Known as the "Keeper of the Western Door"

Education Department

The Seneca Nation of Indian's Department of Education philosophy is that education is a life-long, empowering learning process which begins with the individual, and is multi-cultural, multi-generational, and respectful of physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual wellness. The department recognizes that each individual is at a different place in life's journey and we will work with them to move them forward toward their goals.

The Seneca Nation Education Department on both Allegany and Cattaraugus Territories provides services which support the learning process as a means of obtaining individual and collective satisfaction, with respect for self and others, and a pride in Seneca and Native heritage.

The Department of Education will promote individual wellness of all Native people it serves in a holistic manner through:

  • A cultural awareness/foundation, respecting traditions and history, to empower the individual in his/her lifelong pursuits.
  • By providing learning opportunities to help challenge each individual to achieve their life's goals and ambitions, acknowledging that education is a life-long process.
  • Through the coordination with all Seneca Nation services and outside agencies, organizations and educational institutions to promote confidence, well-being, knowledge, skills, support and empathy.
  • By providing education for the outside community to encourage a greater understanding of the Seneca culture.

Services Offered


AmeriCorps is a national service program designed to recruit and utilize volunteers to assist the Cattaraugus Education Department mission. AmeriCorps members are not “employees,” they are national service volunteers, who receive a livable allowance, an educational award upon completing their contractual obligation to the Seneca Nation AmeriCorps program. The Member’s core mission is to focus on three priorities

  • Provide academic assistance to students struggling in ELA & Math proficiencies in various sites located in Gowanda, Lake Shore, Silver Creek School Districts and the Saylor building
  • Assist in raising awareness in the Seneca community regarding emergency preparation for future natural disasters.
  • Supplement Seneca Nation efforts to encourage and expand students appreciation of their language, culture, and history.

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 900,000 Americans have provided more than 1.2 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. For more information, visit AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. 

Cattaraugus Higher Education Program

The Seneca Nation established a scholarship program for enrolled members to provide financial assistance to matriculated college students at all levels. Scholarships are non-competitive and granted on financial need. Expenses such as tuition, fees, room & board and books are considered. Due to the complexity of the application, students and their parents are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Higher Education personnel to review the application process and requirements.

Allegany Higher Education Program

The Seneca Nation Allegany Education Department administers a scholarship fund that awards enrolled members of the Seneca Nation of Indians with financial assistance to attend an accredited higher education institution or an accredited vocational/occupations certificate program.  Assistance is awarded on an annual academic basis and must be applied for each year financial assistance is needed.

The Higher Education Program office is located at the ACC (Education wing).

Assistance with the application process, financial aid applications, other scholarship information is available.


Gosheneh Kennedy
ACC (Education Wing)
716-945-1790 Ext. 3103

The Higher Education Program Coordinator is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 4:30 p.m. Availability after 4:30 by appointment only.


Additional resources to financial aid, scholarships, internships will be available on this page for your information:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is avallable here
  • ITEP Student Summer Internship for more info available here.
  • American Indian Graduate Center is a resource for scholarships and fellowships through a variety of resources. For more information click here.
  • SUNY Native American Western Consortium compiles a financial aid directory for students/individuals pursuing a higher education degree. The directory has scholarship information on a local, regional, and national level. To access this site go to  The directory lists deadlines by the month.

News & Upcoming Events

Midwinters Discussion
January 07, 2022
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