Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Gagwe:göh sgë:nö’,

I hope you all had an enjoyable time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. We move quickly into Christmas and New Year’s. Please be vigilant as you venture out into the surrounding communities to shop and enjoy holiday parties.

Covid – 19 continues to gain momentum as a new omicron variant was discovered in South Africa. There is concern this new variant may be more transmittable than the Delta variant. Researchers are conducting studies to determine transmission and severity once infected by the virus. According to medical experts we are better equipped to fight the spread of the new variant by following strict covid-19 protocols: sanitizing, social distancing and wearing face masks. The ultimate tool to fighting the spread is getting vaccinated as well as the booster shot.

Harper Watt, age 8, gets vaccinated at LRJHC

Testing is also a deterrent to the spread of the virus. Free testing is now available at the fire halls in both Allegany and Cattaraugus 7 days a week from 3pm – 7pm. This includes Rapid Tests, with results available in as little as 10 minutes, and PCR tests, with results available in 24-36 hours.

This testing is open to everyone, and appointments and insurance are not required. For information, contact Mike Gates, Emergency Management Director at 716-244-0820, or check out the flyer online at sni.org and on the Seneca Media Facebook page.

Some great news for the Department of Education. They were awarded the American Rescue Plan Grant sponsored by American Indian Resilience in Education program, the grant supports education and cultural literacy programs with an award of $482,172 for three years. This is an excellent opportunity to expand language preservation and connect it to student success entering and graduating from post-secondary programs.

Lastly, the Seneca Nation observed the 173rd Birthday or recognition of our constitutional government on Friday, December 3rd. For nearly two centuries the Nation has stood on the roots of sovereignty and strength. It was at the foresight of our ancestors to create a form of government which could withstand outside forces with these values. We are to protect our members and provide sound foundations for future generations, so they are afforded the same opportunities during their time. Happy Birthday Seneca Nation!

Enjoy the holiday season! Stay warm, stay safe, stay strong – Dah ne’hoh dih ae’.

-Matthew B. Pagels