The Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians is a federally recognized tribe in the State of New York. They maintained the traditional form of government by Seneca chiefs (or more correctly, 'sachems') and clan mothers after the Alleghany and Cattaraugus Reservations broke away and formed the Seneca Nation of Indians (a republican form of government, electing a president, secretary, and council every two years) in 1848. The Tonawanda Senecas retrieved their horns of authority from the deposed chiefs at Alleghany and Cattaraugus and still continue to govern themselves in the traditional way. The Seneca are an Iroquois nation, one of the original five (and then six) of the historic Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. Their people speak Seneca language, an Iroquoian language.
Contributions by Parkwells, Dtwarren, and CJLippert.