Squaw Island to be renamed with Seneca word for Unity
Buffalo’s Squaw Island on the city’s west side will soon be renamed with a more positive term.Mayor Byron Brown has worked with Seneca Nation President, Maurice John, to choose the Seneca word for 'unity' as the island’s new name.
“Ga-Knee-Go-Yeh. It means clear mind, of a good mind, one mind, unity,” said John.
The island’s original name before Squaw used the Seneca word for Divided, however, reverting to that option was never in favor with Mayor Brown. John says he’d like to see the new English word be translated.
“We’re proposing that we translate it into Seneca. If you come down to Seneca country, you’ll see the Alleghany River, for example. We call it ‘O-ee-oh.’ We’d like to see that translated so we can get the Seneca effect,” John said.
In his State of the City address, Mayor Brown stressed a message of diversity and inclusion for all city residents to benefit from the area’s “renaissance.” The Buffalo Common Council is expected to address the renaming next month.