. We have our own way of life, and that you have yours, and that we are not trying to convince you to be us; we are trying to convince you that because of our long history here, we have a knowledge of this place where we live. And so, we use this two row wampum belt even now, as the basis for all of the other treaties that we made after this time.

The treaty I want to talk about today is a treaty that we just commemorated on November 11, 1994. On November 11th, we reached the 200th anniversary of a treaty that has been called the Pickering Treaty, and is also known as the Canandaigua Treaty.[3] We have, I believe the oldest treaties in the United States.

We gathered on the 11th day of November 1994 to polish the silver covenant chain of peace and friendship between our people and the United States. While the chain has been strained, it has not been broken. We met to brighten the chain and renew the relationship between the Six Nations (the Haudenosaunee) and the people of the United States. Some 6000 people came to Canandaigua, New York to commemorate that treaty. Indian and non-Indian people came together. It was one of the largest gatherings of Iroquois people I have seen in my lifetime. They came there to commemorate that treaty. Leading up to the commemoration, the New York Times ran an article on it,[4] the Economist magazine ran an article on it,[5] and National Public Radio aired a program on it.[6] Within a 300 mile radius, we had coverage in all of the major papers on the commemoration of this treaty.[7] I mention this because it is one of our efforts to bring this treaty to a level of recognition by not only the federal, but by the international community as well. We recognize that we have to take this treaty to an international forum if we are going to have these treaties actually recognized as the legal and binding documents that they are.

We invited President Clinton to come. The man that George Washington sent was Timothy Pickering, his direct ambassador sent to negotiate that treaty. He was the head of Indian affairs, a special position that Washington created. But, the treaty was made with George Washington, so we invited Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did not come, he chose not to come. The highest level of government representative attending was a United States House of Representative member, Louise Slaughter. The Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ada Deer, was also present. We had messages delivered by aides of Senator Alfonse D'Amato and Congressman Bill Paxon.

I want to give you a little of the background of this treaty because most people are totally ignorant of the treaty, and most people do not know what it means at this time. Incidentally, I know I am speaking the truth when I talk about this, because each time that I invited a federal representative to come to this treaty commemoration, I had to explain to them the significance of the treaty. I cannot tell you how many times I faxed federal officials copies of the treaty and how many times I faxed to the offices of House and Senate members copies of the treaty which they had never seen.

In June, the chairman of the Canandaigua Treaty Committee, Vernon Jemison, and myself flew to Washington, D.C. and spent two entire days walking the halls of Congress to meet people. We were aided by Representative Louise Slaughter. She took us by the hand through the House and she took us to their dining room. During lunch, we met all these Representatives and explained that we were going to commemorate this 200 year-old treaty in November. I told them, "we are here to personally invite you and we are going to follow up by sending you a letter letting you know that we mean it, we want you to come."

I cannot begin to tell you how many people did not know. It was as if they had never heard of it. They had never heard of this treaty. So think about that, those of you who vote. When you elect these people, think about the kinds of people you are electing. Recognize that the people who make all the decisions for them are the aides that work for them. The aides are actually the people with whom we spent most of our time talking after we went through this process.

November 11, 1994 marked 200 years of peace and friendship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy and the United States government. It was a fitting time to celebrate the Treaty of Canandaigua.

The historic Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 was negotiated by the Six Nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy: the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora. These aboriginal occupants of lands surrounded by New York State collectively call themselves the Haudenosaunee. Some of the negotiators at the treaty council were Farmers Brother, Red Jacket, Little Billy and Cornplanter, all four of them Seneca. Fish Carrier, Cayuga, and Clear Sky represented the Onondaga.

To represent the United States, George Washington sent his commissioner, Colonel Timothy Pickering, accompanied by General Israel Chapin. For this reason, the treaty is also know as the Pickering Treaty. Quaker representatives, led by William Savery of Philadelphia, also attended the treaty council. Trusted as mediators, they had been invited by the Seneca to look out for the Haudenosaunee interest. In 1794, we had very few people who read English. The Quakers were peaceful people and they read English, so they were asked to come to ensure that what the United States representatives were saying in negotiations was in fact the same language that they wrote in the treaty.


During the Revolutionary War, from 1775-1783, the Haudenosaunee initially had taken a position of neutrality. However, loyalty to the British crown eventually induced some Mohawk and some Seneca to side against the thirteen colonies. Some Tuscarora and some Oneida sided with the American colonies. After the war, the British pulled back to Canada and the Haudenosaunee found its land opened to settlement by the American colonists. The result was frequent skirmishing with settlers along the Pennsylvania borders. In 1779, on orders of George Washington, Major General John Sullivan led an army into the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Though few lives were lost on either side, the campaign destroyed upwards of fifty Haudenosaunee towns, along with valuable croplands.[8]

There was a similar tension between the American settlers and the confederacy of Indian nations in the Ohio region of the northwest territories. These Indian nations included the Hurons, the Ottawas, the Miamis, the Shawnees, the Ojibwa, the Cherokees, the Delawares, the Potowatami, and the Wabash.[9] In 1791, the Northwest Confederacy won a stinging victory when it defeated the U.S. Army, commanded by Arthur Sinclair.[10] Failure to include the interests of the Six Nations in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War between the British and the United States, had resulted in the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix.[11] In this treaty, Warrior Chiefs Joseph Brant of the Mohawks and Cornplanter of the Seneca conceded land in western New York State and in the Ohio Valley, land which the Six Nations was now trying to win back. Also, tension was growing with white settlers immigrating into the Finger Lakes regions of New York state.

George Washington recognized the urgency of a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the United States. He concluded that if the Six Nations warriors joined the Northwest Confederacy, their combined strength could prove insurmountable for the now fifteen states. He persuaded Congress to raise taxes to double the size of the regular army to almost 6000 men. It was a very unpopular decision. Taxation without representation was, of course, partly the reason for the Revolutionary War. Now the American army was at about 3000, there was an excise tax on whiskey, and many, many people wanted that excise tax removed. But, with the notion that they had to double the army, they also had to increase the whiskey tax. So there was a big debate taking place in the Congress in Philadelphia.[12] Eventually, Washington and Secretary of War Henry Knox, won over opponents, and the army of the United States was increased to 6000 men.


General Israel Chapin called for a treaty council to be held in Canandaigua, New York, during the fall of 1794. From their respective territories, the Haudenosaunee set out on foot for the "Chosen Spot," the heart of the Seneca nation, in what is today known as Canandaigua, New York, on the north end of Canandaigua Lake.[13] William Savery, the Quaker representative, records that the Oneida were already in camp when the Quakers arrived on September 25th.[14] Next to arrive were the Cayuga, Onondaga, and the Tuscarora. The 800 strong Senecas arrived last on October 14th, and as he reports in their ceremonial entrance made a truly terrific and warlike appearance. All told, 1600 Haudenosaunee assembled for the treaty.[15]

The pro-British Mohawks, who sent a single representative, stayed in Canada. Our people made temporary bark shelters in Canandaigua and we sent out our hunters. Our hunters were taking as many as 100 deer a day and bringing them back into camp to feed the people that were there. We were fishing and we were hunting water fowl available at that time of the year, the ducks, the geese and those other migratory birds that were on the lake, supplying our people with food that they needed.[16] Preliminary treaty obligations centered around the restoration of the Iroquois land ceded in the Fort Stanwix Treaty.[17] As Pickering was taking the matter under consideration something unexpected happened.


On October 27th, a Tuscarora runner burst into camp with news that General Mad Anthony Wayne had defeated the western Indians under the leadership of Little Turtle with great loss of life on both sides.[18] News of the battle made it clear to the Six Nations that a peace agreement with the fifteen fires was in their best interest. They decided to continue negotiations with Colonel Pickering in good faith and to reach the best possible terms.[19]


Red Jacket addressed the council. "Brother, we the Sachems of the Six Nations will now tell our minds. The business of this treaty is to brighten the Chain of Friendship between us and the fifteen fires. We told you the other day it was but a small piece that was the occasion of the remaining rust in the Chain of Friendship."[20] The so-called rust in the chain referred to two points of contention for the Haudenosaunee. One, the building of a four mile long portage road that would run along the Niagara river from Fort Schlosser to Buffalo Creek; the other was the desire to run a four mile wide road between Cayuga Creek and Buffalo Creek. Literally, the settlers would cut down all the trees for four miles to make a wagon road to transport their goods. When you reach the Niagara River you cannot travel between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie on the Niagara river because of Niagara Falls, so you get out and you portage. The United States wanted to increase the size of that road. Our people objected to that notion.[21]

The two sides reached a negotiated settlement by which the Six Nations agreed to allow the wagon road between Lakes Erie and Ontario. Colonel Pickering agreed to relinquish the U.S. request for a similar road between Cayuga Creek and Buffalo Creek. Pickering concluded, "I confess brothers, I expected that you would have agreed to my proposal, the Cayuga Creek and the Buffalo Creek road, but as this is not the case, I will give it up, only reserving the road from Fort Schlosser to Buffalo. There has been a mutual condescension which is the best way of settling business."[22] After carefully reviewing the articles of the Pickering Treaty, the Six Nations and the United States signed a document on November 11, 1794, creating the lasting peace and friendship between the two peoples.


Land issues dominated the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty, and they remain equally critical 200 years later to the Six Nations and our 60,000 members of the Iroquois people who live both in the United States and in Canada. The treaty restored to the Six Nations lands in western New York State that had been ceded by the Fort Stanwix Treaty. The Haudenosaunee also won recognition of their aboriginal land rights and their sovereignty to govern and set laws as individual nations.[23] In return, the Haudenosaunee recognized and continue to recognize the sovereignty of the United States government. That is the outcome of the treaty.

Although the treaty has been violated a number of times, it has never been broken. The Congress of the United States would have to abrogate that treaty in order for it to be broken, or we Six Nations would have to discontinue observance of that treaty in order to break it. One example of the violation of the treaty by the United States government occurred in 1964 with the construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegany river. The dam flooded 9000 acres of Seneca land on the Allegany Indian Reservation in western New York. This required our people to be relocated.[24] It required the removal of our people from that valley which was our traditional farming land, the area where we gather our medicines. It required the moving of our cemeteries from that location to another location. It required us to extinguish the fire of our traditional Longhouse, to move it to another Longhouse, to build another fire there, and to hold the ceremony that is involved in the moving of a fire.

Following that, we were relocated on the Allegany reservation in suburban-type communities at Steamburg and at Jimersontown, away from the rich valley where we had lived. We saw the land inundated with water. Our elders wept openly and as a result of that, we lost many of them in the succeeding years. In 1954, the United States created the St. Lawrence Seaway which destroyed great areas of the Mohawk nation and caused untold destruction of traditional fishing grounds.

That would not be the worst of it. Reynolds and General Motors would build plants in that area and pollute the entire St. Lawrence River which, as you may know, flows from south to north. The result was that PCB levels were some of the highest in the world, and still are at this moment.[25] Through studies of snapping turtles, for example, they found these incredible elevated PCB levels, because snapping turtles remain embedded in the earth for long periods of time.

In 1967, the Niagara River project flooded the Tuscarora land, another violation of the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794. However, the Haudenosaunee continue to receive annually, treaty cloth.[26] We may be the only Nations in the United States today which still receive treaty cloth from the United States. They give us a muslin that now amounts to a yard and a quarter. We also receive a per capita payment going back to that Treaty of 1794. The United States provides some $4500 for the distribution of cloth annually and we have received it continuously for 200 years. It began as a calico, and then it went to a cotton, and today it's a worthless muslin. But I do not care if it gets to be the size of a postage stamp. It is the principle of the fact that the United States is still having to distribute that treaty cloth, due to its obligations it made 200 years ago.

I want to go further to point out that this treaty is still in place. To do that, I need to refer to an article that is in the treaty. Article 7 says:

Lest the firm peace and friendship now established should be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, the United States and the Six Nations agree that for injuries done by individuals on either side, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead, thereof, complaint shall be made by the party injured to the other, by the Six Nations or any of them to the President of the United States. Or the Superintendent by him appointed, and by the Superintendent or other persons appointed by the President, to the Principle Chiefs of the Six Nations or of the Nation to which the offender belongs, such prudent measures should then be pursued as shall be necessary to preserve our peace and friendship unbroken until the legislature or great council of the United States shall make other equitable provisions for the purpose.[27]

I want to make it very clear that the treaty spells out which branch of the United States that we address when there is a violation of our treaty. It is not the Congress, it is the President of The United States, the executive branch, that we address.

Onondaga Nation Chiefs mailed a letter to President George Bush in the spring of 1991, telling of a chemical dump discovered on the reservation. They said the toxic waste likely came from citizens of the United States, invoking Article 7 of the Treaty of Canandaigua, they asked him to see about cleaning up the mess. A year later the Federal Environmental Protection Agency removed 1,300 drums of solvents and billed a Delaware Company believed responsible.[28]

Every Iroquois nation took notice. In other words, by invoking Article 7, they forced the Environmental Protection Agency to act on a violation where there was evidence of chemical dumping onto their territory. This is one more instance of the Treaty's importance.

At one particular time, I believe in March of 1990, a helicopter flying over a Mohawk territory was shot at by individuals who were living inside that territory.[29] The United States, wanting to deal with that issue, turned to the Mohawk Nation, and eventually turned to the Grand Council. The United States resolved this issue by invoking the 7th Article of the Canandaigua Treaty. As recently as 1990, Article 7 was invoked again. The Treaty was ratified by George Washington on January 21, 1795, and is still in place today.

Friends of mine, not too very long ago, went to Washington, D.C. They went to the National Archives and asked, "Can we see that original Treaty?" It took a long time; they went through a bureaucratic maze. They had to sign their name about twelve times, at different points, as they penetrated the National Archives. My friend remarked, "it's like getting into Fort Knox." The guy said, "oh no, it's worse than that." Eventually they were brought to a drawer by the man; as he opened the combination lock and that drawer, they all had to sign their names one more time. He noted the exact time that the drawer opened and then out came one of the copies of the original treaty. Sure enough, there it was, that treaty that was written in 1794 at Canandaigua. They had sewn a piece of paper to the top and they had sewn a piece of paper to the bottom. On the top it said what this treaty was about and on the bottom was sewn a piece with George Washington's signature. Sure enough, there was the date, January 21, 1795, accompanying his signature and ratifying that treaty.

After a lot of effort, they got the National Archives to photograph that copy of the treaty for us. At Canandaigua, on November 11, 1994, we had a life-size copy, a photographic copy of that treaty, plus the other one that is in existence in the Ontario County Historical Society, in Canandaigua. We compared the two of them, and yes, the language is the same. As William Savery said, there were two documents made that day, November 11, 1794. We have the proof, we have both of them. So, they cannot say they cannot find it, and they cannot say they do not know what it says, because we have got a copy of it. We have got the copy that the United States preserves, we know where it is, and we know what it says.

A conflict arose recently within the Seneca Nation of Indians between elected President of the Nation, Dennis J. Bowen, Sr., members of the Tribal Council, three program directors and Ross John, Sr. In a case filed in the New York Supreme Court, the defendant-intervenors charged that President Bowen had overstepped his constitutional authority when he removed and appointed councilors and department heads of a Nation enterprise and some programs, following his election in November, 1994. The defendants sought declaratory and injunctive relief against Bowen, and on that same day, Justice Vincent E. Doyle, issued an ex parte order enjoining Bowen from:

  1. removing or attempting to remove anyone to replace any of the plaintiffs on the Council of the Seneca Nation of Indians;

  2. appointing or attempting to appoint anyone to replace any of the plaintiffs on the Council of the Seneca Nation of Indians;

  3. removing or attempting to remove department heads, the Human Resource Director and the Seneca Gaming Enterprises CEO from their employment with the Seneca Nation of Indians;

  4. removing or attempting to remove any other employee of the Nation who, pursuant to the Government Law or Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual, can only be removed by the Council or department heads or commissioners; and

  5. otherwise acting or continuing to act in a manner that impedes the meetings of the Council of the Seneca Nation of Indians.[30]

Justice Doyle failed to recognized the Seneca Nation of Indians Peacemakers Court and its authority in the Nation's judicial matters. The judicial power of the Nation is vested in two Peacemakers Courts, two Surrogate Courts and a Court of Appeals. The Seneca Constitution provides that:

The judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under [the] Constitution, the customs or laws of the Nation, and to any case in which the Nation, a member of the Nation or any person or corporate entity residing on, or doing business on any of the Reservation shall be a party.[31]

President Bowen maintained that he could not accept the jurisdiction of the New York State court because it was in direct violation of a Peacemakers Court decision, and he is, by Seneca Nation Constitution, obligated to uphold Seneca Nation law. President Bowen further maintained that the State Court lacks jurisdiction over such matters, and that because of the Canandaigua Treaty of November 11, 1794, the Seneca Nation retains the right of self-government and exclusive jurisdiction over its internal matters. Mr. Bowen and his lawyers were successful in moving the case to federal court, and on February 27, 1995, federal district Judge Richard Arcara issued a preliminary injunction.[32]

Judge Arcara prohibited New York State courts from exercising jurisdiction in the case of John v. Bowen, and cited previous case law including the United States Supreme Court decision, Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida.[33] Arcara stated:

As these decisions show, under the Treaty of 1794 [Canandaigua Treaty], the Nation holds the right of self-government and retains exclusive jurisdiction over its internal affairs. This authority includes the power to interpret the constitutuion and laws of the Nation in such matters, to determine the composition of the Council, and to resolve employment disputes involving employees of the Nation's government. The State Court action at issue clearly implicates the internal affairs of the Nation. Indeed, it would be diffiuclt to imagine a more intrusive intervention into the internal affairs of the Nation than that which results from the Orders issued by the State Court.[34]

This recent case is cited to illustrate the living nature of the Canandaigua Treaty and the importance of keeping it alive. Doneho.

The Two Row Wampum

Historically the Haudenosaunee were nations of people who practiced very sophisticated, yet simple, diplomatic principles in their dealings with other nations.

When the Haudenosaunee first encountered the representatives of certain European nations, they found that they were unaware of these principles, and had the potential for disrupting the peaceful ways that Haudenosaunee people wished to live.

Because our cultures and lifeways were so different, it was essential that a relationship be established based on mutual respect.

The Haudenosaunee proposed a treaty of peace, respect and peaceful co-existence, known as the Kas-wen-tha, or Two Row Wampum belt.

The belt was made with two parallel rows of purple wampum on a bed of white beads. The white was meant to symbolize the purity of the agreement. The two separate rows of purple beads, were made to symbolize and encompass the spirits of Haudenosaunee and non-Haudenosaunee people and ancestors. Between the two rows of purple beads, three rows of white beads, were placed. These were made to stand tor the friendship, peace and respect between the two nations.

It is said, that the two rows of purple beads, further symbolize, that two nations of people in separate vessels travel down the river, parallel from each other. The Onkwehonwe (Native people) are in their canoes. This symbolizes their culture, their laws, their traditions, their customs and other lifeways. The non-Native people are said to be in their own ships, which symbolizes their culture, their laws, their traditions, their customs and other lifeways.

It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other, or interfere or impede the travel of the other.

The Two Row Wampum is a treaty of respect for the dignity and integrity of the other culture and stresses the importance of non-interference of one nation in the business of the other, unless invited.

The early principles established in the Two Row Wampum Treaty formed the basis of all Haudenosaunee treaties with other Nations, including the Dutch, the French, the British, and then the Americans.


  1. "I give thanks that all of you are well."

  2. The wampum was critical to the Iroquois diplomats in establishing channels of communications. For a discussion of the significance of the wampum belt see Robert A. Williams, Jr., "Linking Arms Together: Multicultural Constitutionalism in a North American Indigenous Vision of Law and Peace," 82 California Law Revenue 981, 1017-18 (1994).

  3. Treaty of Canandaigua, Nov. 11, 1794, U.S.-Six Nations (American Indians), 7 Stat. 44. For an in depth analysis of the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua see Cayuga Indian Nation v. Cuomo, 758 F. Supp. 107 (N.D.N.Y. 1991).

  4. Francis X. Clines, "On Sunday; Peace Prevails in an Offering of Simple Cloth," New York Times, Sept. 25, 1994, at A39.

  5. "Indian Affairs," Economist, Nov. 12, 1994, at 35.

  6. "200th Anniversary of U.S.-Iroquois Treaty Commemorated" (National Public Radio broadcast, Nov. 12, 1994).

  7. "Bruno Supports Majority Leader," Times Union, Nov. 12, 1994, at B2; Francis X. Clines, "A Treaty of Strong Moral Fiber: Government Upholds 200-Year-Old Peace With Iroquois," Houston Chronicle, Sept. 26, 1994, at A7; Agnes Palazzetti, "U.S.-Iroquois Treaty Marked by Ceremony; 4,000 Observe 200th Anniversary," Buffalo News, Nov. 12, 1994, at Local-1.

  8. See William E. Coffer, Phoenix: The Decline And Rebirth Of The Indian People 52 (1979); Francis Jennings, The Founders Of America 301-02 (1993); Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian War: The Struggle For The Old Northwest, 1790-1795, 134 (1985); Pat Dowell, "Touching on Wines & Waterfalls, Paperweights & Piglets," Washington Post, July 30, 1989, at E1.

  9. Lewis H. Morgan, League Of The Iroquois 9 (1962).

  10. Clines, supra note 4; "200th Anniversary of U.S.-Iroquois Treaty Commemorated," supra note 6.

  11. Treaty of Fort Stanwix, Oct. 22, 1784, U.S.-Six Nations (American Indians), 7 Stat. 15.

  12. See David P. Currie, "The Constitution in Congress: Substantive Issues in the First Congress, 1789-1791," 61 University of Chicago Law Revenue 775, 779 (1994).

  13. William Savery, A Journal Of The Life, Travels, And Religious Labors Of William Savery 90 (Philadelphia 1873).

  14. Id. at 93.

  15. Id. at 103.

  16. Id. at 100.

  17. See Treaty of Canandaigua, Nov. 11, 1794, U.S.-Six Nations (American Indians) 7 Stat. 44 (modifying land boundaries established in the Fort Stanwix Treaty).

  18. Harry E. Wildes, Anthony Wayne: Trouble Shooter Of The American Revolution 422, 426 (1970).

  19. Savery, supra note 13, at 118-19.

  20. Id. at 137.

  21. Id. at 138-139.

  22. Id. at 145-47

  23. Treaty of Canandaigua, supra note 3, at arts. II-IV.

  24. Act. of Aug. 31, 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-533, S 7, 1964 U.S.C.C.A.N. (78 Stat) 738.

  25. Anne McIlroy, "River in Crisis: St. Lawrence Clean-Up Action Plan Drifting." Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 15, 1995, at A5.

  26. Treaty cloth represents honor of the agreement. The United States still delivers $4500 worth of coarse white muslin to reservations every year. Robert L. Smith, "Celebrafing Sovereignty Members of the Six Nations Gather in Canandaigua Friday to Keep Alive a Treaty Signed in the Era of George Washington that Endures in the Age of George Bush and Bill Clinton, Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), Nov. 10, 1994 at B1.

  27. Treaty of Canandaigua, supra note 3, at art. VII.

  28. Smith, supra note 25, at B1.

  29. The Mohawk Nation denied that they were responsible for shots fired at a military helicopter on an emergency medical flight which injured a civilian doctor on March 30, 1990. As a result, both state police and the Mohawk Indians set up roadblocks. "N.Y. Standoff Continues," Washington Post, Apr. 1, 1990. The standoff lasted eleven days when both sides agreed to an investigation of the helicopter incident. However, the FBI issued about fifteen arrest warrants charging Mohawks with impeding the investigation. Laurie Goodstein, "Sparks in the `Land of the Flint:' Shooting Incident Spotlights Secrecy in Mohawk Splinter Group," Washington Post, Apr. 21, 1990.

  30. John v. Bowen, No. 1994/12582 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) (Doyle, J.).


  32. Bowen v. Doyle, No. 95-CV-00438 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 1995) (Arcara, J.).

  33. Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida, 414 U.S. 661, 671-72 (1974) (the Treaty of 1794 reflects the United States' acknowledgement that certain territory is the property of the Seneca Nation and that it shall remain theirs unless and until they choose otherwise; this Treaty determines the nature of these rights and is the supreme law of the land).

  34. Bowen v. Doyle, No. 95-CV-00438, at 34 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 1995) (Arcara, J.).

G. Peter Jemison

G. Peter Jemison, A Heron clan Seneca from Cattaraugus, is the manager of the Ganondagan Historic site at Victor, N.Y. within Seneca territory. He is the Chairman of the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on the Burial Rules and Regulations. Peter is a renowned artist and cultural specialist who is consulted on various Haudenosaunee issues.

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