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Council News - July 2009

Greetings to all! We hope you are enjoying the beginning of summer. We have been busy on many issues.

We are still awaiting the Appellate Court’s decision on the sale of cigarettes at our two LakeSide Trading locations. We had hoped to hear something sooner but to no avail. The next decision dates for the Court are July 2nd and July 10th. We hope to hear then.
On June 1st the new regulations for WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) went into effect. But, Native ID cards are still being accepted at the borders. We are working with Homeland Security on an agreement that will allow our people to freely travel between the US and Canada pursuant to our inherent rights.
On June 17th the BIA held its final Public Comment hearing regarding the Nation’s application to have 125 acres of land taken into trust. As expected, it was met with much opposition from the over 1,000 people who attended. Over 70 people spoke out against our application to the BIA, with only 4 speaking out in support. Clint Halftown gave the opening remarks for the Nation. Now we sit and wait for the Comment period to end on July 6th. The comments must then be reviewed and incorporated into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is then made final. We will then await a Record of Decision (ROD) from the BIA. Once the decision is made, it is anticipated the decision will be challenged in court.
Those of you who chose to participate in the weekly Gakwiyo deliveries will have received your strawberries, as well as a hanging flower basket on June 24th. No deliveries will be made on July 1st, but will resume again on July 8th and continue weekly throughout the growing season. We expanded the number of items we are growing this year and plan to use the bounty for weekly deliveries, for sale at Cayuga Corner and in our “canning kitchen”. Strawberry bread and strawberry jam production are already underway for use in the boxes to be mailed to each of you in the Fall.
On July 18th (raindate July 25th) the Nation is hosting its first Charity Miniature Golf Tournament (click here for more info). We are raising money for the House of Concern – a Seneca County organization which provides assistance to the neediest county residents. We are receiving team sing ups, hole sponsorships and donations and look forward to a fun day.
The Nation picnic is scheduled for August 8th. The Nation will be providing a bus to bring you to the picnic and return to western New York.  If you are interested in riding the bus you should call the Nation office at 716-337-4270 (or Contact Us) to let us know.
As side notes – NCAI mid-year conference was held at Seneca Niagara Casino June 14-17. The Mohawks shut down the international bridge running through the Akwesasne territory due to the fact that Canadian Border Patrol will be armed.
Clint Halftown, Heron Clan
Tim Twoguns, Turtle Clan
Gary Wheeler, Turtle Clan