Editorial: Seneca Nation should back down gracefully

"The Seneca Nation of Indians cannot be expected to simply let go of its ability to make millions of dollars by selling untaxed cigarettes on its Western New York reservations, at least without getting something of great benefit in return.

But all the brash talk of calling out the troops, both its own and those of the federal government, to protect its particularly unhealthy form of economic development wins the Seneca Tribal Council neither moral authority nor popular debating points.

The fact is that the legal relationship between the Senecas and the state of New York is not as cut-and-dried as Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr., for all his talk of the need to study history, would lead one to believe. To be fair, that happens when one is talking modern tax law.

Yes, the Senecas are a recognized and sovereign Indian nation, alluded to in the U. S. Constitution and bolstered by treaties that go back hundreds of years. And, yes, the Senecas, like so many of their native brethren, have been so abused over the years that they are unlikely to easily surrender either any strand of self-determination or any opportunity to bring in a steady stream of much-needed revenue."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Senecas should reconsider (The Buffalo News 1/22)

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