Wednesday morning, the New York State Senate Select Committee on State-Native American Relations held a public hearing in Albany to advance a productive dialogue between Indian nations and state government.
Representatives of the Oneida, Seneca, and St. Regis Mohawk Indian nations met with a bipartisan group of state senators to talk about economic development and challenges facing their tribes.
Members of the select committee attending the hearing included state senators George Maziarz, chairman; Timothy Kennedy; and Patrick Gallivan.
"It has been many, many years since there has been such a concerted effort to work with our Native American partners to advance our common interests. This was an opportunity for Senate members to learn more about the identities of the various nations and tribes, and what progress they are making on economic development, education, health care, and other quality of life issues. We will continue these discussions in a respectful and cooperative spirit," Maziarz said.
Maziarz noted that some ideas have already surfaced to advance future collaborations. One is to explore the appointment of a specific economic development liaison to the Native American nations to coordinate regional strategies with the newly established Regional Economic Development Councils. Another is to invite the Native American representatives to a joint hearing with the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee.