Dennis J. Bowen Sr. is elected Seneca Nation president by just three votes. Bowen's Coalition '94 party beats the candidate of the incumbent Seneca Party.
Seneca Party leaders refuse to back Bowen and start a protracted state court battle over leadership. Bowen locks two Seneca Party members out of the administration building on the Cattaraugus Reservation. About 100 members of Bowen's Coalition '94 party block Seneca Party leader Ross John from recounting the votes.
Bowen refuses to cooperate with state court, asks U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to intervene. Arcara issues a temporary restraining order, says state judge cannot hold contempt-of-court proceedings against Bowen. Federal mediator Fletcher H. Graves arrives.
The Seneca Tribal Council, headed by Seneca Party members, impeaches Bowen. Bowen refuses to acknowledge the action, spends the night in the Jimersontown headquarters of the Senecas' Allegany Reservation, near Salamanca.
Bowen's supporters take control of the administration building on the Cattaraugus Reservation, displacing Seneca Party opponents. One person is arrested as a shouting match turns violent outside the Tribal Council chambers. Tribal police are ordered off duty by Police Chief Curtis Archer, who fears for their safety.
Bowen meets with U.S. Interior Department officials in New York City, blames supporters of casino gambling for the turmoil and asks for help. State police and Erie County sheriff's deputies refuse to remove his supporters from Seneca Nation offices.
Bowen's impeachment overturned by Seneca Nation Peacemakers Court. Five days later, tribal councilors who impeached Bowen elect Karen Bucktooth as the nation's president. Bowen later proposes a referendum.
Gunfire erupts between factions, with two persons severely beaten and one man arrested after Arcara hands Bowen a victory by ruling that state courts have no jurisdiction in the dispute. As Bowen supporters celebrate, shots are fired into and around the Saylor Building, where Ms. Bucktooth had called a special meeting of the Tribal Council. Erie County Sheriff's Department beefs up patrols on the reservation.
Four persons identified as Bowen supporters are arrested in the beating of two people during the Feb. 27 confrontation.
The federal government says it will decide within 10 days which of the two, Bowen or Ms. Bucktooth, it will recognize as Seneca Nation president. The leaders of both factions and their lawyers meet with representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Three people are shot to death and another person is wounded when several persons fire into the William Seneca building on the Cattaraugus Reservation and the occupants fire back. A Bowen aide says supporters of Ms. Bucktooth stormed the building after a night of drinking. A spokesman for Ms. Bucktooth says the victims tried to enter the building only after their tires were shot out by Bowen supporters.