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Council News - May 2010

Greetings to all Cayuga Nation Citizens:

We hope you are well and that you are able to get outside and start your spring cleaning.

The Cayuga Nation has been very active in trying to get movement on the trust application. We were in Washington, DC to meet with Department of Interior officials on Wednesday, March 31 and April 1, 2010. This department has to issue the final determination on the land; meaning whether or not the land will be put into trust, so this was the reason we went to this office. It is sad to say that these people only react to items such as this only when they know you are coming to town. Attending this meeting were Nation members Clint Halftown, Timothy Twoguns, Gary Wheeler and Nation attorneys Dan French and Lee Alcott, and Nation lobbyist Dan Crane.
The following week we were in Nashville, Tennessee to meet with director Franklin Keel and his team that is working on our trust application within the eastern office of Bureau of Indian Affairs. We want this bureau to be ready the minute Department of Interior finishes their review of the applications of taking the land into trust. Then the bureau can do their own internal review of the application and then make a decision upon it. So we went to their offices to make sure everything was in order. Present for this meeting were Clint Halftown, Gary Wheeler and Nation attorneys Dan French and Lee Alcott.
So we are still pushing our applications through the federal bureaucratic crap. It is a very slow political process we have to go through. But nonetheless, we are still pressing the applications forward for the betterment of the Cayuga Nation.
Speaking of the betterment of the Cayuga Nation, four new homes are now being built within our land area of 64,000 acres. So soon there will be housing available to Nation citizens. Just get in touch with Justin Bennett, Cayuga Nation Housing Director at the Nation offices at 716-337-4270.
Gakwiyo Garden has starting the planting of this year’s crops in the greenhouse. Produce delivery should start taking place in June 2010.
The calendar 2011 group has been randomly selected. These 12 people will be notified soon. Also the 2010 group will be receiving a letter to let them know if they would like, they may return this year. The goal is to get all Cayuga Nation citizens back to the home land. This is the second year so we could possibly have 24 Cayuga citizens being brought home to the Nation’s lands and here for the Nation picnic. The dates for the visit and calendar photos are August 11 - 15, 2010. And the Nation picnic is August 14, 2010. We will be providing a bus again this year for members living in Western New York. So make plans to attend. The Nation Council goal is to one day have a Nation picnic with all Cayuga Nation citizens present.
Currently the Cayuga Nation LakeSide Trading stores are open and selling tax-free cigarettes and gasoline. The New York State highest court heard our case in Syracuse on March 25, 2010 at 9:30 am and we expect a decision in about 2 or 3 months. The main issue is "are we a qualified Indian reservation"? Under the current wording of New York State Tax Law, we are. It says any land owned by a Native American or Indian Nation is non-taxable. The Nation owns this land and the Nation is selling at this location. So we do fit under this definition of the law. But now we wait for their decision.
The Lake View cattle farm is moving ahead with a herd of 40 cows many of which are having baby calves. So we should be doubling the count to 80 head of cattle. This operation will be moving from the present location in Zoar Valley to Cayuga Nation lands. We have had two (2) still born calves but are hopeful the rest will be fine.
The Nation has submitted a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Homeland Security to sign a formal agreement with them to allow our citizens to cross the border. We are just awaiting word from Homeland Security on this agreement. Then, the Nation will get new updated cards for
all Nations citizens who want them.
And remember if you need anything, feel free to contact the Nation offices at 716-337-4270. This office handles everything you need for the Nation. We do not have any affiliation with the Akron office. So there is no need to call that office. They do not handle anything.
Till next month,