"Once an Indian Village:" The Buffum Street Site, Dispossession, and Contested Municipal Landscapes in Buffalo, New York
Author(s): David Witt
This is an abstract from the "Contested Landscapes: The Archaeology of Politics, Borders, and Movement" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The Buffum Street Site in South Buffalo, New York, is the location of a multicomponent Seneca Village, with an historic component dating between AD 1780 and 1844. This village served as the focal point of the Buffalo Creek Reservation, and important cultural features such as a mission church, the first permanent school in Buffalo, ancestral mounds, and burial grounds within an earth ring were present. The famous Seneca orator, Red Jacket, lived here while he fought against the loss of the Seneca land base. After the sale of the Buffalo Creek Reservation in the 1840s, the land has been slowly parceled off and is now the site of a suburban neighborhood. A 6.8 acre lot surrounding the former Public School 70 and the 1.6 acre Seneca Indian Park are all that remains of this important cultural and historic landscape. However, a major development involving the school threatens what remains. Despite knowing of the area’s importance to the Seneca people, municipal boards have approved the proposed changes; these approvals have been contested in court. This paper will present the site’s history, and link municipal actions with the ongoing pattern of colonial dispossession experienced by the Seneca people.
Cite this Record
"Once an Indian Village:" The Buffum Street Site, Dispossession, and Contested Municipal Landscapes in Buffalo, New York. David Witt. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451853)
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Abstract Id(s): 23375