At this writing, our first big snow has melted and all that is left is soggy green grass and mud. Once again, the birds even look confused. I’ve heard conflicting comments about us having a mild winter this year. Some say we are in for a harsh winter, others have said we should have a mild winter. Either way, we’re at the mercy of nature and will be knee high in snow again, before too long.
It seems like the month of November has flown by. I hope you were able to enjoy some of the Native American Heritage month events which took place on both territories and in Buffalo. We had an excellent turn out for our President’s Office/Treasurer’s Office sponsored Elder & Youth Dinner and Social held at the Steamburg Community Center on November 15th. Thank you to all those who attended and to all those who cooked and contributed to the meal. I had an urgent family matter to attend to and didn’t make it this year, but I heard the meal was outstanding and those home-made pies were delicious! I don’t have a large staff, but they always manage to pull off miracles to provide successful community events.
On Wednesday, November 23rd, we had the honor of hosting U.S. Senator and United States Congress Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, for a very quick visit. Senator Schumer has been a long-time supporter of the Seneca Nation and our people; as well as a valued partner in Washington. He visited the Allegany Territory to officially announce that the Seneca Nation was awarded a 7.6 million dollar Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to build a transportation hub, in Irving, on the Cattaraugus Territory. This new facility will be transformational and will help to improve reliability and service of our existing Seneca Nation Transportation System; and will provide space to store vehicles inside and out of the elements which we face in this part of the country. The hub will feature a customer waiting area, restrooms, heated and cooled waiting space, as well as park and ride accommodations. In order to provide customers with convenient access to a variety of destinations, regional carriers, including service to Buffalo via Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) and Seneca Transit services will be consolidated at the hub. More planning and building designs will need to be finalized, but construction documents should be ready for bid by 2024. The Seneca Nation Transit System is a vital service which connect our members to healthcare, employment, commerce, recreation and other services within the greater region. In addition, this project will allow for new job creation, the expansion of our local economy and has the potential to build future routes for our existing transit system. I would like to congratulate our Seneca Nation Transportation Department, led by Sharon Ray; and our Grants Department, for their outstanding work in securing this competitive funding opportunity, which will be a huge benefit for our people and the region. Great job to all who had a hand in making this project a reality!
In case you haven’t already heard, the 2022 Elder’s Holiday Party is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, at the Seneca Allegany Casino Event Center from 11am to 3pm. All enrolled Seneca elders may bring one guest per household. There will be good food and fun, door prizes, cash giveaways, and JD Gardner will be providing holiday music. For bus transportation and to RSVP, please call (716) 532-5777, X5500.
Rickey L. Armstrong, Sr.