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Old 07-13-2021, 08:56 AM   #1
Huezee
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Protest and shootings on Big Moose Road in '74

I'm sure some of you remember this sad incident in ADK history:

EAGLE BAY, N. Y.—Indians encamped on state‐owned land near this Adirondack Mountain resort community have called upon the White House to intervene in a conflict with state authorities that began as a land‐claim dispute but became complicated last week by the shooting of two white persons near the camp.

An investigation by the state police of the Oct. 28 shooting incidents, in which a 9‐year‐old girl and a 22 year‐old man were injured, was stalemated for more than a week as the Indians continued to bar whites from entering a former girls’ camp that they claimed as an ancestral homeland last May.

In an effort to avoid aggravating a tense situation, the state police entered into negotiations on Oct. 30 with representatives of the Indian settlement to lay ground rules for the scope and conduct of the investigation at the campsite.

The negotiations produced their first results last Wednesday in an agreement that allowed the police to inspect the property for 20 feet on either side of Big Moose Road, where the man and the girl were struck in passing cars. However, the police were not permitted to enter the adjacent camp building inhabited by the Indians.

‘Land of the Flint’

The conflict started six months ago when a group of Mohawk Indians proclaimed an independent North American state of Ganienkeh, meaning “Land of the Flint” in the Mohawk language, at the 612‐acre campsite at Moss Lake in Herkimer County.

They put up a sign calling it the home of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy, a reference to the tribes of upstate and Canada—the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras.

Robert T. Coulter, a lawyer for the Indians, said a statement was sent to the White House on Friday saying, “A state of extreme crisis threatens the peace and friendship established by the treaties between the United States and the Six Nations.” The message charged that on four occasions in the last two weeks, “United States citizens” had fired on the settlement.

The Indians also said that, according to the terms of a 1794 treaty between the United States and the Six Nation Confederacy, the situation can be resolved only through the intervention of the President.

No arrests have been made in the shooting incidents and no charges have been filed. Following the inspection on Big Moose Road, the police removed their roadblocks but maintained additional men in the area. The police and spokesmen for the Indians are to continue their discussions this week.

While negotiations proceeded, an air of peaceful watchful‐waiting, which had persisted in this resort area ever since the Indians appeared on May 13, has now given way to an uneasy quiet, questions from local residents and a sense of frustration among some law‐enforcement officials.

“We never would have reached this state, if we had gone in and cleaned them out at the beginning,” a State Police spokesman in Albany said. “After all, two crimes have been committed and you don't negotiate a crime.”

But the State Troopers on the scene, many of whom served in the assault on Attica Prison, conducting their investigations and negotiations patiently, with no indication that any force is being planned.

And the two different disputes, the long‐standing civil question of the ownership of the land and the new criminal question of responsibility for the shootings—have become intermingled and confused.

“We had no problems with the Indians until this incident,” said Harry Fowler, in charge of the Eagle Bay Fire Police, standing outside the firehouse where the State Police have established a command post.

Douglas Bennett, who operates Big Moose Inn just up the road from the Indian occupied land, was bitter, however, about the shooting in which the gill was wounded.

“We are not dealing with Indians; we are dealing with savages,” he said.

But he and most of the local residents seem to be content to leave the matter to the police. They indicated concern with the possibility of future conflicts, with the impact on children and with the long‐term effect. Eagle Bay and the surrounding areas are dependent on the tourist business — summer vacationists, fall hunters and winter snowmobilers.

A hamlet with a permanent population of about 150, Eagle Bay is in the western Adirondacks in Herkimer County, about 55 miles north of Utica. It is on the shores of Fourth Lake, one of a string of Fulton Lakes that run parallel to Route 28 from Old Forge to Baguette Lake.

1798 Treaty Cited

A favorite vacation spot for New Yorkers today, the area was a favored hunting ground for the Mohawk Indians before the period of white settlement.

To Kakwirakeron, a 32year‐old spokesman for today's Indians, the area around Eagle Bay and, indeed, most of upstate New York has always been land that belonged to the Indians. He and his colleagues charge that the Treaty of 1798, in which the land was conveyed to the State of New York, is invalid.

“The claim of New York is based on the treaty signed by Joseph Brandt for the Indians, but he had no authority,” he said. “He was a traitor.”

Kakwirakeron, whose name means “Trees Lying All Over the Ground,” is a former structural ironworker who helped build the Verrazano Bridge in New York City and skyscrapers around the country. Before he came here, he was known as Art Motour, but he now prefers to use his Indian name.

Accompanied by his wife, Eintion, a Seneca Indian whose name means “Land of My Own,” Kakwirakeron came out of the blockaded Indian encampment the other night to explain why the Indians had taken the land. He declined to say how many Indians were inside but other observers estimated the number at between 30 and 70.

The rationale for the Indian movement, Kakwirakeron said, was that “this has been the land where our forefathers lived for thousands of years,” that it never was legally transferred to the white men and that it was the last chance for Indians to live in their own environment:

“We had no choice,” he said. “This was the only wild area where no white people lived. We did not come hereto make money, but to be self‐sufficient, living off the land in a cooperative farming community.”

The land that is now occupied is a 612‐acre former girls’ camp that was purchased by the state in 1973 for $783,000. The tract was made part of the New York State Forest Preserve and designated to be kept “forever wild,” along with other Adirondack areas.

After the Indians moved in the state filed suit in Federal Court to reaffirm its title and to get the Indians moved off, but made no effort to remove them. “We consciously” avoided a direct, conflict with the Indians,” a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany said. “We didn't want another Wounded Knee.”

Local residents raised no serious objection to the Indian occupation because the land was not available to them either, according to Robert D. Hall, director of the local tourist promotion group. He and others in the area conceded that there might have been some minor harassment, catcalls and possibly even some shooting by some people in cars driving by the Indian camp.

The Indians said they had been treated very well in general by local residents, despite several occasions in which they charged bullets, had been sent into the camp from cars passing by, on Big Moose Road.

Conflicting Report

There are conflicting reports about the latest shooting incidents in which the two whites were injured, about three hours apart last Monday night. The Indians said they had been shot at before firing back, but the State Police said there was no evidence of any guns in the cars that were hit.

The injured were Stephen Drake of nearby Inlet and Aprile Madigan of Geneva, N.Y., who was a passenger in a car driven by her parents on the way home from a vacation. Mr. Drake was listed in good condition with a shoulder wound and the girl —shot in the back—in critical condition in a Utica hospital.

The Indians expressed sympathy for the girl We feel it very strongly,” said; Kakwirakeron. “Our children were shot at the day before We know what it is like. We burn at one of our sacred services for her recovery.”

But the Indians have remained adamant, despite the negotiations, about letting the State Police in to continue their investigation, citing a Treaty of 1794 with the United States Government.

That treaty, they said, provides that if an injury is done to a citizen of either the United States or of the Six Nations, the question shall be resolved by “negotiations”, between the United States and the Six Nations.

Moreover, the Indians add‐ed, they intended to keep their lands free of alien influence, which is why they have barred whites, including, one of their own lawyers from most of the occupied area.

One State Police official here, who described himself as sympathetic to the Indian position, said he hoped the investigation could proceed according to the laws of both the United States and of the Indians.

“Oor only concern is the shooting investigation,” Capt. Kenneth Crounse said. “The other dispute is up to the courts.”

“We have no confidence that the courts will render a just decision,” Kakwirakeron said, “but we are confident that it will work out because we have so much backing us up.”

-Harold Faber (Special to the NYT)
https://www.nytimes.com/1974/11/10/a...the-flint.html
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:50 PM   #2
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2 NYS Troopers , Romey Gallo &Wayne Martin, who were there wrote the book, “Indian Givers, the true story of Moss Lake”. They were both Sargents and helped keep this from becoming another wounded knee.

As far as the Mohawks land claims, they and the rest of the Iroquois Confederacy, with the exception of the Oneidas. Should have chose more wisely who to ally with during the American Revolution. One of the reasons the Oneidas are probably the riches of the six nations today.

Also, the State of NY learned a valuable lesson from this incident. Usually now when they acquire property in the ADKs , they destroy any buildings that are there. Something they didn’t do with the girls camp there.

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Old 07-13-2021, 07:24 PM   #3
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There's a board there now telling a bit of this history, but it might be kind of toned down... can't remember off the top of my head.

I remember when I went there as a kid in the early 80s my Dad would always talk about that incident. It didn't mean a lot to me then, but it does a little more now.

Whatever the politics of this may be, I don't care. If we go back far enough I'm pretty sure we unfairly took everything from the natives here, so I'm not too interested in who took who's side. I don't like the way it happened, but it's pretty much inevitable that the interaction would have went any other way considering the attitude of Europeans and the vast cultural and technological differences between the two.

Let's hope if we ever run into another civilization that has a more advanced technology than we do that they are more benevolent and empathetic than we are/were.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:53 PM   #4
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Couldn't agree more with Montcalm. I recall a funny part of the book " Bloody Mohawk" about Sir William Johnson ( Joseph Brandts son in law) having an interaction with King Hendrick as the English called him - king of the Mohawks. King Hendrick had a dream that Sir William gave him his beautiful Red Coat. Later,after he gave him his coat- Sir William ( pretty slick dude) came to him and said he had a dream that he gave him lands to the north, which he did .... not sure of the extent from Canajoharie where King Hendrick was... I've since given the book away, so can't look at the details to verify what I am writing, but would love clarification.
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:19 PM   #5
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Couldn't agree more with Montcalm. I recall a funny part of the book " Bloody Mohawk" about Sir William Johnson ( Joseph Brandts son in law) having an interaction with King Hendrick as the English called him - king of the Mohawks. King Hendrick had a dream that Sir William gave him his beautiful Red Coat. Later,after he gave him his coat- Sir William ( pretty slick dude) came to him and said he had a dream that he gave him lands to the north, which he did .... not sure of the extent from Canajoharie where King Hendrick was... I've since given the book away, so can't look at the details to verify what I am writing, but would love clarification.
Pg 24 of A History of Herkimer County.
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Old 07-14-2021, 06:49 PM   #6
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Montcalm, Your comment sounds as if you care ? If the sins of our fathers trouble you, you can always give your property back to the Mohawks. LOL ,And then the Mohawks can give it back to whomever they took it from ?

After the revolution , Washington proclaimed , all land west of Fort Stanwix, shall be forever Oneida lands. I know that didn’t pan out, but the Oneida Nation takes in around $1 million per day from us pale faces, and employ about 5000 people of all races. Plus they still own thousands of acres of their ancestral lands.
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Old 07-14-2021, 07:49 PM   #7
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Montcalm, Your comment sounds as if you care ? If the sins of our fathers trouble you, you can always give your property back to the Mohawks. LOL ,And then the Mohawks can give it back to whomever they took it from ?

After the revolution , Washington proclaimed , all land west of Fort Stanwix, shall be forever Oneida lands. I know that didn’t pan out, but the Oneida Nation takes in around $1 million per day from us pale faces, and employ about 5000 people of all races. Plus they still own thousands of acres of their ancestral lands.
So a few thousand out of 30 million is a good deal?

Unfortunately I don't own enough to give back to the Mohawks, and I wouldn't be giving my land to them. I was born into this system and I'm of German ancestry, but it doesn't mean I think the holocaust was a good idea. Nor do I think slavery was, and I think it's a damn good idea to remember that. Reparations don't always work, but understanding how these things happen and avoiding them can. If we have to do it all over again, hopefully we'd be different... although not likely if you look at what happens in South America with indigenous Amazonians.

I don't much believe in owning anything. We only borrow and for most that means taking more than they give. That's what I meant, and unfortunately these tribes have been given no other real choice but to join our society or flail helplessly. It's already been far too long and we've taken far too much for them to return to where they were.

You seem to equate the idea that if it was a good idea to take something away from someone in the past, because you could do it by force or indoctrination, that's OK? But aren't guys like you usually all pro-freedom? Doesn't sound like freedom to me. Sounds like the same things Hitler wanted to do...
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:18 PM   #8
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Reminds me of the "other" Golden Rule". He who has the gold, makes the rules. The Senecas and others made a poor choice in supporting the British but that is no reason to take advantage of them and the treaty established by George Washington.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:24 PM   #9
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Reminds me of the "other" Golden Rule". He who has the gold, makes the rules. The Senecas and others made a poor choice in supporting the British but that is no reason to take advantage of them and the treaty established by George Washington.
The biggest takers always have all the gold too.


There's no lack of brutality in history, but I tend to read it as failure rather than triumph.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:56 PM   #10
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The biggest takers always have all the gold too.


There's no lack of brutality in history, but I tend to read it as failure rather than triumph.
How true, sad, but true.
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:39 PM   #11
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No matter what promises were made, there was never going to be a good outcome. Culture clash is difficult. And still today we have these isolated people that clash with our crazy level of technology. The outcome for the less "technological" is usually bleak. The best they can hope for is modern education to come to their children and they can make a choice of the life they want. But usually that takes too much time and effort. I'm not sure that modern poverty is more dignified than ancient self reliance either, if I had the choice.
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:49 PM   #12
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But really no disrespect for those that settled these lands.

Anyone seen this guy?

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...U2jcMhwah6s3Qz

Totally bizarre but an interesting look of what it took just to keep you from freezing to death over the winter, if you didn't starve or get sick first. And on top of that you needed to hunt, garden and protect your land.
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Old 07-15-2021, 04:37 PM   #13
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Montcalm, You contradict yourself. All my My statement did was to suggests that some of the Iroquois made bad choices. Then you state they had no choice but to make bad choices ? Not true, The Oneidas had no choice, but made the right choice.

Then somehow you twist my statements and make assumptions about me and equate me to Hitler, another bad choice by you. I resent your comment, given the fact my Father and Uncle were both combat veterans in WWII . My father earned 5 battle stars and made 7 amphibious landings in the Pacific Theater, and his brother, my Uncle flew 50 bombing missions over Europe.

My life experience has taught me that people who resort to comparing people they know nothing about, to Hitler, speaks volumes of what kind of a person you are.

By your statements , I could make plenty of assumptions about you, but I will not stoop to your level.

Back on topic, if anyone thinks what the Mohawks did at Moss Lake was right, ( and there were dam few actual Mohawks there ) , then there is no hope for you.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:18 PM   #14
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Montcalm, You contradict yourself. All my My statement did was to suggests that some of the Iroquois made bad choices. Then you state they had no choice but to make bad choices ? Not true, The Oneidas had no choice, but made the right choice.

Then somehow you twist my statements and make assumptions about me and equate me to Hitler, another bad choice by you. I resent your comment, given the fact my Father and Uncle were both combat veterans in WWII . My father earned 5 battle stars and made 7 amphibious landings in the Pacific Theater, and his brother, my Uncle flew 50 bombing missions over Europe.

My life experience has taught me that people who resort to comparing people they know nothing about, to Hitler, speaks volumes of what kind of a person you are.

By your statements , I could make plenty of assumptions about you, but I will not stoop to your level.

Back on topic, if anyone thinks what the Mohawks did at Moss Lake was right, ( and there were dam few actual Mohawks there ) , then there is no hope for you.
Sure - if you say so.

I was speaking nothing about what happened in 74. You had somehow shifted to the notion that current reservations and legal situations make up for the past.

And I meant that whatever choice they made, they were going to be overrun by Europeans, and that's exactly what happened, no matter what lies the Europeans made to them, or any tribe. Being so oddly specific and missing the big picture, why?

Then you COMPLETELY misconstrue what I was saying about Hitler and make it about YOU - and how me pointing out that a-hole megalomaniac moves are the same in my eyes whether it's Hitler or George Washington (maybe GW was not solely at fault for his lies, but a number of ambitious individuals were). I've come to the conclusion with debates like this, that when someone gets very offended like you have and brings up their personal past and says I'm "making assumptions" about you, that you've lost your position and are just fighting for the sake of fighting. Great. The only assumption I made of you is that you were pro-freedom (which I am too!). And to me freedom is NOT some narrow ideal of roaring jets and storming Normandy but trying to see a lens of all different cultures, and ESPECIALLY the ones that were at the "burnt end of stick" so to say, and how those people might want or have wanted to live their lives.

Would it offend you if I said I had relatives who fought for Germany in both World Wars? If so you completely missed my point in that no matter if I did or didn't, I don't condone what happened. Again, many sides to the story and if you look at your average German citizen in the Weimar, they weren't doing too great. But to me, that's still no reason to support megalomaniacs (ahem) and blame the Jews.

Again, Hitler is used because most people will not argue that he is head of some of the worst atrocities in recent history, but again, if you're the one being targeted in these kind of crimes against humanity, they all are equally horrendous. What the Europeans did to the natives of this continent and in South American over centuries was one of the greatest crimes against humanity in human history.

Does it excuse what happened in 74? Never got to that point, but probably not. But I do empathize with the anger and resentment that those people may still feel.

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Old 07-18-2021, 08:03 AM   #15
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No matter what promises were made, there was never going to be a good outcome. Culture clash is difficult. And still today we have these isolated people that clash with our crazy level of technology. The outcome for the less "technological" is usually bleak. The best they can hope for is modern education to come to their children and they can make a choice of the life they want. But usually that takes too much time and effort. I'm not sure that modern poverty is more dignified than ancient self reliance either, if I had the choice.
I was recently asked about my favorite original Star Trek episode to which I answered "The devil in the dark". The culture clash you describe was at the forefront of this episode (albeit was significantly more than just a clash of culture but of forms of life). This episode demonstrated how understanding and empathy are the solution to the the catastrophy caused by the fear of the unknown "cultures".
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:56 AM   #16
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Welp, this thread went completely off the rails...
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:39 AM   #17
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I was recently asked about my favorite original Star Trek episode to which I answered "The devil in the dark". The culture clash you describe was at the forefront of this episode (albeit was significantly more than just a clash of culture but of forms of life). This episode demonstrated how understanding and empathy are the solution to the the catastrophy caused by the fear of the unknown "cultures".
Right. I don't know it well, but that series was perhaps a bit ahead of its time in a lot of ways.

Of course all of this is pretty obvious if you care to look - but if you're stuck in a certain dogma that you are somehow superior or "enlightened" then these thing kind of degradations and backlashes will happen. We see it all the time with the black Americans today. Beyond slavery we have to remember that there were another 100 years of forced poverty, a lower caste basically, based on race. A of people are still alive that can remember those times.

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Welp, this thread went completely off the rails...
Not sure where you expected it to go?

As far as the shootings, this is the problem with weapons entering the picture in almost any case (one of the reasons I don't carry a gun myself, and probably never will). We are, as "Monday morning QB's", always quick to throw these people under the bus but how might have anyone reacted in these tense situations when guns are involved? But again, I don't necessarily blame guns being involved on the individuals but society and the stresses that poverty can create. We see it in every race across the modern world. And to me, the line of reversing it is raising your empathic intelligence above your individual will to survive. Basically having the shift in dogma that society is greater than the individual, and that as society becomes greater, the needs of more individuals are met.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:46 AM   #18
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Just another wacky thought about this...

I'm spouting off about humans and empathy and all that... but really can and should extend it to everything.

I don't know what or if a tree has any capability for feeling (and that probably doesn't even matter), but I do know it likes to be alive. And I do know that given the proper environment, no matter what its genetics are, it will not only survive, but thrive.

And that's probably all you need to know...
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Old 07-21-2021, 06:34 AM   #19
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...And I do know that given the proper environment, no matter what its genetics are, it will not only survive, but thrive.
Is this conjecture or do you have credible sources for this statement about genetics? And what is your definition of "thrive"?
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:05 AM   #20
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Welp, this thread went completely off the rails...
That would put it north of Tupper Lake I guess......
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