The Onondaga people are one of the original five constituent nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in northeast North America. Their traditional homeland is in and around present-day Onondaga County, New York, south of Lake Ontario, they are known as Gana’dagwëni:io’geh to the other Iroquois tribes. Being centrally located, they are considered the "Keepers of the Fire" in the figurative longhouse that shelters the Five Nations; the Cayuga and Seneca have territory to the Oneida and Mohawk to their east. For this reason, the League of the Iroquois met at the Iroquois government's capital at Onondaga, as the traditional chiefs do today. According to oral tradition, The Great Peacemaker approached the Onondaga and other tribes to found the Haudenosaunee; the tradition tells that at the time the Seneca nation debated joining the Haudenosaunee based on the Great Peacemaker's teachings, a solar eclipse took place. The most eclipse to be recounted was in 1142AD, visible to the people in the land of the Seneca.
This oral tradition is supported by archeological studies. Carbon dating of particular sites of Onondaga habitation shows dates starting close to 1200AD ± 60 years with growth for hundreds of years. In the American Revolutionary War, the Onondaga were at first neutral, although individual Onondaga warriors were involved in at least one raid on American settlements. After Americans attacked on their main village on April 20, 1779, the Onondaga sided with the majority of the League and fought against the American colonists in alliance with the British. After the United States was accorded independence, many Onondaga followed Joseph Brant to Upper Canada, where they were given land by the Crown at Six Nations. On November 11, 1794, the Onondaga Nation, along with the other Haudenosaunee nations, signed the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States, in which their right to their homeland was acknowledged by the United States in article II of the treaty. In 1816, 450 Onondaga were living in New York.
The Onondaga in New York have a traditional form of government, with chiefs nominated by clan mothers, rather than elected. On March 11, 2005, the Onondaga Nation in the town of Onondaga, New York, filed a land rights action in federal court, seeking acknowledgment of title to over 3,000 square miles of ancestral lands centering in Syracuse, New York, they hoped to obtain increased influence over environmental restoration efforts at Onondaga Lake and other EPA Superfund sites in the claimed area. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the Onondagas' claim in 2012, the Supreme Court in 2013 declined to hear an appeal. Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho Oren Lyons Tom Longboat Canassatego, Tadadaho of the Iroquois Confederacy Tadodaho Sidney Hill Samuel George, Lyle Thompson, Gail Tremblay Eric Gansworth Erik J. Sorensen Onondaga Nation south of Nedrow, New York outside Syracuse Onondaga of Ohswegen and Bearfoot Onondaga, both at Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada Onöñda'gega' Onondaga language Onontakeka Oneida language Onondagaono Seneca language Hiawatha Onondaga language HMCS Onondaga Oberon Class submarine Sainte-Marie among the Hurons John Arthur Gibson Onondaga Reservation, New York United States Census Bureau Onondaga Nation web page
Oneida Indian Nation
The Oneida Indian Nation or Oneida Nation is a federally recognized tribe of Oneida people in the United States. The tribe is headquartered in New York, where the tribe originated and held its historic territory long before European colonialism, it is an Iroquoian-speaking people, one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee. Three other federally recognized Oneida tribes operate in locations where they migrated and were removed to during and after the American Revolutionary War: one in Wisconsin in the United States, two in Ontario, Canada. Today the Oneida Indian Nation owns tribal land in Verona and Canastota, New York, on which it operates a number of businesses; these include a resort with a Class III gambling casino. Since the late 20th century, the OIN has been a party to land claim suits against the state of New York for treaties and purchases it made after the American Revolutionary War without ratification by the United States Senate, as required under the US Constitution.
Litigation has been complex, related to trust lands, Class III gaming and sales tax collection. The landmark agreement entered into on May 16, 2013 between Madison and Oneida Counties, the OIN, the state resolved these issues; the tribe is headquartered in Verona, New York, the Nation Representative is Ray Halbritter. He has been the leader since 1985, alongside Richard Chrisjohn. In 1993, the United States government formally recognized Mr. Halbritter as the OIN leader; the tribal council consists of 8 clan members. Traditionally, the male council members are responsible for daily decisions; the Clan Mothers make long-term decisions. Tradition requires Nation leaders and Members to consider the impact on the next seven generations when making decisions; the OIN has its own court system. The current presiding judges are Honorable John J. Brunetti; the Court is governed by its own Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Evidence, Rules of Debt Collection, Rules of Peacemaking.
The Court operates under the guidelines on traditional Oneida values of peaceful mediation and reconciliation. The OIN has its own police department that coordinates with New York State and Oneida County, local law enforcement. "Deputized by federal authority, the Oneida Nation Police Department was the first tribal police force in the U. S. to receive accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and is a professionally trained law enforcement agency empowered by the sovereign authority of the Oneida Indian Nation." Gary Henderson is the current police chief. In addition to being a member of the nation of the 1794 Treaty of Canadaigua, the OIN is a member of the following treaties: Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation; the OIN and other Iroquois nations have had a matrilineal kinship system, with descent and inheritance through the mother's line. The OIN consists of three clans: Turtle and Bear; each Nation member belongs to one of these clans. A child is considered born into the mother's clan, takes social status from her people.
Legend has it that clan names and the matrilineal kinship system came from a response to issues that arose during the Haudenosaunee mourning process. Prior to clans being created, the entire Oneida village would mourn after the death of a village member; this caused problems. Village leaders were at a loss as to how to continue everyday life while at the same time observing traditional mourning practices. A young village member approached the leaders with a possible solution, he suggested sending three female elders to the nearby river, having them build a fire, spend the night. At first light the following morning the women were to pray to the Creator and take notice of the first animal that approached the river. Once the women had seen an animal, they were to report back to the village leaders; the elders put the young man’s plan into action. Three women were sent to the river. Upon their return one woman reported; the second woman reported seeing a wolf running along the river. The third woman stated.
Following the reports of the women, village leaders named the Oneida clans the Turtle and Bear clans. They determined that a village member’s clan would be passed through the mother's line from generation to generation, as women have the Creator’s gift to create life; the Oneida Nation is still a matrilineal kinship society. After the clans were established, the people developed their practices for a mourning process; when there was a death in the village, the clan members of that person would mourn. The members of a second clan would console them, the members of the third clan would carry on village business as usual; the Haudenosaunee people are made up of several Nations. Among these nations are kinship groups called clans. While Nation members have their immediate family of parents and siblings, they have an extended family of fellow Clan members; as a matrilineal society, each clan member is born into their clan by their mother. The three Oneida Nation clans are named after animals, the turtle and bear.
Each animal is considered to have certain positive characteristics or attributes
The Brothertown Indians, located in Wisconsin, are a Native American tribe formed in the late 18th century from communities so-called "praying Indians", descended from Christianized Pequot and Mohegan tribes of southern New England and eastern Long Island, New York. In the 1780s after the American Revolutionary War, they migrated from New England into New York state, where they accepted land from the Iroquois Oneida Nation in Oneida County. Under pressure from the United States government, the Brothertown Indians, together with the Stockbridge-Munsee and some Oneida, removed to Wisconsin in the 1830s, taking ships through the Great Lakes. In 1839 they were the first tribe of Native Americans in the United States to accept United States citizenship and allotment of their communal land to individual households, in order to prevent another removal further west. Most of the neighboring Oneida and many of the Lenape were removed to Indian Territory in this period. Seeking to regain federal recognition, the Brothertown Indians filed a documented petition in 2005.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs notified the tribe in 2009 in a preliminary finding that they had not satisfied all seven criteria. In addition, the BIA said that the 1839 act granting the Brothertown United States citizenship and dissolving their communal reservation land, had terminated the people as a sovereign tribe. In September 2012, in the final determination on the Brothertown petition, the acting Assistant Secretary determined that the group had a relationship with the United States, but had its tribal status terminated by the 1839 act which could only be restored by a new act of Congress; because Brothertown could not satisfy one of the seven mandatory criteria for federal acknowledgment, the Department did not look to the other criteria in making its final determination. The Brothertown Indians are continuing to pursue federal recognition; the Brothertown Indians are one of twelve tribes residing in Wisconsin and the only one that does not have federal recognition. The tribe is estimated to have more than 4,000 members as of 2013.
The Brothertown Indian Nation was formed by three leaders of the Mohegan and Pequot tribes of New England and eastern Long Island: Samson Occom, a notable Presbyterian minister to New England Indians and fundraiser for Moor's Indian Charity School—although funds Occom raised for this school were used by Wheelock to found Dartmouth College. They organized as a new tribe the numerous remnant peoples who had survived the disruption of disease and warfare, including some Narragansett and Montauk. After the American Revolutionary War, the tribe formally organized on November 7, 1785 and included members of the so-called Christian tribes of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Long Island, New York; these included people of Mohegan, Pequot at Massachusetts. Under pressure from the victorious American settlers to move west, they began to migrate in the 1780s to land provided to them by the Oneida Nation of the Iroquois in Marshall, New York, where they formalized their new status; as allies to the Patriots, the Oneida were allowed to stay in New York on a small reservation.
Due to hostilities aroused by four of the Iroquois nations having allied with the British during the war, continuing land hunger by new settlers, New York and the United States governments pressured the tribes to remove west of the Mississippi River. By the 1830s, the Brothertown Indian Nation sold its land to the state of New York and purchased land in Wisconsin; the 3200-member tribe thrives in twenty-first century America. In 1821, numerous New York tribes signed a treaty with the federal government and acquired 860,000 acres in Wisconsin. In 1822, another delegation acquired an additional 6,720,000 acres, which consisted of the entire western shore of Lake Michigan; the Brothertown Indians were to receive about 153,000 acres along the southeastern side of the Fox River near present-day Kaukauna and Wrightstown. Some of the other tribes included in the 1821 treaty felt they were misled by the federal government; the treaty was hotly debated for eight years, was never ratified by the United States Senate.
The federal government mediated a settlement with three treaties signed in 1831 and 1832. The settlement with the Brothertown consisted of exchanging the agreed-upon lands for the 23,040 acres now referred to as the entire town of Brothertown in Calumet County along the east shore of Lake Winnebago; the Brothertown leadership led the move west so they could live in peace away from European-American influences. The Brothertown joined their neighbors, some of the Oneida tribe and the Stockbridge-Munsee, in planning the move to Wisconsin. Five groups of Brothertown people arrived in Wisconsin on ships at the port of Green Bay between 1831 and 1836, after having traveled across the Great Lakes. Upon arrival, the Brothertown cleared their communal land and began farming, after building a church near Jericho, they created a settlement called Eeyawquittoowauconnuck, which they renamed as Brothertown. Finding that their land was fertile, the federal government soon proposed to move the Brothertown west to Indian Territory in prese
The Lenape called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands, who live in Canada and the United States. Their historical territory included present-day New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania along the Delaware River watershed, New York City, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Today, Lenape people belong to the Delaware Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma; the Lenape have a matrilineal clan system and were matrilocal. During the decades of the 18th century, most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies, their dire situation was exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. The divisions and troubles of the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them farther west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape now reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin and Ontario.
The name Lenni Lenape Leni Lenape and Lenni Lenapi, comes from their autonym, which may mean "genuine, real, original," and Lenape, meaning "Indian" or "man". Alternately, lënu may be translated as "man."The Lenape, when first encountered by Europeans, were a loose association of related peoples who spoke similar languages and shared familial bonds in an area known as Lenapehoking, the Lenape traditional territory, which spanned what is now eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southern New York, eastern Delaware. The tribe's common name Delaware is not of Native American origin. English colonists named the Delaware River for the first governor of the Province of Virginia, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, whose title was derived from French; the English began to call the Lenape the Delaware Indians because of where they lived. Swedes settled in the area, early Swedish sources listed the Lenape as the Renappi. Traditional Lenape lands, the Lenapehoking, was a large territory that encompassed the Delaware Valley of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey from the north bank Lehigh River along the west bank Delaware south into Delaware and the Delaware Bay.
Their lands extended west from western Long Island and New York Bay, across the Lower Hudson Valley in New York into the lower Catskills and a sliver of the upper edge of the North Branch Susquehanna River. On the west side, the Lenape lived in numerous small towns along the rivers and streams that fed the waterways, shared the hunting territory of the Schuylkill River watershed with the rival Iroquoian Susquehannock; the Unami and Munsee languages belong to the Eastern Algonquian language group. Although the Unami and Munsee speakers people are related, they consider themselves as distinct, as they used different words and lived on opposite sides of the Kitatinny Mountains of modern New Jersey. Today, only elders speak the language although some young Lenape youth and adults learn the ancient language; the German and English-speaking Moravian missionary John Heckewelder wrote: "The Monsey tong is quite different though came out of one parent language."William Penn, who first met the Lenape in 1682, stated that the Unami used the following words: "mother" was anna, "brother" was isseemus, "friend" was netap.
Penn instructed his fellow Englishmen: "If one asks them for anything they have not, they will answer, mattá ne hattá, which to translate is,'not I have,' instead of'I have not.'"According to the Moravian missionary David Zeisberger, the Unami word for "food" is May-hoe-me-chink. The Unami word for "hill" is Ah-choo. Sometimes the languages shared words, such as "corn,", Xash-queem, or "wolf,", too-may. In contemporary Unami orthography, "food" is michëwakàn, "hill" is ahchu, "corn" is xàskwim, "wolf" is tëme. At the time of first European contact, a Lenape person would have identified with his or her immediate family and clan, and/or village unit. Next with more distant neighbors who spoke the same dialect. Among many Algonquian peoples along the East Coast, the Lenape were considered the "grandfathers" from whom other Algonquian-speaking peoples originated. Lenape has three phratries, each of which had twelve clans; these are: Wolf, Took-seat Turtle, Poke-koo-un'go Turkey, Pul-la'-ook Lenape kinship system has matrilineal clans, that is, children belong to their mother's clan, from which they gain social status and identity.
The mother's eldest brother was more significant as a mentor to the male children than was their father, of another clan. Hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, women elders could remove leaders of whom they disapproved. Agricultural land was managed by women and allotted according to the subsistence needs of their extended families. Families were matrilocal. By 1682, when William Penn arrived to his America
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo and Yonkers. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,252, its metropolitan area had a population of 662,577, it is the economic and educational hub of Central New York, a region with over one million inhabitants. Syracuse is well-provided with convention sites, with a downtown convention complex. Syracuse was named after the classical Greek city Syracuse, a city on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily; the city has functioned as a major crossroads over the last two centuries, first between the Erie Canal and its branch canals of the railway network. Today, Syracuse is at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 90, its airport is the largest in the region. Syracuse is home to Syracuse University, a major research university, as well as Le Moyne College, a nationally recognized liberal arts college. In 2010, Forbes rated Syracuse fourth among the top 10 places in the U.
S. to raise a family. French missionaries were the first Europeans to come to this area, arriving to work with the Native Americans in the 1600s. At the invitation of the Onondaga Nation, one of the five nations of the Iroquois confederacy, a group of Jesuit priests and coureurs des bois set up a mission, known as Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, or Ste. Marie de Gannentaha, on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake. Jesuit missionaries reported salty brine springs around the southern end of what they referred to as "Salt Lake", known today as Onondaga Lake in honor of the historic tribe. French fur traders established trade throughout the New York area among the Iroquois. Dutch and English colonists were traders, the English nominally claimed the area, from their upstate base at Albany. During the American Revolutionary War, the decentralized Iroquois divided into groups and bands that supported the British, two tribes that supported the American-born rebels, or patriots. Settlers came into central and western New York from eastern parts of the state and New England after the American Revolutionary War and various treaties with and land sales by Native American tribes.
The subsequent designation of this area by the state of New York as the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation provided the basis for commercial salt production. Such production took place from the late 1700s through the early 1900s. Brine from wells that tapped into halite beds in the Salina shale near Tully, New York, 15 miles south of the city, were developed in the 19th century, it is the north-flowing brine from Tully, the source of salt for the "salty springs" found along the shoreline of Onondaga Lake. The rapid development of this industry in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the nicknaming of this area as "The Salt City"; the original settlement of Syracuse was a conglomeration of several small towns and villages, was not recognized with a post office by the United States Government. Establishing the post office was delayed because the settlement did not have a name. Joshua Forman wanted to name Corinth; when John Wilkinson applied for a post office in that name in 1820, it was denied because the same name was in use in Saratoga County, New York.
Having read a poetical description of Syracuse, Wilkinson saw similarities to the lake and salt springs of this area, which had both "salt and fresh water mingling together". On February 4, 1820, Wilkinson proposed the name "Syracuse" to a group of fellow townsmen; the first Solvay Process Company plant in the United States was erected on the southwestern shore of Onondaga Lake in 1884. The village was called Solvay to commemorate Ernest Solvay. In 1861, he developed the ammonia-soda process for the manufacture of soda ash from brine wells dug in the southern end of Tully valley and limestone; the process was an improvement over the earlier Leblanc process. The Syracuse Solvay plant was the incubator for a large chemical industry complex owned by Allied Signal in Syracuse. While this industry stimulated development and provided many jobs in Syracuse, it left Onondaga Lake as the most polluted in the nation; the salt industry declined after the Civil War. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, numerous businesses and stores were established, including the Franklin Automobile Company, which produced the first air-cooled engine in the world.
The Geneva Medical College was founded in 1834. It is now known as Upstate Medical University, one of four medical colleges in the State University of New York system, one of only five medical schools in the state north of New York City. On March 24, 1870, Syracuse University was founded; the State of New York granted the new university its own charter, independent of Genesee College, which had unsuccessfully tried to move to Syracuse the year before. The university was founded as coeducational. President Peck stated at the opening ceremonies, "The conditions of admission shall be equal to all persons... There shall be no invidious discrimination here against woman.... Brains and heart shall have a fair chance... Syracuse attracted a high proportion of women students. In the College of Liberal Arts, the ratio between
The Mahican are an Eastern Algonquian Native American tribe, Algonquian-speaking. As part of the Eastern Algonquian family of tribes, they are related to the abutting Lenape, who occupied territory to the south as far as the Atlantic coast; the Mahican occupied the upper tidal Hudson River Valley, including the confluence of the Mohawk River and into western New England centered on the upper Housatonic watershed. After 1680, due to conflicts with the Mohawk during the Beaver Wars, many were driven southeastward across the present-day Massachusetts western border and the Taconic Mountains to Berkshire County around Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Since the forcible relocation of Native American populations to reservations in the American West during the 1830s, most descendants of the Mahican are located in Shawano County, Wisconsin. Decades they formed the federally recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community with registered members of the Munsee people and have a 22,000-acre reservation. Following the disruption of the American Revolutionary War, most of the Mahican descendants first migrated westward to join the Iroquois Oneida on their reservation in central New York.
The Oneida gave them about 22,000 acres for their use. After more than two decades, in the 1820s and 1830s, the Oneida and the Stockbridge moved again, pressured to relocate to northeastern Wisconsin under the federal Indian Removal program; the tribe identified by the place where they lived: "Muh-he-ka-neew" The word Muh-he-kan refers to a great sea or body of water, the Hudson River reminded them of their place of origin, so they named the Hudson River "Mahicanituck," or the river where there are people from the continually flowing waters. Therefore, along with other tribes living along the Hudson River, were called "the River Indians" by the Dutch and English; the Dutch heard and wrote the term for the people of the area variously as: Mahigan, Mahinganak and Mawhickon, among other variants, which the English simplified to Mahican or Mohican, in a transliteration to their spelling system. The French, adopting names used by their Indian allies in Canada, knew the Mahican as the Loups. Like the Munsee and Wappinger peoples, the Mahican were related to the Lenape people, who occupied coastal areas from western Long Island to the Delaware River valley to the south.
In the late twentieth century, the Mahican joined other former New York tribes and the Oneida in filing land claims against New York state for what were considered unconstitutional purchases after the Revolutionary War. In 2010, outgoing governor David Paterson announced a land exchange with the Stockbridge-Munsee that would enable them to build a large casino on 330 acres in Sullivan County in the Catskills, in exchange for dropping their larger claim in Madison County; the deal had many opponents. The Mahican were living in and around the Hudson River at the time of their first contact with Europeans traders along the river in the 1590s. After 1609 at the time of the Dutch settlement of New Netherland, they ranged along the eastern Mohawk River and the Hoosic River. Most of their communities lay along the upper tidal reaches of the Hudson River and along the watersheds of Kinderhook-Claverack-Taghkanic Creek, the Roeliff Jansen Kill, Catskil Creek, adjacent areas of the Housatonic Watershed.
Mahican territory reached along Hudson River watersheds northeastward to Wood Creek just south of Lake Champlain. In their own language, the Mahican identified collectively as the Muhhekunneuw', "people of the great tidal river". Mahican villages were large. Consisting of 20 to 30 mid-sized longhouses, they were located on hills and fortified, their large cornfields were located nearby. Agriculture and gathering of nuts and roots provided most of their diet, but was supplemented by the men hunting game, fishing. Mahican villages were governed by hereditary sachems advised by a council of clan elders. A general council of sachems met at Shodac to decide important matters affecting the entire confederacy. In his history of the Indians of the Hudson River, Edward Manning Ruttenber described the clans of the Mahicans as the Bear, the Turkey, the Turtle, the Wolf, with the Wolf serving as a defensive shield in the north against the Mohawk. Like their Munsee-speaking relatives to the south, Mahican villages followed a dispersed settlement pattern, with each community dominated by a single lineage or clan.
Consisting of a small cluster of small and mid-sized longhouses, they were located along floodplains. During times of war, they built fortifications in defensive locations as places of retreat, their cornfields were located near to their communities. Horticulture and gathering of nuts and roots provided much of their diet; this was supplemented by fishing. Mahican communities were governed by hereditary sachems advised by a council of clan elders. A general council of sachems met at Schodac to decide important matters affecting the en