President Robert Porter, of the Seneca Nation in western New York state, has a message for President Obama: “I’d like to see the president not be so timid in his efforts to support and protect Indian country,” he says.
Many American Indians reservations and Indian communities continue to suffer from incredibly high unemployment and its related problems. By contrast, the Seneca Nation is a thriving economy, operating casinos and tobacco businesses, Porter says.
Instead of government handouts, Porter says the Seneca people would benefit from tax relief — a message he carrid to this week’s meeting with federal officials. “The core of our economy and mentality is one of self-sufficiency. We’re not looking for extensive appropriations programs. We’re looking for tax relief,” Porter told Reuters.
He also says it is absurd for the government to tax Native Americans and then send the money back to them in the form of grants.