From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom on the Onondaga Reservation, New York
Date: October 6,1993 Phone: (315) xxx-xxxx
Kenneth Papineau, Oliver Hill and Donald Rockwell could pay their "taxes" to the Council of Chiefs, as do some of the other businessmen on the Reservation. If they did they would be making money, as they have in the past. They could watch the money disappear into the depths of the unknown and never ask for an accounting. Their profit would not be affected, and their standard of living would remain unchanged. They could go along with the status quo. But, they are not.
After years of contributing to the welfare of the Chiefs, they began to question, "why do our people not benefit from our efforts?" They sought an answer and were ridiculed for even asking. They stood before the Council of Chiefs and asked what good the money was doing and where it was going. They answer was that it was none of their business -- oral tradition.
Finally, in 1988 they decided that the Onondaga people were the ones that should be the beneficiary of the revenues that had been being spent on only the Chiefs. They began escrowing the tax money to attempt to force the issue. If the Chiefs will not do it, why donít we, they pondered.
They began looking around for what the needs of the Nation were. They found that there were many that did not have wells or water. So, they had wells and pumps put in. There were others that had wells that were deficient, so these were replaced. In time there were 64 new wells on the Reservation of about 300 homes. This means that over 20% of the homes received a direct benefit. One out of five has finally gotten a return from the Nation that they are part of.
Then there was a need for the younger people. A ball field was built, then a lacrosse box. Many realized the new pride in themselves, whether they attributed it to the businessmen, or not. Something had happened on the Reservation that had not happened before
As a result of these decisions, the three businessmen have had blockades around their businesses since April 1, 1993. Six months of lost revenue because they believed in their people. Six months that can never be regained, or replaced. Suffering hardship, ridicule and concern for their futures.]
Websterís New World Dictionary:
Patriot (paítre at) fellow countryman - one who loves and loyally or zealously supports oneís own country.
The Onondaga Nation is considered a sovereign nation by the United States of America and New York state. A sovereign nation must have patriots to survive. Without the will of the people, any nation must fail. People survive; nations fail, That is the way it has always been.
These three businessmen are patriots in the true sense of the word. They have taken on hardship so that their people will benefit. They have risked their futures, perhaps even their lives to assure that the Nation maintains itís pride, and assures its survival.
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