Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Gagwe:göh sgë:nö’,

I hope you are all well as the weather is starting to cool down a little and everyone is getting ready for winter. It often gets colder after the Fall Festival.

It was great to see everyone out and about at the Festival and I am thankful for those who make the Festival a success each year. Also, this month the Seneca Energy department is making great strides in the installation and activation of our Broadband network in Cattaraugus. Approximately 230 residents and businesses have gone live on the network. They will continually work at setting up everyone who has requested to receive service. Thank you to our team at Seneca Energy and their partners at DFT Communications for their work in moving this important initiative forward.

The Seneca Gaming Corporation hosted members from the Western New York business communities and their partners for a conversation around our Stand With Seneca campaign. Thank you to our corporation president Lori Quigley and Kevin Seneca, our CEO, for helping to educate the business community about what the Seneca Nation brings to the region and how our partnerships make the economy better for Western New York.

The Nation continues to have ongoing dialogue with New York regarding Compact matters and negotiations. We are determined to have a fair compact that adequately recognizes our accomplishments throughout the region.

Some exciting news for our youth is that the Nation and the corporations are partnering with the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Bandits for another One Buffalo Sports Day. This will happen on October 8th from 9:30-noon at the Cattaraugus Community Center (CCC) for children 7-14. It was a great day filled with football, hockey and lacrosse activities with special guests are expected.

We recognized the annual Remember the Removal walk and gathering on Saturday, September 24th in Steamburg. This is to remember the forced removal of hundreds of Senecas from their homeland so the federal government could construct the Kinzua Dam. This was a very dark time in our history and the heartbreak is still with us.

This week we will also gather for the Every Child Matters remembrance and healing event on Friday, that will take place for Seneca community members at the Sully Huff Heritage Center in Cattaraugus on September 30th from 4-7pm. This will include a one-mile walk through the Thomas Indian School Campus. Please be sure to wear orange as an outward sign of remembrance of the victims and support for the survivors and communities that struggle with the trauma of residential schools.

Finally, our Covid numbers are 16 active cases in Allegany and 19 cases in Cattaraugus. Please continue to get vaccinated and boosted and monitor yourselves for symptoms. Bluestone testing appointments for Seneca members can be made by calling 716-220-2442. You may also call the health centers for appointments also at Allegany at 716-945-5894 or at Cattaraugus at 716-532-5582.

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

Matthew B. Pagels