Local News

November 2, 2012

Ganienkeh property up for tax auction



Clinton County Sheriff David Favro had been made aware the pending auction would be posted on the website. It would be his department that would serve eviction notices, he said, but a lot would have to happen before that task would be undertaken.

First, he said, would have to come “a legitimate sale, legitimate purchase, legitimate filing with a local court for a warrant of eviction and an order of eviction.”

Favro was aware of the flurry of rumors circulating Thursday; none proved more than that, he said, and his department had no cause to take any kind of action.

”Rumors, themselves, can create a civil unrest,” the sheriff added.


Anxiety over what steps Ganenkieh might take is linked to past history that to some doesn’t seem all that long ago.

On March 30, 1990, a Vermont National Guard helicopter on a medical mission was brought down by gunfire as it flew over the Mohawk lands in Altona; a physician aboard was shot and wounded. After an 11-day standoff, Ganienkeh allowed police on the property for a brief investigation.

The Mohawks have worked collaboratively with local government, however, during times of flooding, to help lower the level of Miner Lake when it threatened to breach the dam there. 

But the auction description includes a plainly worded “Notice of Disclosure.”

“Bidders should be aware of the historical events that have occurred surrounding the Ganienkeh people,” it says, going on to describe the Moss Lake siege and including a link to a New York Times article that covers the helicopter shooting. 

Giroux said many notices had been sent to Ganienkeh about the land in arrears. A judge signed an order of foreclosure a few years ago, he said, but the county held off with proceedings in hopes the state and Mohawks could come to some kind of resolution.

“Even a few days ago, (the Governor’s Office) was still trying to bring the parties together,” he said.

The Governor’s Office didn’t return a call for comment Thursday.

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