The Onondaga People wish to bring about a healing between themselves and all others who live in this region that has been the homeland of the Onondaga Nation since the dawn of time. The Nation and its people have a unique spiritual, cultural, and historic relationship with the land, which is embodied in Gayanashagowa, the Great Law of Peace. This relationship goes far beyond federal and state legal concepts of ownership, possession or legal rights. The people are one with the land, and consider themselves stewards of it. It is the duty of the Nation’s leaders to work for a healing of this land, to protect it, and to pass it on to future generations. The Onondaga Nation brings this action on behalf of its people in the hope that it may hasten the process of reconciliation and bring lasting justice, peace, and respect among all who inhabit the area.
Excerpts and Comments from Joseph J. Heath: FACTS: Tobacco company, owned by a Yakima Nation citizen, makes cigarettes using 54 % tobacco that is grown on allotted nation land, held in trust by US. The 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court holding that federal excise taxes still applied to these tobacco products.
- DIRECT QUOTES FROM 9th CIRCUIT DECISION:
- Resources from the “United States Indian Law Panel” at the Taking on the Doctrine of Discovery, What are our Next Steps? Conference
- Date: August 18-19, 2018
- Place: Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center, Onondaga Nation Territory (Liverpool, NY).
- Panelists: Joseph J. Heath, Peter D’Errico and Steven T. Newcomb. Moderated by Betty Lyons.
As bizarre as it may seem, today’s federal definitions of Indian title and Indian nationhood find their basis in the Old Testament covenant tradition. This tradition is premised on the idea of a “chosen people” who have a covenant (treaty) with their deity to take over and colonize certain lands that the deity promised them, in this case Indian lands.
Under the “doctrine of discovery,” County of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y., 470 U.S. 226, 234 (1985) (Oneida II), “fee title to the lands occupied by Indians when the colonists arrived became vested in the sovereign–first the discovering European nation and later the original States and the United States,” Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y. v. County of Oneida, 414 U.S. 661, 667 (1974) (Oneida I). In the original 13 States, “fee title to Indian lands,” or “the pre-emptive right to purchase from the Indians, was in the State.” Id., at 670; see Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y. v. New York, 860 F.2d 1145, 1159—1167 (CA2 1988). Both before and after the adoption of the Constitution, New York State acquired vast tracts of land from Indian tribes through treaties it independently negotiated, without National Government participation. See Gunther, Governmental Power and New York Indian Lands–A Reassessment of a Persistent Problem of Federal-State Relations, 8 Buffalo L. Rev. 1, 4—6 (1959) (hereinafter Gunther).
The Doctrine of Discovery: The International Law of Colonialism By Professor Robert J. Miller, The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and Chief Justice, Grand Ronde Tribe Court of Appeals.
Statement on the Historical Use of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery by the United States Supreme Court Since 1823 By Joseph J. Heath, Esq. Onondaga Nation General Counsel. May 24, 2014
The Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary
The Monroe Doctrine, put forth in 1823 by President James Monroe, called for an end to European intervention in the American continents (both north and south). This applied only to independent governments in the Americas however, not to areas that were colonies at that time.
The Monroe Doctrine
Treaty of Tordesillas
June 7, 1494
Patent Granted by King Henry VII to John Cabot and his Sons