Honoring Veterans Day

Seneca Nation History – Black Marble Memorial Monument Unveiled, 2005

Back in 2005, President Barry E. Snyder, Sr. unveiled the beautiful black marble monument, placed outside of the Seneca Office Building on the Niagara Territory, a memorial to native veterans who made the supreme sacrifice. He described the meaning of this monument during his speech on Veterans Day:

“This monument is dedicated to the memory of the sacrifices ALL Native American Warriors of the Six Nations, men and women, who fought bravely alongside their allies to preserve the heritage of our Nation – Mother Earth- and the freedom and democracy of the United States of American, so that people within The Circle of Life can live in Peace.

The Hill in the background represents the Onöndowaga, The Seneca People of the Great Hill. The Eagle symbolizes the sacred bird, our Protector of all (the original people).

The five arrows in the right claw represent the Unity of the Five tribes of the Five Nations: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk, before the White Man came. The single arrow in the left claw represents the Tuscarora Tribe, after the White Man came and forced them from their land. They joined the Iroquois Confederacy in 1720.

The Iroquois Confederacy is now known as the Six Nations, which is represented by the Seneca Nation Logo. Perched to the left is the Hiawatha flag, while on the right is the American flag. The Hiawatha flag is the first draft of the U.S. Constitution. This belt shows the original five Nations of the Iroquois with the Tree of Peace in the Center. The Tree of Peace is the symbol of the Great Law of Peace (on earth). Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson used the Great Law of Peace to help write the U.S. Constitution. The Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, influenced the founding fathers’ ideas concerning democratic thought, and helped forge the idea of federalism that led to what has become the Constitution of the United States.

Haudenosaunee means “people who are building an extended house,” which is more commonly translated as The People of the Longhouse. The Longhouse was introduced by the Peacemaker at the time of the formation of the Confederacy. Those who support the traditions, beliefs, values, and authority of the Confederacy are known as the Haudenosaunee.

The names engraved on the monument are in Memory of those Veteran Warriors within the Six Nations that have fallen since World War I.

We are a proud people. The qualities inherent within our Native American societies, including our courageous Veteran Warriors, are STRENGTH, HONOR, PRIDE, DEVOTION, and WISDOM. These qualities were established within our past, have continued to the present, and will be passed onto future generations as we continuously strive to protect and preserve our Mother Earth, our Traditions, and our Sovereignty, while standing side-by-side with allies to maintain Freedom and Democracy.

In closing, I wish to give thanks to our Creator and ask for continued guidance and to watch over us and all of our families.” Nya:wëh!”


That you can count the stars on that flag……You can thank a teacher.

That you have that flag as the flag of your country…you can thank a veteran.

At the 11th hour, of the 11day, of the 11 month, the Seneca Nation of Indians stands with our fellow veterans to commemorate Veteran’s Day 2005.

We salute the New York area veterans community and America’s veterans everywhere.

We stand with you now as we have for over 200 years under the flag of the United Stats of America.

From Yorktown and Brandywine to Antietam, Gettysburg and the bloody fields of the Ardennes, Verdun and Beleau Wood…the Warriors of the Seneca Nation of Indians were there.

To the beaches of Normandy, to the “battered bastards” of Bastogne, Guadalcanal, Saipan and Iwo Jima…the Warriors of the Seneca Nation of Indians fought and died with you.

To the frozen hills of Korea, to the rice paddies of Vietnam…the Warriors of the Seneca Nation of Indians were there.

And we proudly stand with you today, as our Warriors wear the uniform of the United States in distant places and faraway climes like Iraq, Afghanistan and other remote outposts around the world.

We join with you and all of America, in a heartfelt prayer for the safe return of our sons and daughters in uniform who find themselves in harm’s way on this Veterans’ Day.

They represent the best of what we are, the ideals for which we stand, and all that is great and good about the United States of America.


Barry E. Snyder, Sr.
President, Seneca Nation of Indians