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Opinion
Column: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation needs state help


"The Schaghticoke Indians, fighting each other and the outside world for decades, came to Hartford on Thursday demanding the state intervene and stop a man they say is desecrating their reservation in Kent.

State leaders, watching this latest Schaghticoke tussle from the side, say there is nothing more they can do.

But the members of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation who spoke out at the Capitol say Michael Rost, who is affiliated with another faction of the tribe, is bulldozing tribal lands, cutting trees, building logging roads and disturbing a burial ground.

"These offenses are not only criminal, they are a hate crime," said Katherine Saunders, a Schaghticoke leader who spoke to about 50 people at the Capitol rally, including American Indian Movement leader Russell Means, who came from South Dakota to support the Schaghticokes.

It seems little rancor has subsided since the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation won and then lost federal recognition four years ago.

But after the bitter, controversial fight to block federal recognition (and a casino) the state must again try to cool this long-simmering standoff. The state — and this includes the governor, Department of Environmental Protection and the attorney general — say the Schaghticokes, a state-recognized tribe, have to settle their leadership disputes before they step in.

That's unacceptable."

Get the Story:
Rick Green: State Must Intervene In Messy Schaghticoke Feud (The Hartford Courant 1/30)

Another Story:
Tribe seeks state help in dispute (The Connecticut Post 1/30)