The Oneidas For Democracy
Traditional Knowledge Story 25

The Oneidas For Democracy

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John Ahni Schertow
April 29, 2007
 

Several years ago now, Ray Halbritter, CEO of TurningStone Casino and Indian Country Today — unilaterally assumed power over what’s often called the “Oneida Nation of New York”, betraying the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the customary ways of the Oneida People, for isntance, by creating a non-native police force and instituting a Men’s Council which was previously unheard of.

He also locked the doors to the Longhouse and instructed the new non-Native police to arrest anyone that tried to enter. When members of the Oneida Wolf Clan learned of this, they gathered at the Wolf Clan Mother’s log cabin (Maisie Shenandoah) where it was decided that Ray Halbritter had to be removed as their Representative due to his numerous injustices.

The Halbritter regime responded by labelling the members as dissidents, and he stripped them of their status as Oneidas — resulting in a loss of employment, health insurance, educational allowances, quarterly stipends and all other Oneida Nation services.”

Since then, he’s been gradually removing all the houses on the 32 acre Territory. Maisie’s house (see the cover page of www.oneidasfordemocracy.org is long gone, as is the home of her daughter, Danielle Shenandoah (her home is the one being broken into, in the video below)

The injustice has continued as well. Just a short while ago, after stripping Danielle of her status, Ray had her arrested. In the midst of this, Child and family services was contacted and Danielle lost custody of her three children.

Fortunately, after she was released (on false charges. Danielle told me that she was charged for “being Indian.” She saw it written down.) she was able to get full custody of her two eldest children, but not her daughter.

Over the pas two years, Danielle Shenandoah and the other Oneida Traditionals, who stand together as the Oneidas For Democracy, have experienced a number of setbacks in their efforts to restore the Oneida Fire. But the struggle nevertheless continues.

The Oneidas For Democracy

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