The New York Times has a very thorough piece on the battles at the CAYUGA NATION
Thank you Jesse McKinley
Men stand guard at a barbed wire blockade, tending a fire they keep burning around the clock and protecting a two-story home that is on the verge of collapse. Watch this video
The scene is the latest front in a fight that has riven the Cayuga Nation, a federally recognized Native American tribe in upstate New York, pitting two groups within the Nation against each other.
It is a conflict in which homes and property have been destroyed and accusations of thievery and greed swirl. On one side is the tribal government and its longtime leader, Clint Halftown, who has begun to reclaim the land that once belonged to the tribe; on the other is a group of self-described “traditionalists,” who say they do not recognize Mr. Halftown’s administration and who have staked their own claims to some of the property the Nation has bought.
The two sides disagree even on basic facts in a dispute that touches on questions of how the tribe’s deep traditions should inform the way its people are governed today.
For hundreds of years, the Cayuga were largely landless and its people scattered all over the United States. So in 2002, the Nation’s council charged Mr. Halftown, then a 29-year-old tribal member and former casino employee, with an ambitious task: to explore ways to earn money for the tribe and buy back their land, piece by piece, to repatriate tribal members.
Read the rest at the link above.
More background on the Cayuga Dispute
The Bureau of Indian Affairs offered a two-sentence statement about the Nation’s leadership struggle.
“Indian Affairs honors tribal sovereignty and supports tribal self-determination,” the statement read. “The principles of tribal sovereignty limit BIA’s legal authority to intervene in internal tribal disputes.” How about pausing their federal recognition?
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