Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Nya:wëh sgë:nö’ gagwe:goh,

I hope your summer is moving along as planned! Fair season is upon us, a sign of the end of summer fun and time to get ready for school. This year’s Seneca Fall Festival is scheduled for September 9-11, 2022 at the Saylor Community complex. Registration and entry information for all activities will be available the first week of August at the William Seneca and Seneca Allegany Administration Buildings.

I was privileged to share congratulatory remarks to this year’s Gateway to Dentistry program with Dr. Joe Salamon of the Seneca Nation Health System and his colleagues at the University of Buffalo. These individuals spent time visiting the Seneca Nation as they completed their internship rotation in clinical and labs. Native people suffer from the poorest oral health of any population group in the U.S. due to limited access to proper dental facilities and professionals. Native applicants accepted into dental schools are minimal each year. It is our responsibility as leaders to create a brighter future for our citizens to create pathways for community members to become dentists.

Recently, various areas across the country are seeing a surge in COVID cases in response to the new sub-variants. Similarly, our communities have had new cases emerge weekly. As always, continue to follow COVID protocols and get tested as soon as symptoms emerge. If public health guidelines are followed we can limit the spread of the virus. Bluestone testing is still available by appointment, please call 716-220-2442.

Vaccinations and boosters are encouraged and available at the Seneca Health System. Please contact Cattaraugus Health at 716-532-5582 and Allegany Health at 716-945-5894 for appointments and eligibility requirements.

Last week, the Seneca Nation began a public awareness campaign regarding the economic contributions that the Seneca government, people and businesses make in Western New York. This campaign will highlight the 5,000 employees and hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll and payments to vendors that stays in WNY. We will also educate local communities about our true history and the perseverance we have shown throughout history as we defend our homelands. We are prominent contributors with influence that deserves to be recognized. We will tell our story using a combination of advertising, social media, community outreach and grassroots efforts. Please see the latest developments on our campaign website – StandWithSeneca.com.

We held community meetings on July 25th at the CCC and July 26th at the ACC regarding the on-territory cannabis industry. A brief presentation was followed by comments, feedback and suggestions.

Finally, we had excellent weather, wonderful dancers and awesome food at this year’s Marvin “Joe” Curry Veterans Powwow. After a short hiatus, we welcomed back friends neighbors, and travelers from across Turtle Island to an elegant experience in song, dance and cultural traditions. Ja:goh to the Powwow Committee, staff, volunteers and communities for making this year’s event an awesome experience!

Have a great weekend! Stay safe, stay strong.

Dah ne’hoh dih ae’
Matthew B. Pagels