Litigation | New York

Cayuga Nation hails decision affecting gaming on ancestral land



The Cayuga Nation will still be able to pursue gaming on its ancestral land in New York after a federal judge approved a settlement with a fellow tribe.

The Cayuga Nation owns land in two counties. A dispute arose when the state and the Oneida Nation reached a settlement that included Cayuga County as exclusive Oneida territory for purposes of Class III gaming.

The Cayugas went to court to block the provision. In response, the Oneidas agreed to waive any claim to exclusivity in Cayuga County.

“The Cayuga Nation is extremely gratified by this decision which essentially provides the Nation with everything it was requesting in this case,” Clint Halftown, the tribe's representative, said in a press release. “We’re pleased that our rights over our lands were upheld by this ruling."

The waiver in the Oneida Nation settlement follows:
To address the Cayuga Nation’s objection [to the Settlement Agreement], the Oneida Nation hereby forever waives its rights to enforce, and will not enforce, Section IV of the settlement agreement with regard to (a) the installation and operation of Casino Gaming and Gaming Devices by the Cayuga Nation pursuant to the IGRA on land within the boundaries of the area claimed by the Cayuga Nation to constitute its reservation acknowledged in Article II of the Treaty of Canandaigua or (b) negotiation or execution by the State of New York of a compact with the Cayuga Nation for such gaming rights in conformance with 25 U.S.C. § 2710(d)(3)(A). The Oneida Nation understands that it is, and intends to be, permanently bound by its waiver. The Oneida Nation further understands, upon the Court’s approval of the parties’ stipulation based in part on the Oneida Nation’s waiver, that the Oneida Nation is and forever will be judicially estopped to take a different or contrary position. The Oneida Nation requests that its foregoing enforcement waiver be incorporated by reference in the Court’s Order of dismissal, and the United States and the State join in that request.

Turtle Talk has posted the decision in the case, New York v. Jewell.

Get the Story:
Federal judge approves Oneida Nation's agreement with New York; won't affect Cayuga County's gaming rights (The Auburn Citizen 3/5)
Cayuga Nation: Oneida nation-New York settlement lets us build Cayuga County casino (The Syracuse Post-Standard 3/5)
Court approves New York gaming deal with Oneidas, Cayugas win too (CNY Central News 3/4)

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USET backs Cayuga Nation's right to gaming on ancestral land (11/11)