SENATOR SEAN RYAN JOINS SENECA NATION LEADERS AND THE BUFFALO HISTORY MUSEUM FOR REPATRIATION OF RED JACKET PEACE MEDAL
Gift From President George Washington Returned To Seneca Nation After 125 Years At Buffalo History Museum
SALAMANCA, N.Y. – On Monday, May 17, 2021, New York State Senator Sean Ryan joined leaders of the Seneca Nation and representatives from the Buffalo History Museum at the Onöhsagwë:de' Cultural Center for an event commemorating the repatriation of the Red Jacket Peace Medal. Photos from the event are attached.
The Peace Medal was given as a gift to Red Jacket, a Seneca chief, by President George Washington in 1792 to commemorate discussions that led to the Treaty of Canandaigua of 1794. Until its repatriation, it had been in the possession of the Buffalo History Museum since 1895.
The Seneca Nation submitted a formal request in October 2020 for the medal’s repatriation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which mandates that objects of cultural importance to a tribal nation cannot belong to an individual or museum. Senator Ryan helped to facilitate repatriation discussions between the Seneca Nation and the Buffalo History Museum. The medal will remain on display for public viewing at the Onöhsagwë:de' Cultural Center in Salamanca, New York.
Senator Sean Ryan said, “I applaud the Buffalo History Museum for their decisive action to return the Red Jacket Peace Medal to its rightful owners, the people of the Seneca Nation. The repatriation of Indigenous artifacts is an important process in building strong, meaningful, and peaceful relationships between Native American territories and their surrounding communities. The return of the Peace Medal – an explicit symbol of this relationship – is an especially significant act, and a momentous occasion here in Western New York.”