Breaking News
More () »

Seneca Nation to have observers on Bills' stadium construction site

Seneca Council member says they will be there to assist in light of the State's new Unmarked Grave Protection Act.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — With the construction of the new Buffalo Bills' stadium officially underway, new legislation may have some extra eyes on the process. 

The Unmarked Burial Site Protection Act was passed by the legislature last summer, only to be vetoed by the governor, then added into the budget. It is intended to put a mechanism of review in place in the event any burial grounds are discovered during a construction project. 

In the case of the stadium, the Seneca Nation has a keen interest, and will have someone observing, every step of the way.

As Erie County, New York State and the Buffalo Bills look to the future, Seneca Naiton Councilor J.C. Seneca says don't forget about the past. "There were old Seneca villages located in that area."  And for that reason, as work is beginning for the Bills new stadium, he says, the Seneca Nation is watching closely. "We'll have people on site during this whole construction period of the stadium, to assure that if anything is found it will be taken care of in the correct fashion."

Thanks to new legislation in Albany, that protection is now in place. NY State Senator Tim Kennedy is the chairman of the State-Native Americans Relations Committee. He was one of the sponsors of Senate Bill S5701, the unmarked burial site protection act. Kennedy says that the legislation was not put in place specifically because of the stadium construction project, it merely puts a uniform process in place in the event that remains or artifacts are discovered during any project across New York. "Whenever there are remains of any kind found on any project, there is a need to address that. Now we have in place a way to for the remains to be dealt with in a respectful way and to ensure that the sacred site is taken into account."


Before You Leave, Check This Out