Senecas Hold Annual Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 Commemoration

Seneca Nation Release
5/16/14

President Barry E. Snyder Sr., along with members and friends of the Seneca Nation of Indians gathered today for the signing of the Buffalo Creek Compromise Treaty of 1842 with a Commemoration Ceremony at the Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Arts Center in Buffalo, New York. Today is also New York State Indian Day.

"Each year our Nation celebrates this very important treaty that recognized the 'Sovereignty' of the Seneca Nation and the lands that we occupy yet today and recognized the territorial jurisdiction of the Nation," Snyder said. "Further, the terms of the Buffalo Creek Treaty established the environment for our people to conduct business commerce without any taxing interference from New York state. Despite repeated attempts by the state to undermine this federally-protected treaty, our Nation remains committed to upholding every detail of the Buffalo Creek Treaty, including no state sales tax on Indian-owned businesses."

The Buffalo Creek Treaty is an important document in the history of the Seneca Nation, establishing that the Nation will never be subject to state taxation on Indian-owned lands.

Article 9 of the Buffalo Creek Treaty clearly states that the United States agrees to "protect such of the lands of the Senecas within the state of New York as may from time to time remain in their possession from all taxes, and assessments for roads, highways and other purposes until such lands shall be sold and conveyed by said Indians and possession thereof shall be relinquished by them."

The Commemoration Ceremony included Native dancing and drums and works displayed by Native artisans. Various event-speakers were Snyder and Dr. Randy John, curator, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum and director of the Seneca Language Department.

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