Native Americans

If you look at a public school textbook, chances are you won't see much written from Native American perspectives. As Thanksgiving approaches, librarian Amerique Wilson at Roberto Clemente Elementary School 8 in the Rochester City School District attempts to address that.

Instead of teaching Thanksgiving from a textbook, she's working from a speech written by the late Wamsutta Frank B. James, a Wampanoag Native American activist.

Kyle Mackie / WBFO

Native American parents and teachers in Buffalo Public Schools are raising concerns that the district isn’t spending all of its Title VI Indian Education Formula Grant to support Native students.

That’s despite the fact that the graduation rate for Native American students is just 52%, compared to the district average of 65%, according to the district’s annual performance report for its 2018-2019 award.


Seneca dancers
Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

Western New York was once the stronghold of the Seneca Nation of Indians, the “Keepers of the Western Door” of the Iroquois Confederacy. What does it mean to celebrate Native American heritage here today?


pbs.org

Native Americans have played an important role in the US military and despite a contentious relationship with the federal government, their service in America's armed forces outpaces other groups. Why would Indian men and women sacfrifice so much for the very government that took their homelands? 

The answer is something called "the Warrior Tradition", which is also the name of a  WNED-produced documentary which debuts nationwide on PBS tonight and pays tribute to their stories, their culutre and heritage. 


Brianna Theobald

In the fall of 2016, thousands of people gathered at the Standing Rock Reservation to protest the proposed construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. During the protest, a Lakota woman gave birth in a teepee near the Cannonball River.

Scott McCall

The last time lacrosse was played as an official Olympic sport was 1908. That could change, given a three-year provisional acceptance into the International Olympic Committee for the Federation of International Lacrosse. It gives the sport’s governing body added resources and the option to apply for full-sport status in the future. But as lacrosse continues on track to achieve its Olympic dreams, what about those of the Native American athletes of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team?

Native Americans in North Dakota are facing an uphill challenge when it comes to their voting access rights. A recent change to that state’s voting law now requires all voters to have a street address listed on their ID – something many Native Americans living on North Dakota Reservations have never had. But what is the Native perspective on voting in American elections?


Paul Lamont

Native Americans have served in our nation’s armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group. But over the 200 years since the founding of this country, while Native Americans fought for the United States, federal policies were also aimed at Indian removal. WBFO's Scott Sackett visited with distinguished Seneca artist and Vietnam veteran Carson Waterman, who calls his works “survival art,” a label with a profoundly personal meaning.


Thomas Howes is standing at the canoe landing of a small lake, about a half-hour outside Duluth. It’s part of the reservation of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Deadfish Lake is almost completely covered with the tall green stalks of wild rice plants.


Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Cancer in Native American communities is the focus of a four-day national conference in Niagara Falls.

Two replica Christopher Columbus ships are sailing across the Great Lakes this summer, offering visitors a chance to learn about the famous explorer's voyages. But some say the ships only tell half of a story.


Native Americans are typically underrepresented in STEM careers but some new grant money could encourage Native American students to become interested in science.

To some, Columbus Day is merely a day off from work. Others view it as traditional holiday that commemorates an explorer’s arrival to the Americas. Still others shun it as an inappropriate national holiday that should not be celebrated -- or should be redefined.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Two centuries after the British and United States squared off at the War of 1812 Battle of Queenston Heights, the Native American allies of the two sides were remembered Sunday as the Landscape of Nations was unveiled in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Mike Desmond was there for the first viewings of the Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial.


Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Health experts view it as history-in-the-making. A new partnership between Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Indian Health Service is expected to improve health outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

senecamuseum.org

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

University at Buffalo

Native Americans have the worst health statistics in the country, according to a researcher at the University at Buffalo, yet few people are aware of the epidemic.

John Kane / Let's Talk Native

As the Bison stands on the edge of history, about to take its place as an official American icon, some hope that the nationwide recognition will shed light on all parts of the creature’s history – including those the American government may be less than proud of.


Library of Congress; c. 1838 lithograph, based on a c. 1828 painting by Charles King Bird

During the American Revolution, the Seneca Nation’s lands covered practically the entire Niagara Frontier. But by 1819, their territory had dwindled to five tracts covering only about 130 square miles. All along, the Seneca clan chief Red Jacket opposed the sales, as well as what he saw as other encroachments on Indian self-determination.


from Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Roswell Park's Dr. Rodney Haring was recently named to the Health Research Advisory Council, a federal panel that works with tribal leaders to make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding Native health programs and policies.


WBFO News file photo

Two schools have canceled lacrosse games against the Lancaster High School as the Lancaster District debates whether to change the Redskins sports name.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A banner was raised over Central Avenue in the village of Lancaster that supports keeping the school district sports name Redskins. The Lancaster School District is considering changing team nickname and mascot. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says many find the the nickname to be offensive to Native Americans. 


Photo from John Kane's Facebook page

Casino gaming revenues and taxes on cigarettes have been mounting issues in recent years for Native Americans in the Western New York region. WBFO's Eileen Buckley recently met with local "Let's Talk Native" radio host John Kane, who is confident these issues will come to a head and be resolved sometime this year. 

wbfo / wbfo

It's been two hundred years since the bloody battles of the War of 1812, and an intimate group gathered in Delaware Park yesterday to celebrate the friendship between the US and Canada that has existed since that conflict.

Great Britain and a number of Native American tribes took part in the war as well. During the war, the Village of Buffalo was burned and, to this day, 300 American soldiers remain buried under the meadow in Delaware Park.

The celebration included a performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, an Air Force flyover and Native American dances.