Salamanca Native American museum expanding six-fold

May 31, 2016

A major project in Salamanca that will dramatically increase the size of the Seneca Iroquois National Museum is moving forward.

The museum will be replaced by a new facility and cultural center that will be six times its current size. Officials are aiming for a grand opening on August 1, 2017 — 40 years to the day that the original museum opened.

The Salamanca museum includes exhibits such as this longhouse, which depicts daily life for the Hodinöhsö:ni' people.

Museum director David George-Shongo says the $18 million cultural center is important in telling the history of Native Americans.

"There's a lot of interest in who we are," said George-Shango. "We've been here a long time, at the museum. I was surprised when people around here don't know the museum is here. We get people from all of the world."

George-Shongo says the museum’s attendance has been up in recent years. Native American culture will be celebrated Saturday June 4 in a Heritage Day event at the current museum site.

"We wanted to start the celebration a little early," he said, referring to the eagerly-anticipated 2017 opening of the expanded cultural center.