Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Great Land Grab, a Broken Promise.


A little history I thought I'd mention which seems to be mostly forgotten.
The Kinzua Dam was built in 1965 as a flood control project along the Allegheny River near Warren, Pennsylvania. The land flooded for the project was taken from the Seneca Nation despite a lawsuit filed before the US Supreme Court by the Quakers. The land was given to the Nation as part of the 1794 Treaty of Canadaigua signed by representatives of George Washington and Chief Cornplanter. His picture is at the top of this post.
The action forced the Seneca from thier ancient homeland, and the last reservation in Pennsylvania, to Native lands in nearby Salamanca, New York.
Johnny Cash sang, among others, a protest against the land grab, As Long as the Flowers Shall Grow, which was written by Native American folksinger and composer, Peter LaFarge.
Kinzua is a beautiful and popular place with a sorid sort of history. Entire villages, farms, churches and cemeteries are now under water for the flood control project, which has formed the deepest inland lake in the state of Pennsylvania.