Tribe Could Claim Sovereignty On 10,000 Acres

The deal to end the 24-year old Cayuga Indian Landclaim signed today be Governor George Pataki and Clint Halftown of the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York could one day provide the tribe with 10,000 acres of land in Seneca and Cayuga counties.The settlement calls for the appeal filed by the defendants to continue until all possible avenues of judicial review have been exercised. If the tribe wins, they will receive $150 million dollars and according to the governor’s press release “the Nation may possess and exercise sovereignty on up to 10,000 acres land within the Claim Area acquired from willing sellers, by gift or by transfer.”If the appeal goes in favor of the state, then no money will be paid to the New York Cayuga’s and the tribe would be allowed to “exercise of sovereignty on any land within the Claim Area other than up to 2,500 acres total contained in no more than three parcels each in Seneca County and Cayuga County (“Counties”) with all lands in each parcel to be contiguous.”The agreement also calls on the tribe to negotiate with local government for fire, police, and other municpal services. Seneca and Cayuga counties will be paid for the loss of land. According to the release “In order to mitigate the economic impact on the Counties of removing Cayuga Treaty Land from the real property tax rolls, the agreement provides for the State and Nation each to annually contribute the sum of $3 million for the benefit of the Counties. “Gov. Pataki last week signed an agreement with the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma to settle their share of the landclaim.


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