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Oneida Nation of New York

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Responding to an inquiry from a state assemblyman, the commissioner of motor vehicles ruled nation police cars must be registered with the state and carry New York license plates. He ruled that since a deputization agreement was terminated in April, tribal police cars must be registered with Oneida and Madison counties. Nation spokesman Mark Emery said the Oneidas do not plan to comply with the state order. "They're wrong," Emery said. "Indian nations have a right to license their own vehicles, and everyone ought to respect that. Cars that are licensed in other countries and states come to New York state without a problem. Why should the Nation's cars be different?" Emery said the seven police vehicles are used to protect the reservation - sovereign territory and not subject to state law. Assemblyman David R. Townsend said the nation should be clear on where the reservation boundaries are and where state laws do apply. "... Reservation land is only 32 acres, and I think this is another thing that needs to be defined by the state and federal governments," Townsend said. The nation suit for return of 250,000 acres of ancestral land is unresolved.

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