© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

With mayor's signature, Squaw Island is no more

City of Buffalo

A brief ceremony was held in Buffalo City Hall Monday to officially change the name of Squaw Island to Unity Island. The signing of the legislation by Mayor Byron Brown was witnessed by members of the Seneca Nation of Indians, including President Maurice John.

"On behalf of all natives, especially the women in the United States, we are definitely making a historic statement," John said. "This is one that will speak forever."

Many Native Americans consider the word squaw to be derogatory toward native woman. The Common Council approved the bchange last month. The new native name is Ga’nigo:i:yoh.

“Today we continue to honor the legacy of our Native American brothers and sisters who are forever tied to our city and region,” said Brown. “I applaud the citizens who spearheaded the effort for the new name."

City crews have already started the process of changing street signs to reflect the change to Unity Island.  

Related Content