Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Nya:wëh sgë:nö’ gagwe:goh,

I’m thankful for you and our seasons. It’s time to transition into warmer weather and spring cleaning. I’m also thankful that our COVID numbers continue to remain low. The surrounding county rates remain at or below 2%. With numbers declining the previous Executive Order has been suspended. Mask requirements are lifted for all Seneca Nation buildings with the exceptions of the Nation’s health care facilities, elder facilities, childcare facilities, and public transportation.

Quarantine period has also changed from 10- day to 5-day followed by 5-day mask mandate. Employees may refer to the Seneca Nation COVID-19 protocol and guidelines for more information. This is exciting news for everyone. Keep in mind that vaccination clinics and testing are still available. Contact the Cattaraugus or Allegany Health department for vaccination and booster information and Emergency Management for testing information.

In regard to the Gaming settlement, last week the Nation Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) sent a letter regarding the review of revenue share provision in our gaming compact. The letter informed the Seneca Nation that the review into the issue is closed with no further action on part of the agency.

Our Council and Executives will take time to review the NIGC letter and contemplate every possible option moving forward. Our commitment to the Seneca People, is securing a fair Compact which allows us growth and success in the industry.

Our Gaming operations has been transformational for our Seneca members and has improved the quality of life for families and for our Territories. We are dedicated to protecting our rights with unfair policies and regulations which are created to limit our ability to compete and succeed. We deserve equity.

With that the Seneca Nation is seeking input and expertise from Nation members interested in serving on the Gaming Compact Advisory panel. This group will forward thorough, researched recommendations to Nation leaders. Those interested may submit a letter of intent to the Seneca Nation Clerk’s office no later than March 31, 2022. Material can be delivered to the William Seneca Building or submitted by email at mkettle@sni.org.

Lastly, EPD is holding community meeting to discuss the Brownfields program. The meetings will be held on March 23 at 5:30 in the multipurpose room at the CCC ad on March 24 at 5:30 in the multipurpose room at the ACC. Input is need for possible reuse and redevelopment of brownfield sites such as the former Conrail, Tannery and Seneca Junction sites as well as identifying other potential sites.

Stay safe, and stay strong. Dah ne’hoh din ae’,

Matthew B. Pagels

Happy Women’s History Month to all of our strong Seneca women!

Please see Seneca Media Facebook page for a slide show dedicated to International Women’s Day and highlights of revered Seneca women in our communities. (Follow the link below to watch this year’s video)