Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Nya:wëh sgë:nö gagwe:göh,

We are beginning our fall time activities with children returning to school and our Fall Festival happening. This year’s parade theme “Year of the Athlete” featured our local minor sports teams and themed floats. What a great event each year for our community.

Our community recently lost an influential leader with the passing of Marlene Johnson. Marlene was an Allegany Councillor and lifelong educator. Her contributions included being a member on many outstanding committees including Salamanca Lease, the Kinzua Dam project and trustee for the Seneca Nation Library.

Marlene was an advocate for education as a founder for the Native American Indian Association of New York and was also appointed as a delegate to the first White House Conference on Indian Education. Her contributions have set a foundation for our future and we will be forever thankful.

We recently celebrated our 20th anniversary of the signing of our gaming compact. We are proud of the accomplishments we have had and what our investments have meant to the local communities and businesses across Western New York. Our speakers highlighted on the impact we have made and how the Seneca Nation deserves respect and appreciation for our role on economic development. Hopefully leaders across NYS hear the firsthand accounts of how important we are to everyone in the region.

These messages underscore the importance that a fair gaming Compact be established for the well being of those counting on us to continue our success. This is the key element to telling our story with our Stand with Seneca campaign. To see how the campaign is progressing, check out StandWithSeneca.com for upcoming events. Our social media channels will also post the schedule of events. If you would like to be apart of our message, feel free to post on our social media and attend our upcoming events wearing your Stand with Seneca t-shirts.

Our Compact negotiation group continues to meet with NYS officials working out the process and details. We will press for substantive negotiations to start as quickly as possible. More information will be shared as this progresses.

Upcoming events include, the Falling Leaves Festival in Salamanca, the Remember the Removal walk in Allegany and the Every Child Matters Walk, Remembering and Healing event in Cattaraugus at the end of the month.

Remember as many activities move indoors and with children returning to school, the COVID virus is still with us. Please continue to monitor for symptoms and get tested to limit the spread and follow the public health guidelines to limit the spread. Bluestone testing is still available for Senecas and can be made by calling 716-220-2440 or making an appointment at Seneca Health. Vaccinations and boosters are still available for eligible individuals. Let’s continue to be cautious and informed.

Stay safe, stay strong, Dah ne’hoh dih ae’