Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Seneca Nation Statement on Appeals Court Ruling


The following is a statement from Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter about today’s Appellate Court ruling involving a state law that attempts to tax tobacco sales.

Porter said today:

“The Seneca Nation will of course seek review of this decision by the state Court of Appeals.

“For more than 200 years, the Seneca Nation has thwarted New York State’s efforts to steal our land, destroy our sovereignty, and tax commerce in our territories. In our treaties with the United States, we gave up most of our land to retain the ‘free use and enjoyment’ to conduct business in our remaining territories free from the state’s taxes. New York will never collect a cent of revenue from tobacco sales occurring in our territories, and revenue projections so indicating are foolishness.

“Instead, today marks the beginning of a new era in the Nation’s tobacco trade and exercise of our sovereignty. Seneca people are now manufacturing cigarettes in our territories and our Nation’s government will work with them to ensure that our tobacco economy is sustained and regulated.

“We will continue to block the state’s long-standing crusade to confiscate our national wealth, sacrifice native and non-native jobs and interfere with our way-of-life. While the state may be able to embargo through taxation premium brands from entering our territory, it cannot tax the brands made in our territory or any of the Six Nations. We will never stop fighting the state’s predatory actions.”

More About The Seneca Nation of Indians

The Seneca Nation of Indians, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, continues to live on its three aboriginal areas in Western New York, south of Buffalo, as well as sovereign territories in Niagara Falls and Buffalo where the Nation operates resorts. The Senecas’ long history includes passing on constitutional and governmental traditions used by founders of the United States like Benjamin Franklin. Formerly a warrior nation, it traditionally controlled trade and protected the Western territories, earning the title “Keeper of the Western Door.” The Nation’s five sovereign territories are comprised of 31,095 acres along the Allegany River and the Southern Tier Expressway, known as the Allegany Territory; 22,011 acres along Cattaraugus Creek near Lake Erie known as the Cattaraugus Territory; one square mile in Cuba, called the Oil Spring Territory; 30 acres in Niagara Falls, and 9 acres in Buffalo.The Allegany Territory contains the City of Salamanca within its boundaries. Tens of thousands of acres of land in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania were taken from the Nation when the federal government built the Kinzua Dam and forcibly evicted Senecas from their land in the early 1960s. The Nation today operates a $1.1 billion economy that employs more than 6,300 people, native and not.


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