Sand Hill Indians Claim Manhattan

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    AP
    The government also wants to take control of a 36-story office tower on New York's Fifth Avenue.

    The Sand Hill Indian tribe located in New Jersey filed a lawsuit "claiming Manhattan, as well as the Hudson Areas, and the states of NJ, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania," according to a Sand Hill press release.

    The Sand Hill are seeking "re-establishment of a land base for the ribe, dederal as well as international recognition as a sovereign people, and back renumeration for the use of natural resources and assets that were taken illegally," Sand Hill Government Liaison Laura I. Zucker told NBCNewYork in an emailed statement.

    Sand Hill Chief Ronald Holloway filed the first lawsuit in 2009 against the State of New Jersey,  charging then-Governor Corzine and members of the state administration with "violation of human rights, genocide, and breaking of treaties etc." according to the press release.

    On April 20, Holloway appeared before the United Nations, accusing the federal courts of "deliberate stalling," wrote Zucker.  "The UN has agreed to review the case to see if it can go to the Hague," she wrote, but they have not confirmed whether or not it will go.

    This week, Holloway filed a motion amending the first to include claims on Manhattan and parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware as well as New Jersey.

    When the Lenape Indians--of which Sand Hill are a subset--signed deeds with English colonizers in the 17th and 18th centuries, the motion argues, they "did not have any understanding of the concept of buying and selling land" and therefore "when the Lenape Indians signed numerous deeds, they believed they were granting to the Europeans a right to share the land, with no intention of excluding themselves from continuing to use the land."

    "The original homeland of the Lenape Indians (also called Delaware Indians), originally encompassed New York (Manhattan and Hudson areas), and the States of Delaware, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs’ ancestors originally called these lands “Lenape’hokink” (which means Land of Lenape). Plaintiffs’ ancestors inhabited these lands for thousands of years," the motion reads.