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Cayuga Nation divided after buildings demolished over the weekend

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SENECA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR) — It’s been a tumultuous few days on the Cayuga Nation. There is now word that nation chiefs are set to meet this Saturday in Seneca Falls after a longhouse, schoolhouse, daycare, and corner store were demolished early Saturday, raided by the Cayuga Nation Police.

NewsChannel 9’s Josh martin spoke with Cayuga families who are now trying to pick up the pieces. 

“They came in and zip-tied me at about two in the morning.”

He could only watch as the building came down.

So much has happened on the Cayuga Nation in such a short time. Protests, an emergency meeting of local representatives, and plenty of finger-pointing.

All the people NewsChannel 9 has spoken with blame Clint Halftown, Cayuga Nation’s federal representative, for the destruction here. He claims he had the right to do so under tribal law. 

“He might have taken down buildings but he hasn’t taken our hearts,” Michelle Seneca said.

Seneca has watched it all unfold. She described what the weekend was like. 

“Stressful. Very stressful. But we are thankful for the other nations that have come to help us,” Seneca said.

She, other Cayugas, and their lawyers can only wait now. 

The United States Marshal Service and the FBI are now investigating what happened. 

NewsChannel 9 has reached out to Clint Halftown and have not heard back. 

This incident has now reached the federal level. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a federal investigation by the Department of Justice and the Interior Department.

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