Law
Views: Oneida Nation, treaties and land claims
The Utica Observer-Dispatch publishes views on the Oneida Nation's long-running land claim and two treaties at the center of the dispute.

Assemblyman David Townsend, a Republican, says the 1788 Treaty of Fort Schuyler set the stage for the tribe to cede its land. He says 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua did not create a reservation for the tribe but instead authorized land sales to the state.

Mark Emery, a spokesperson for the tribe, says the 1794 treaty remains in force. "When officials from the Department of Interior were at the land-into-trust hearings in Central New York a little over a year ago, they said the Treaty of Canandaigua is the oldest treaty still in effect with the United States," he says.

Christopher Vecsey, Colgate University's director of Native American studies, considers both treaties to be valid. He says the federal government never approved any land transactions between the tribe and the state.

John Campanie, the Madison County Attorney, says the 1788 treaty "was a complete cessation by the Oneidas to the state of New York." The county is one of the defendants in the land claim.

Get the Story:
Oneida treaties at core of debate (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 5/30)

Court Decision:
Oneida Nation v. New York (May 21, 2007)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement:
Oneida Nation of New York Conveyance of Lands Into Trust (November 2006)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation Trust - http://www.oneidanationtrust.com
Indian Nation Fee-to-Trust Land Acquisition Applications in New York State - http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/ogc/lands.html
Oneida Nation, New York - http://www.oneida-nation.net

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

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