Both the United States and the Mohawk plaintiffs make these arguments in briefs filed last Friday, November 16. The United States stating, “In other New York land claims…dismissed by the Second Circuit, it was inarguable that the lands at issue had become heavily populated and developed by non-Indians in the years since New York unlawfully acquired the lands….That is not true here….the Mohawks… never departed the region and have remained a powerful enduring presence both as a government and as a population in the region and within the specific claim areas.”
As for the claim to the islands, the United States and the Mohawks have presented a unique argument that has never been considered in any other land claim because of the particular facts of the case. “The Department of Justice Attorneys and the Department of Interior met with tribal leadership recently and listened to our concerns. They responded with the filing of a strong brief that supports the Tribe’s efforts and their own interests, as owners of the underlying title to some of the islands that make up the Power Project.” said Chief Randy Hart.
Previous coverage here.