Commemorating the 177th Anniversary of the Buffalo Creek Treaty between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the United States of America

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Senate Resolution No. 1492


COMMEMORATING the 177th Anniversary of the signing
of the Buffalo Creek Treaty between the Seneca
Nation of Indians and the United States of America
on May 20, 1842

WHEREAS, With due cause and proper resolve, this Legislative Body
honors the Seneca Nation of Indians as it commemorates the 177th
Anniversary of the signing of the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842; and

WHEREAS, A commemorative ceremony will be held on the historic lands
of the Buffalo Creek reservation on Friday, May 17, 2019, at the
Burchfield Nature Center, in West Seneca, New York; and

WHEREAS, The Buffalo Creek Treaty ceremony is held annually to
commemorate the signing of the 1842 Compromise Treaty that recognized
and forever restored the Seneca Nation territories of Cattaraugus,
Allegany and Oil Spring to the possession of the Seneca people; the
event memorializes the significant agreement between the Seneca Nation
and the United States government to respect and acknowledge the Nation's
sovereign lands and affirm the Seneca Nation of Indians
federally-protected treaty rights; and

WHEREAS, The Seneca Nation of Indians is a founding member and one
of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the
Haudenosaunee) who own and occupy aboriginal lands in New York State
that were set aside by the Treaty of Canandaigua of 1794; and

WHEREAS, The Seneca Nation of Indians has a total population of over
8,000 enrolled members and currently holds title to multiple territories
(Cattaraugus, Allegany, Oil Spring, Niagara and Buffalo) in New York
State; and

WHEREAS, The construction of New York State's Erie Canal in the
early 1800s - a water route linking trade and transportation between New
York City and the Great Lakes - made nearby Haudenosaunee lands very
attractive to land speculators and fueled removal threats against the
Seneca Indians; and

WHEREAS, Eight years after the enactment of the federal "Indian
Removal Act of 1830", five Seneca reservations remained: Allegany,
Cattaraugus, Buffalo Creek, Oil Spring and Tonawanda; and

WHEREAS, Efforts to remove the Seneca people from their lands
culminated with the signing of the notorious Buffalo Creek Treaty of
1838, in which all of the Seneca lands were sold to the Ogden Land
Company, and the Seneca people were to move out west, to Indian
Territory, in lands that are now the state of Kansas; and

WHEREAS, This treaty was notorious, even at the time, for being
blatantly fraudulent as bribery, forgery, and deception were used to
obtain Seneca member signatures; and

WHEREAS, Almost immediately, the Seneca people refused to abide by
the treaty, and diplomatic efforts were made to negotiate a new treaty;

WHEREAS, In 1842, a compromise treaty was secured, known as the
Second Treaty of Buffalo Creek and laid the foundation for much of the
Federal-Iroquois governmental relations throughout the 19th Century; and

WHEREAS, The Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 saved the Seneca people
the Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Oil Spring reservations; furthermore, it
recognized and guaranteed the Seneca Nation and its people inherent
sovereignty for more than one and a half centuries; and

WHEREAS, The Seneca Nation has a strong record of creating
successful business enterprises in Western New York, employing over
6,500 native and non-native Americans, and generating over $1 billion in
economic growth and revenues to the western New York region; now,
therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 177th Anniversary of the signing of the Buffalo Creek
Treaty of 1842 between the Seneca Nation of Indians and the United
States of America; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to Rickey L. Armstrong, Sr., President of the Seneca Nation
of Indians; Matthew Pagles, Treasurer; Bethany Johnson, Clerk; and the
Seneca Nation Council.


  • 10 / May / 2019
  • 14 / May / 2019
  • 14 / May / 2019

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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