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Denial of Cayuga land-into-trust application could be overturned

The federal government is considering reversing its denial of the Cayuga Indian Nation’s land-into-trust application.

The Citizen quotes Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland as saying the Cayugas submitted “new information” concerning the application that has him reconsidering the rejection. The Interior Department turned down the Cayugas’ application to place 114 acres it owns in Union Springs into trust in 2020, saying doing so would cause more problems between factions of the Cayuga Nation.

The Nation sued, challenging the ruling. A declaration filed in US District Court in the District of Columbia contained the new information. The suit is now on hold and Newland says he’ll issue a new ruling in about six months. The Cayugas first filed to put the land into trust in 2005. The US Supreme Court ruled that land purchased by Indian tribes or Nations on the open market would not automatically be granted trust status, that instead, land-into-trust applications must be approved by the federal government.