President Armstrong speaks on a handful of new COVID-19 cases on both territories, the end of temporary loan payment deferments, the official creation of dedicated Emergency Medical Services with fully-staffed Advanced Life Support, as well as the outlook for phased reopening of enterprises and relaxing of current restrictions.
Mask and hand sanitizer distribution for enrolled Senecas and on-territory residents coming Wednesday, May 13!
President Armstrong speaks on increased Marshals patrols to enforce the Seneca Nation’s Stay At Home executive order, the elders survey ensuring their needs are being met, an upcoming community mask and hand sanitizer distribution, and registration for the May 9th Council session being held by video conference.
President Armstrong speaks on the first death of a Seneca community member from COVID-19, the clearance to return to work for some individuals who had been under investigation for potential exposure, a recent fake news story regarding the Seneca Nation and the Buffalo Bandits, the completion of demolition across from the Buffalo Creek Casino, and encouragement for young athletes who are missing their sports seasons.
President Armstrong speaks on the negative test for the AOA staff member, the recovery of the two community members who tested positive, pending tests for other community members, and the long range finances of the Seneca Nation in light of the continued economic downturn and grants under the CARES Act.
Long term services and supports for children or adults with disabilities.
Please be advised that masks are being placed in elders’ mailboxes or at the front door if nobody is home to be notified of the delivery. Reaching every elder is taking some time and may extend until Thursday. If any elder has not received a mask by the end of the day Thursday and wants to make sure they get home delivery they can call the Seneca Nation COVID19 hotline at 945-8153.
President Armstrong speaks on the temporary closure of the Winnie Kettle Building for deep cleaning and testing of staff, as well the distribution of masks to elders and community members on territory.
The Thunderers have passed through, heralding another Spring, the animals are awakening with fervent energy to ready themselves for another generation, and our People are facing an unprecedented situation of our time. Sustenance of our being has been awakened with the pandemic at our doorsteps, and with that a heightened consciousness of the need to strengthen our agricultural roots to sustain our access to food and well-being.
The Great Hill People also known as the Seneca, have been prominent for their feats of agriculture since time immemorial, but agriculture among the Seneca was forever changed by the flooding brought on by the Kinzua Dam that took vast amounts of fertile land in one broad swoop, then thrusting families into a re-location area to accustom to a different way of life. And further thwarted by the taking of our children into boarding schools and thus acculturating us towards a new kind-of-way, far from our roots of subsistence upon the lands to provide for each other. Yet, we remain steadfast as the descendants of the ones that survived, and now more than ever we shall continue to thrive and grow. The next moon shall guide us once again into another season of sowing, and with this upcoming season the Seneca may add another crop to their list, hemp.
On March 30, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture formally approved the Seneca Nation Hemp Production Plan, so now the Seneca Nation has primary regulatory authority over the production of this emerging crop. Furthermore, on April 11, 2020, the Seneca Nation Council approved the Hemp Ordinance, as amended.
The Hemp Program has come quite a way from a seed-of-thought being planted into action in May of 2019, to the formal beginning of a Seneca Nation Hemp Program in October of 2019, and now onto the precipice of a new outdoor growing season and the endless possibilities of indoor production. The Hemp Ordinance covers the production of hemp, which means the growing, handling, storing, and marketing of hemp in relation to production. Individuals and business entities may apply for licensure on Seneca Territory. Also, there are mechanisms in-place that will require producers to safeguard our soil, water, and air quality.
To be clear, the product known as CBD or “Cannabidiol” remains illegal under federal purview to add to food-stuffs or beverages. However, one may see it in retail stores throughout the country, yet it remains up to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDAs) discretion to enforce their will. On the other side of the coin, products such as: hulled hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and hemp seed protein powder are legal and considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. For, the hemp seed itself is inherently void of tetrahydrocannabinol [(THC) ~ the principle psychoactive compound, out of at least 113 other compounds found in cannabis)]. Yet, also on the cannabis spectrum there are tens-of-thousands of other uses, and many more in development that make hemp a pliable plant for industries such as: paper, clothing, bio-fuel, bio-degradable plastic, food, and so much more!
The industry remains hopeful for its future even during the pandemic that is upon us. The Hemp Program has already committed to training and authorizing hemp sampling agents within our own law enforcement, and the in-house expertise from various offices and departments have lent some of their skills to contribute to the roll-out of this program. The initial application period will be on a rolling basis upon implementation on Seneca Territory, however with the given COVID-19 situation the Seneca Nation is dealing with, the opening of applications will be delayed until the collaborating departments are on-line to accommodate the extra tasks that will be asked of them.
Timing is of essence and in agriculture it is paramount, and the program will keep the people informed on the developments going-forward. Enjoy this prescribed pause as much as one can, hopefully you may find yourself planting a garden of any feasible size with great care and intent. Please be safe and be well.
~Jessica Crouse, Hemp Compliance Administrator
President Armstrong speaks on COVID information hotlines, educational assistance and support for students, as well as the importance of maintaining quarantines, staying home, and wearing masks.
President Armstrong speaks on the negative tests for family members of the Allegany Sanitation employee who tested positive, the Executive Stay at Home order for all Seneca territories, the importance of minimizing travel in and out of our territories, and plans for providing safe and secure remote access to May’s Council session.