An article published today on Fingerlakes1.com that continued the outlet’s campaign of bias and misinformation against the Cayuga Nation and the Cayuga Nation Police Department (CNPD)’s legitimacy contained information that was verifiably false.
The Cayuga Nation today confirmed the inaccuracy of the statements after speaking directly with the Bureau of Indian Affairs representative mentioned in the article.
Cayuga Nation Police Department Superintendent Mark Lincoln spoke with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) today. During that conversation, the BIA confirmed that the Cayuga Nation has every right to enforce tribal law within its reservation, as it made clear in June 2019.
Additionally, during Mr. Lincoln’s conversation with the BIA, he also confirmed that Charles Bowman never spoke to BIA Special Agent in Charge Terrell Leonard—only a randomly assigned agent responding to inbound inquiries. Special Agent Leonard also noted that he has not spoken to Mr. Bowman since February 2020.
“Fingerlakes1 has long pushed a false narrative about the Cayuga Nation, its leadership, and the legitimacy of its police department and today’s article is only the latest in its blatantly false and factually inaccurate coverage,” said Cayuga Nation leader Clint Halftown. “It is appalling that Mr. Pietrorazio continues his attempts to delegitimize the Cayuga Nation Police Department and prop up violent criminals who pose a threat to the Cayuga Nation and the community at large. Attempting to undermine legitimate law enforcement authorities is not only anti-Indian, but dangerous to public safety. That Fingerlakes1 continues to employ Mr. Pietrorazio as its ‘Indigenous Affairs Editor’ tells you everything you need to know about their dedication to reporting accurate stories.”
On January 1, 2022, the CNPD enforced an order issued by the Cayuga Nation Civil Court against the operators of Pipekeepers, Tobacco & Gas. The court order prohibited the operation of an unauthorized business representing itself as a Cayuga Nation enterprise and called for the seizure of the property and all inventory. The police operation was successfully carried out in the early morning hours in an effort to ensure it remained as peaceful and smooth as possible, and that the premises would be fully unoccupied. Federal, state and local law enforcement were notified in advance. One of the store’s former operators, Nora Weber, was first arrested by CNPD. She stabbed and injured a CNPD officer during her arrest. She later was charged by the Seneca Falls Police Department with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. At the same time that they arrested Ms. Weber, the CNPD arrested and charged Dustin Parker for trespassing and resisting arrest. The CNPD is investigating other potential crimes related to the operation of the Pipekeepers store and the events that transpired on January 1, 2022.
About the Cayuga Nation
The Cayuga Nation (Nation) is a federally recognized sovereign Indian nation established in 1794 by the Treaty of Canandaigua. The Nation’s sovereign and federally protected 64,015-acre reservation is located in Seneca and Cayuga Counties in the State of New York. The Cayuga Nation Council, led by Clint Halftown, Tim Twoguns, Gary Wheeler, Donald Jimerson and Michael Barringer, serves as the official governing body for the entire Nation. With more than 500 members across the country, the Cayuga Nation and its leadership provide national benefits to Cayuga Nation members, including financial support, cultural enrichment opportunities, food distribution and community events, among other benefits. These activities have allowed Cayuga Nation citizens to return to their homeland with an opportunity for housing and employment, which helps preserve the Cayuga Nation’s culture.