Did you know there are multiple decision-making bodies for the Seneca-Cayuga Nation? One of the decision-making bodies is the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Tribal Administration that comprises Chief, Second Chief, Treasurer, Business Committee and Executive Director. This team is responsible for the decision-making and activities surrounding finances, the economic health of the nation, business entities, federal resources, maintaining laws, and member benefits.
The second decision making body approaches tribal activities through the lens of traditional culture and ceremony. Our ceremonial leadership embodies the beliefs and practices of our pot hangers and faith keepers. Faith keepers, once identified, serve in this position for life. Faith keepers are responsible for decisions around the preservation of cultural traditions, upholding the values of the nation, encouraging the cultural history of the SCN, and overseeing the ceremonies on an annual basis. To honor the legacy and traditions of our nation we refer to this trusted group of leaders to guide our people in the traditions that are dear to our nation. Decisions that arise surrounding cultural and ceremonial aspects of our Nation are driven by our pothangers and faith keepers.
These two decision making bodies interact when financial resources are required for cultural leaders to fulfill their necessary ceremonial duties. When that happens, the cultural leadership is supported by the administration through the financial resources to maintain our cultural ceremonies and traditions.
Both aspects of leadership are absolutely critical for the success of our nation. Honoring the cultural traditions and values of our tribe while preserving the culture is vital to the continuation of our Nation. Our faith keepers and pot hangers connect with and teach our tribal traditions to our members and other members of our extended community that have an interest in our great Nation. By anchoring to our traditions, we gain an even stronger sense of who we are, what we believe and what we can become.
The intent of the cultural and tribal administration bodies working independently and collaboratively is to create the most sustainable business enterprise possible while protecting our traditions and advancing our culture. The separation of these authorities throughout the years has been reinforced by the members’ votes in support of keeping these bodies separate. Regardless of ‘separate functions’, these bodies continue to collaborate to reach their overall similar goals of the nation.