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What's up with the Cayuga Land Claim ?

The most frequently asked questions about the Cayuga land claim are:

1- What's going on? Everything has been quiet for a long time.

2- Isn't it over?

3- Didn't the judge remove eviction of land owners as a possibility? What is there to worry about now?

The situation as it stands at this moment:

In February 2000, a jury awarded the Cayugas $36.9 million in damages. Judge McCurn then held a hearing on whether to award interest on the damages award. After the hearing Judge McCurn increased the damages to a total of $247.9 million. This judgment is now on appeal to the United States District Court for the Second Circuit. Copies of some of the Appellate Briefs filed with the Court of Appeals are available below. Despite the payments made to the Cayuga Indians by the State of New York and the acceptance of the payment on the part of the Cayuga Indians, despite the fact the Cayuga Indians left the 64,015-acre area, the opinion of one federal court judge is the Cayuga Indians have a claim to this land. That decision is why the State of New York, the counties of Cayuga and Seneca, and their residents are burdened with court costs and the stress concerning validity of title to lands that were bought in good faith over 200 years ago.

Many people think the jury's award ended the case, it didn't. Judge McCurn held his own trial in July of 2000. Some people think that because property owners were severed as a party to the case, there is nothing to worry about. Property owners can be introduced as a party again at any time. Property owners can also be sued by the Canadian Cayugas in the future. The Cayugas have repeatedly stated that property owners could be reinstated as a party to the case in the future and eviction would be considered as far as they are concerned.

In February 2000, a jury awarded the Cayugas $36.9 million in damages. Judge McCurn then held a hearing on whether to award interest on the damages award. After the hearing Judge McCurn increased the damages to a total of $247.9 million. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed and vacated this ruling and dismissed the Land Claim. The Plaintiff's are now seeking for this case to be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court, copies of some of the Appellate Briefs filed with the Court of Appeals are available by clicking here. Despite the payments made to the Cayuga Indians by the State of New York and the acceptance of the payment on the part of the Cayuga Indians, despite the fact the Cayuga Indians left the 64,015-acre area, the opinion of one federal court judge is the Cayuga Indians have a claim to this land. That decision is why the State of New York, the counties of Cayuga and Seneca, and their residents are burdened with court costs and the stress concerning validity of title to lands that were bought in good faith over 200 years ago.

We ask, isn't having well educated children a very good factor?

Recently, the Senca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma has purchased land in the Town of Aurelius. They assert that since the court held in the Land Claim case that it was their land, they are entitled to open a "Bingo" hall there free from state and local building codes, fire codes, health codes and zoning laws. The Town, County and State initiated various proceedings to halt this from happening. Recently Judge McCurn stated that he would determine the suit without a trial. He now says that he will allow the municipalities to introduce evidence on whether or not the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahome was a part of the Cayuga Nation at the time of the treaties. "They have impressed me that I ought to at least take some proof on that question," McCurn said. It is ironic that proof should have been taken on it in the land claim case that he allowed the Seneca-Cayuga's to intervene in.

Situations can include:

1- Re-recognition of tribes that were terminated.

2- Establishing new reservations.

3- Expansion of existing reservations by implementing land claims and or demanding annexation.

4- A proliferation of new Indian owned gambling casinos bringing with them financial and social burdens to the surrounding non-Indian communities.

5-Water rights disputes.

6- Judicial disputes.

7- Taxation of non-Indians imposed by Indians.

8- Public utility companies controlled by Indians.

9- Hunting, fishing and gathering rights disputes

10- Non-payment of property taxes by Indians even when the land is not reservation land.

11- Non-payment of state taxes on sales to the general public.

To raise awareness of just what is happening in the United States and how our Federal government is using our tax dollars to work against its citizens, UCE will post short articles on it's web site to alert readers, so they can research further news that affects them.

Check UCE's web site often for news briefs, updated events listings and addresses for government representatives.

It is important that our elected officials hear from us about land claims, gambling casino concerns, equal rights for all under one set of laws and any other subject you want to bring up to them.

They need to hear from us or they forget about us!

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