Devastation of a tribal community….
In 1964 the Ford Motor Corporation had purchased nearly 900 acres of land within the Ramapo Mountains. This land was the former site of the Ringwood mines complex, that provided iron for every war, from the Revolutionary War, to World War One.
These mines also produced the steel which holds up the dome of the United States Capitol Building, along with the first 900 cannon balls for the Revolutionary War, as well as the chain links for the chains across the Hudson.
The Ford Motor Corporation bought this property under the guise of Ringwood Realty. They bought the land with the intentions of building executive housing, and a self sustaining community, but there was one problem……. the land was being lived upon by the Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, descendents of the Munsee people, whom are indigenous to this place. It should also be known that Ford also dumped in our other two clan areas as well.
Ford was not the only ones who created this toxic mess. The Borough of Ringwood set out on a mission as well. The Mayor if Ringwood at that time was sending letters to Henry Ford stating that they wanted to have ALL of the Ford’s Mahwah plants industrial waste brought to the Ringwood mine area.
Ringwood Borough was also operating illegal dumps at this time, and was accepting refrigerators and air conditioners from West Milford. The Hewitt family back in 1906 had made a amendment to the land deed covering this whole area, it states that the only dump to ever be permitted there was the Peter’s mine dump and only during the mines operation.
This clearly standing alone on its own merits warns of trouble. When you add this to the fact that the dumps themselves were illegal by NJ standards they were eventually shut down by the state .
When Ford became embattled over trying to remove the Turtle Clan members of the Ramapough Nation, they made a rash, and devastating decision. They gave up their quest to remove the people to other places, and almost immediately commenced to what amounts to a continuing Corporate Genocide of a indigenous peoples.
From 1964, through 1974, Ford’s contractors began to dispose of millions, and millions of gallons of industrial waste, which became known as Ford Paint Sludge.
In later years it became known through testimony at the congressional hearings on waste management, that Ford was actually disposing over 16 million pounds of varied types of paint sludge every 3 months. When you do the calculations, what you will get is a staggering amount of toxic waste that was deliberately and consciously dumped in the historic Ringwood mines, on the protected lands of the former Hewitt Estate, and litteraly on the Ramapough’s of the Turtle Clan.
What truly makes this criminal, is if you go back in time, Henry Ford was a big player in the Eugenics movement of the early 20th century. He became best of friends with Adolf Hitler, and was a major contributor, and sponsor of communism. They shared the same world view of supremacy as well.
For those of you who are not aware of what Eugenics was or became, or who became the studied subjects, I will share this with you…..
The Eugenics movement started with the thought, or presumption that you could manipulate the nature of man, or human beings. At one point the founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger released a document showing 18 different ways to deal with the unwanted people of the Ramapo Mountains. The number one way was by a “public lethal gas chamber “, while this did not come to fruition it nonetheless shows you the mindset of these people.
What followed was Ramapough children being taken from their families and forced to live in what truly amounted to a Indian boarding school, albeit it didn’t carry this name .
Another aspect to this was that when our female children were taken to the doctor for check ups, this doctor was busy drawing their anatomy unbeknownst to them. Eventually this doctor hard figured out how to sterilize our woman, and this then began as another tool in the Eugenics movement, created and used on our Ramapough woman, and millions and millions there after.
The list of perpetrators is long and heavy handed with very famous names in the history of New Jersey, and southern New York. Their legacy still haunts our people to this very day.
Back to the dumping, so now during the dumping of toxic waste by Ford’s contractors, every now and again they would deposit items of value within the toxic waste, knowing our underprivileged people would pat no mind to what was surrounding them as they removed the copper and other items from the toxic laden areas they had dumped.
There is no way that Ford did not know what the end result of this would be, as all the way back into the 1950’s Dupont the manufacturer of the chemicals Ford used had lables stating that they were carcinogens. They knew exactly what they were doing and they knew what would transpire.
So in the end we look to the west and we see Flint Michigan. There water issues should be of great concern to those who be the ones who allowed for what has happened to the Turtle Clan People my family.
Those who were in charge out there are have been brought up on manslaughter charges… When we think of how many of our people have died and all the sickness and health issues and the impact upon our environment, to include the animals plants fish and the water they too should be thinking about what’s happening in Flint.
I will never give in to the fact that the toxins from this devastation has not only impacted our lives but that it has impacted the lives of those who get their water from the Wanaque Reservoir.
These chemicals that are emerging from the earth through the water is not something that started yesterday. This has been ongoing for 50 years………
It’s time that those responsible all of them be held to the highest possible standard of responsibility whether that means jail or monetary or what have you.
Be prepared always as our ancestors continue to give us the strentgh to defend the Sacred that which is our very lives and that of all our relations…
Turtle Clan Chief
Ramapough Lunaape Nation
Back in 2010 the town officials summoned our nation to court for violations upon our lands on Halifax rd. During this time we were facing fines for putting up poles to our big house.
Between our lawyers at that time and the town there was a agreement worked out that would allow us to have what structure was on the land at that point and to use it for prayer and assembly. This was certified through a zoning application by the town as approved…..
The town of Mahwah a few years earlier had created what amounted to bridge trespass by building 2 bridges to great a hiking trail around Lake Henry. Unfortunately one of these bridges is on our property, and they both allowed and still allow people to access and use it.
There were deliberations with the town for a monetary payment to our nation for the right of way, but this was never granted by our council or our nation as a whole.
To this end in my opinion the town of Mahwah should be looking at themselves and at those who allowed these things to be done as one is illegal which is the bridge trespass and the other they gave us the zoning approval to use our structure to prayer and assemble through a zoning variance.
Lastly it has been stated that Mahwah has no camp grounds? This is also a untrue statement as there are two camp grounds in the town that are permitted.
There has also been this said by town officials…..
“We are only treating them like everyone else”
Problem here is that for 450 years we have been treated differently….. continually for 450 years you all have treated us differently.
So while I can see where the town of Mahwah needs to help to find a resolution, by NO way should you decide to now after 450 years to treat us the same as every other citizen in this town as we are not the same, we are the original inhabitants of this land ..
Be it known we have enjoyed a relationship with the town thanks to the Mayor council members town residence Ramapo college Ramapough Conservancy and the like, we share the same values in protecting our water and our environment.
But surely in no way shape or form should our people feel threatened by a local community or by a town who both should honor and help to protect our way of life and our culture.
Turtle Clan Chief
Ramapough Lunaape Nation