The Seneca Nation of Indians has a proud and rich history. We are the largest of six Native American nations comprising the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations, a democratic government that pre-dates the United States Constitution.
We are known as the "Keeper of the Western Door," for the Seneca are the westernmost of the Six Nations. In the Seneca language we are also known as O-non-dowa-gah, (pronounced: Oh-n'own-dough-wahgah) or "Great Hill People."
Today, the Seneca Nation of Indians has a population of over 8,000 enrolled members. We are the fifth-largest employer in Western New York, creating thousands of new jobs and investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bolster the region's and New York State's economy.
We invite you to explore our website to learn about our rich culture and traditions, our diverse and strong sovereign economy and the quality of life that makes us proud to be Seneca.
Todd Gates, President, Seneca Nation of Indians
MILWAUKEE, WI - October 16, 2017 - As the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) hosts its annual Conference in beautiful downtown Milwaukee, the National Indian Gaming Association is hard at work hosting the NCAI Gaming Sub-Committee Meetings.
During the first day, the President of Seneca Nation, Todd Gates, rose to address the Sub-Committee about his deep concerns over the treatment by Governor Andrew Cuomo of the native nations located in the State of New York.
President Gates detailed Governor Cuomo's failure to interact with the Nation in a respectful government-to-government manner. This despite President Gates personally reaching out to Governor Cuomo to discuss the discontinuance of their revenue sharing payment as outlined in their gaming compact with New York.
This treatment by Governor Cuomo of the Seneca Nation isn't consistent with the Federal Indian Law policy of committing to working with native nations on a government-to-government basis. This is not how sovereign governments resolve their differences.
The Seneca Nation contributes significantly to the economy of Western New York by employing more than 4,000 people and investing millions of dollars annually into local vendors. The Seneca Nation's economic expansion has helped build the surrounding economies, expand government services to their citizens, and revitalize the Niagara Falls market. Tribal governments always strive to be good neighbors, but good neighbors talk and resolve their differences, especially when there is so much positive economic activity at stake.
Just last weekend I hosted the Native American Music Awards at Seneca Niagara, which brought in hundreds of musicians and entertainers from around the country. We thank Seneca Nation and the award recipients and nominees for doing their part in the rebirth of Indian Country after so many years of dreaded Indian policy. The entertainment world continues to rebuild that foundation of growth and resurgence utilizing contemporary artistic techniques alongside of our valued traditions and culture. If you would like to see the list of winners for this year's awards go to http://www.nativeamericanmusicawards.com.
NIGA supports the Seneca Nation and their attempts at good government relations with the State of New York and will continue to monitor the State of New York's response to the Seneca Nation's request for government to government meetings. Please join us at our Legislative Summit in January 23-24, 2018, and our Tradeshow in Las Vegas, April 16-20, 2018.