Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels has issued the following statement in reaction to comments made by New York Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday regarding the use of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Seneca Nation to pay for a new football stadium in Orchard Park:
“New York’s hostile and shameless greed was laid bare for the world to see yesterday. After intentionally and unnecessarily holding the Seneca people and thousands of Western New Yorkers and families hostage for several days by strangling various bank accounts held by the Seneca Nation and our businesses, Governor Hochul couldn’t contain her excitement to boast about using her Seneca ransom money for a new stadium.
I’m sure that was welcome news to the Governor’s husband, whose company not only operates Video Lottery Terminals within the Seneca Nation’s supposed gaming exclusivity zone with the State’s blessing, but the company will also make millions of dollars in concession business inside the State-owned stadium. And it’s being paid for on the backs of the Seneca Nation. Quite a sweetheart deal.
We see, and we hope the world sees, the Governor’s announcement for what it is — the latest chapter in New York’s long history of mistreatment and taking advantage of Native people. Governor Hochul happily tried to strangle Western New York in order to squeeze every drop of blood she could get from the Seneca Nation.
It is not surprising to the Seneca Nation that the Governor thinks her actions should be applauded as progress. That’s the Albany way. The claims that a new day had dawned in Albany have turned into Groundhog Day — more of the same, just as it’s always been.
The Governor’s new stadium won’t be a product of progress. It will be a monument to Albany’s vindictive desire to punish the Seneca people. Ultimately, it’s something we’re all too familiar with.”
A recorded version of the President's statement can be seen below: