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Land Acknowledgment

Seal of the Seneca Nation of Indians

 

Alfred, Allegany County, and most of the Southern Tier of New York are all part of the traditional homeland belonging to the Seneca, also known as Onöndowa’ga, (Oh-n'own-dough-wahgah), who were part of the greatly respected Iroquois Confederacy, Haudenosaunee (ho-dee-no-SHOW-nee). The Iroquois Confederacy consisted of the Seneca, Keeper of the Western Door, the Mohawk, Keeper of the Eastern Door, the Onondaga, Keeper of the Central Fire, the Oneida, People of the Standing Stone, the Tuscarora, Shirt Weaving People, and the Cayuga, People of the Great Swamp. The Confederacy was formed and functioning hundreds of years before colonization and subsequently was able to be a powerful political and diplomatic force during the centuries of colonization yet to come. 

We acknowledge and honor the Seneca's sacred, ancestral ties to and care for the land upon which we currently live. Under the Dish with One Spoon Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the indigenous tribes and incoming colonists agreed to fairly share hunting grounds, only taking what was needed and therefore ensuring the future wellbeing of all. Under the Canandaigua Treaty of Peace of 1794 the boundaries and sovereignty of the Six Nations are established as well as a "firm and permanent friendship" between the Seneca and the United States.

Through this land acknowledgment we commit, both as a business and individuals, to expand our knowledge and understanding of the Seneca, their history, and the greater community of indigenous tribes of New York State. We commit to this to become better neighbors and more conscientious citizens as well as to become more aware of and accountable to the Seneca Nation. 

Today the Seneca Nation has ownership of five reservations in New York State, a notable accomplishment in that the majority of reservations belong not to the individual tribes but are held in trust by the government. The city of Salamanca, in neighboring Cattaraugus County, is the seat of government and the "only city in the world entirely on an Indian reservation".

The Seneca Nation ensures the continuation of its language and cultural heritage through the Seneca Faithkeeper's Montessori School in Steamburg, the Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center in Salamanca which houses the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, and their continued investment in the traditional game of lacrosse. It ensures its continuing financial health by operating three casinos in Western New York, two of which also include hotel, restaurants, spa, and entertainment.