As one of the Native Nations of the Haudenosaunee – often known as the Iroquois Confederacy – the Seneca people have lived in what is today known as New York State for time immemorial. Throughout history, the Seneca people have fought to preserve their culture and their language – and their very existence – against seemingly endless attacks, threats and blatant attempts to remove them and any sign of their culture and identity as Indigenous people. If not for the strength and perseverance of their ancestors and the generations who followed, the Seneca Nation’s traditional language, their culture and traditions – that which defines them as a people – could have been lost to time, forever left in the past like so much that was taken from the Seneca people across the years.
From the stunning and informative displays and exhibits at the Onohsagwe:de’ Cultural Center to events like the annual Marvin “Joe” Curry Veterans PowWow, Seneca traditions and culture are again beginning to thrive. The Nation has also fostered a revival of its traditional language. Today, the youngest students are introduced to their traditional language at the Nation’s Early Childhood Learning Center, and adult learners are able to expand their proficiency through a Nation-developed Immersion program. Through these important efforts, the Nation is helping to prepare the way for its future generations.