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Council members endorse 'Unity' for renaming of Squaw Island

WBFO File Photo

After months of debate over a new name, the island in the Niagara River off Ferry Street will apparently be called Unity Island.

The Common Council on Tuesday voted to call a public hearing on that name and accept public comment. If the name goes over well, the Council will approve the change shortly afterwards.

The earlier favorite "Divided Island" lost out to "Unity."

"In this case, we're actually asking the public for some input on what they think the name should be," said Council Member Richard Fontana. "I think we're going with 'Unity' at this point.'"

All signs for the new name will call it Unity Island and then add the Indian name in parentheses. Local Native Americans led the fight to change the name because the current name Squaw Island is considered demeaning to women.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.