ANNOUNCEMENT: We are no longer inviting donations through this fundraiser. Please consider becoming a donor supporting the new Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Legal Defense Fund at www.givebutter.com/gayogohono.
If you are in Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ territory, you can also join a gathering to support the legal defense fund this Sunday, Feb 4th from 2:30-5:30 pm at Foundation of Light in Ithaca, NY. Find more information here.
This is a fundraiser for those who wish to support the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Nation citizens who are having their wages garnished by BIA representative, Clint Halftown.
For further context, below is a statement written by a Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Nation member.
Gayogoho:no’ (Cayuga Nation) Member
Our current Federal Representatives for the Cayuga Nation of New York do not follow, respect, or acknowledge any of our traditions our cultural ways. This also goes for Sharon Leroy who has made herself a “Lifetime Secretary”. Clint Halftown’s and Sharon Leroy’s self-appointed council is like living under a dictator. For example, all of us who oppose his regime have had our annuity checks stripped from them for not bending the knee to him. They also no longer keep us on the mailing list for newsletters about what the Cayuga Nation of New York is doing, I am assuming because the newsletter is just propaganda. We are also prevented from attending any of the Nation’s social gatherings and events, both pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. Furthermore, Halftown did not allow us any access to the Covid relief funds and other benefits – I know that those funds were granted by the US Government, and they should have been available to all of us. Halftown always paints us traditional Gayogoho:no’ people as disobedient “dissidents”, but we are really just trying to live according to our custom and tradition.
They [Clint & administration] disguise their oppression towards their people with misleading opportunities and improvements on behalf of the Cayuga Nation of New York. In reality they don’t mention or acknowledge our true Chiefs and Clan Mothers, but instead they use illusion and deception to get their way. Instead of using treaty rights the way they should be, they use them for personal gain for their corrupt personal agenda. We have been trying to deal with this problem for years but our cries for help fall onto deaf ears when the people want the rightful change to happen.
In the 6 years I’ve been living here on ancestral homelands of my Gayogoho:no’ ancestors, I have not seen or heard of any sort of Gayogoho:no’ Language and/or Culture program, I assume Clint and his self-appointed administration have not even given this a single thought to try to set one up. Some people may not even know this but our Gayogoho:no’ language is on the brink of becoming extinct. But within those 6 years, we “dissidents” were able to create that opportunity for those who wanted to learn our Gayogoho:no’ language, culture, and treaty rights. We “dissidents” were able to learn and teach our children what Gayogoho:no’ means and how to live the way our Creator intended. We “dissidents” were able to reconnect with our ancestors through our language and ceremonies on ancestral homelands. But our good deeds and progress of trying to get closer with our ancestors get deemed “a waste of time” by Clint Halftown and his self-appointed administration council. Once he saw how successful our efforts were, he destroyed our places of gathering and learning. I am referring to the campaign of destruction he directed in the middle of the night on February 22, 2020, where Halftown destroyed our Schoolhouse/Longhouse, Daycare center, multiple on-site single room living accommodations (approx. 6), Gas station/Smoke shop, among other things. Just recently on January 1, 2022 @ approx. 2:00am they [Clint & administration] spent $1 million dollars to acquire a property worth approx. $200,000, just so they could raid/shut down a store operated by a Nation member who opposes his leadership. As a result, another Cayuga family does not have the means to support themselves. I ask myself the question - all of this for what? To prove a point that no one is allowed to become successful? To break our spirits? To continue to oppress the traditional Gayogoho:no’ people? To make us kiss the ring and obey a dictatorship?
Over 10 years ago Clint Halftown’s Clan Mother did tell him to step down as a Federal Representative for the Cayuga Nation of New York and was successful. Her reasoning was the same as ours in present day, he does not care for our cultural customs and traditions. But instead of Clint Halftown listening to his Clan Mother’s decision he sought out a decision from the BIA to overrule his Clan Mother’s decision. Put it this way, I’ll use 2 sports for example such as basketball and football, both in the sport category but different kinds of sports. Now let’s say he was in a basketball game and his team lost to the other team. Instead of accepting that loss he decides to appeal the loss to a football board of officials and then they say “with the information he presented us we decided that he won the basketball game and that is final”. That is exactly how Clint Halftown appealed his Clan Mother’s decision to retain his Federal Representative title. Instead of listening to his Clan Mother who knew he was not fit or following our cultural customs and traditions (Clint losing the basketball game), then Clint seeking approval from a different government from ours to ensure his spot as Federal Representative (Appeal to the football board of officials).
So, if you have read this far maybe our life experiences won’t fall onto deaf ears this time, I mean we are all ordinary people just trying to live in 2 worlds. The first world we try live is filled with our ceremonies, songs, teachings, our language, living off what nature gives us, and most importantly teaching our children our cultural customs and traditions so they can teach their children. The other world is the one outside of our ceremonies and teachings, the 9 to 5 job life, the working 2-3 jobs life, the living paycheck to paycheck life. Last thing we need is a Clint Halftown Federal Representative who illustrates his title as a King of the Cayuga Indians who thinks he is untouchable by any laws or people.
Thank you for your time,
Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Nation member
For more information on how settlers can uphold the Two Row Wampum treaty and show solidarity with the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Nation please check out the HalfTownMustGo Linktree below: