Joe Heath

The Onondaga Nation occupies a unique place among the many groups making up an increasingly diverse Central New York--it's the oldest and most traditional of all peoples, still governed through processes handed down for centuries.  How does the Nation fit with these other newer groups?  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Joe Heath, the general counsel of the Nation since 1982.  They discuss that topic, as well as land claims and how the Onondaga fit with the other Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County's Lakeview Amphitheater comes to life tonight for the first time, when country star Miranda Lambert takes the stage. Many in the community hail the entertainment venue, along the shores of Onondaga Lake, as an economic engine for years to come. But there are still environmental concerns from one front, about the choice to build a stage on top of 80 feet of industrial waste beds. 

"We’re very concerned that we have lost a chance to clean up next to the lake,” said Joe Heath, who has been the attorney for the Onondaga Nation for more than three decades.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

  The Onondaga Nation has turned down a recent federal housing grant, as it typically does.

"They do accept outside laws and they do not accept outside funding from either the state or federal government," Joe Heath, the Onondaga Nation's attorney, told WRVO.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With its domestic options exhausted, the Onondaga Indian Nation has taken its land claim case to an international commission.

It’s been six months since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Onondaga’s claim to 2.6 million acres of land in central New York. In the lawsuit first filed in 2005, the nation says land was illegally taken from it in the 18th and 19th centuries.