November 18.2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, Superior Court judge Roy F. McGeady ruled on Friday that the Ramapough Lenape Nation had violated local zoning laws when they erected tepees on its Mahwah property. In his decision the judge rejected the tribe’s arguments that they had a constitutional right to the tepees, which are used in religious ceremonies. While the judge issued his ruling supporters of the Ramapough Lenape Nation wore red in solidarity .

Judge Roy F. McGeady explained ,“There’s a big difference between praying on the property or conducting religious ceremonies, and creating a structure to do a religious ceremony – a church, a cathedral,”

McGeady ordered the tribe to pay more than $13,000 in fines for summonses issued on the tepee violations. However, he threw out additional summonses accusing the tribe of moving soil and erecting a renewable energy system without permission. The ruling ends a year-long Mahwah Indian War saga that began with a small colony of tepees placed on the tribe’s Halifax Road property last fall.

Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp was formed in October of 2016 in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Led by Ramapough Lenape Nation, the camp was erected to educate the public on the impending crises of the AIM and Pilgrim pipelines that threaten the local water supply in our region. Pipeline ruptures cause severe damage to our sacred waters and endanger our families and wildlife. Even with these dangers, Spectra Company is still pushing for the AIM and Pilgrim pipelines to be completed.