Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

buffalo trip, Seneca-Iroquis National Museum

Every other year my husband has to travel to Irving, New York to prove that to the Seneca Nation of Indians that he is still alive and well in order to retain his tribal registration number, and along with that receive his annuity checks, which are more than enough to pay for our trip. Some years he goes alone, sometimes we take kids, sometimes we go see museums around Buffalo, sometimes it's Niagara falls. This year we went by ourselves and left the kiddos at camp grandma in Kansas City - which was awesome. And we headed south just to mix it up, spent the weekend near Watkins Glen.

We also went to Seneca-Iroquis National Museum in Salamanca. They've done a really nice job with it - could use more space for everything wonderful that they have, to tell the truth, especially the long house exhibits. We learned a bit about snow snake - a traditional game where a very long channel is dug out through the snow and men try throwing/sliding a long stick as far as they can, they have video at the museum.

I also learned about the land taken for the Kinzua Dam, built in the 1960s by the army corp of engineers for "economic development". There were interviews and stories from the indians who lost their home when the US government seized it and forced them to move. The families were given MUCH less land than they'd lived on before - the project would flood almost 1/3 of the Allegheny Reservation.

Indians are constantly fighting this stereotype of being part of "history" - aka not the present. We learn in social studies that the US government broke all these treaties in the 1830s - and that's true. But this was a story of a treaty broken in 1964s! And still there are there are controversies around everything from hunting and fishing rights to major tribal sovereignty.

I'll write more about the trip, I like to break up these adventures into a few days, but I'm really happy we got to go to this museum. The people there were happy to talk to Marc and hear his story and what brought us here.
Tags: travel

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