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National
New York GOP says tribes 'sit around the campfire'


New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, a Republican, is drawing fire for saying that tribal leaders make decisions "around the campfire."

Bruno praised the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision that threw out the 64,000-acre Cayuga land claim. He said the Cayuga Nation of New York and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, the plaintiffs, weren't united.

According to The Albany-Times Union, Bruno said the Cayugas are "split, and the chief and some of the others who sit around the campfire or whatever they do, split. OK? So they are not unified. If they're not unified, we're not going to move for them. And I don't say that disparagingly. That's what we do in government now. We don't sit around the fire, we sit around a table with the lights and the daylight doing on-time budgets."

Tribal representatives are calling on Bruno to apologize or step down. Bruno derailed a land claim settlement with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York because two Wisconsin tribes weren't included. His son is lobbying for one of those tribes, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

Get the Story:
Bruno comments spur demand for apology (The Albany Times-Union 7/1)

Cayuga Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. New York (June 28, 2005)

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

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