Seneca seeks protection in Cayugas’ property transfer

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Department would have to enforce a court order transferring Cayuga Indian Nation properties from one tribal faction to another.

If that transition doesn’t go smoothly and conflict and possibly violence erupt, the county’s law enforcement personnel and budget could be stretched thin.

In 2014, one faction forcefully took over the Seneca Falls LakeSide Trading convenience store and gas station, tribal headquarters and other properties from the other faction and there was confrontations, including one that involved the shooting and wounding of two people.

Ths latest transition would have the Unity Council turn over LakeSide Trading and other properties it took over in 2014 to the faction headed by Clint Halftown.

Acting State Supreme Court and Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender ordered the transition Sept. 18, based on a recent Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decision that Halftown should be the federally recognized leader of the Cayuga Indian Nation.

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