DAILY DEBRIEF: Are local leaders engaging in international affairs when dealing with the Cayuga Nation conflict?

Ken Wolkin, a master’s student at the University of Washington’s Department of Geography, has been closely following FingerLakes1.com’s extensive leading coverage ever since the rekindling of the Cayuga Nation’s land dispute.

This summer, Wolkin drove cross-country from Seattle to Seneca Falls just to see the infamous site along State Route 89 where 12 properties stood on Cayuga Nation territory.

Upon the ruins and remains of an entire community, a brawl ensued between Haudenosaunee protesters and the Cayuga Nation police force following a press conference back in late February.

Tensions reach breaking point in Seneca Falls over Cayuga Nation leadership

Wolkin, a former Rochester resident, who already co-authored a scholarly academic journal article alongside Joseph Nevins titled “‘No Sovereign Nation, No Reservation’: Producing the New Colonialism in Cayuga Count(r)y” in the Territory Politics Governance back in 2016 “interrogates the discourse of UCE [Upstate Citizens for Equality], and its allies and antecedents, one that effectively nationalizes the Cayugas by producing them as ‘normal’ US citizens, as well as that of the federal courts,” according to his abstract.

Federal government rules against Cayuga Nation’s land-into-trust application in Cayuga, Seneca counties

But now, four years later, Wolkin has returned to the region in the hopes of pursuing a possible thesis project for his master’s program that focuses on the latest conflict from this winter and Department of Interior’s historic decision to deny of the Nation’s land-into-trust application nearly eight months after the violence erupted.