To be clear, there is nothing new about tribal discomfort with the free-thinking of the variety that gave birth to the Ganienkieh settlement(s).
In October of 2010, two letters were sent by the Tribal Council to the state of New York. The first letter was coyly written and only hinted at the Ganienkeh Territory. The second letter was more telling. An impressive dossier of testimony accompanies this letter, citing Big Apple articles and the investigative findings of the Tribal Gaming Commission, which serve to justify the immediate goal of tarring Ganienkeh.
At the November 2010 Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal meeting, a woman asked the meeting Chairman, Tribal Chief Mark Garrow, if he was jealous of the people of Ganienkeh, since what he did by signing the letter with fellow Tribal Chief Randy Hart (Chief Monica Jacobs abstained from signing either letter) showed his true feelings towards that group of the People of the Flint. Chief Garrow made a point to remark during the meeting that he represented the people who elected him.
It has been stated by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council that the action taken was not against Ganienkeh, but rather on behalf of the tribal membership, specifically to stem the flow of Tribal gaming revenue to the state of New York for failure to protect gaming compact exclusivity that was agreed upon as a stipulation by the state to allow the Tribe to operate the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino under a gaming compact.
Yet many in attendance at the November 2010 Tribal monthly meeting clearly stated that the Tribal Council did not consult with Tribal members before electing to take this deliberate action of notifying the state of Ganienkeh Territory gaming activities, that the action was both treasonous and “an act of war”, and that many People of the Flint were packed and ready to move out to defend Ganienkeh from state (and tribal) oppression.
Nothing is new here to those with memories of past Tribal Council actions pertaining to Ganienkeh. When Moss Lake, located near Utica, was settled as the “first” Ganienkeh, and this former Girl Scout campground was the point of negotiations between Ganienkeh spokespeople and representatives from the New York Governor’s office, a letter dated November 25, 1974 arrived in Albany from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council. Signed by Chiefs Leonard Garrow (father of present trustee Mark Garrow), Rudolph Hart (father of present trustee Randy Hart) and Charlie Terrance, the letter objected to the reclamation of the state-owned property and called for the assertion of state jurisdiction to remove the Ganienkeh settlement. There seems to be no hesitation to Tribal Councils of any era to call in their pay-masters when the sledding gets tough. Nor is anyone riding a white horse in that posse.
To many, Ganienkeh represents freedom. To others, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council represents an attempt to assert control. It may just be that the trustee eyes are bigger than their stomachs allow.
Men’s Council of the Kanienkehaka Kaianerehkowa Kanonhsesne (People of the Longhouse)
Turtle Clan Representative – Sakoieta
Wolf Clan Representative - Rarahkwisere
Bear Clan Representative – Kanaretiio