That didn’t take long.
The Interior Board of Indian Appeals Thursday denied an appeal by a group of Cayuga Indian Nation members who challenged a decision to name the Cayuga Nation Council, led by Clint Halftown, as the official governing body of the tribe.
The appeal was filed July 28 by Unity Council attorney Joseph Heath of Syracuse. The Unity Council faction claims they are the proper leaders of the Nation, properly chosen by clan mothers.
Heath said that the July 14 decision to recognize the Halftown faction was made by Michael Black, who was removed from his position as acting assistant secretary for Indian Affairs June 28 and transferred to another position with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Heath argued that Black did not have the authority to make that decision.
The appeals board apparently disagreed and upheld Black’s decision. The Cayuga Nation Council consists of Halftown, Tim Twoguns, Gary Wheeler, Donald Jimerson and Michael Barringer.