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Seneca Falls declares November “Native American Heritage Month”

In a significant gesture of recognition and respect, the Town of Seneca Falls has designated November as Native American Heritage Month. This was announced at the Town Board’s meeting on November 8, where Supervisor Mike Ferrara read the proclamation.

The move comes amidst a backdrop of the town’s efforts to improve relations with the Cayuga Nation, a key indigenous community owning approximately 1,200 acres in Seneca Falls. This declaration marks a pivotal moment in the town’s history, considering the past disputes over property taxes, regulations, and jurisdictional matters between the town officials and the Cayuga Nation.

The proclamation acknowledges the deep historical roots and contributions of Native Americans, particularly emphasizing the Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee, which was established in the 16th century in central New York State. Ferrara highlighted the historical settlement patterns of these tribes around Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. The county itself is named after the Seneca Nation, recognizing their foundational role in the region’s history.

The proclamation not only celebrates the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Native Americans but also underscores their influence on the ideals of self-governance and determination that shape the community framework. It calls for a deeper understanding and appreciation of Native American history, art, language, and anthropology among residents.

The town aims to foster a partnership with Native American communities to build sustainable, healthy societies and celebrate the diversity that enriches the American social fabric.