The Haudenosaunee flag was raised in Buffalo for the first time
Niagara Square is the site of many flag-raising ceremonies each year, and on Friday, for the first time, the Haudenosaunee flag was raised, signifying the start of Native American Heritage Month. The event was organized by Samantha Nephew, a Buffalo native who is Seneca and Deer Clan.
“I come out for the Pride flag raising, I come out for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Heritage Month, and last year it was actually the first time that I looked up at the flags and I went 'Well why don’t we have one?'," said Nephew. "I’m such a proud member of the Seneca community. So often these things happen in Gowanda, Salamanca, and you know, it’s a little bit of a trek if you’re not used to it. So, I thought it would be really important to bring this stuff to Buffalo, and this was kind of the first step, so I was really excited to do that.”
Among the speakers today was New York State Senator Sean Ryan, who says that although the relationship between the state and the nation hasn’t always been agreeable, there is no Western New York without the Haudenosaunee. Nephew plans to make the flag raising an annual event and hopes to see it become a Buffalo tradition.