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Cayuga Nation citizens create legal fund against federally recognized leadership

In an effort to counteract the leadership of Clint Halftown, the Cayuga Nation’s citizens have initiated a legal defense fund. This move, announced by the Cayuga Council of Chiefs who oppose Halftown, aims to support those facing persecution by the federally recognized leader. The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Legal Defense Fund seeks to challenge the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ recognition of Halftown since 2016, assisting attorneys representing the council and its traditional members.


Recent actions by Halftown’s council, including the eviction of a 20-year-old nation citizen and the demolition of buildings linked to his opponents, have intensified the dispute. The Council of Chiefs also highlighted a blockade of the Finger Lakes Drive-In, owned by a Halftown critic, as part of these “traumatizing interferences.”

The legal fund, aiming to raise $200,000, had garnered over $6,000 from 104 donors by Monday. This initiative underscores the ongoing legal and social strife within the Cayuga Nation, with both sides seeking resolution through the courts. For more details on the defense fund, the public is directed to its fundraising page.