The latest disagreement between the Seneca Nation and New York State is whether Governor Cuomo is willing to meet with Seneca Nation President Todd Gates. This is an opportunity for Cuomo to show Western New Yorkers that he values our culture and economy. The Governor should seek a positive dialogue and come to a consensus with the Senecas. The Senecas have kept their roots in our region for centuries and now run numerous successful businesses, including hotels, restaurants and casinos, which fuel our economy and employ nearly 4,000 locals. A meeting between them and the Governor is truly the first step to ending the dispute.

For 30 years, I was a public school teacher in Niagara Falls. Seeing my former students become hard-working members of society has made me focus more intently on our region’s future. Our elected officials need to work with all of the citizens, groups and businesses in the districts that they represent. Governor Cuomo should have a civilized conversation with the tribal leadership to discuss a path forward.

Cuomo’s past remarks disparaging the Senecas did nothing to reassure Western New Yorkers that he cares about maintaining a positive relationship with them. I hope that he keeps his word to meet with the Senecas, and works to partner with the Seneca Nation for the benefit of all of us in Western New York.

Ronald Wilson, East Amherst

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