Interior official says Halftown is Cayuga leader ‘for all purposes’

Clint Halftown and the Cayuga Nation Council he heads is the recognized leadership of the Cayuga Indian Nation for all purposes, not just to sign federal contracts, Halftown said in a Monday statement.

Halftown cited a Nov. 14 letter to Cayuga Nation Council attorney David DeBruin as binding. DeBruin sought clarification of 2016 and 2017 decisions, noting that some parties have argued that those decisions reaffirmed Halftown’s claim to leadership as only applying to enter into contracts with the federal government.

Those questions were raised by the Cayuga Nation Council of Chiefs and Clan Mothers, also known as the Unity Council, which opposed Halftown’s leadership claim.

Tara Sweeney, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior, issued the clarification.

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