Village inks less ‘controversial’ Wampum resolution

Village Hall (photo by Dion Ogust)

Village Hall (photo by Dion Ogust)

With more than 200 kayakers and canoeists set to descend on the Malden Mini Park and Ulster Landing Park on July 31 as part of a 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum Treaty, village trustees approved a resolution July 15 marking the occasion and welcoming members of the Iroquois to the village.

The first treaty was signed by the Dutch and indigenous people of the area. George Washington renewed the treaty during his term in office, and it was once again renewed in the 1800s. However, over the years, the government has failed to renew the treaty, and in order to draw some attention to the matter, members of the Iroquois and their supporters are making a trip paddling from Troy to New York City with numerous stops in villages and towns along the way.

The village’s version of the resolution is a watered-down version of one the Native Americans and their supporters were hoping would be approved.

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Ulster County legislators adopted a resolution last month, but village trustees deemed it “too political,” and tasked trustee Patrick Landewe with removing some of the more controversial points to make it more palatable to the board.

The original version asked the United Nations General Assembly to adopt “The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” and included a section opposing fracking.

The Landewe version focuses on the celebratory aspects — marking the first treaty between the indigenous people and European settlers, supporting their campaign to call attention to the treaties that have lapsed, and supporting their intent to live peacefully.

Trustee Terry Parisian, who voted against the resolution, said he did not believe the village should be “on board.” He said he had too many questions, and didn’t think the trustees should get involved in the issue.

Trustee Vince Buono also voted against the resolution with Mayor William Murphy, and trustees Donald Hackett, Jeannine Mayer, and Landewe voting in favor. Trustee Brian Martin was absent.

Note: the print version of this story incorectly stated the mayor voted against the resolution

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