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U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating Cayuga Nation of Indians dispute in Seneca County

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — U.S. Attorney of Western New York James Kennedy has released a statement regarding the Cayuga Nation of Indians dispute in Seneca County.

Kennedy says the U.S. Attorney’s Office is working with other groups to collect information in connection to events that took place last weekend.

MORE | Cayuga Nation divided after buildings demolished over the weekend

Early Saturday morning several buildings in Seneca Falls — including an ice cream stand and the Cayuga Lake Trading Store gas station — were seized by the Cayuga Nation and partially demolished.

In a statement, the Cayuga Nation said they were taking back properties that were seized from them in 2014. The Nation said the buildings were demolished for public safety reasons.

Full statement

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York shares the public’s concerns regarding the impact that this internal dispute within the Cayuga Nation of Indians has on the public safety of all members of our community. My Office, together with the Department of Justice — Office of Tribal Justice (DOJ-OTJ), and other DOJ components, is collecting information regarding the pre-dawn events of February 22, 2020, and assessing whether any violations of applicable law occurred. We are engaged in ongoing discussions with Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), regarding both the circumstances giving rise to the incident, the incident itself, and potential responses. In addition, we have requested the assistance of both BIA as well as DOJ’s Community Relations Service (CRS) in the dispute. Across the Department of Justice, our paramount objective is the preservation of public safety. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners in pursuit of that goal, as we do all that we can to ensure that all involved exhibit respect not only for applicable law — but for one another as well.”

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