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Syracuse Post Standard Newspaper Archives Mar 31 1990, Page 4

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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - March 31, 1990, Syracuse, New York Saturday March 31, 1990 emergency flight forced Down helicopter forced Down by gunshots helicopter from Page Al special agent in charge of the Fri office in Albany said agents were to assist new York state police and military personnel with the shooting investigation he said it was too Early to say who fired the shots or Why however Rickards quoted a member of the helicopter Crew As saying i saw somebody on a porch with a gun and that s who shot us the Rev Jon l Regier of Syra Cuse who is one of three trustees who oversee the land As part of an agreement Between the state and the mohawks said he is convinced the shot was t fired from the a Nienke land nobody on a Nienke heard the said Regier retired director of the new York state Council of churches shot three times in the fuse Lage the helicopter was forced to make an emergency Landing in a Field 30 feet off route 190 on the Edge of the Mohawk Encampment Garcia said. The helicopter was travelling to Massena to pick up a critically ill 63-year-old woman when wet Snow and ram forced it to abort the Mission Garcia said. Returning to Burlington the helicopter was shot As it flew Over the Mohawk land he said. Three National guard members and the nurse were also on Board but were not injured. We re thankful nobody was More seriously Hurt than they said first it Lloyd goo drow Public affairs officer for the Vermont National guard an ambulance eventually drove the ill woman that the helicopter had intended to transport from a Massena Hospital to the medical Center Hospital in Burlington. The woman whose name was not released was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit late Friday a protected1 Camp the state leased the 698-acre a Nienke territory to the mohawks without charge in 1979 As part of a negotiated Resolution 10 a three year Long confrontation at Moss Lake in Herkimer county Between mohawks and new York authorities another acres of property near Schuyler Falls was Given to the mohawks under a per Mit for use As Farning and Hunting grounds about 40 people live on the Encampment Garcia said state and Federal Law enforce ment officers have not been permitted to enter the territory since it was established to Pool Cal out people we never allow any outside Law enforcement people onto our Terri Martin said mohawks in a Nienke Are unanimous in their demands that their sovereignty be respected unlike indians at reservations elsewhere in new York said Kak wira keron a spokesman for the Warrior society at the mohawks St Regis Indian reservation near Massena if they Are attacked or invaded they will readily stand up to the defense of their Terri said Kaki Rakyron who negotiated the establishment of a Nienke with then Secretary of state Mario m Cuomo in the mid 1970s Thev do not allow new York state to exercise any Juris diction whatsoever within their territory Kaki Rakyron also known As Art Montour went on trial this week in Federal court in Syracuse on a charge of impeding Fri agents and state police attempting to raid two casinos in july on the St Regis reservation. Friday state police and Fri agents were not entering Galien Keh beyond the Point where the helicopter landed. Paul Delamonte a spokesman for the mohawks told police after the helicopter landed not to enter the territory Garcia said. We have people standing by the copter it s just barely in their Garcia said roadblocks effective busloads of people usually travel to the Encampment every Friday evening to play High stakes Bingo but Friday 20 to 30 police and corrections officers were turning Back All non residents of Galien Keh one Roadblock was set up on Home Iyo about a mile Sou Neast of Crowley Corners the Road was blocked by two wooden Sawhorse behind the barricade were a police patrol car with its lights flashing and two vans that had been used to transport the corrections officers. Several flares were set in the Roadway the corrections officers wore Orange raincoats and at least four of them carried shotguns trooper Fred Curns said he set up the Roadblock at about 5pm. And was told to turn away anyone who approached we be turned Back everything must be sold Only 6 Days to save Fesefe i terms of Sale first come first served All sales final i or Ces Cash and carry delivery available instant credit with approval special hours won in 10930 sat 10700 a in 11 5 00 que by. Stout. Fits Fayetteville 410 East Genesee str behind or Steak 637-5811 new York state police examine Bullet Marks on an army National guard helicopter forced Down Friday near Altona. An uneasy time for area residents nurse Elma Rickards of the medical Center Hospital of ver Mont at a news conference Friday i did t hear a gunshot per a dui i Neara obvious in oui ets going through he said Well turn Back every body until the Powers that be decide it s Safe 10 let them through a statement issued late Friday by state police capt Richard j Garrant said there had been no confrontations Between the police and the mohawks basically we re being blockaded off by the state said Martin the a Nienke spokesman there s also military people Here too. They re not letting anyone into the Encampment by the roads but police said the roadblocks were set up to further secure the scene of the incident pending fur ther investigation a Nienke is the second Mohawk Community in new York state to be closed to outsiders in the past year much of the St. Regis reservation which straddles the u s Canadian Border has been closed to outside traffic since March 23 Matthew Cox Tom Foster and the associated press contributed to this report by Matthew Cox the Post Standard Altona it was just about lunchtime and june Dame of Ellenburg depot was listening to the radio. Then she heard the Low Hump Hump Hump of a Heli copter s Blades. I had the radio on loud but i could hear the she recalled. I yelled to my grandson come outside to see the Helicon because it was so Low it flew right Over our House moments after flying past Dame s Home in Clinton county Friday the helicopter was struck by bullets that state police said were urea Iron a Wonak Encampment on Miner Lake about 20 Miles Northwest of Pittsburgh Dame said it s unusual for a helicopter to Fly at Low elevations in the area. Her husband Ronald said he suspects the Pilot was try ing to stay below the Cloud cover there was heavy Snow Friday in the Pittsburgh area it was about an hour after the helicopter passed by that june Dame Learned of the shooting. Her husband called from work after hearing about it on the news the Dames Home is about seven Miles from the Encampment which the mohawks Call Galien Keh Dame said she does t have much Contact with the mohawks living there although sometimes she visits a gift shop where tax free cigarettes Are sold. Others go to the Encampment to work most of those employed at the Mohawk Bingo Hall on the 698-acre prop erty Are non indians the shooting put a scare into her though. Friday night on her Way Home from shopping in Pittsburgh Dame was rerouted at a state police Roadblock on route 190, about a mile Southeast of 1 was staffed by one state trooper and at least 10 corrections officers from the Clinton correctional facility in nearby Dannemora normally u does t bother Dame said of living near the Encampment but right now it does she and her sister in Law Jan Gillett of Altona were trying to figure out How to get Home Friday after being turned around at the barricade i feel sorry for the people that Don t know the roads because the roads Here Are Dame said seizure of Camp led to a Nienke seizure from Page Al the move to Eagle Bay on May 13, 1974, about 65 mohawks from Canada came Down and seized the Camp barring anyone else from entering most of mohawks were from the Caugh a Aga reservation near Montreal. Besides the Camp land they Laid claim to 9 million acres in upstate new York and Vermont under the 1794 treaty of Canandaigua. The mohawks said they were moving to repossess their natural heritage some of the mohawks were associated with the White roots of peace a group evicted in 1973 from the St Regis Reserva Tion by tribal leaders they claimed that a 1797 treaty that gave the land to new York for was invalid they said the treaty was signed by traitors initially the state s reaction to the mohawks move into the Eagle Bay area was lukewarm. The state had purchased the privately owned land the summer before for state officials said that if the mohawks stayed longer then three Days they would need a permit just like any other campers in the Adirondacks but the mohawks were not there for a weekend Outing landowners and summer residents were Furi Ous they said the mohawks were infringing on the constitutional rights of state taxpayers the landowners and residents formed groups and pressured the state to do something the state went to court to have the mohawks evicted but the deter mined indians dug in deeper the mohawks said they wanted to prove they could live off the land without electricity Money welfare Aid or any other govern ment Aid which they believed had corrupted other indians in september 1974, the state sued the mohawks the state claimed that the mohawks who had sided with the British during the revolutionary War and went to Canada in 1784, had relinquished All claims to new York state land the mohawks countered that the treaty was illegal. It lacked the consent of the grand Council of the governing Iroquois confederacy they said the mohawks planned to Tram their warriors in the Encampment but later claimed to have abandoned those plans. Gunshots led to crises the stand off almost reached a crisis on oct 28 a 9-Vear-old girl vacationing with her parents and a 22-year-old Man were shot As they drove by the Mohawk encamp ment in separate cars. The girl was shot in the Back the Bullet nearly pierced her heart the Man suffered a less serious wound to the shoulder. Neighbouring landowners reported seeing mohawks carrying my car Bine rifles the mohawks said they were returning gunfire from pass ing cars state troopers moved in but did not enter the Mohawk encamp ment gov Malcolm Wilson asked everyone to remain Calm and to keep away from the Encampment the Herkimer county District attorney Henry Blumberg was fuming. He said the encamp ment is fully armed and defended and i am reliably informed to looks More like a fortress than and kind of Back to nature Endeavor Blumberg obtained a warrant to search the Encampment after the mohawks refused to turn Over those responsible for the shootings of the girl and the Man about 300 troopers were ready to enter the Encampment when Blumberg fearing bloodshed withdrew the search warrant. The mohawks said they knew who shot the two they said they would handle the matter Accord ing to tribal custom not to White Man s Law that did not apply to them another crisis was avoided in october 1975 when a state helicopter following a yearly routine of fish stocking inadvertently swooped Down on the Mohawk Encampment. The mohawks grew tense but did not fire after learn ing that the Pilot had made a mis take it would have been a hell of a thing if the indians shot the state helicopter and Sank it right said John Boylan supervisor at the time of the surrounding town of Webb. The state continued to fight in us courts to have the mohawks evicted twice the state s lawsuits were dismissed. The Federal judge ruled that a state court should handle eviction matters. For their part the mohawks said they negotiated with no one except for the u s president Gerald Ford at that time or his representative. That s what the 1794 treaty called for the mohawks said. Federal mediators and ethers continued attempts to Settle the quarrel the move to Miner Lake gov. Hugh Carey came into office and picked his Secretary of state Cuomo to Settle the ongoing dispute. After a series of meetings Cuomo offered the mohawks 900 acres in the towns of Macomb and Rossie in St Lawrence count the mohawks said the land belonged to the Oneida Indian territory they refused the offer after More meetings the state offered the mohawks land in Clin ton county. Under the state s offer the mohawks could lease 700 state owned acres of Miner Lake dam Park in Altona the state turned Over control of the land to a third party called the Turtle Island Trust which in turn opened it to the indians the Trust was established to distance the indians from the state in the land Deal so it would not set any precedent for ongoing litigation involving land claims As part of the agreement another acres in nearby Macomb state Park were set aside for limited use by the mohawks. They Are allowed to Hunt fish and gather in a Forest in the town of Saranac in Clinton county but Are not supposed to build Homes there. The mohawks accepted and in August 1977 they moved to Miner Lake in Altona in Exchange the mohawks agreed to abandon their encamp ment near Eagle Bay and to set up a Model traditional Indian Community almost immediately lawmakers and townspeople in Clinton county began crying foul. They claimed the state had violated provisions of a deed under which the William h Miner foundation turned Over the land to the state in 1962 the residents went to court. They lost and the mohawks stayed. The mohawks whose stated goal was to return to Indian tradition and to preserve their natural heritage now operate a High stakes Bingo Hall on the land. The state has argued that the Bingo Hall should be closed because a Nienke is not a federally recognized Reserve. The state has filed suit seeking to Stop the Bingo operation the mohawks counter that they Are a Sovereign nation and there fore not subject to state Law. The Case remains Active at the appellate level in the state court system Tom Foster contributed to this report

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