1,000 Acres of New York Land Returned to Onondaga Nation
Per a report from Zoe Sottile of CNN, 1,000 acres of land in New York will be returned to the Onondaga Nation, following contamination of Onondaga Lake and the surrounding lands by Honeywell International.
According to the report, Honeywell was ordered to sign ownership of the property over to the Onondaga Nation as part of a settlement for the pollution of the environment with mercury and other dangerous substances. The order came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program.
Onondaga Nation Chief Tadodaho Sidney Hill stated "It is with great joy that the Onondaga Nation welcomes the return of the first substantial acreage of its ancestral homelands. The Nation can now renew its stewardship obligations to restore these lands and waters and to preserve them for the future generations yet to come."
In her press release, United States Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said "This historic agreement represents a unique opportunity to return traditional homelands back to Indigenous people to steward for the benefit of their community. We look forward to drawing upon the Onondaga Nation's expertise and Indigenous knowledge in helping manage the area's valuable wildlife and habitat."
The press release also noted that this partnership with the Onondaga Nation will include a conservation easement with the Department of Environmental Conservation to prohibit commercial development. Additionally, Honeywell International will implement 18 restoration projects and pay $5 million for the implementation of additional restoration projects per the terms of the settlement.