The Cayuga Indian Nation stand-off in Seneca Falls continues.
Clint Halftown and his federally recognized nation council have been working to evict nation members, many of whom make up the group formerly called the Unity Council, from a gas station and convenience store and other properties.
The latest court order-handed down this week by Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender provides a kind of insurance on the properties while a federal court in Washington D.C. considers a challenge filed against the Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognizing Halftown’s council as the nation’s leaders.
According to the Auburn Citizen, Bender has ordered both parties to post bond on the properties within a week. The defendants, which currently occupy the Seneca Falls stores, are to post $2 million. If they do, Halftown will be required to post $2.1 million dollars and the defendants can remain in the properties for at least a year. If the defendants, represented by Syracuse attorney Joseph Heath, do not, the original court order requiring the properties to be vacated will be upheld. The defendants will be evicted, and Halftown and his council will post $50,000 bond on the properties while the federal court makes its decision.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, recognized Halftown and his council as the nation’s government leaders in a July decision. Heath challenged that decision at the end of September.