Seneca Approves 1-Rejects 1 Landclaim Agreement

Meeting in a special session Tuesday night, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of one agreement to settle the Cayuga Indian Landclaim and voted against a second landclaim agreement. The two votes were unanimous among the 13-supervisors, Covert Supervisor Brayton Foster did not attend the meetiing.The supervisors approved a resolution that supports the agreement between the State of New York and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. That agreement includes remedies and forms of relief to Seneca and Cayuga counties including paying outstanding property taxes to the counties, the tribe gives up it’s sovereign nation status, and they would be subject to local and state taxes.The board then voted to withhold endorsement of the settlement agreement between the State of New York and the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York because that agreement doesn’t include the remedies related to taxes and sovereignty issues.Board Chairman Robert Shipley spoke for the the entire board when he said the resolutions pertained to the agreements made between the state and the tribes last November. Shipley and several other lawmakers stressed prior to their vote that they did not support casino gambling and the concept of Indian sovereignty in New York State.County Attorney Steven Getman told the board that any Indian casino in New York State would in fact be considered sovereign territory because that’s the only way casinos can exist in the state.The supervisors are also planning to re-introduce several resolutions relating to the landclaim issues at their February meeting. Those resolutions will call for the state to collect sales tax from tribes, hold the counties harmless and allow non-profit groups to provide gambling on par with the tribes.The Cayuga Indians filed their landclaim lawsuit in 1980 seeking the return of 64,000 acres of land in Cayuga and Seneca Counties and they asked for $350 million dollars.The Cayuga County Legislature is also voting on settlement resolutions tonight.


Also on FingerLakes1.com