From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom in Golden Hills Paugeesukq Reservation
Date: August 23, 1993 Phone: (203) xxx-xxxx
Tonight there was a meeting between Neighborhood homeowners and the Paugeesukq (tribal spelling, which we shall use from now on). The residents have been concerned about the standoff, the many and frequent State Police patrols and the armed Indians. The meeting was an effort on the part of the Indians to alleviate the concerns of their neighbors.
During the meeting Chief Moonface Bear provided copies of Connecticut LAND AND LAND TITLES, Title 47, Chapter 824, which, in ß 47-59(b), which states; "The state of Connecticut further recognizes that the indigenous tribes, . . . Golden Hills Paugussett are self-governing entities possessing powers and duties over tribal members and reservations. Such powers and duties include the power to: . . . (3) regulate trade and commerce on the reservation; . . ." Later, in the same Title under definition of "Indian" there is included "Golden Hills Paugussett tribe, and, under "reservation", are mentioned both the Trumbull and Colchester reservations.
The state alleges that if there is no specific law granting the Indians the right to sell cigarettes on the reservation, to non-Indian people, there is no right conveyed by the above mentioned Title. They state that the grant must be specific and cannot be implied under the "trade and commerce" provision, this in a letter from C. Robert Satti, Sr., Stateís Attorney, dated June 2,1993.
Chief Moonface Bear has sought, since April, 1993, to cause the state to negotiate a "trust agreement" in accordance with the provisions of a "Report to General Assembly, Legislative Task Force On Indian Affairs, dated February 1990. The state has failed to enter into negotiations with the Indians in order to establish the trust agreement. The Chief has used the sale of cigarettes to force the issue so that his tribe can develop self-sufficiency, which cannot be accomplished until the trust agreement is in place.
The bottom line appears to be that the Indians have been willing to negotiate since April. The state has not expressed itís willingness to negotiate the trust agreement, and appears to be intent upon arbitrary settlement of any issue arising from the activities of the tribe.
Many have come to the aid of the Indians by supporting their efforts, providing food and provisions for the force that is holding and protecting the tribal lands, and offering encouragement in many ways. One of the attendees at the meeting this evening, after hearing all that was offered, stated, "I donít think you are the problem. They are the problem." obviously referring to the Governor, the Stateís Attorney and the State Police.
Many have called me since I arrived at Golden Hills and asked how they could help. I would suggest that those of you who can see that government has once again taken an arbitrary position that is not necessarily in the best interest of the people of the state might find that your fax machine is a swift and capable means of directing your sentiments in this matter to Governor Lowell Weicker, Governor of the state of Connecticut. His fax number is (203) 566-4677. Iím sure that the Governor would be glad to hear what others across this great nation feel about his relationship to the people, all people, of his state and the nation.
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