Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Gagwe:göh sgënö’, agajëgwah gagwe:göh jöhiyoa:je’,

I hope everyone is doing well on these beautiful days of summer. As of June 16, covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, restaurants, sports stadiums and festivals were given the green light to fully open their doors. While we are out enjoying familiar events, please remember many people are not vaccinated and if you are vaccinated you could still contract the virus. Our community numbers remain low, but we could see small spikes in cases now that things have opened up more around our communities.

In keeping our communities safe, please be mindful while driving around the Territories. On Tuesday, June 8, the Cattaraugus campus experienced a terrifying incident that kept our community on edge for a number of hours. A high-speed chase resulted in an accident in front of the Cattaraugus Health Center, leading to a hostage situation. Thankfully the incident was resolved without harm to the hostage or the perpetrator. Our campus was in a shelter in place incident to keep people away from the situation and for the safety of our employees. Thank you to all employees who remained at their worksite until advised to vacate. Thank you to the Marshal’s department, Seneca Fire and our partners in law enforcement for de-escalating the situation and protecting our workforce and community.

On a more positive note it’s High School Graduation time and I had the pleasure to speak at Cattaraugus and Allegany recognition programs. I am very proud of this accomplishment, which is only the beginning of their life’s journey. I know their futures are bright with a plethora of opportunity around every corner. Don’t be afraid to try different things and explore the world around us. Remember this is your home and will be here waiting for you to take charge when you’re ready to come back home. Good luck Class of 2021!!

Another important piece of information is the federal funding law American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden in March. It provides funding similar to CARES Act, for governments such as tribal governments to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The Nation leadership is currently developing a plan on how to allocate this funding and will seek input from the Seneca Nation membership to identify community need. More information is forthcoming.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s day.

As always, stay safe, stay strong.
Dah ne’hoh dih ae’.