The Onondaga Indian Nation sued the state of New York in 2005 for illegally taking approximately 4,000 square miles of land from them that was negotiated in five treaties between 1788 and 1822. New York did not obtain congressional approval for the land acquisitions, which was required by the 1790 Trade and Non-Intercourse Act. The Onondaga asked the court to declare the nation holds legal title to a strip of land up to 40 miles wide stretching from Pennsylvania to Canada. The cities of Syracuse, Oswego, Fulton, Watertown, Cortland and Binghamton lie within the disputed territory.
About 875,000 people reside in the claim area. There are approximately 1,500 Onondagas living on an 11-square-mile territory south of Syracuse.
The Onondaga Indian Nation, have not asked the court to award them any monetary damages. The nation said they would not try to evict anyone living in the disputed territory.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn reserved decision Thursday on New York's request to dismiss the Onondaga land claim suit.