|Tonawanda Creek Reservation|
|Counties||Erie, Genesee, and Niagara|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Website: Seneca Nation of Indians|
The Tonawanda Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation of the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians located in western New York, USA. The band is a federally recognized tribe and, in the 2010 census, had 693 people living on the reservation. Although most of the reservation lies in Genesee County, portions are within the boundaries of Erie and Niagara counties. It is bordered by the Towns of Alabama, Pembroke, Newstead, and Royalton.
The Tonawanda Reservation is also known as the Tonawanda Creek Reservation. Currently, it has more than a half dozen businesses located on Bloomingdale Road within the reservation. Several sell untaxed, low-price cigarettes and gasoline. Other businesses sell Seneca craft goods, groceries, and prepared food.
After various cultures of indigenous peoples succeeded each other in the Great Lakes area, in historic times, the five nations of the Iroquois coalesced. Before the mid-17th century, they had formed the Iroquois Confederacy. The Seneca were one of the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee.
During the American Revolutionary War, most of the Iroquois sided with the British, as they hoped to end colonial encroachment. After the war, most of the Seneca and other Iroquois were forced to cede their land to the US. They migrated with Joseph Brant and other Iroquois tribes to Ontario, Canada.
Those who stayed in New York were assigned reservations. The Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians split from the rest of the tribe in the 19th century to preserve their traditional practices, including selection of life chiefs by heritage. The Seneca of this reservation worked with self-taught anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan in mid century to teach him about the Iroquois kinship and social structures.
He published the results of his work in 1851 as The League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois. His insights about the significance and details of kinship structure in Native American societies influenced much following anthropological and ethnological research. Much of the information was provided by his colleague and friend Ely S. Parker, a Seneca born on the reservation in 1828. Morgan dedicated his book to Parker and credited him with their joint research.
Over the years, the size of the reservation has been reduced by sales of land to surrounding communities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the part in Niagara County has a total area of 0.8 mi² (2.1 km²) and none of the area is covered with water. The Census Bureau reports the part of the reservation in Genesee County has a total area of 9.3 mi² (24.0 km²). 9.2 mi² (23.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 mi² (0.2 km²) of it (0.76%) is water. The Census Bureau reports the part in Erie County has a total area of 1.8 mi² (4.8 km²). None of the area is covered with water.
The Tonawanda Creek flows through the entire reservation to the Niagara River, separating the part in Niagara County from the parts in Erie and Genesee counties. The river constitutes a barrier. Together with the absence of paved roads, these factors limit the population in this part of the reservation.
The northern boundary of the reservation's Niagara County portion is part of the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area.
The United States Census Bureau compiles separate demographic data for each county's portion of the reservation.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10 people (all white), 5 households, and 1 family residing in the Indian reservation. The population density was 5.4 people per square mile (2.1/km²). There were 5 housing units at an average density of 2.7/mi² (1.0/km²).
There were 5 households out of which 20.0% were married couples living together and 80.0% were non-families. 40.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 4.00.
In the Indian reservation the population was spread out with 10.0% under the age of 18, 40.0% from 18 to 24, 20.0% from 25 to 44, 10.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 66.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.
The median income for a household in the Indian reservation was $21,250, and the median income for a family was $0. Males had a median income of $0 versus $0 for females. The per capita income for the Indian reservation is $20,950. None of the population were below the poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 533 people, 186 households, and 121 families residing in the Indian reservation. The population density was 58.0/mi² (22.4/km²). There were 192 housing units at an average density of 20.9/mi² (8.1/km²). The racial makeup of the Indian reservation was 52.53% White, 2.63% Black or African American, 39.40% Native American, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 2.44% from other races, and 2.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.
There were 86 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.49.
In the Indian reservation the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
The median income for a household in the Indian reservation was $25,208, and the median income for a family was $36,563. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $12,159 for females. The per capita income for the Indian reservation was $12,201. About 12.3% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over.
Residents living on the Tonawanda Reservation are included in the Akron school district.