The Seneca Nation celebrated the grand opening of the new Onohsagwe:de’ Cultural Center Saturday.
The new center, located at 82 West Hetzel Street, measures 33,000 square feet and has hundreds of items on display, which will be updated regularly.
Designed to guide and immerse visitors throughout and inspired by Native lore, the center also includes an auditorium that can accommodate up to 600 people.
Outside there is the first Seneca Longhouse raised in Allegany since 1820.
“For us, the Seneca people, history and culture are everything. That is our identity,” said Seneca Nation President Todd Gates. “Our history and our culture have been carried forward through many generations, even as other people tried to strip them away. Those historical lessons, the lessons of our ancestors, reinforce in us every day what it means to be Onödowa’ga:’ – to be Seneca. Now, we are proud to have created a place where our history and our culture can live and grow forever.”
The new center replaces the original Seneca-Iroquois National Museum which opened in 1977.