Common Council passes Squaw Island name change

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A name which has divided many over months of debates will now bring people together.

The Buffalo Common Council changed the name of Squaw Island officially to Unity Island following a 2:00 p.m. public hearing.

Native Americans voiced opinions over several months, loudly proclaiming the island’s name as offensive. The island was known as Squaw Island after exploration in 1679. The name in the Seneca language is reportedly an obscenity, or derogative term to Native American women.

Also known as Divided Island, due to its geography, several lawmakers and Native American representatives put forth the idea to change the name simply to Unity Island.

Buffalo Common Councilman Joseph Golombek said, “We’re Americans, E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. We can be united. As different as we all are, there’s nothing wrong with our differences, but there’s something good about being united as Americans too.”

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