Indian Nations

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

  The Onondaga Nation has turned down a recent federal housing grant, as it typically does.

"They do accept outside laws and they do not accept outside funding from either the state or federal government," Joe Heath, the Onondaga Nation's attorney, told WRVO.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Cayuga Indian Nation will have to continue to sort out a leadership dispute on its own, as the federal government has declined to make a ruling.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has decided that on an interim basis, it will continue to recognize the 2006 leadership structure of the Cayuga, which places Clint Halftown as the federal representative for the nation.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A student holds a stack of laminated cards, each with a picture of a household item. She works her way through the cards, identifying each picture in Oneida.

The Oneida language is being taught the old fashioned way in a community room on nation territory. Flashcards for repetition and nearly every item in the room is labeled with its name in Oneida.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A gas station owned by the Cayuga Nation along Cayuga Lake is in different hands and back open as a fight over control of nation enterprises continues.

Supporters of Clint Halftown, the man who claims to be the rightful federal representative of the nation, re-took the Union Springs Lakeside Trading post early Monday morning.

The Unity Council, the group that says it's in charge under nation law, reported 75 people overran the store and injured its supporters "peacefully" occupying the building.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation continues to work its way through bureaucracy, with state courts and the federal government both soon to weigh in.

This week two county courts - Seneca and Cayuga counties - declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Clint Halftown, who claims he is still the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga. That title allows him to control federal money and the nation’s business interests.

The flare up in events is a boiling over of a decade-old dispute among senior members of the Cayuga, who disagree over who controls the nation and its business interests.

Cayuga Nation leadership dispute heading to court

May 6, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The decade-old leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation that flared up last week is heading to the courts.

Clint Halftown, who claims to be the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga, filed lawsuits against a group of chiefs and clan mothers who say they are in charge of the nation.

That group, who call themselves the Unity Council, moved last week to take control of two nation-run gas stations and office buildings in the Finger Lakes.

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined the details of his plan to site three gambling casinos upstate Thursday. Cuomo, joined by union and business leaders, and representatives from county governments, offered more details of his plan to build three new gambling casinos. Cuomo says he wants to limit the locations to upstate regions for now, to prop up the failing economy. The governor says upstate needs jobs like it needs oxygen. And he says having a downstate location would devalue the upstate centers.

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During his State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered more details on a plan for casino gambling in New York state. If the governor gets his way, the proposed new casinos would come to upstate first.