Above: Councillors Billy Canella and Tina Abrams attend legislative summit in Washington, DC
The Indian Gaming Summer Legislative Summit, organized by the Indian Gaming Association (IGA), was held in Washington, DC on July 27th and 28th. Seneca Nation leadership joined many tribal leaders and federal policy makers to discuss a range of priorities facing Native communities.
Councillors Tina Abrams and Billy Canella attended the Legislative Summit and met with key members of Congress to educate them on issues important to the Seneca Nation. These issues included continuing to educate Members of Congress and federal agencies about our gaming compact and the need for the State of New York to negotiate with us in good faith on a new compact in a timely manner. Seneca leaders met with the National Indian Gaming Commission, senior officials at the Interior Department, and key Members of Congress, including Congressman John Katko, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, and members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Additionally, Seneca leadership advocated for changes to S.2907, which is a bill establishing a Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies. Advocacy efforts focused on ensuring that boarding schools located in New York are covered by the bill and improving the scope of the Commission so that its work is meaningful and will lead to real policy changes and reconciliation. Seneca leaders met with the bill’s lead sponsors, Congresswoman Sharice Davids and Elizabeth Warren, and also with the staff of the committees of jurisdiction in Congress. Additionally, leaders met with Interior Department officials to advocate for Secretary Deb Haaland to ensure the Thomas Indian School and the Tunesassa Quaker Indian Boarding School are included in the Department’s ongoing investigation into Federal Indian Boarding Schools.