About 20 disgruntled members of the Oneida Indian Nation have filed a tribal lawsuit against the Oneida Indian Nation and Nation Representative Ray Halbritter.
The 50-page suit in Oneida Nation Tribal Court accuses Halbritter of assuming sole authority over the Oneida government and denying nation services and benefits to those who challenge him. The claimants say that they expect to lose the suit because it is filed in tribal court but hope that their action sets the stage for a successful complaint to the federal government.
One dissident contends that as Wolf Clan mother in 1993, she recommended that Halbritter be stripped of his power. She says the Grand Council of the Six Nations' Confederacy agreed and formally removed Halbritter.
That led to a dispute that ended with the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizing Halbritter as the nation's representative.
The claimants say they want protection from eviction from Oneida territory as well as an accounting of the revenues that Halbritter manages from Oneida Nation businesses.