Seneca-Cayuga's first female chief

Indian Country Today

Sarah Channing, Seneca-Cayuga Nation's first female chief is on the show. And reporter Kolby KickingWoman has all the sights and sounds of NCAI's national conference.

Seneca-Cayuga Nation elects its first female chief Sarah Channing and today she's on the show talking about the future of her tribe. And reporter Kolby KickingWoman is back from NCAI's virtual national conference and has much to report. 

Some quotes from today's show. 

Sarah Channing:

"Yes, it's a very difficult time for Native tribes, but for women and especially in our tribe, the women are always behind the men. Always bringing forth all of their wisdom but we've never had a woman chief. So, it is a difficult time for everyone. We're hoping that more women and, and young girls look at me and say, 'Hey, I can do this.' And that to me is a great honor."

"Like everyone else, the revenues are down. We have an Indian casino, of course, which is our main source of revenue for our tribe. It's difficult, we have lost a few of our tribal members, a lot of illness. And that part of it is the heartbreaking part. A lot of our elders have passed on and it's a difficult time for us. We're struggling, but as with everything we do, everybody is coming together. Our community is coming together and we're very proud of our people."

"That's near and dear to my heart. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It was a dream of mine. All of my family, out of seven children I was the only one that had never finished college. So I was determined to do it. Even though I didn't know that I could, when I got back into college, it became rather second nature to me. And I was learning things that as a younger woman, I didn't have time to give to that. So I'm hoping that more and more older people go back to college. It's a great time for that. And especially with all the time that we have on our hands, it's the perfect time to enroll in online classes. And that's how I began. I hope more people will do that."

Kolby KickingWoman:

"NCAI’s annual convention is one of those times of year where tribal leaders who haven't seen each other in awhile, get to hang out and catch up and talk business a little bit. There was a lot of, as with any technical meeting, “can you hear me now? Can you see me?” this before people go to the talking, which was kind of funny, but all things considered you know, minus the occasional hiccup that seemed to go pretty well."

"One of the highlights, there was a town hall on Thursday evening with the organization's president Fawn Sharp and representative Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids. It was a pretty good conversation. They talked to them all, one at a time. Fawn laid out the policy goals for the organization moving forward, which included economic recovery for tribes stemming from COVID-19, racial and racial justice and equality, and combating climate change. And as far as Deb and Sharice, they were really looking forward to this next session in Congress. Now that they kind of got a couple of years under their belt, as well as welcoming a new record number of Indigenous members of Congress and in the coming year."

"Yeah, actually he's the chief executive officer Kevin Allis changed that role when he came in. It took a while before they announced that he was coming in a little over a year and a half ago. And so I imagine that process is just getting rolling when he made the announcement of his resignation, they made no mention as to who will, who will fill it next."

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Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.

Kolby KickingWoman, Blackfeet/A'aniih is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is from the great state of Montana and currently reports for the Washington Bureau. For hot sports takes and too many Lakers tweets, follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com

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