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News Release

Seneca-Cayuga Nation

On September 30, 2020, the Seneca-Cayuga Nation held a swearing-in ceremony for a newly elected Chief, members of the Business Committee, and Grievance Committee. The ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon at the Seneca-Cayuga Nation headquarters.

During the ceremony, Sarah S. Channing was sworn in as the new Chief. Channing is the first woman to be elected Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation. In addition to electing a new Chief, there were five other positions filled during the most recent election. Cynthia Donohue Bauer and Hoyit Bacon are the newly elected members of the Business Committee. Ryan Birdsong, Rebecca Depriest, and Lydia (Haught) Davis were sworn in as newly elected members of the Grievance Committee.

Reflecting on his time in office, outgoing chief William L. Fisher said, “It has been the highest honor of my life to serve as Chief of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation. My ancestors, Jack Armstrong and Thomas Armstrong served our people in their day. Like our ancestors, we work to better our families and those who will follow us in generations to come. I appreciate the support I have enjoyed from our Tribe and the elected officials I have served with. I’m confident I leave the leadership of our Tribe in good hands. “

Incoming Chief, Sarah S. Channing, issued a statement thanking everyone who ran for office, and asking all Seneca-Cayuga people to join together as they work toward a better future:

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“Today, I am humbled by the confidence that Seneca-Cayuga voters have placed in me by electing me Chief. Thank you to every voter for caring enough to participate in this election.

I also want to thank the candidates who were not elected today. Their willingness to serve our Nation and stand for this election is remarkable. It will take all of us working together to build a prosperous future for our children and the generations to come. It is time to set aside the differences that can divide our efforts and work together to benefit all of Seneca-Cayuga people.

Congratulations to the winners of the seats on the Business Committee and the Grievance Committee. We look forward to working together to build a stronger government, improve the delivery of services, and find new enterprises and job opportunities for our people.

As we all do, I follow in the footsteps of the generations before us who endured unspeakable hardships to make our lives possible today. The need to preserve our language and culture has never been greater. Our young people need to learn the story of the Seneca-Cayuga people from our own mouths. We owe this to our ancestors and those before us. Our story is one of sacrifice and survival, suffering and triumph. As the children of survivors, sharing our story and prospering into the future is our duty. “

The Seneca–Cayuga Nation is one of three federally recognized tribes of Seneca people in the United States. Headquartered in Grove OK, the Tribe has approximately 5,500 members who live across the entire United States. The Tribe owns and operates Grand Lake Casino, Seneca- Cayuga Tobacco, and The Lodge at Grand Lake Casino. Find more information about the Seneca-Cayuga Nation at

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