Seneca Nation welcomes change to offensive name of city park

A view of the park in Buffalo, New York. Photo from sbrof / Panoramio

The city council in Buffalo, New York, voted unanimously on Tuesday night to change the name of Squaw Island.

Members and leaders of the Seneca Nation lobbied for the change. They said the name was offensive to Native women.

“The same army that represents us today at one time treated Indians unfairly. They used to capture Indian women and use them for their own purposes. That was the beginning of the ‘S’ word. How do you think that makes us feel?” President Maurice A. John Sr. asked the council, The Buffalo News reported.

The 60-acre park will now be known as Unity Island. The name comes from Ga’nigo:i:yoh, a Seneca word that translates to "one mind, unity."

Get the Story:
Farewell, Squaw Island. Hello, Unity Island (The Buffalo News 6/24)
Buffalo approves renaming Squaw Island; name deemed racist (AP 7/23)

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