|HISTORIC “GANIENKEH” – the attempted
destruction of the “Indian Project” by
Thomas Delaronde, Laureen Delaronde and Mary Swamp
MNN. Oct. 8, 2007. According to the “Ganienkeh Manifesto”, this territory was reclaimed by Indigenous people across Turtle Island as well our brothers and sisters from other parts of the world. Ganienkeh is located in Northern New York State, in what is known as Clinton County, near the town of Altona. It is ten minutes from the “imaginary line” commonly called the Canada-U.S. border and twenty minutes northwest of Plattsburgh NY.
In 1974 Mohawk people from the five Kanionkehaka communities came together and repossessed a portion of the 9 million acres of land that had been swindled by the United States 200 years ago under what was known as the “Mohawk Treaty of 1797”, was well as the “Seven Nations of Canada Treaty” of 1796. Both are illegal. It was the first time in modern history that the indigenous people of Turtle Island had taken back our land and kept it.
The “Ganienkeh Indian Project” was sanctioned by the Grand Council of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.
The “Ganienkeh Manifesto” which was enacted in 1974 stipulates that Ganienkeh shall be the home of the traditional “Red Man” (Indigenous People of Turtle Island) and accorded human and natural rights, “They shall exercise their proven government and society according to their culture, customs and traditions”. As well, “a cooperative economic system shall prevail”.
Here, “They shall learn the superior morality of the ancient ones”. This refers to the principles of respect and dignity which is demanded between humans and creation.
It is estimated that in the past 33 years of its existence, 8,000 to 10,000 people have either lived, worked or shown their support for Ganienkeh. Despite this stated basis for its existence, today only 25 people currently reside in the community, most of whom are the immediate family of Thomas Delaronde,
If you ask any native person who has either worked or
There were businesses developed on the territory which have been hijacked by Thomas Delaronde, Laureen Delaronde and Mary Swamp. Basically nation businesses have become their own private projects. It was stipulated in the “Manifesto” that no private enterprises would operate in the territory. All projects
This has become an estate-like community with a cult mentality on the backs of our sovereignty and at the expense of native families and our children. Even some of Thomas Delaronde’s own children and grandchildren have either been driven out or neglected. Some others of his close family members have been financially and mentally coerced to carry out the atrocities against his own people, chasing them out of the community by force. In some cases, he provided arms to chase away or threatened to kill his detractors on sight. This, of course, violates the Great Law, international law and disrespects the Iroquois Confederacy to its utmost extent.
To all Onkwehonwe and our allies, the Ganienkeh Project must be returned to its original intent. It must not be allowed to be the private enterprise of three individuals, Thomas Delaronde, Laureen Delaronde and Mary Swamp. The must no longer be allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner. Hey, these aren’t
The land that Ganienkeh occupies belongs to the Mohawk Nation. It is meant for the coming generations. The population must be re-established under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Great Law and its practices. Otherwise, this great project
In order to continue its existence, the equal rights which include the voice of the people must be heard within the community so that the strong arm tactics, threats and psychological abuse by Thomas Delaronde, Laureen Delaronde and Mary Swamp will cease.
The “Turtle Island Trust”, which was an entity to act as a “buffer” between the Ganienkeh Project and New York State and the United States needs to be re-activated. The current members of the trust are no longer active. They need to be replaced by allies and supporters who will make sure that the project continues and grows as originally intended.
The people throughout the Confederacy who have either taken part in the inception of Ganienkeh or saw the value and necessity for Ganienkeh to continue should make themselves known. We need to stop any foreign nation or government or individuals like Thomas Delaronde, Laureen Delaronde and Mary Swamp from interfering so that Onkwehonwe people will continue to survive. We urgently need to address this man-made disaster that has befallen us through non-violent and peaceful means. The foundation of Ganienkeh is, after all, “Peace, Power and Righteousness”. We can make it happen.
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MNN Mohawk Nation News