Environment | Law

Mohawk man arrested for digging up ground at Superfund site

A Mohawk man was arrested on Thursday for removing soil from a Superfund site near the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in New York.

Larry Thompson, whose Mohawk name is Kanietakeron, and his wife, Dana Leigh Thompson, own property adjacent to the General Motors Powertrain site. He was given direction by a clan mother to start cleaning up the land, which has been on the Superfund list since 1984.

“Larry was given this order by the clan mother. Bear Clan Mother,” Dana Thompson told Indian Country Today. “She directed him to do this. So he had to do it. No matter what, she is the supreme law of the land. So she told him to go and do it. So he did. He followed her orders.”

“We gave them 32 years to do due diligence, do what’s right,” Thompson, whose Mohawk name is Kakwerais, told Johnson Newspapers. “It’s called environmental genocide.”

After working to remove the soil in order for about two hours, Larry Thompson was arrested. He was charged with two felony counts of second-degree criminal mischief for damage in excess of $1,500 and misdemeanor counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

Thompson faces charges in state court because the site is not within reservation boundaries. The Thompsons are not enrolled members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Get the Story:
Mohawk Man Arrested for Taking Backhoe to Superfund Site (Indian Country Today 8/12)
Mohawk man arrested after digging into toxic Massena landfill (The Watertown Daily Times 8/12)

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St. Regis Mohawk Tribe questions union's hiring practices (5/27)

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