Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Gagwe:göh sgë:nö’,

I’m thankful you are well. As we wait for spring to arrive, we are seeing some relief with the Covid-19 positive numbers on our Territories. I’d like to attribute it to everyone working together to be aware of the protocols, and safety practices. This virus will continue to invade at every opportunity, so we must remain vigilant to use all of the weapons available to us to fight it.

The vaccination clinics are open for initial, 2nd and booster shots for 5yrs old and up. Please contact either the Cattaraugus or Allegany Health centers to schedule your appointment. Although the testing numbers are on the decline, we continue to offer the CTS and Blue Stone testing. Please continue to test if there is a concern. This is also a very good way to slow the spread. For more information on our testing programs, please contact Mike Gates, Emergency Management Director at 716-244-0820, or check out the information on our website at sni.org.

As mentioned in the most recent PSA, the compact payment to NYS was delayed by Resolution at the February Council session. This allows for the final review by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to complete their review of the seven-year compact extension. The Department of the Interior (DOI) and NIGC continue to review the information, but have yet to send their official report.
We are less than two years from our current compact expiration and need to secure our next compact to maintain our gaming operations. This is vital to the Nation’s economic security and to our community members.

My Administration continues to work on many other initiatives, please continue to reach out for updates and documentation relevant to the compact progress. Once information is received from NIGC and DOI, Council will determine which approach to move forward.

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum for receiving a $100,000 grant from Showtime toward their work in preserving our history will ensure that these important moments, lessons and connections to our history, our culture and our ancestors are available for future generations. The Showtime donation will also support the Onohsagwe:de’ Cultural Center.

Showtime made the donation as part of its commitment to assist the people and communities where its series are set and filmed. As any fans of the show “Dexter: New Blood” are aware, the show is set in the fictional town of Iron Lake, New York, which, in the show, is adjacent to Seneca territory. The Nation’s own Caleb Abrams assisted the show’s production.

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

Matthew B. Pagels