The Seneca were one of the original member tribes of the League of the Iroquois or the Five Nations Confederacy. The Seneca live mostly on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada, and the Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Tonawanda reservations in New York State in the United States. In the 1980s the Seneca on these four reserves numbered approximately forty-five hundred. The Seneca were the western-most tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy and in late aboriginal and early historic times occupied the territory bounded by Lake Ontario in the north, Seneca Lake in the east, the upper waters of the Allegheny and Susquehanna rivers in the south, and Lake Erie in the west.
The Seneca were drawn into the American Revolution on the side of the British and were among their closest Indian allies. Both during and after the war many Seneca migrated north to Canada. In 1797 the Seneca remaining in New York were forced to cede to the United States all their lands except a 200,000-acre reserve, much of which was lost in a treaty in 1838.
Traditionally, the Seneca were a hunting and farming people, but gathering and fishing were also important Subsistence activities. The Seneca held eight of the fifty hereditary sachem positions in the Council of the League of the Iroquois and were known as the "Keepers of the Western Door."
See also Iroquois
Abler, Thomas S. (1978). "Seneca." In Handbook of North American Indians. Vol. 15, Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger, 505-517. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
Wallace, Anthony F. C. (1970). The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.