Seneca Nation Response to Governor Paterson's Budget Announcement to Collect Taxes on Indian Lands

Jan 19, 2010, 18:52 ET from Seneca Nation of Indians

CATTARAUGUS TERRITORY, N.Y., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "It is the goal of the Seneca Nation to restore economic vitality to our homeland and to the Western New York region," said Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder, Sr. "We are encouraged by Governor Paterson's desire to engage in a rational dialogue to discuss outstanding matters between the Nation and the State."

"However, New York State's leadership must not forget that the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 makes a promise to the Seneca Nation and the other Six Nations unlike any other Indian treaty," said Snyder.  "It not only provides that the United States will recognize title to our lands, but also that we will be recognized in the 'free use and enjoyment' of those lands."

"This means that no other government has the right to interfere in how we use our lands without our consent. It is for this reason that New York State has no authority over us, our lands, or the commerce taking place on our lands," said Snyder. "We have fought hard to recover from the dispossession of our traditional economy due to the loss of our lands over 200 years ago.  We will not be the State's tax collectors and we will defend our freedom regardless of the cost."

Contact: Susan Asquith/Sharon Linstedt

sasquith@traverscollins.com

slinstedt@traverscollins.com


SOURCE Seneca Nation of Indians