Seneca Nation Send Non-Natives Packing

July 27, 2012 Updated Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

July 27, 2012 Updated Jul 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM EDT


Robert Odawi Porter, President of the Seneca Nation of Indians did not allow Eyewitness News cameras onto the beach front area where at lease 80 homes and cottages in Snyder Beach are set to be reclaimed by the Nation.

So that means, non-native occupants like Rosemary Voltman and her husband's family who have owned a home there for the past 50 years simply have to pack up and leave by November 8th.

"It'll be really disappointing if we have to give it up," said Voltman.

Disappointing because like Voltman's husband's family many of the families have invested a lot of money into their properties something the Nation says they did at their own risk.

"The most that had ever been given in the past was a one year permit and the fact that they continued to expand and build and invest money onto that property which didn't belong to them is a decision that I don't understand," stated Porter.

Porter says those annual permits have not been reissued in at least 30 years.

And as for why after decades the sudden change of heart?

He says the Seneca population is growing and needs to maximize the land under their sovereignty. And according to Porter the fact that natives didn't have access to the Snyder Beach area had become a big concern to members the Nation.

The council recently voted against issuing new permits to the existing residents but they're still hopeful they can stay.

"I think most of the homeowners do feel that they've been here for such a long time they understand the notion behind it and appreciate how long they've been able to stay here through the Nation's contract so we're all hoping that it just gets extended and that we're able to keep coming here," said Voltman.

According to the Nation there will be no extensions to the November 8th eviction date and if the current residents are uncooperative Porter says they will call on the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshals to have them removed.