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 latest insult is this series if decisions starting with Sherrill that resulted in the automatic dismissal of our case,” Joe Heath, Onondaga’s long time general counsel told Indian Country Today Media Network. “Clearly that in and of itself is a human right violation because the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples indicates that states have to have some kind of system that works for redress of treaty violations.”

The petition is presented in two parts: “Facts” and “Merits.” The first section details the illegal taking of the land, the environmental damage to the land and its waters, and the Nation’s efforts to seek a remedy through the U.S. courts. The second section presents the legal arguments for redress based on the facts, focusing on three fundamental human rights – the right to property, the right to equality and the right to judicial protection and due process.

“We also stress that we have tried diplomatic efforts for 220 years – and they don’t work,” Heath said, “but ultimately that’s how we’re going to find a solution to this historic harm – diplomatically and politically.”

Heath acknowledged that the IACHR is an advisory body whose rulings have moral weight, not the power of implementation, but a moral victory would be more than welcomed, he said.

“The Onondagas are not going to quit,” Heath said. “They’re not going to stop talking about their land and to obtain a moral victory at this point would really provide the impetus for the state to find a solution here.”


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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.