The Cayuga Nation operates the Gakwiyo Garden in Seneca Falls, New York. Photo: Cayuga Nation
National | Politics

Cayuga Nation leadership finally recognized by Bureau of Indian Affairs

A faction of the Cayuga Nation is claiming victory after benig recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as the legitimate leaders of the tribe.

According to the BIA, the recognized council consists of Clint Halftown, Timothy Twoguns, Gary Wheeler, Michael Barringer and Donald Jimerson. They represent the faction that has long claimed to be in control of the tribe.

“On behalf of the citizens of the Cayuga Nation, we are greatly pleased by this decision. It signifies an end to the bitter turmoil created by dissident members of our Nation,” Halftown said in a press release on Friday. “More important, it represents a new beginning where we can all work together to the betterment of our people.”

But a rival group intends to challenge the decision, an attorney told The Finger Lake Times. The so-called Unity Council has been at odds with Halftown for years and the BIA at one point didn't treat either faction as legitimate.

“This is yet another improper ruling both procedurally and substantively and it will be appealed,’’ attorney Joe Heath told the paper

Mike Black, the "acting" Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs made the decision to recognize Halftown's faction on Thursday. He's held that title since January 20 because President Donald Trump has yet to nominate a permanent leader for the BIA.

Read More on the Story:
Halftown faction gets nod to lead Cayugas (The Finger Lake Times 7/16)
Federal government upholds decision on Cayuga Nation leadership (The Auburn Citizen 7/15)
Seneca County taking Cayugas to court (The Finger Lake Times 7/7)
Cayugas awarded proceeds in suit (The Finger Lake Times 6/30)

Related Stories:
Cayuga Nation accuses citizens of fraud for opening up smokeshop (August 18, 2016)
Editorial: Bureau of Indian Affairs enables Cayuga Nation dispute (August 8, 2016)
Cayuga Nation embroiled in yet another internal leadership crisis (August 5, 2016)