November 1, 2007


To The People Of The Ganienkeh Territory

To All It May Concern


 This official statement from the Trustees of The Turtle Island Trust is to educate and clarify our positions concerning Ganienkeh.  One ongoing task is that of education  to those outside of the day to day life of the community.  We have been  privileged  to follow  those original Trustees who served so responsibly.  According  to the procedures outlined in the Trust Agreement, the Trustees are the only ones to select new Trustees.  This is always done with  the approval of the people at Ganienkeh.  We feel honored to actively  follow in their footsteps.  We are in communication on a regular basis, especially  as needs arise.  We meet as Trustees, with the People at Ganienkeh, combined meetings with State Police,  appear with officials over tax  and other issues,  bring groups to Ganienkeh for education, and etc.  We are actively involved, and appreciate the opportunity to serve..


 Congratulations on your 33rd year after reclamation of your Territory.  We know and appreciate all the special lives that have contributed through the years.  A special word of appreciation  to those who have remained faithfully present and serving the community from it’s inception  to the present.  You are the real heroes.  Your efforts in educating the children, providing improving standards of living, especially through  the establishment of small businesses, and above all the preservation of a culture built on “The Great Law” are incredible accomplishments!


This statement makes clear the unconditional support for the people at Ganienkeh.  You are right to stand on the Great Law.  Without that as a solid foundation you  would  have nothing  to stand on  when problems arise from outside and within  the community.


We applaud your efforts to keep Ganienkeh alcohol and drug free.  We know  there have been  some difficult decisions that have had to be made, but  people who choose  not to live by the code of the community are really  the ones who are making the decision about whether they remain a part of the community or not.


Making the Great Law work as a real  way of life will always be a challenge but the more practical it becomes; the stronger it will be for future generations.


Lest anyone question whether  we as Trustees would ever support  businesses or activities that would  not be beneficial  to the community’s original  purposes, benefit only a few, and  not all the people; we have never done this and never  will.


We are thankful for the present relationships that exist  between  the Trustees, Ganienkeh, regional leaders of the State Police, and The Department of Environmental Conversation.  As in the past we will continue to keep these relationships strong  so they can  be mutually beneficial.  We are appreciative of all the meetings that we have had to further  these relationships.


Ganienkeh’s vision was to be a model community for all Native Peoples  and you are!


 All decisions are ultimately decisions by  the  people of the Longhouse at Ganienkeh and we as Trustees will always respect that.  It has been and will continue to be our desire to be one with you in mind and spirit.


While  there have been and unfortunately will be some threats to the Ganienkeh vision , be assured that our support is always with you.  One day, when people can lay aside selfish interests and desire for financial  gains;  peace will be a reality.  Let’s continue to work together toward that goal!



Trustees of The Turtle Island Trust

Rev. Dr. Donald Washburn

Elizabeth "Brooke" Conklin

Christopher M. Nyhan


We welcome any opportunities for ongoing discussion: