Mohican Site Threatened by Wal-Mart

Debra J. Winchell (winchd@RPI.EDU)
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 10:01:31 -0500


Wal-Mart wants to build a store on an undisturbed Mohican site
called Leeds Flat dating back over 1,000 years in the Town of
Leeds in New York State. They do not want to permit a thorough
archaeological dig, which would give the Mohicans (federally
recognized as the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians)
invaluable information on their history and culture, much of
which has been lost since the coming of the Europeans. The
remains of a child have been found at the site. This site would
also provide information on the first years of European-native
contact in the area, one of the first developed along the eastern
seaboard. Wal-Mart advertises itself as being family-oriented,
yet they want to stop Native Americans from learning more about
their families.

After being informed of the site late in the process, tribal
members visited the site and staged a protest rally garnering
much press coverage in December 1995. The Mohican Nation then
agreed to join the Greene County group It's Not Easy Being Greene
in a lawsuit against the Town of Leeds, claiming it illegally
approved the environmental impact statement when it was not
complete and rezoning the historic area. It is well-known that
Leeds Flats was also a flood plain, and no plans were submitted
for dealing with it. It flooded to 3 feet this winter.

This unique historical site must be preserved. European-American
capitalists must stop taking from Native Americans. Wal-Mart is
anti-family, anti-Native American, anti-history.




Join us in protesting Wal-Mart's actions by sending e-mail
protests to the Letters to the President at
or letters to the people listed below. They only have an option
to buy the property. If we apply pressure, maybe they will pull

Key People at Wal-Mart

S. Robson Walton, Chairman
Donald G. Soderquist, VC and COO
David D. Blass, President and CEO
William R. Fields, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores Division
Joseph S. Hardin, EVP, COO, Wal-Mart Stores Division
John B. Menzer, EVP and CFO
Nicholas J. White, EVP Supercenter Division

Headquarters Address:
Bentonville, AR 72716
Phone: 501-273-4000
Fax: 501-273-8650


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must rule on the historic
significance of this site and it has not yet issued a permit for
the project, awaiting the outcome of further archaeological
research and compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic
Preservation Act. However, I have it on excellent authority that
there is no one on the committee qualified to rule on the site.
Please write to:

Colonel Gary Thomas
District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - NY District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278

explaining you are and ask for information regarding the status
of the permit review. Close by saying that you have heard that
although the Corps has archaeologists on staff, they are not
involved in the review of this permit. Urge them to use
qualified personnel when doing Section 106 compliance, especially
when sites of such significance are involved and the situation is
so politically charged.

**Please post elsewhere and forward to interested persons.**
**Thank you very much for your support.**

Debra Winchell, Mohican descent, Melrose, NY,

The opinions expressed are solely my own.