Hearings on New York land claim deals continue

A second round of hearings on deals to settle five tribal land claims was held by the New York Assembly on Friday.

Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter testified against the proposal. He said it would lead to more litigation because his tribe was not included. The Oneida Nation, based in New York, opposes settlements with out-of-state tribes.

Bob Chicks, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans from Wisconsin, testified in favor of the deal. His tribe would receive a casino in the Catskills in exchange for dropping its claim.

LeRoy Howard, chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, also supported the settlement. The tribe would receive a Catskills casino as well.

Gov. George Pataki (R) settled the Oneida, Cayuga and Mohawk land claims for gaming rights, land, hunting rights and other concessions. The deal requires state and federal approval.

Two more Assembly hearings are planned. Republicans in the state Senate concluded their hearings on Wednesday.

Get the Story:
Hearing focuses on land claim pacts (The Oneida Dispatch 3/14)
Land deals draw various reactions (The Syracuse Post-Standard 3/12)
Oneidas' leader predicts further lawsuits if proposal passes (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 3/12)

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