New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently expressed support for reconsidering the use of offensive imagery in the City’s official seal. According to an official City website, the centuries-old seal includes a depiction of “Sinister, an Indian of Manhattan” dressed in a loincloth and holding a bow.
In response to the Mayor’s comments, Seneca Nation President Rickey L. Armstrong Sr. released the following statement:
“The cultural appropriation found in the seal of New York City is yet another example of outdated and racist imagery that sadly is pervasive in American society. The Seneca Nation supports and appreciates Mayor de Blasio’s interest in reconsidering the use of such imagery in the City’s seal.
We urge the Mayor to address this matter as quickly as possible, and we would be pleased to join such an effort to share our views and perspectives. It is our hope that other communities employing similar imagery follow suit, and that the conversations taking place around these important issues in New York and across the nation will lead to greater respect, fairness and justice for Native people and our rich culture.”