March 27, 2022 5:00 p.m.
Nation Council to Discuss Compact, Bank Account Issues at Special Session of Council. New York State’s actions targeted health and wellbeing of thousands.
CATTARAUGUS TERRITORY, IRVING, N.Y. – The Seneca Nation’s Executives and Council, along with leadership from Seneca Gaming Corporation and our outside legal counsel, have been working throughout the weekend to address the banking situation brought on by New York State’s aggressive, unjust and overreaching court filing and follow-up subpoena served to our banking partners at KeyBank.
I have called a special session of Council for tomorrow, Monday, March 28 at 9am in Allegany, at which time Council will discuss next steps.
Let me be clear: the State’s actions over the past few days were purposeful, malicious and politically-motivated.
The State knows – and has known – that the funds in our restricted account are more than sufficient to satisfy any and all Compact-related court orders and decisions against the Nation. This has been documented and proven, as required by the Court, throughout our ongoing legal challenges. Any legal action related to the Compact should have been limited to the restricted account.
Instead, New York State explicitly chose to put thousands of Seneca people, including our Elders needing medications and healthcare services, our children who receive education services, and Nation departments who support the daily lives, safety, health and wellbeing of our people, at risk.
New York State decided to jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of thousands of non-Seneca families who work at our businesses and live in Western New York.
The state has made it clear that the impact of their aggression, on both the Seneca people and many non-Senecas as well, is nothing more than collateral damage in either a coldly calculated attack or an act of blatant disregard for the welfare of thousands of people and families in Western New York, justified as the cost of doing business.
Our Executives and Council will consider our next steps tomorrow.
New York has shown, with willful indifference to thousands of people, the type of business partner they want to be. We have endured many wounds and wrongs from New York State during our long co-existence. That history of attacks against our people, our land and our sovereignty serves as a backdrop to every interaction the Seneca Nation has with New York State. It is disappointing that New York has chosen to add yet another chapter to that history just as we prepare for Compact discussions.
The Nation will provide additional updates following tomorrow’s Council session.
Matthew B. Pagels
Seneca Nation of Indians President