Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter and Richard Nephew, Nation Council chairman, travelled to Pennsylvania's state capital recently to meet with Gov. Tom Corbett.
The meeting was the first time a Seneca Nation President has been invited to meet with the person holding the highest office of Pennsylvania.
The introductory meeting largely focused on revisiting the historic relationship the Seneca people have had with the Commonwealth. The Seneca leaders extended a hand of friendship to their Pennsylvania neighbors and discussed the possibility of business development and partnerships in the northwestern Pennsylvania region that borders the Nation's Territory.
"The Seneca Nation is very gratified to be invited to the State Capitol to meet with Gov. Corbett," said President Porter. "The Seneca have a longstanding relationship to the Commonwealth and, we believe, a bright future for developing a strong partnership that could foster business opportunities and incentives for development in northern Pennsylvania near our Seneca territories."
Richard Nephew, council chairman, called the meeting a "breath of fresh air." Nephew said, "It was a tremendous pleasure to meet with Governor Corbett and we are honored to have been invited and treated so graciously by Governor Corbett, members of his administration, and his staff. I hope that this will be just the first of many visits to the Pennsylvania state capitol as we develop a productive and supportive relationship for the mutual benefit of our people."
The Seneca leaders said there is a pocket of Seneca Nation citizens living in Erie, Pa., with a total number of 250 Seneca citizens living in other parts of Pennsylvania.
"Many of our Seneca people, some of whom are also residents of Erie, Pa., and those that reside elsewhere throughout the state, remain very connected and committed to the Seneca Nation, our ideals, principals, and developments," Nephew said.