Unity Council says supporters injured in hostile takeover

Below is a release from the Cayuga Indian Nation Unity Council regarding Monday’s takeover at the Cayuga’s Lakeside Trading Gas Station in Union Springs…Early Monday morning, Cayuga leaders learned that Clint Halftown’s hired mercenaries were forcibly taking over the Lakeside Trading store in Union Springs. Between 5:15 am and 6:30 am on Monday, over 75 men arrived at the store, dismantled fences and forced entry. They attacked at least five unarmed Cayuga Nation supporters, men and women, who required medical attention for injuries sustained as they stood their ground.The store had been peacefully occupied by Cayuga Nation Unity Council supporters for nearly two months. They occupied the store because Mr. Halftown no longer has any leadership role in the Nation under Cayuga law and no right to take the profits from Nation businesses.Cayuga Nation Unity Council government offices and other businesses, including the Lakeside Trading store in Seneca Falls, were closed Monday as a precaution. What this means for the Cayuga Nation:The Unity Council, the Nation’s lawful government, remains in control over Lakeside Trading in Seneca Falls and the Cayuga Nation offices. The proceeds of Lakeside Trading in Seneca Falls support a variety of social services provided to Cayuga citizens by the Cayuga Nation Unity Council. These include a transportation service to assist Cayugas in attending medical appointments, a Housing department to assist Cayugas in finding homes, and a language program to ensure the survival of the Cayuga language. “We will not allow this violent takeover to impede the growth of our Nation or to damage our relations with the surrounding communities,” Cayuga Nation Bear Clan Chief Sam George noted. “It is our responsibility as leaders to continue to work for our people, even in the face of this kind of lawlessness.”Halftown’s abuse of power over the past decade has been a source of strife for the Cayuga Nation, one that the Cayuga Nation Council has been working for years to fix. He was stripped of authority in 2005, an action that was affirmed by consensus of the Nation Council in 2011. In May of 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs clarified by letter that it no longer recognizes Mr. Halftown as the “federal representative” of the Cayuga Nation. “We will not give up in our efforts to maintain our traditional government and serve our people,” stated Dan Hill, Seat Warmer for the Heron Clan.

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