Seneca Nation of Indians

Mailing Address

New York



Cultural History

One of the Six Tribes of Confederacy who occupy aboriginal lands in New York, the Seneca Nation of Indians is a well-known indigenous group who are North America natives. Approximately 15,000 to 25,000 of these people live in Canada, and in reservations in Buffalo and Oklahoma.

Their own name is Onodowaga a name similar to the endonym of the Onondagas. They became the known as the “Keepers of the Western Door” upon the formation of the Iroquois Confederation in 1142. Their name was actually designated by other nations after its principle village called the Osininka. The name confused several people so they stuck with the original Seneca.

According to archeological artifacts, the tribe lives all the way to the Allegheny River now known to be in the northwestern Pennsylvania. They were the most populous of the tribes from the Haudenosaunee Nations thus having the most number of warriors during the war.

Their economy relies mainly on the growth of corn, beans and even squash. These have been part of the Haudenosaunee culture and even diet having later been labeled as the “three sisters”. Aside from these three, the women generally harvest medicinal plants, roots, and other fruits. The Seneca women were known to have been sole proprietors of their own homes and farming business even in the older times. Meanwhile, the Seneca men took care of farm and domesticated animals. The women held a strong stand in the society and yet they were still somehow considered different when it comes to other legal services that men conquer. The men are the primary ones in charge of locating lands and developing the towns into industrial sites that could bring them additional income. The men successfully found several fishing and hunting areas which are still active today. They are also in charge of maintaining these resources and they have been successful at it. The Senecas are very much into protecting their families that several archeological data trace that their houses were built with palisades to protect them from the war. The Senecas have also been fond of casinos and as proof to this, the gambling industry has been around since 1980’s when bingo was first introduced. There is actually a Gaming Compact with the State of New York to Co-Operate the establishment of casinos falling under the Class III with top class gaming facilities. There are currently two casinos operated by the Senacas namely the Niagara Falls in New York which is named the Seneca Niagara while another one is named Seneca Allegany which is located in Salamanca.

Several Senecas have found their niche in history. Some of these well-known Senecas are Mary Jemison, Governor Blacksnake, Skunny Wundy, Arthur Parker, Isaac Newton Parker, Snyder Sr. and Cornelius Seneca among others.

It is said that about 10,000 Senecas live near the Lake Erie today while 7,800 have become citizens of the Seneca Nation of Indians.  About 1,200 of them are to be found near Akron, New York. Today, the Senecas are also well known professionals excelling in education, science and law.

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