Charles Kader: Mohawk man called upon to defend land rights

"It has recently been announced that land theft charges against Kanaretiio, the Bear Clan representative from the Kanienkehaka Akwesasne Territory (aka Mohawk), have been dismissed due to technicalities, after a judicial review by New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert Main. Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne, the prosecutor in the case, had identified Kanaretiio as the leader of a land-reclamation movement intent on theft.

The characterization of Kanaretiio as a “leader” of a Mohawk Longhouse, is good reading, but the term “leader” means different things in different circles. There is an expectation among followers of the Kaianerehkowa (“bright, beautiful path”) that land rights do not belong to the current generation alive today, but those now living are in fact stewards for the unborn generations to come.

Consistency in land rights allocation remains intact here. This “leader” did what many have been called upon to do."

Get the Story:
Charles Kader: Land-Theft Charges and National Debt (Indian Country Today 9/20)

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