Sen. Schumer demanding investigation after buildings demolished in Cayuga Nation

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — It’s been decades of ongoing issues and conflicts involving the Cayuga Indian Nation, including disputes of properties and leadership. The two primary factions, Clint Halftown and his leadership and the Unity Council.

On Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer said he is demanding a federal investigation by the Department of Justice and the Interior Department after several buildings were demolished on Cayuga Nation property over the weekend.

“We got to figure out what law was violated and then they’ll take appropriate action… I’m demanding a federal investigation by both the Department of Justice and the Interior Department to find out what happen and prosecute anyone who broke the law,” Sen. Schumer said.

He said once the investigation is complete and the departments determine what federal laws have been violated, those involved will be prosecuted.

Members of the Unity Council are hurting, but are searching for ways to pick up the pieces. They’re hoping to come to a peaceful resolution.

“Such destruction is very unnecessary. I feel like he did this to be a bully, and while we are going to recover and rebuild from this, I just wish there was a more peaceful way we could’ve come to this decision without this destruction,” said Leanna Young, community spokesperson of the Cayuga Nation.

On Sunday afternoon, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors called a special meeting to discuss the actions taken by Clint Halftown’s faction.

“We had to do something and we did do that and they’re good resolutions. It’s going to send a message to the Bureau of Indian affairs, the federal government and to the citizens we are concerned about the outcome of this situation,” said Robert Hayssen, Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors.

The faction under Clint Halftown said it used tribal law to seize and demolish those buildings.


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