The Oneida Indians have lost their battle for 5.5 million acres of pricey land to New York state, which the native Americans contend purchased the property illegally 200 years ago.

A federal appeals court upheld a ruling Tuesday dismissing the Oneida Indians' claim.The legal and financial stakes in the court battle, which pitted the Oneida Indian Nation against the state of New York, were massive and defense lawyers for local landowners said Tuesday that had the Indians won, several municipal governments would have defaulted, sparking chaos for more than a million people.