We Have a Proud & Rich History
The Seneca were the largest of six Native American nations which comprised the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations, a democratic government that pre-dates the United States Constitution.
The historical Seneca occupied territory throughout the Finger Lakes area in Central New York, and in the Genesee Valley in Western New York, living in longhouses on the riversides. The villages were well fortified with wooden stake fences, just one of the many industrious undertakings.
Today the Seneca Nation currently has a total enrolled population of over 8,000 citizens. The Seneca Nation supports its own people and benefits surrounding communities with a variety of cultural, educational and economic efforts.
The Seneca Nation territories are generally rural, with several residential areas. Many Seneca citizens live off-territory, some are located across the country, as well as in other countries. Off-territory residents comprise nearly 1/2 of the citizenship.
The Allegany Territory is located along the Allegheny River from the Pennsylvania border upriver to Vandalia, New York, and is located entirely within Cattaraugus County. The Allegany Territory originally included 30,469 acres of land surrounding the Allegheny, of which some 10,000 acres were inundated by the Kinzua Reservoir when the Army Corps of Engineers built the Kinzua Dam in 1964. This territory also includes the City of Salamanca.
The Cattaraugus Territory is located along the Cattaraugus Creek, from Gowanda, New York, downstream to the shore of Lake Erie. The Cattaraugus Territory is comprised of some 21,618 acres in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie counties.
Oil Spring Territory
The Oil Spring Territory is located on the border of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties near Cuba, New York. The Oil Spring Territory is made up of one square mile of land that includes access to Cuba Lake. This is the site of the famed spring described by the Franciscan Missionary Joseph DeLa Roch D’Allion in 1627, the first recorded mention of oil on the North American Continent. The spring is located near the spillway end of Cuba Lake on the Oil Spring Territory. In 1927, the New York State Oil Producers Association sponsored the dedication of a monument at the site describing the history of the oil industry in North America.
Buffalo Creek and Niagara Falls Gaming Operations
As a result of the New York State Gaming Compact, the Seneca Nation of Indians established sovereign Class III gaming operations in Buffalo Creek and Niagara Falls.
The modern day Seneca Nation of Indians is a true democracy whose constitution was established in 1848. The Nation’s constitution provides for a multi-branch system of government that is comprised of elected Executive and Legislative branches, and an elected Judicial branch. Leadership rotates back and forth between residents of the Cattaraugus and Allegany territories every two years.
Seneca-Iroquois National Museum
The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum proudly houses an extensive collection of Hodinöhsö:ni’ historical and traditionally designed decorative and every-day-use items and archaeological artifacts.