Seneca-Cayuga cigarette factory shut down

A leadership dispute has led to the shutdown of the tobacco factory owned by the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma.

Chief Paul Spicer authorized the closure of the factory, citing a lack of materials to make tobacco products and frozen bank accounts. But he was disputed by Second Chief Sharon “Katie” Birdsong and Secretary-Treasurer Kay Crow-Ellison.

Spicer blamed the frozen accounts on Crow-Ellison and said she was acting on behalf of losing candidates in the tribe's recent election. Spicer won a second term but protests have been filed.

Crow-Ellison denied there were any financial issues. She said the Bureau of Indian Affairs is withholding federal funds as a result of election challenges. Spicer said the tribe's relationship with the BIA remains intact.

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Recent election cited in dispute between Seneca-Cayuga factions (The Joplin Globe 6/27)

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Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco Company -

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