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Oneida Nation Land Into Trust Comments: Ray Halbritter
VERONA - “The Oneida people are sincerely grateful to everyone whose hard work has led to this initial step toward further securing our Oneida homelands. Ongoing future disagreements may be resolved through a reasonable negotiation process. A settlement, of course, would require all parties to make compromises. For our part, the Oneida people are willing to do so. We are willing to negotiate a limit on the amount, and locations, of future trust land acquisitions, none of which is required by law. The state and counties must offer good-faith compromises as well, rather than insist upon retaining the same positions they have held for more than a decade, if we expect to reach an understanding.
In order to reach a resolution of our differences, which the Oneida people are committed to doing, leadership on both sides must bring people together. Calls for continued rancor and ongoing expensive litigation have accomplished nothing to resolve these issues for our community but have made some lawyers wealthy on both sides.
We must continually ask ourselves about the legacy we are to leave our children. The answer, we believe, depends on how we conduct ourselves, both publicly and privately, going forward.”