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News stories tagged with "cayuga"

Tribes on cigarette tax

Indian tribes are banding together to fight New York's attempt to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores. Billed as an historic gathering of the six nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy, chiefs from the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora Nations met outside Rochester today.

In a joint statement, they called New York "a foreign nation". And they called the Paterson Administration's move to collect cigarette taxes on reservations "an effort to erode our sovereignty."

The meeting comes a day after the Seneca Nation sued New York in U.S. District Court to block the tax collection.

Paterson says the taxes would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the cash-strapped state. The tax collection is scheduled to begin on September 1st.

The last time New York tried to collect the tobacco taxes on native lands, members of the Seneca Nation burned tires on the New York State Thruway, shutting down New York's main east-west highway.  Go to full article

Cayuga Decision Clouds Mohawk Claim

The ruling on the Cayuga land claim could also endanger the Akwesasne Mohawks claim to 22,000 acres of land in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties. That case was almost settled. The Mohawks stood to get $100 million, the right to double the size of its reservation near Massena, and the first chance to build a casino in the Catskills. The state Assembly, both county legislatures, and three Mohawk tribal councils have all signed off on the deal. Governor Pataki was prepared to sign it into law when the State Senate failed to act last week. Jim Ransom, chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, says he's disappointed with the latest turn of events. To learn more about the federal court's ruling on the Cayuga land claim, David Sommerstein spoke with Robert Odawi Porter. He's a law professor at Syracuse University and directs the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance, and Citizenship. Porter says the Cayuga decision is derived from the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the Oneida Nation. That one said the Oneidas are not immune from taxation on land it had bought in central New York.  Go to full article

Sorting Out Land Claim, Casino Deals

In the past month, Governor Pataki has announced four deals with native tribes to resolve land claims and build casino resorts in the Catskills. Three of those agreements are with tribes from outside New York. A fifth casino deal could pop up if the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe approves a proposed land claim settlement. The deals push the number of casino plans beyond the number approved by the legislature. The Governor wants the legislature to accommodate the new plans. Martha Foley talks with David Sommerstein to sort it all out.  Go to full article

Disecting the Cayuga Land Claim & Casino Deal

Last week Governor Pataki and the Cayuga Nation, based in the Finger Lakes region, announced an agreement in principle on land claims and a casino in the Catskills. New York would pay the Cayugas $247.9 million to settle its decades old land claim lawsuit. The money would come from the state's share of gaming revenues from a casino resort the Cayugas would build in the Catskills. The Cayugas could then use that money to buy up to 10,000 acres of land. The deal would also establish tax parity between Cayuga-owned gas and tobacco stores and non-native stores. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, near Massena, signed a similar pact just over a year ago. But a tribal referendum killed the deal. David Sommerstein spoke with Jon Parmenter, a history professor at Cornell University and an expert in Iroquois history and politics. He says there are important differences between the Mohawk and Cayuga situations.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Seek to Limit Tribal Jurisdiction

Across the country, some native tribes are buying land far from their reservations with the intent of opening gambling ventures there. New York's congressional delegation is proposing a bill that would curtail the practice, which lawmakers are calling "reservation shopping". The legislation stems from a dispute over a bingo hall the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Oklahoma wants to build in the Finger Lakes area. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

New York Looks to Native Sales for Cash

Seeking more revenue for the budget, the state legislature passed a bill requiring the collection of sales tax on non-natives purchases at native stores. Tribes in New York - and Governor Pataki - say it's unenforceable. But as David Sommerstein reports, the St. Regis Mohawks may be proposing a middle ground.  Go to full article

Cayuga Nation Partners for Catskills Casino

After years of internal debate, the landless Cayuga Nation is partnering with a developer to build a casino in the Catskills. It's the same developer that was snubbed by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe three years ago. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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