Courtesy Onondaga Nation
Onondaga Nation representatives were in Washington, D.C. today to file a petition against the United States with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Onondaga Nation Files Human Rights Violations against US

Gale Courey Toensing

The Onondaga Nation has taken its land rights case into the international arena.

On Tuesday, April 15, the Onondaga Nation filed a petition against the United States with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. The petition accuses the U.S. of human rights violations by stealing 2.5 million acres of the Nation’s land since 1788 in what is now central New York state and seeks redress for the violation of the Onondaga people’s rights to property, equal treatment, and judicial protection.

The filing took place exactly six months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Onondaga Nation’s request for a review of a lower court’s dismissal of its land rights lawsuit. The high court’s refusal to examine the case and send it back to a lower court for a trial on its merits was the last stop on the Nation’s 10-year journey through the U.S legal system, meaning the Nation had exhausted all judicial venues in the country.

“The courts of the United States have failed to provide any remedy for this loss of land,” the petition says. “The United States domestic legal system’s denial of a remedy for violation of the Nation’s land rights and treaties is a violation of the Nation’s fundamental human rights protected by the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights agreements.”

Related: Onondaga Awaits Supreme Court’s Decision on Land Rights Case Review

Related: Onondaga Asks 2nd Circuit to Send Land Rights Lawsuit to Trial

Related: Onondaga to Argue its Land Rights Appeal at 2nd Circuit Court

The Organization of American States (OAS) is comprised of 35 nations in the Americas and was created in 1948 to promote "an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence."

The IACHR was created as an autonomous organ of the OAS with a mission to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere, according to the organization’s website. The commission considers that “special attention must be devoted to those populations, communities and groups that have historically been the targets of discrimination.”


You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
These land thieves are never going to acknowledge any wrong doing or liability; EVER. They will go to their graves before they admit anything. These land thieves are evil people. Their government's throughout the centuries have been nothing more than mafia thugs terrorizing, harassing, killing all who stand in their way & do not believe as they do about what makes someone or group a human being. Greed is the most vicious disease of all my friends. It festers the breeding ground for hatred & manifests itself fully in wars, murders & destruction of whole civilizations. Nothing changes over time with humanity but the number of years that fly by sadly.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I'm with Two Bears; this country has YET to issue an official apology for the treatment of NDNs. We were the very first people to be discriminated against in this country and we will be the last to receive any respect or thanks for our contributions. From helping the early colonists survive winter to the WWII Code Talkers we have proven our worth and our love of this land, but our lands are STILL being taken away (think Keystone pipeline) AND we're forced to endure corporate racism through sports. My best wishes are with the Onondaga in their pursuit for truth, justice and the "American" way.

curtj's picture
Submitted by curtj on
Our leaders make it a point not to mention the policies of colonialism foisted on us are nothing more than theft and murder resulting in the theft of our land base and its resources, that the state and federal governments revenues depend on how much resources and lands they can steal from us. Internationally the same policies that our government foists on foreign countries is all for the benefit of either domestic conglomerates but mostly for foreign owned oil, energy and mining conglomerates who covet other countries resources. They depend on America to spend the trillions of dollars to destabilize governments by assassinations and coups, to set up and prop up, despot dictators or puppet regimes, bribed to allow the theft of their countries resources and lands. They subjugate their people with intimidation, terror, kidnappings, rape and murder. America spends the trillions, 4 trillion for Iraq and Afghanistan alone, and the profits go to the foreign owned conglomerates, their bribed dictators, and on down into our bribed politicans pockets. In return America gets the trillion dollar bills and resulting terrorist attacks from people incensed at seeing their resources and lands stolen and manipulated and people terrorized and murdered in order to accomplish the theft. But our leaders refuse to say anything about it, too afraid or too uneducated to the policies of colonialism foisted on their people for the profit of white collar thieves and murderers.