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The Evening News
Sault Ste. Marie
Tuesday, June 23, 1970       VOL. 70 NO. 128        12 Pages         Price 10 Cents

For Treaty Violations

Iroquois Point and Light To Be Seized Wednesday By Indian Youths

By E. J. Sundstrom

Historic Iroquois Lighthouse 25 miles west of the Sault built a century ago, is expected to be the scene of another Indian encounter Wednesday afternoon when a group attending an Indian Youth Seminar here plan to forceably re-claim Iroquois Point and the lighthouse.

The lighthouse, built in 1870, and out of service for the past seven years, has recently been operated by the U.S. Forest Services as a tourist visitation spot.
Plans for seizure of the old lighthouse were made today at an Indian Youth Symposium being held at Lake Superior State College and being attended by more than 100 young people of Indian descent.

"The Indians plan to re-claim this land and structure as terms of the Treaty of 1836 and the Treaty of 1868 have never been honored by the government", said the Rev. James Williams, pastor of St. Catherine's parish at nearby Bay Mills, home of the Bay Mills Indian Community.
He said the seizure is planned for 2 p.m. and is to be similar to the Indian seizure of Alcatraz Island off San Francisco.
Richard Ruppenthal, district ranger for the Hiawatha National Forest, of which the lighthouse is a part, said today he is conferring with his superiors as to what action, if any, will be taken in protecting the lighthouse. For the past three years the lighthouse portion of the unit has been open to the public.

Wednesday's seizure is expected to be much more peaceable than the Iroquois Point Massacre of 300 years ago at a spot not too far from the lighthouse.
This massacre occurred when a party of Chippewas from the St. Marys River attacked an Iroquois war party camping there in the middle 1660's. The attack was said to be in retaliation for the murder of several Chippewas in the Sault or Garden River area by the invading Iroquois war party. It is said that after the Iroquois left the Sault they headed west and camped at what is now Iroquois Point. The Chippewas followed and attacked the Iroquois under the cover of darkness.

Chippewa Indian legend has it that the red rocks found on Iroquois Island, just off the Point, were stained with the blood of the invading Iroquois and have remained that way through the ages as a grim reminder.
For 93 years the Iroquois light guided mariners into the lower reaches of Whitefish Bay. The lighthouse ceased operation in 1963 and in 1967 was acquired by the U.S. Forest Service.
Although speakers for the Indian Youth group say the young people plan a museum and youth center at the light, the spot has already been designated as a future museum for Lake Superior lore by the Forest Service.


Ranger Ruppenthal Studies Old Iroquois Lighthouse
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