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Oral Arguments Heard in Appeal of Onondaga Land Rights Action
On October 12, the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Onondaga Land Rights Action. Nearly 50 supporters, from Syracuse, New York City and elsewhere joined Onondaga leaders Freida Jacques, Jeanne Shenandoah and their lawyers in the courtroom. Onondaga General Counsel Joe Heath spoke on behalf of Onondaga, arguing that there were significant differences between this case and other Haudenosaunee cases which had been dismissed. He asked the judges to give the Onondaga the opportunity to have the facts of their case heard in court. The three judge panel asked questions that indicated an openness to considering those differences. After the hearing, the lawyers said it's very difficult to guess how the judges will rule based on such hearings. After the hearing, Jeanne Shenandoah made it clear that the Onondaga will continue to pursue justice regardless of the court's decision. It could be as long as a year before a decision is released. See the links below for media coverage, video and photos of the hearing and related activities.
Supporters heard from the Onondaga leaders and attorneys at an event at the American Indian Community House the evening before the hearing and then again the following afternoon. In addition to pursuing their case in court, the Onondaga are also working with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation and over 40 cosponsoring organizations to carry out the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign to bring their case directly to the people of New York State.
The Onondaga Nation filed their historic Land Rights Action on March 11, 2005, seeking that the federal courts acknowledge the illegal taking of their land and seeking "justice, reconciliation and healing" with their neighbors. Their case was dismissed on September 22, 2010. On February 28, leaders of the Onondaga Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy traveled to Washington, DC to announce the filing of the Onondaga appeal of the Land Rights Action. The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign is an effort to take their case to the people of New York State.
Press Conference Video: Onondaga Nation Appeals for Justice, Healing & Environmental Restoration

WRVO Radio Story, October 12, 2012
Post-Standard Article on Candle-Light Support Vigil, October 10, 2012

Post-Standard Article on Hearing, October 12, 2012

New York Daily News Article, October 13, 2012
Indian Country Today Article, October 17, 2012
Photo Gallery of Syracuse Candle Light Vigil
Photo Gallery of New York City events
For background information see: Onondaga Nation websites.
Please also consider:
-writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper(s) expressing (see suggested talking points)
-share this information with others
-spread word of the event on Facebook

NOON and Onondaga Nation Launch Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

NOON and the Onondaga Nation are developing The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign as a strategy to achieve the goals of the Onondaga Land Rights Action, originally filed on March 11, 2005 and dismissed in federal court on September 22, 2010. The Campaign which is building daily includes a major statewide education and advocacy campaign to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum, the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and European settlers. We seek to build a powerful alliance of New Yorkers and Haudenosaunee to convince New York State to live up to the Two Row and other treaties signed between the Haudenosaunee and the US government. Learn more and get involved!


Onondaga Nation Files Appeal of their Land Rights Action

On Tuesday, February 28, leaders of the Onondaga Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy traveled to Washington, DC to announce the filing of the Onondaga appeal of their historic Land Rights Action. To highlight the importance, they brought with them the initial wampum belt commissioned by President George Washington to mark the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.

Federal Judge Dismisses Onondaga Land Rights Action

On September 23, 2010, over 50 NOON supporters joined with friends at the Onondaga Nation to express our solidarity with the Onondaga in the wake of the federal court dismissal of the Onondaga Land Rights Action and recommit ourselves to the work of getting our nation to live up to the terms of the treaties we have signed with the Onondaga. NOON will continue our discussions about how best to convince our people to act justly. Read More. See Photos or video from the vigil. Read Judge Kahn's decision here (pdf file, 16 pp.)

Onondaga Land Rights Action Background

On March 11, 2005 the Onondaga Nation filed an historic Land Rights Action in federal court in Syracuse. The following is from the Onondaga Nation Communications Office. For further information about the land rights action, see the Onondaga Nation website at Also available: Onondaga Nation Announces Land Rights Action (March 10, 2005).

In 2006 and again in 2010, NOON coordinated "Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future," a collaborative educational series to offer the community background information to understand the land rights action and related issues. Both series are well documented, with video, transcripts and reports available online. Check it out.

Specific Goals of the Onondaga Land Rights Action

A detailed, four-page information flier (PDF) about the Onondaga Land Rights Action is available for download.

Update: Aug. 1, 2005 - Onondaga presses forward with land rights action targeting corporate polluters

NOON Supports the Onondaga Land Rights Action

As residents of New York State we support the land rights action filed by the Onondaga Nation against the State of New York on March 11, 2005.

Sign our solidarity statement

(Print version also available)