Feature President

A message from President Matthew B. Pagels

Nya:wëh sgë:nö’ gagwë:goh,

We are moving right along through the seasons. The leaves are changing and the weather is beginning to cool down. September was a month of remembrance. As I mentioned last month, we recognized Every Child Matters and held events to remember the survivors and honor the lost children who attended Indian Residential Boarding schools across the United States and Canada.

These schools were created in an effort to assimilate Native communities. State and Federal officials attempted to remove Native identities of tens of thousands of Native children often by force, manipulation and at times, violence.

Many children completely forgot their identity or did not fit into their home environment and never returned. Those who struggled often carried their pain into adulthood. Loss of family structures and cultural identity were passed onto future generations.

Participating on this day makes a statement and brings awareness and healing to this horrific chapter in our history. To remember and participate gives a voice to the victims and survivors.

With ongoing negotiations regarding our gaming Compact, our team has been able to reach some early agreements on general matters, however they anticipate this will be a very long tedious process. There are many substantive issues that we want to guarantee fair and equitable. We realize that the gaming world has changed since 2002 and want the public to recognize the economic value we bring to the region.

Another recent settlement decision between two private tobacco manufacturers and NYS has potential to impact our economy. Our opponents often look for ways to attack or exploit our economy through illegal taxation. This agreement culminates a targeted campaign against some of the cigarettes that are imported onto our lands.

The Nation will continue to monitor this development and ensure that the impact to our community is minimal. The State’s intrusions into the Nation economy will always be a fight and the Seneca Nation will always be ready to defend our rights.

Our Covid numbers show a slight rise from weeks prior. We currently have 35 cases between Allegany and Cattaraugus. Please continue to monitor yourselves and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms. You can contact the Health System for vaccination and booster appointments.

Lastly, I’d like to recognize three members of our SGC team who were recognized by Buffalo Business First. Dr. Lori Quigley, Chairwoman of the SGC Board of Directors and Interim President of Medaille University as one of the 2022 Women of Influence Award; Jason Crane, SCG Sr. Vice President & General Counsel was the recipient of the 2022 C-Level Executive of the year Award; and Josh Howard, the company’s Learning & Development Manager, was selected as part of this year’s class of 40 Under 40 Award winners. Ja:goh all for your well-deserved recognition, your many contributions to SGS’s success, and the example you set for others around you.

Have a great October, stay safe, stay strong! Dah ne’hoh dih ae’.

Matthew B. Pagels