Skip Navigation

Home » News & Media » Council News » Council News 2011 » Council News - February 2011

Council News - February 2011

 To All Cayuga Nation Citizens,  

We hope you and your families are well. We hope you all are having a good New Year now that
Mid-Winters are through. We now can start looking forward to longer days and warmer weather.

The Cayuga Nation has been very busy defending our right to our own land. As you might know, Seneca County has taken steps to foreclose on 3 parcels of land owned by the Nation. The county claims that we are 3 years behind on property taxes and they are foreclosing on our property. We are waiting for the results of the Oneida foreclosure case, where the counties of Madison and Oneida have raised the same issue. The Supreme Court has looked at the issue and was ready to take the case until Oneida took out "sovereign immunity". So the case was sent back to the 2nd Circuit to look at other issues. The other issues raised were Alienation, New York State Property tax law and due process. The 2nd Circuit has to now look at these issues and decide upon them.

 The Tax Litigation Continues. The 2nd Circuit will now hear the cigarette tax litigation that was proposed by New York State. This scheme would start collecting taxes on sales to non-Natives on reservations. The litigation was commenced by Seneca and Cayuga Nations in Buffalo, NY in October 2010. Then the Oneida Nation started litigation in the Northern District court in Utica, NY and the Mohawk Nation started with litigation in the Northern District in Albany, NY. All cases were consolidated into one case and sent to the 2nd Circuit. Court proceedings begin on February 2, 2011. So this litigation continues. More next month.
 Cayuga Nation continues to acquire more land and more houses. These purchases are in keeping with our dedication to return the Nation to our homelands. This is one more step toward returning our people home, and this time they will not drive us out.
 USET is taking place in Washington DC again on February 7 - 11, 2011. We will report on the various meetings next month. Attending will be Sharon LeRoy, Anita Thompson, Clint Halftown, Brenda Bennett, Gerald Jimerson, Justin Bennett and Gary Wheeler.
 The Cayuga Nation had some unexpected visitors from the west. The Seneca-Cayuga from Oklahoma opened a smoke shop in Seneca Falls, NY last month. Since they opened up, the Cayuga Nation has taken steps to get them shut down. We sent letters and phone calls to then Governor David Patterson, the New York State Department of Taxation and the FDA. The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe has been shut down since December 27, 2010. We hope this is the end of them. They had left us hundred of years ago, and besides when they left, they left as individuals, not as a Nation. So we don’t understand how they think they can return to our land and open up a shop and sell cigarettes.
 Along this line of out-of-state tribes coming back to New York, the Stockbridge Munsee have returned settling a "land claim" in New York. We don’t understand how New York state can settle these issues while the real Nations can not settle any of these issues with New York. Maybe if we all caved in on all the issues as the out of state tribes did, we could have a land settlement too. They agreed to pay all New York state sales taxes in the casino and agreed to give the state 25% of slot revenue. And they are only getting 2 acres of land in New York State. So basically, this deal is only for a casino in the Catskill region.
 All Nations of the Haudenosaunee are opposing this settlement of a "land claim". Hopefully the Department of Interior will not agree with this. But also under the current administration there is a ban on off reservation casinos. This has not been repealed yet.  So currently this deal is not going anywhere.
 We will keep fighting for the Cayuga Nation, our Citizens and our land as long as we can.
So till next month, keep safe and stay healthy.