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A MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH
INDEPENDENT NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STATE
MAY 11, 1976
WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE?
Something New Added to Indian Lore
On Sunday, May 9, an opposition group called COPCA (Confused Persons of Central Adirondacks) staged a protest demonstration against Indians at the gate of the repossessed land of Ganienkeh, sometimes called "mountain stronghold". Usually, a protest demonstration is nothing new. It's happening all the time. Indians are demonstrating at different parts of America over one point or another, usually injustice, oppression, racism and land disputes. The unusual thing about the COPCA demonstration is that this time, it's a company of white people demonstrating against Indians.
Demonstrations are held by people protesting against wrongs committed against them by an entrenched power. This is the only way open to them to voice their grievances. It's a case of one set of people having more power than another and are taking advantage of their superior position to exploit the other. By staging this protest demonstration, the people of COPCA took the position that the Native Americans at Moss Lake are an entrenched power. The "march of Protest" began at a point on the Big Moose Road some short distance from the gate of the repossessed land and ended some distance beyond, a total distance of about one mile. A nice walk on the mild, sunny Sunday afternoon.
It was the end result of a long campaign by the property owners of the surrounding area of the Mohawk repossessed land to have the Native Americans evicted. They were regarded as a threat to the tourist industry, which was furthest from the minds of the Indians at Moss Lake. It gives rise to the idea of an Indian tourist center and perhaps with yours truly dancing to entertain bug-eyed tourists.
The said land owners association made was regarded as an ominous threat about two months ago, that if no official action was taken by the State on their demands, they the said owners association (COPCA) would take a dramatic action. The Sunday afternoon stroll by 173 marching demonstrators, most of whom looked like they had to be paid to march, was the threatened ominous "dramatic" action. Because of the novelty of the event, a lot of curious people made the scene. A TV outfit made a video tape. News reporters interviewed various prime movers. Perhaps the drama of the occasion was provided by Senator Donovan of the State Legislature who led the march, walking directly behind a tractor (or was it a horseless war chariot?), no doubt enjoying civilization's exhaust fumes. Everyone else was breathing pure mountain, pine scented air.
There were several signs carried by the marchers which said, "Justice for All" as if we were oppressing the land owners and withholding justice from all. Another sign read, "We Pay The Tax And We Get the Axe", implying that we extort oppressive taxation. Just imagine a senator from the State Legislature leading paleface citizens in a protest demonstration against Indians and demanding "JUSTICE"!!! What in paleface hell is the matter with the "dominant" society? They were demonstrating in the wrong place! and they were led by a senator! what a gas! Indians everywhere were delighted no end. Instead of the Native Americans demonstrating, it was their tormentors' turn. Even the Senate was represented.
Senator Donovan should be warmly thanked for bringing down the Senate to the level of the people (or is it the "rabble" according to the "wise men"). They had been getting away from the true meaning of democracy where the authority flows upward from the people to the elected leaders. Up to now, the authority has been dictated downward from the leaders. Senator Donovan has changed that trend and altered its course (?). The spectacle of a representative of the Senate leading a people's protest march demonstrates that the people's will is being invoked to settle the matter of the Ganienkeh land dispute.
The people of the general public of the United States were there. They were delegates from numerous support groups for justice for Indians. That is the will and voice of the people of the general public in the United States Restoration of a territory where the Native American may exercise his own sovereignty, government and society. This is a right enjoyed by people everywhere, but denied the American Indians.
After the "dramatic" procession disappeared around a bend of the Big Moose Road and the forest shielded them from view, the various delegates and Indian supporters repaired to a nearby horse corral for a get together. Kakwirakeron introduced Dakaronianehken who performed the opening thanksgiving ritual. He in turn introduced a Ganiekehaga Royaner (Condoled Mohawk Chief or Sachem) who holds the title Ayonwatha (one of the original chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy whose name was corrupted to Hiawatha) and introduced other Mohawk subchiefs and a representative of the Choctaw Nation from Louisiana. Representatives from various support groups made speeches, this included the Syracuse Ganienkeh Support Committee, Rights for American Indians Now (R.A.I.N. with delegates from chapters in Binghamton, Clinton, Rochester and other places). The Native American Solidarity Committee were represented as were C.A.N.A.M.
The meeting in the corral showed the rapport which has been established between the native American people of Ganienkeh and the white people who are supporting the Indians' fight for human rights. It's a case of understanding each other's problems and working together to find solutions. The people marching in the protest demonstration either do not understand the problems or do not want to understand. There are bigots in all races.
The delegates from R.A.I.N. had a surprise 2nd birthday cake for Ganienkeh. Wenniseriosta, artistic basket weaver and 70 years old, took a wish and blew out the candles. Thank you ever so much, brave and understanding people of R.A.I.N, CANAM, NASC, and all the others who showed concern over the latest threat of the racist opposition to our struggle for our rights.