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Seneca Nation of New York

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With the support of the nation, Salamanca City School students will keep their name and logo, despite a directive from the state to end the use of Native American mascots and nicknames. Last year, when the varsity football team was competing for a state championship, players received a pep talk from Senecas about the role of the warrior. The team was told to "live inspired and use the knowledge and wisdom passed on to you, and remember, you are and always will be, warriors.'' The school board approved sending a letter to state Education Commissioner Richard Mills to convey the sentiment of the Senecas, school and community. Superintendent Mark Ward said 94 percent of high school students indicated in a poll they want to keep the Warrior nickname and mascot. The Seneca Tribal Council last month adopted a resolution agreeing. "It's culturally appropriate,'' Ward said. Salamanca, with about 6,000 residents, is on the Allegany Reservation about 60 miles south of Buffalo. "I'll tell the commissioner we're a unique community,'' Ward told The Buffalo News. "We might be the only one in the state to stand up for this. If he tells us to stop, we'll probably just do it more.''