A Native American group is asking the international community to charge the United States with human rights violations for illegally seizing their lands through a series of bogus treaties.
The Onondaga Indian Nation says it plans to file a petition at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday, seeking human rights violations against the United States government.
The American Indian group wants the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous organ of the OAS, to declare that the US government is in violation of international human rights agreements for not returning 2.5 million acres in upstate New York.
The nation has argued that about 4,000 square miles in 11 upstate New York counties stretching from Pennsylvania to Canada was illegally taken through a series of bogus treaties.
“The problem is that we can’t get the governor to sit down with us and the United States to live up to its treaty rights,” said the Onondaga Nation’s attorney, Joe Heath.
US courts have refused to hear the lawsuit asking for the return of their land and the Supreme Court turned away a final petition in October.
From the 16th through the 19th centuries, with the arrival of European immigrants to the United States, the population of American Indians sharply declined. There is clear evidence that intentional infection with disease through biological warfare were factors in the Indigenous holocaust.
By 1800, the Native population of the present-day United States had declined to approximately 600,000, and only 250,000 Native Americans remained in the 1890s from a high of about 18 million.