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Cayuga Nation announces land claim and casino deal

The Cayuga Nation of New York would receive $247.9 million, sovereign rights on 10,000 acres and a casino in the Catskills under a settlement with the state that was announced on Thursday.

In exchange, the tribe would relinquish all claims to 64,000 acres illegally transferred to the state, pay $3 million a year to affected counties, negotiate service agreements with local governments and enter into a "tax parity" compact with the state regarding the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, gas and other goods to non-Indians.

The deal, announced by tribal representative Timothy Twoguns and Gov. George Pataki (R), requires approval from the federal government. It also requires Congress to ratify all the illegal land transactions while providing the tribe with the ability to purchase 10,000 acres within its treaty area. Additional lands can be purchased with the approval of local officials.

The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, also a party to the land claim litigation, was not included in the negotiations. But a separate deal could be announced soon, according to news reports. The tribe is asserting sovereign rights in the treaty area as well.

The land/tax deal mirrors one Pataki made with the Oneida Nation but which fell apart because other Oneida tribes weren't included.

The amount of the Cayuga Nation deal, $247.9 million, is the amount a federal judge awarded the tribes for the stolen land. The tribes have appealed, saying they are owed $1.7 billion for the land, interest and other costs.

Get the Story:
Deal would link casino with Indian land claim (The Albany Times-Union 6/11)
Pataki announces Cayuga Raceway casino agreement (Ottaway News Service 6/11)
A deal for city casino could be closer (The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 6/11)
State & tribe ready to roll on Catskills casino (New York Daily News 6/11)
New pact would spur casino in Catskills (AP 6/11)
Catskills Casino Advances in Deal Between Tribe and State (The New York Times 6/11)
State to pay Cayugas $248 million for land (The Buffalo News 6/11)

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