CATTARAUGUS/ALLEGANY TERRITORIES Barry E. Snyder Sr., having served five decades in Seneca Nation political leadership, has announced his fifth bid for the Nation's highest elected office. He is a candidate of the Original Seneca Party founded by Snyder Sr., Seneca businessman Ross John Sr. and others in 1984. He served his last presidential term from 2008-2010.
"Unfortunately, our current administrative leadership has not lived up to one of the most important values Senecas hold in highest regard - government by the people," Snyder Sr. said "Actions over the past two years by our current president have eroded the confidence of the Seneca people and those whom we should consider friends and allies. We have too much at stake to lose what we have gained."
A caucus will be held on Sept. 3 to elect a full slate of candidates. Twenty-six candidates with the Original Seneca Party are currently running for eight open Tribal Councillor seats, four from the Cattaraugus and four from the Allegany Territories. This is in addition to the president, treasurer, clerk and other elected offices. The Nation's general election will be held on Nov. 6.
In March 2012, the Seneca people elected new officers for the Original Seneca Party Cattaraugus Territory including Chairman Scott Snyder, Vice-Chairman Ross John Sr., Treasurer Trudy Jackson and Secretary Susanne Sanford. Rosemary Patterson was recently elected chair for the Allegany Territory.
Snyder's passion for his people and the collective improvement of the Nation and the Nation members has been central to the many offices he has held within the Nation's government: Tribal Councilor, Treasurer, Chairperson of the Tribal Council, Chairperson for the Economic Development Committee, and President.
His drive for improving the quality of life for the Seneca people stems from growing up on the Seneca Territory raised by his grandmother, who always instilled a sense of pride in being a member of the Seneca Nation. He has lived a strong sense of culture and history of where the Nation had been and a stronger sense that it is his calling to provide strong leadership for his people.
Whether it has been the first-time creation of high-stakes bingo on Nation lands in the 1970s or Class III Gaming in early 2000, pursuing programs promoting economic self-sufficiency or generating capital investment for family-owned homes throughout the territories, Snyder Sr. has time and again been in the forefront of the Nation's progressive development programs. Today the Seneca Gaming Corporation (SGC) is nearing $1 billion in combined gaming revenue for the Nation. Snyder served as the SGC Chairman from 2004 to 2009.
Through the Salamanca Settlement Act in 1990, Snyder played an important part in creating investment programs that guided the settlement monies received by the Nation. It is this type of careful planning, astute financial analysis, and deft handling of complex matters that has enabled Snyder, Sr. to develop his own private sector entrepreneurial success. And it is that very success that has encouraged others in shaping successful businesses on the Seneca Territory.
In 2003, as Tribal Council Chairman, Snyder sponsored legislation that called for the increase of the Nation's Scholarship monies, increased education opportunities, and expanded services to the Seneca children. He also introduced legislation to provide increased services to the Nation elders, allocating more monies to housing programs.
In 2005 Snyder announced the formation of the Seneca Diabetes Foundation, which is designed to address head-on the need to tackle the debilitating impacts of this deadly disease that today affects so many members of the Nation. The Foundation, an independent non-profit 501-C3, was established to enhance the existing prevention and wellness programs the Seneca Nation Health, Education and Recreation Departments are managing and provide greater opportunities for early detection and treatment. To date, SDF has contributed more than $2.6 million to help the Seneca people.
On all issues the Nation must contend with health care, housing, education, sovereignty, Snyder Sr. has consistently demonstrated his ability to analyze the issues, determine what is best for the Nation as a whole and provide leadership in achieving the goal desired by the people of the Nation. His private success and public service stand as a testament to his commitment to the people of the Seneca Nation of Indians.