This website was created in order to explore how the Senecas were dispossessed of their ancestral lands through unethical behavior and unlawful actions on the part of European settlers.
This project matters because it’s important to recognize that there are multiple perspectives from which to view historical narratives. To focus on the perspective of the European settler limits our understanding of who we are on individual and collective levels. The way that we choose to interpret history directly affects the present and our future choices and their outcomes.
Our research revealed gaps in our thinking about the difference between law and action. Though treaties and other documents may have been signed, this doesn’t necessarily mean that conditions were upheld as they were promised. For example, between 1785 to 1842 there were 27 land transactions between NYS and native nations, but only two of those were sanctioned by the federal government. It’s important to highlight the injustices that were perpetrated against marginalized populations throughout history, and to hold accountable the systems that allowed for this marginalization to happen. Through acknowledging history as a whole, not from just one perspective, we can understand our present communities with more depth.
To navigate through our website, find the Continue buttons at the bottom of each page to be led to the next section of our online exhibit.
First, we must answer two questions: Who are the Senecas, and why did they settle in the Genesee valley?