- organizing trips to Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp
- Starting an email list through WESPAC so you can stay informed on this and other indigenous issues
WESPAC Foundation’s Friends of Turtle of Island is a grassroots movement to increase awareness of Indigenous peoples’ ongoing struggles to protect their human and land rights, environment, sacred sites, dignity, language and traditions. We seek to build relationships, support Native sovereignty, challenge racism, and promote social and environmental healing. We support the reconnection of ancient Indigenous trade routes and the rekindling of those relations. We recognize the importance of freedom of movement for all First Nations peoples as they struggle to retain their ancestral lands, language, culture and identity. The balance of the ecosystem requires this freedom of movement, not only for people but for all creatures living within it. Please contact the office for more information and to get involved at 914.449.6514 or by email at w[email protected]
Important statement written by Robin Kimmerer and others. Robin was a featured speaker in Westchester a few years ago upon the invitation of our Friends of Turtle Island solidarity group with Indigenous Peoples:
When: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12pm to 1:30pm
Where: The Fountain in Downtown White Plains (Intersection of Main Street and Mamaroneck Ave), White Plains, NY 10601
Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance. We will also link to the resistance locally working to STOP the Spectra Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (AIM), which is planned to run next to the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Spectra AIM Pipeline is being built by the same company as the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will have a few signs but please also bring signs.
Speakers: Ms. Betty Lyons (Onondaga Nation), President of the American Indian Law Alliance and Ms. Karenna Gore, Director for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, as well as local Westchester County residents who recently traveled to the Sacred Stone Camp in Lakota Territory [North Dakota].
Sponsors: WESPAC Foundation, American Indian Law Alliance, Center for Earth Ethics, Resist Spectra Pipeline, Friends of Turtle Island Committee-WESPAC.
Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq. Gowanahs, Snipe Clan name, a citizen of the Onondaga Nation, Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, Haudenosaunee. Ms. Gonnella Frichner, the eldest of eight children of Henry and Maxine Nolan Gonnella. A global indigenous leader and President and Founder of the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA), since 1989. AILA is a Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Ms. Gonnella Frichner was a lawyer, activist and professor of American Indian history and law, Federal Indian Law, and anthropology and human rights for over twenty years. Ms. Gonnella Frichner taught at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Manhattanville College for eight years, as well as CUNY Hunter College and New York University. Ms. Gonnella Frichner also served as an Associate Member of Columbia’s University Seminar on Indigenous Studies.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner, worked closely with global Indigenous leadership, as well as the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee. She devoted her life to the pursuing of the right to self-determination, sovereignty, treaty rights, and individual and collective rights for Indigenous Peoples.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner was appointed as the North American Regional Representative for a three year term from 2008-2010, to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), by the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), an advisory body to the ECOSOC. In that position, her mandates included: human rights, economic and social development, environment, health, education and media. Ms. Gonnella Frichner was nominated by Indigenous Nations, Peoples and Non-Governmental Organizations to the position for her work in the international arena. During that time, Ms. Gonnella Frichner served as Vice-Chairperson as well as the Special Rapporteur for the “Preliminary study of the impact on indigenous peoples of the international legal construct known as the Doctrine of Discovery,” (E/C.19/2010/13), submitted to the UNPFII, Ninth Session, 2010. She has served as an active participant and legal and diplomatic counsel to Indigenous delegations in virtually all United Nations international fora affecting Indigenous Peoples especially during the drafting, negotiations and passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), overwhelmingly adopted in December 2007 (A/RES/61/295) by the UN General Assembly. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) sets the minimum standard for the survival, dignity and individual and collective rights of Indigenous Peoples globally.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner has received many distinguished awards for her service. Most recently, she received the Drums Along the Hudson award in June 2014, shared with the Honorable David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of New York City. Other awards include the Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Award, the Thunderbird Indian of the Year Award, the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the American Indian Community House International Service Award, the SilverCloud Singer Outstanding Service Award for advancing Indigenous Youth, the Ms. Foundation Female Role Model of the Year, which was shared with author J.K. Rowlings and others, The Mosaic Council, Inc. Visionary Award for Making a Difference, which was shared with entertainer Queen Latifah, the New York County Lawyers Association Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh – Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice, and Sovereignty Award, the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team Recognition, a City of Philadelphia proclamation in honor of United Nations Day and Ms. Gonnella Frichner’s work to “promote the rights for native people around the world,” recognition from the Temple of Understanding, recognition from the Beacon Two Row Wampum Festival, and the Alston Bannerman Fellowship.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner co-founded the Global Indigenous Women’s Caucus, together with Ms. Tia Oros Peters (Zuni), Executive Director of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, and Ms. Esmeralda Brown, President of the Southern Diaspora Research and Development Center.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner served on several boards of directors including serving as the Chairperson of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, the City University of New York School of Law Board of Visitors, the Interfaith Center of New York, the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, the Seven Eagles Corporation, the Flying Eagle Women Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty, the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, the Boarding School Healing Project, and the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, the official national team of the Haudenosaunee since 1984. It is a Federation of International Lacrosse member nation and World Lacrosse Championship medalists. Ms. Gonnella Frichner authored a number of articles and papers on Indigenous Peoples and was working on two books, including an autobiography. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University of New York and graduated magna cum laude in 1980, she earned a Juris Doctor from the City University of New York School of Law in 1987 and a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Colby College, Waterville in Maine in 2012.
In September 2014 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon quoted Ms. Gonnella Frichner in his remarks: “A longtime indigenous activist and former member of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Tonya Gonnella Frichner, once said, “Indigenous peoples all speak many different languages but in our meetings, we are speaking one language. Our relationship to Mother Earth is identical.”
Ms. Gonnella Frichner, 67 of Union City, New Jersey began her journey to her Creator on February 14, 2015 and is survived by her loving husband of 42 years, University Professor and Fashion Institute of Technology Herb Frichner, and their son Jason M. Frichner (Eva), Assistant Vice-President of Marketing for the Hanes Corporation. Ms. Gonnella Frichner is also survived by her sisters, Nannette Gonnella (Carol), Jacquelyn Gonnella Thomas, and Kimberley Gonnella Tobian (Brian); brothers, Henry Gonnella, Jr., Michael Gonnella, Thomas Gonnella (Lucia) and Christopher Gonnella; her beloved nieces, Betty Lyons (Tadodaho Sidney Hill) and Maya Thomas; nephews, David Tobian and Matthew Gonnella and several nieces and nephews. Ms. Gonnella Frichner held dear to her heart the AILA staff that supported her work, Chief of Staff, Murrielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahanock Nations) and Research & Policy Adviser, Roger Drew. She was predeceased by her father, Henry L. Gonnella in 1993 and her mother, Maxine Nolan Gonnella in 2003.
Calling hours will be held at the Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home, Inc. located at 2584 Field Lane, LaFayette, NY 13084 on Tuesday, February 17 from 3 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 18 at 10 a.m. at the funeral home and 11 a.m. at the longhouse. Interment to be in the Onondaga Nation Cemetery located on Route 11A.
Donations can be made to the American Indian Law Alliance to carry on Tonya’s important work. For more info on donations email [email protected].
To express sympathy please visit ballweg-lunsford.com
Article quoting Tonya Gonnella Frichner on the Doctrine of Discovery: http://www.mintpressnews.com/
Article regarding the Treaty of Canandaigua arriving in Washington, DC for the “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations,” exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC: https://
Tax Exempt Hearing
Monday, September 8th 2014
Will be held in the solution Center’ conference room 501 East State Street,1st Floor Trenton , New jersey
The Hearing is to determine if The Ramapough Lunaape Nations Ceremonial Grounds should be declared Tax Exempt
We are requesting All of our Friends and people of Good Conscience To: Please Send Letters of support To:
Program Assistant, Cherylynn Cooke Chief, Dwaine C. Perry
Green Acres Tax Exempt Program Ramapough Lunaape Nation
Mail Code 501-01 189 Stag Hill Road
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 Mahwah, NJ 07430
In addition across the pond our Land is used almost exclusively by non-Tribal members for hiking, fishing and the launching of small crafts , canoes ect.
Again I implore All to: please write and to support our effort in meeting this challenge.
Help us to continue growing in the understanding of the spirit and in the Love for the Earth… Anushiik Sachem Maqua.