Cuomo Recognizes Indian Nations and Leaders


“At the end of the day, we are one.” That was the message that New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo shared during his State of the State address in Albany today.

Cuomo touched on a variety of topics from tax cuts and education plans, to new plans of improving New York City airports – Kennedy and La Guardia according to The New York Times.

Supporting his message of unity, was Cuomo’s address recognizing tribal leaders and nations that were in attendance.

“After decades of conflicts, we renewed our spirit of partnership with the Indian Nations across this state,” Cuomo said. “Let’s take a moment to recognize the Nation Representative Ray Halbritter from the Oneida Nation of New York, Ron LaFrance of the St. Regis Mohawk, Beverly Cook of the St. Regis Mohawk and Michael Kimelberg of the Seneca Nation. Thank you, and thank you for being with us today. Thank you.”

In 2013, Cuomo and the Oneida Indian Nation reached a historic agreement to resolve all outstanding disputes regarding the status of the Nation’s lands, property taxes, sales taxes and gaming at Turning Stone Resort Casino according to a OIN press release.

Accompanying his address, the governor released a 200-page book outlining his plans for 2014, The Times reported. The book featured more than 60 goals, that including a bidding process for four new casinos around the state.

In an election year, Cuomo mentioned that he would fight for abortion rights, campaign finance and ethics reform. Topics that have been the focus of debates in 2013 and hot button items come election season.

Cuomo continued his unifying speech by stating, “we are upstate, we are downstate, but we are one.”