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State lawmakers have announced the creation of a special Senate committee for State and Native American relations.

Senator George Maziarz of Niagara County is the committee’s appointed leader. He says he’ll use the committee to, quote, “solve problems, plain and simple.”

The Select Committee forms in the midst of a tense period between New York and its Native American population. The former Paterson gubernatorial administration attempted to levy a tax on reservation tobacco sales just two years ago. That was met with loud opposition from state reservations. Other problems with land use and casinos have arisen within the past few years.|

Officials from Genesee County’s Tonawanda Indian Reservation were not immediately available for comment this afternoon.

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