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State, Cayuga nation settle land claim

After decades of litigation, a settlement agreement has been reached between the state and the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York to settle the Cayuga Indian Land Claim, develop a Catskills casino and establish retail tax parity, Gov. George Pataki announced today.
Pataki and Nation representative Clint Halftown signed the formal settlement agreement, which must now be approved by the U.S. Congress and state Legislature.
“This agreement between the state and nation is a comprehensive resolution to a dispute that has caused substantial unrest and uncertainty for the people of the Finger Lakes region and Central New York,” Pataki said in a statement.
Under the agreement, the state will be able to move forward with plans to build a second casino in the Catskill region, which Pataki said should create thousands of new jobs and boost the region’s economy, plus establish retail tax parity between Cayuga and non-Cayuga vendors.
“After being landless for 200 years and in litigation with the state of New York for 25 years, the Cayuga Nation is delighted that our long banishment from our ancestral lands appears to be ending,” Halftown said.
Last week, Pataki and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, the other plaintiff in the land claim, announced a separate agreement to settle the land claim and develop another casino in the town of Thompson, Sullivan County.

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