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Rooseveltown, New York
Encounter on an Indian Reservation

Sometime in the 1300's, today's State of New York became the stronghold of five powerful Iroquois nations — the Senecas, the Onondagas, the Mohawks, the Cayugas, and the Oneidas. Mohawks call themselves Kanien'kehaka, or "People of the Flint." The name Mohawk — meaning "Man-eaters" — was applied to them by their Algonkin neighbors. Spanning two countries and with three tribal governments of their own, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is one of the most complex Native American tribes in the Northeast. The reservation consists of 14,640 acres sitting on the U.S.-Canadian border along the St. Lawrence River. The 8,000 Mohawks living on the reservation have three tribal governments of their own. There is one council on the Canadian side of the reservation, one on the American, and a Tribal Council that oversees all activities. Most of the Mohawk labor force is employed in high-rise construction. Altogether, there are perhaps 10,000 Mohawks, of which, about 3,000 people still speak the language fluently.

My name is Cheryl, a Mohawk Indian who grew up on the Onondaga Indian Reservation. I'll never forget when my cousin and I saw Bigfoot. We were both eleven years old on March 11, 1975 at 11:00 am. We left my aunt's house that morning and decided to cut through the woods thinking it would be safer than two young girls walking along the road. Throughout our walk it seemed that we were being watched. We finally arrived at the halfway point of our journey when we reached the local abandoned gravel pits. I slid down the embankment first and my cousin followed. I started to play on the frozen mudpuddle when she started to climb back up the hill to retrieve her glove. She called for me to come near her, but didn't right away until finally her persistence frightened me. She grabbed me close and said, "a big black arm just tried to grab me". Thinking that maybe a hunter had followed us, or even a black man was lurking in the woods frightened us enough to make a run for the road. As we got to the road we both saw this big figure walk through some 6-8 foot sumac trees. Its head and shoulders were over the tops of the trees and we could imagine how it could have traveled to the other side of the pit, which was at least 150 feet from where she first saw the arm. We ran the rest of the way home and told our family we had seen Sasquatch.

Of course everyone laughed at us. As the years past by, and we told the exact same story, our families believe us now. Looking back, I have concluded that Bigfoot was heading towards an underground cave that is sacred to the Onondaga. I believe that this cave connects other Indian reservations by underground channels. Indian legends tell stories that Bigfoot is a spirit that protects the Indians. That is probably why no one has ever found any proof of his existence. I have had many dreams about Bigfoot, where he comes back with others like him. Their calls are frightening. When I walk in the woods I am afraid that I will see him again. I wonder if I saw him because if the world ever ends, I have dreamt that will be the one to lead my people underground until the earth heals itself from all the destruction that is forecasted. It is forecast that Mother Earth is consumed in flames to cleanse herself, the Indian will come up from underground to begin life again. Hoping that this story will stand out from all others that you have or will receive. Please write me on your web sight.

© Shannon Nicholas (additonal informant name removed by request 12/11/03)

Source: Email from Kyle Mizokami, Date: September 23, 1997 6:03 PM