Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk Officially Repatriated to Seneca Nation by NYS Museum

Gift from George Washington will forever remain in Seneca Nation ownership


ALLEGANY TERRITORY, SALAMANCA, N.Y. – A meaningful piece of history has been officially restored to the Seneca Nation's ownership.

Nation leaders welcomed officials from the New York State Museum to Salamanca on January 9, 2020 to announce that a pipe tomahawk originally given to the respected Seneca leader and diplomat Cornplanter by George Washington has been officially repatriated to the Nation. The announcement took place at the Nation's Onöhsagwe:de' Cultural Center, where the pipe tomahawk has been on loan to the Nation since March.

"We are incredibly grateful to all those who understood the greater meaning and importance of Cornplanter's tomahawk, and who understood that there was only one true home for this piece of our shared history," President Armstrong said. "In restoring the Nation's ownership of the tomahawk, you have shown the spirit of respect for our Nation, our people, and our sovereignty in which President Washington first presented this gift to Cornplanter. Now that it is home for good, it can forever shine as an example of those same ideals for all generations of Seneca people, as well as for our friends and neighbors."

The tomahawk will be on permanent display at the Onöhsagwe:de' Cultural Center, which opened in 2018 on the Seneca Nation's Allegany Territory. Measuring 33,000 square feet, the center is inspired by Native oral history and designed to guide and immerse visitors throughout with a variety of exhibits, collections, artifacts, educational programs and special events. For information, call 716-945-1760 or visit


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