The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Nation is a member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Council of Chiefs and Clan Mothers seek to ensure the future of the community of traditional citizens near Cayuga Lake, who continue their rematriation efforts despite ongoing hardships.

Announcing the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Legal Defense Fund

Supporting this effort is a collaborative group of US and Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ citizens.Donations will be used for the Council's legal aid to defend the traditional community during their rematriation effort near Cayuga Lake, and to support the sovereignty of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Nation.The Legal Defense Fund's non-profit fiscal sponsor is Tiny Seed Project. Tax-deductible donations can be made internationally through by credit card, Venmo, PayPal or donor-advised fund, or by check.Checks can be mailed to Tiny Seed Inc., Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Legal Defense Fund, 154 Silver Road, East Hardwick, VT 05836.Nyaweh to all our friends and relatives for your continued support.

Sachem Sam George and Legal Counsel to Council of Chiefs Joe Heath speak to supporters at the February 4th, 2024 fundraiser gathering:

New York State still will not recognize Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ sovereignty and the Bureau of Indian Affairs names Clint Halftown as the "Cayuga Nation leader”. Because of NYS and BIA’s refusals to respect the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ right to self-determination, Halftown is enabled to enact domestic terrorism against his own people.The traditional community near Cayuga Lake lives in a “reservation area” defined in the Treaty of Canandaigua, and the people can use legal means to defend their responsibilities and rights there. The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ People continue the struggle for fulfillment of treaty rights promised by NYS and the US, and the security of cultural freedom.

Traditional people engage in farming, learning the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ language, educating the children, and making decisions in keeping with the Great Law of Peace. Since Indigenous community includes non-human relations, connection with the earth, waters, plants, and animals is essential. Each family has a clan, and each clan has a Clan Mother who designates a Chief. Chiefs attend meetings at Grand Council in Onondaga (south of Syracuse).-----------------------------------
Why do the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ have to re-establish a community in the traditional territories?
The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ flourished until the American Revolutionary War. Although the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ Nation remained neutral, the Continental Army attacked their communities. Villages were destroyed and their orchards burned during the 1779 “Scorched Earth” campaign. This was an act of genocide during which soldiers attacked over 40 villages along the shores of Cayuga Lake, including Goiogouen (Cayuga Castle)- a major village with hundreds of acres of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. The soldiers destroyed entire communities, the gardens, winter crop stores, and the orchards. In nearby Chonodote (Peachtown), 1500 peach trees were killed. Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ people fled for their lives to neighboring Haudenosaunee territories.Other Haudenosaunee citizens faced similar military attacks. Many now live on the Six Nations territory (in what is now called Canada) and others went West. After the ongweoweh (original people) were violently expelled, the land was dispersed in parcels to American soldiers.------------------------------------
Is the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ community near Cayuga Lake under threat now?
Yes. Due to the unjust complexities caused by colonialism and the BIA recognition of Clint Halftown as “Cayuga Nation leader”, the traditional community experiences ongoing attacks and harassment. In February of 2020, some Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ were forced from their sleep at gunpoint and made to watch Cayuga Nation employees destroy their businesses, community center, and schoolhouse/longhouse. Another attack occurred on August 3, 2022, when the Halftown Council ordered the destruction of an occupied home and a barn used for gatherings and ceremony. An elder was injured in the process by Cayuga Nation Police, mercenaries made up of all US citizens.

The traditional community near Cayuga Lake continues to face the threat of housing insecurity, due to the US Bureau of Indian Affairs’ recognition of a non-traditional person as their official liaison, and his attempts to evict people. Though Council of Chiefs and Clan Mothers have publicly stated that the BIA-chosen representative is not recognized by the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' traditional leadership, this person is still recognized by the US federal government and continues to threaten the traditional community.

What do educational opportunities mean for the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ?Language- The people have revitalized the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ language. The Thanksgiving Address, a Haudenosaunee greeting which honors the people, land, waters, earth, plants, and animals is spoken in the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ language at the beginning of gatherings. Values of reciprocity and gratitude are held within the teachings of the Thanksgiving Address.Cultural Values- Traditional people consider the generations to come, care for the earth, strive to keep a good mind, and practice diplomacy with neighbors.Traditional Governance- Coming together on ancestral homelands supports democratic governance practiced for time immemorial. This includes the raising-up of Chiefs and Clan Mothers, opportunity for Longhouse establishment, and practicing responsibilities to the people and all beings. The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ join the other nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in leadership responsibilities.

Traditional ecological knowledge passed from generation to generation helped give the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ a long standing reputation as excellent tenders of fruit orchards and agricultural crops. The traditional community has been using these skills on the homelands since beginning the rematriation journey decades ago. Seeds have been rematriated, descended from seeds saved by Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ who went north across the river to Six Nations during the Scorched Earth campaign.

Haudenosaunee Nations relate to the US as a sovereign Nation, and have a long history of creating and maintaining treaty agreements embodied as wampum belts. The first treaty that Haudenosaunee Nations entered into with Europeans was the Tow-Row, with the Dutch.In 1779, the Continental Army, at the direction of George Washington, attacked villages and destroyed orchards and gardens during the Scorched Earth (Sullivan-Clinton) campaign.In 1794, it appeared that the wrongful taking of land would be made right. The Treaty of Canandaigua was signed between Chiefs of the Confederacy Nations and the United States of America. This Treaty affirmed the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ’s rightful reservation as 64,015 acres of sovereign land. Unfortunately, the Treaty was ignored by New York State and this land was not returned.However, the US government still provides treaty cloth to the Haudenosaunee Nations each year: its delivery confirms the Us's acknowledgement of their treaty responsibilities. The cloth is a bridge to the Treaty of Canandaigua, signed on November 11, 1794, in Ontario County, where a group of Haudenosaunee chiefs negotiated with Timothy Pickering representing President George Washington, who later signed the treaty. The document established “peace and friendship” between the United States and the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and involved a US promise to never seize or disturb native lands and the guarantee about the annual gift of cloth.

Thank you for your support of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Nation sovereignty and the traditional community's rematriation.


The HalftownMustGo campaign (unaffiliated with is led by US citizens proceeding in daily conversation and relationships of care with the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ community near Cayuga Lake. All US citizens can collectively demand the attention of particular officials in the US government, and that these officials read the May 2021 letter from the Council of Chiefs.

Thank you for your support of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Nation sovereignty and the traditional community's rematriation.

For decades, the traditional community has continued their rematriation journey in the face of obstacles and attacks. Through all of this, friends, neighbors, and relatives have joined together to organize; fundraise for community supplies, mutual aid, to save the SHARE Farm etc.; and witnessed the struggle for sovereignty recognition. Nyaweh gowah (big thank you) to all of the friends who come together to support the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga) Nation.

“Clint uses the same tactics used during the US Sullivan-Clinton campaign to try to eliminate the traditional citizens who do not acknowledge his leadership,” comments Steve Jacobs, Bear Clan Sachem. “He destroyed food stores, corn and beans. Halftown’s faction does not respect the Great Law of Peace or traditional practices. They use harassment, physical assault, and economic warfare and kidnapped Gayogohó:nǫ˺ to be imprisoned across state lines in Pennsylvania.”

The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' Chiefs have informed the Bureau of Indian Affairs numerous times over the past decade-plus that Clint Halftown and the Halftown Council have been properly removed from any and all leadership positions (pursuant to their centuries-old dispute resolution mechanisms), including during the time prior to Mr. Halftown’s recognition as the federal representative. The chiefs have repeatedly and publicly stated that Mr. Halftown and the Halftown Council have no authority to communicate or interact with the United States on behalf of the Cayuga Nation. Nevertheless, the Bureau of Indian Affairs continues to stand idle while these attacks on Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people persist.

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