Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Gagwe:göh sgënö’,

Hello everyone, Happy April. The months are already moving along very quickly in 2022. It has also been a very busy time for the Seneca Nation. As you may be aware from the last edition, the Nation was reviewing their options regarding the National Indian Gaming Commission opinion letter.

While the Nation was considering their options, New York State put a hold on all Seneca Nation accounts basically strangling our businesses. This tactic by NYS was malicious and underhanded. The Seneca Nation employs thousands of people in Western New York who were potentially harmed by these actions. We will not tolerate bully tactics and political attacks from Albany’s leaders.

For Governor Hochul to boast and announce using millions of dollars toward a new stadium and holding our money, which was not part of the settlement agreement, was completely outrageous. We see through her announcement for what it is, mistreatment and taking advantage of Native people for NYS progress. It is not progress in our eyes, but Albany’s vindictive desire to step on the Seneca Nation for their own purpose.

We recently started running ads on television and radio to bring attention of this juncture by the State and how it was malicious and crippling for everyone except the State billionaires and Albany.

While this is happening, we are actively and aggressively preparing for a gaming compact negotiations. Nya:wëh to all those who expressed an interest in serving on the advisory panel. More information will be coming as it develops.

Back to COVID, our numbers are down considerably, but still very from week to week. This is still concerning as many have let down their guard pertaining to precautions. Enrolled Seneca Nation members can make Bluestone appointments between 9am-3pm at Seneca Fire #1 Route 438 in Cattaraugus and Seneca Fire in Allegany at 716-220-2442. For more information contact Mike Gates, Emergency Management Director at 716-244-0820 or mike.gates@sni.org.

Vaccinations are still available at both health centers and the 2nd booster is available for anyone 50 and older. Please contact Teri Cowles at Allegany Health at 716-945-5894 or Kim Bradley at Cattaraugus at 716-532-5582.

Lastly, Broadband continues to make progress in Cattaraugus. Installation continues around the community and residents are asked to please sign up to avoid delays or extra costs at a later date. The last day to sign up for fiber broadband services is April 26th. For more information contact DFT Communications at 716-532-3131.

Stay safe, stay strong. Dah ne’ho dih ae’.

~ Matt