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Grand Island land claim by Senecas runs aground

A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a case involving the Seneca Nation of Indians' claim to the ownership of Grand Island, court officials said Tuesday.

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York City, had been asked to conduct another review of a June 2002 decision by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara that turned down the Seneca land claim.

The Seneca Nation's last chance would be filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senecas contend that New York State illegally purchased Grand Island from the tribe in an 1815 land deal. The Second Circuit had already upheld Arcara's decision once, in September 2004, but the Senecas then asked for a further review.