Skip to main content

Seneca Nation of New York

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Skeletal remains of hundreds of Seneca who lived in New York's Genesee River valley over the past millennium will be turned over to tribal leaders by a museum. The remains have been kept at the Rochester Museum & Science Center for 30 years by the Rock Foundation. The foundation, after talks with Iroquois Confederacy officials, agreed to return more than 450 remains to be reburied this summer. The deal also involves conducting new research on the collection's tens of thousands of Seneca artifacts, many of which were excavated from Seneca graves. The confederacy is an alliance of six tribes, the Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas and Tuscaroras, once the greatest American Indian power on the North American continent, influencing life from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. In March, the museum turned over the remains of 173 Seneca and Cayuga Indians who died between 1575 and 1820, when the confederacy controlled nearly all of upstate New York. A year ago, it also returned the remains of 25 Oneida Indians.