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Council News - September 2009

Cayuga Nation Citizens:                                             

Greetings to all. We hope all is well with you and your families. Summer is passing us by very quickly, so hopefully you are enjoying what is left of it. Soon we will be back to shoveling and snow boots.
We are starting this article with sad news. On August 6, 2009, Turtle Clan Mother Lena Pierce passed away. So we wish our condolences to Lena’s children Larry, Fran and Tim and all of her grand children and great grand children. Lena will be greatly missed, as she was the last one of the old Nation Council. She was pre-deceased by Vernon, Jim, Frank, Ken, Pauline, Marie, Helen. We are glad that Lena got to see the Nation move forward and progress on getting land back and business going. We are on the path to moving us back home. We know this was dream the previous council all had for the Nation. We share this dream with them and we will see it through.
On August 5 - 9, twelve (12) Nation Citizens returned to the homeland to see the progress the Nation is making in realizing this dream of returning. These 12 lucky people who all won an all expense paid trip home, were shown everything the Nation has done since 2003, all properties, all Nation business, and met all the business managers. In only 6 years, the Nation has re- acquired 1,000 acres of land and started 6 businesses. We have only 63,000 acres left to acquire before we own all our original land.
The 12 came from the states of Washington (1), California (1), New Mexico (1), Florida (2), Illinois (2), and New York (5). We all enjoyed seeing you all and thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to come home. Hopefully you re-connected with the Nation and will some day return home.
We are happy to announce that we will be doing the same thing next year. It is our goal, and we will strive to get all Cayuga Nation Citizens back home. 12 new people will be chosen to come next fall and see what the Nation has done. We plan to have this years 12 return as well.
On August 8, the 12 were then treated to the Cayuga Nation Picnic. This was held at the Executive home in the Varick. The people were treated to b-b-q Chicken, steak, salt potatoes, tossed salad, sweet corn. We were then treated to a talk by Jack and Brooke Olsen, archeologists who have been unearthing an old site to find more about our past. Jack has done it! He has now found proof that we lived here in 900 A.D.  Non-native people have always said the Confederacy did not form till 1000 A.D. Jack is still working in on this site and doing more carbon testing on items found. We will keep you updated on his progress.
We also had some fun at the picnic including an egg toss. The winner was Kelly (Abrams) Fortier. We would like to a Nya-Weh to Sharon LeRoy for making the roast and hull corn soup and the Fry bread; and for all her countless hours she dedicated to making this project a success. We want to say Nya-Weh to Hugh Jones and son for playing his music. We want to say Nya-Weh to Warren John and his band for playing music. We want to say Nya-Weh to all of the LakeSide staff who put so much into making this project go without a hitch.
In other matters, Seneca and Cayuga Counties have filed a notice with the NYS 4th Division Appellate Courts that they intend to appeal the ruling that we are on a qualified reservation under New York State Tax Law. So the fighting continues. We will keep you informed as this is an ongoing issue. But nonetheless, the LakeSide stores are open and selling cigarettes and gas, NYS tax free.
The Cayuga Nation has bought more properties in the treaty territory. We have increased our holdings to now over 1000 acres of land!! A more detailed description will be in next month’s newsletter.
We hope to have a decision in October on our land-into-trust from the Department of Interior. This will then be another court battle by the Counties. These Counties are not welcoming us back at all. The Nation will have to fight for everything we make, take and do.
We hope you all have a chance to come to the 2009 New York State Fair. We will either be in the Cayuga Nation “hut” in Iroquois Village or this year, at the new Hartford Glen Water stand selling our great bottled water.
Hope that many of you are enjoy you box of veggies you have been receiving from Gakwiyo Farm. Hope you are putting all the veggies to good use and eating healthy.
Till next month, stay good and happy,
Clint Halftown
Tim Twoguns
Gary Wheeler
Cayuga Nation Council