Updated 10/19/2012 05:08 PM
Onondaga Nation’s land claim appeal denied
NEW YORK STATE -- The Onondaga Nation's appeal in a land claim case has been rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The court ruled Friday that the Nation is not entitled to the land, which stretches from the St. Lawrence River to the Pennsylvania border.
The Nation argued that the land, which includes the cities of Binghamton, Syracuse, Oswego and Watertown, was illegally taken by New York State through a series of bogus treaties in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Nation was seeking a declaration of ownership and said they would not force anyone to leave the land.
The lawsuit was thrown out in 2010, with the district court ruling that too much time had passed and that the land claim would be too disruptive to current landowners.
In their appeal, Nation lawyers argued they were not given a chance to present evidence that they had strongly protested development on their ancestral lands for the past 183 years. But the federal court ruled that the district court judge did not abuse his authority when he tossed out the lawsuit.