Onondaga Nation Land Rights Action
- The Onondaga Nation seeks justice—New York State took their land illegally
and needs to acknowledge their rights to the land. The Onondagas have consistently
asserted their rights to the land for over 200 years.
- The Onondagas intend to use their rights to the land as a legal and moral
force for the Earth--to clean up polluted areas and protect areas which remain
- The theft of the Onondaga land and mistreatment of the people and their
culture was wrong. The Onondagas don’t want to multiply that wrong as they
seek redress. They have pledged that no one will be evicted from his or her
- The Onondaga people have suffered great hardship for over two centuries.
They seek to achieve greater self-sufficiency with their land rights action
while contributing to Central New York’s economic development.
Federal Treaties and New York State "Agreements"
- The 1784 Fort Stanwix Treaty between the Six Nations and the US protected
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) land—including Onondaga territory.
- The US Constitution, adopted in 1789, grants exclusive jurisdiction over
Indian affairs to Congress, preventing states from acquiring Indian land without
- The "agreements" through which New York State claims it acquired
Onondaga lands between 1788 and 1822 violated federal laws and treaties. The
Onondaga Nation did not approve these agreements (nor the 1788-1790 Fort Schuyler
agreement), New York State grabbed whomever they could to sign these documents.
Onondaga Lake Clean-up
- From time immemorial the ancestors of the Onondaga have lived on the shores
of Onondaga Lake.
- A century of degradation caused by callous corporations and indifferent
government officials has transformed the Lake from a community asset to a
- The proposed clean-up plan for Onondaga Lake will not remove all of the
toxic waste that has drained, and continues to drain, into the Lake from over
a dozen Superfund sites.
- The Onondagas were not consulted when the proposed clean-up plan was finalized
as required by Federal law.
The Onondaga Nation
- The Onondaga Nation lies at the center of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy,
the first democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
- The Onondagas served as an inspiration to European colonists working to
build democratic structures, and to women’s rights advocates who admired the
equality in Onondaga culture.
- Of their original land area of 2.6 million acres, the Onondagas now control
only 7,300 acres.
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, 315-472-5478