When kayaking or boating down the Buffalo River, what goes through your mind? Do you think of the industry that was built along the shores? Or the pollution that left it un-swimmable for so long? Maybe you think of the clean-up that is underway that will one day, in the near future, leave the waters a heck of a lot cleaner… maybe even swimmable. Me? Often times I think of what it must have been like when the Seneca Nation called Buffalo Creek this land home (and later the Buffalo Creek Reservation home). It must have been a magical sight to experience the pristine waters and lands. That’s just one of the reasons that I’m excited about attending the Buffalo Creek Native Festival.
This coming weekend, August 4&5, you are invited to come down to Canalside (Central Wharf) to experience the Story of Buffalo. “Seneca and other Haudenosaunee people have a strong connection the Buffalo area,” Melissa Shaw Tourism Development Planner for the Seneca Nation of Indians told me. “Buffalo Creek is our ancestral homeland and represents a very important period in our history. The purpose of this event is to share that history with the greater community and invite our neighbors to learn more about the vibrant culture and traditions that have sustained our people. The purpose of the ECHDC events and programs at Canalside is to tell the “Story of Buffalo. We are part of that story.”
Native Roots Artists Guild will be on-hand selling traditional artwork, while culinary artisans will be selling Haudenosaunee delicacies such as fry bread, corn syrup (not the junk that is made today) and strawberry juice. Seneca wood carver Richard Kettle will be on-site carving lacrosse sticks and Holly John will be demonstrating to visitors her craft of making traditional black ash splint basket making. A craft tent will be available for children who are interested in learning various crafts. Haudenosaunee music and dance, along with Seneca storytelling and historic reenactments will be part of the two-day celebration.