Becomes eldest female on Allegany Territory
By Tami Watt, Editor
Photo above: Treasurer Rickey Armstrong & Rovena Abrams. 10/30/21
On October 31st, 2021, Rovena Abrams turned 97 and became the eldest Seneca member on the Allegany Territory.
October 30th, Treasurer Rickey Armstrong presented Ms. Abrams with a handmade quilt and a bouquet.
Rovena has had an extensive career as the second employee of the Seneca Nation. She first served as the Deputy Clerk and worked out of a three room office located on Main St. in the Dowd Building in the early 1960’s. She went on to serve the Seneca Nation as a Councillor, a Peacemaker Judge, and was the Editor of the Seneca Nation Official Newsletter for over 30 years.
Rovena also served on numerous committees – her efforts have directly effected Seneca Nation history, policies, and government relations. She not only fought for the Seneca women’s right to vote but was also active in gaining the right for Seneca women to be elected to hold office as well. She stood up against the U.S. and the Army Corps of Engineers during the Kinzua Dam removal as the Secretary of the Kinzua Planning Committee. Rovena was instrumental during negotiations with the Seneca Nation – City of Salamanca Negotiating Committee in the early 90’s and continued with the Salamanca Joint Leasing Commission for many years.
Rovena has received the Seneca Nation Eagle Award for Public Service for her contributions to the Seneca Nation government and community after years of serving on the Seneca Nation Economic Development Board, Friends of the Seneca Nation Library, the Seneca – Iroquois National Museum Board of Trustees, and the Grandparents Club. She was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Seneca Salamanca Chamber of Commerce in 2013.
As a first language Seneca learner, Rovena most recently worked for Seneca Language Department as invaluable resource.
The Seneca Nation would like to wish Rovena a “Happy 97th Birthday” and are grateful for her years of service and dedication! Weso’ nya:wëh!