Sachem Sam George, pictured above, is one of 10 Sachems of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga Nation) people. He represents the Bear Clan.
The Cayuga people, which number about 500, have been engaged in a leadership struggle for years now, with tensions boiling over this year.
Sachem Sam George asked President Joe Biden to intervene after Clint Halftown, the federally-recognized leader of the Nation, shuttered a longtime business operated by Nation citizens and demolished several buildings used for traditions and customs.
The U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes Halftown, who in recent years has hired and installed a police force and added security measures at Nation-operated businesses.
The Sachem and other members of the Nation have said the U.S. government interfered with the people’s sovereignty.
While Halftown has his own faction of supporters, his critics including Sachem Sam George say the U.S. has allowed Halftown to commit “terrorist” acts against his own people, Finger Lakes Times reported.