Peacemaker's Court

Cattaraugus Territory

The Peacemaker's Court upholds and maintains the integrity of the Seneca Nation in accordance with the Seneca Nation Constitution; its laws and ordinance; its customs and traditions.

One of the oldest departments in the Seneca Nation is the Peacemaker's Court. Established in 1848 when the Senecas changed from a traditionally appointed by the Chief system to an elective system. This has been in existence for 158 years.

We are the trial court of the Nation and hear cases involving Senecas, their families and other residents in our community, and outlying areas as well as others domiciled on our territory. We hear all civil actions including domestic relations, child welfare, land disputes, environment issues, which may include Child Protection Services (CPS) and/or orders of protection, restraining orders etc. The Peacemaker's Court is an alternative to having matters adjudicated on the territory than in the County Court system.

The goals of the Court include:

  • In child welfare matters, the goal of the Cattaraugus Peacemaker's Court is to keep the children of the Seneca Nation within our boundaries.
  • Every person who wishes to petition the Peacemaker's Court is offered a fair hearing without prejudice.

Allegany Territory

 The Peacemakers Court upholds and maintains the integrity of the Seneca Nation in accordance with the Seneca Nation Constitution; its laws and ordinances; its customs and traditions.

We are the trial court of the Nation and hear cases involving Senecas, their families and other residents in our community, and outlying areas as well as others domiciled on our territory. We hear all civil actions including domestic relations, child welfare, land disputes, environment issues, which may include Child Protection Services (CPS) and/or Orders of Protection, Restraining Orders, etc. The Peacemaker's Court is an alternative to having matters adjudicated on the territory rather than in the County Court system.

The goals of the Court include:

  • To protect the sovereignty of the Seneca Nation of Indians by hearing our own cases and resolving our own problems and cases.
  • To render decisions that promotes the health and safety of our children, their families and the Nation.
  • To promote and strengthen the Seneca Nation Judiciary by making fair and honest decisions.
  • To strengthen the integrity and soundness of our Courts to benefit the community and foster trust in our judicial system.
  • To pursue fundamental fairness and equity for all Parties in each case.

Contact Information:

Cattaraugus

John Y. Waterman, Jr.

2 Thomas Indian School Drive

Irving, NY 14081

716-532-4900

Allegany

Gloria Heron

90 O:hi'yoh Way

Salamanca, NY 14779

716-945-1790