Protests turned violent Saturday morning at the site of torn-down buildings in the Cayuga Nation, as nation police clashed with members. State police were also involved, according to the nation.

After last week's seizure and destruction of 11 buildings which are Cayuga Nation property, the question of leadership and land ownership is still being debated.

Clint Halftown, who claims to be the leader of the Cayuga Nation council, said the buildings were torn down to gain back control of the land. He cited the federal government's declaration

"The Cayuga Nation Council is the proper leadership body and has received the written support of the overwhelming majority of Nation citizens. The Nation Council received written support of 62 percent of Nation citizens, a higher percentage of support than any U.S. president ever has received," Halftown said.

Traditionalists called a press conference to re-enforce the traditional leadership of clan mothers and their seven chiefs. 

"They have to go through a process by consensus from the chiefs from all the other five Haudenosaunee nation, it's not just in Cayuga nation we're bound together by that ceremony," said Faith Keeper and Subchief for Cayuga Nation Heron Clan Karl Hill.

After the press conference, traditionalists say they were reclaiming the land where they lived, did business, and went to school; the land they say belongs to them.

But then on Saturday, things turned violent.

"Some of our people have succumbed to the antagonistic — which resulted in the melee that just occurred," said Leanna Young, a member of the Heron Clan.  

Officers from Halftown's police force pepper-sprayed traditionalists and arrested three men. 

"My husband was tackled to the ground, with at least four officers on top of him. They had him in a chokehold, would not let him go, they took him away, and will not tell me where they're taking him," said  Rachael Bowman, wife of a traditional Cayuga Nation employee.

Following Saturday’s protests, the council released the statement below:

Traditionalists say those arrested committed no crimes, claiming Halftown is outside of Cayuga tradition, creating a government and force of his own.

"They're willing to do anything for the money [Halftown's] paying them. It's all about money, they don't have jurisdiction here, they're all white men," Bowman said. 

Traditionalists say the hardest part of this all is they're all family members of the Cayuga Nation.

"I think that's what hurts the most. He is one of us, he is my family and my family is doing this to the rest of my family, the rest of my people. This is not how we solve our differences, this is not how we come together," Young said.

While they still stand, they say they'll stand tall until they can find peace.