Nya:weh Sgënö’ gagwe:göh,
It has been a very hot summer so far with heavy humidity. Let’s check on our elders and those with compromised health conditions daily during these hot days. As restrictions continue to lighten and festival events promote large crowd gatherings, please stay mindful of safety precautions we’ve learned throughout the pandemic.
This awareness and our increased vaccination rates have kept our covid numbers at zero for the third consecutive week. Please continue to encourage those not yet vaccinated to consider it for their protection and others. The new Delta variant continues to be the dominant variant throughout the country and data shows the Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccines are largely protective against the variant. This is the best defense we have to keep our community safe and to get back to normal activities.
I’m excited to announce we will schedule this years Fall Festival for September 10th and 11th. Some events may change for health and safety reasons. More information will be forthcoming as the Festival committee pulls the schedule together. The Festival is always a time to see people we don’t often see and will be especially great this year after the pandemic year.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly changed the way we interact with each other and especially caused economic difficulty for many. The federal government (American Rescue Plan Act) assisted in a relief effort to distribute financial assistance to local municipalities, schools and native nations. A letter was sent to enrolled Seneca members including an application for the General Financial Assistance Program. This is a one-time payment of $1,000 for expenses incurred from the pandemic. Applications must be received prior to August 31, 2021 to be eligible for the one-time payment. Contact the Clerk’s office for questions regarding registration. Included in the letter is a brief survey for input on community needs. We have already identified a few areas: Assistance to households, Broadband, Investments in IT security and emergency readiness. This will help us prioritize funding for future projects within the Nation.
We recently had a missing person on Territory resulting in a tragic end. Thank you to everyone who assisted local law enforcement including First responders, Nation employees, Marshal’s and concerned community members. Our thoughts are with the family at this time and ask for our community to continue to cooperate with this on-going investigation.
We also continue to recognize the unthinkable loss in our history regarding residential school mistreatment of Indigenous children. Although we are extremely angry about this history, much research around historical trauma and it’s affects are available to help us understand how to deal with our feelings about residential schools. We will continue to heal, to be pro-active in sharing this history, and will follow our traditions and by learning our language/culture. This is how we honor these children.
As always, stay safe, stay strong.
Dah ne’hoh dih ae’.
Matthew B. Pagels