Senecas Preserving Our Language, Traditional
Culture, And Customs As Specified In Our
Spiritual Guide; The Gaiwi:yo:h
The Faithkeepers School came into existence in 1998 through the efforts of Lehman Dowdy and his wife Sandy. Lehman is head Faithkeeper, and Speaker (click) in the Longhouse on the Allegany Territory. Sandy taught Seneca language, and culture for 12 years in the Salamanca Central School. She now devotes all her time to the Faithkeeper’s School.
Lehman notes; “Our strong focus is to preserve and maintain the traditional Seneca language, which is the means we carry on our ancient Seneca customs, ceremonies, history and laws. It has been this way through the centuries. Through the means of handing it down orally to generations of Seneca people, our customs and traditions have remained alive and constant. Now, it is time to teach our children the language and the culture so this knowledge will carry on forever. The idea of establishing a Faithkeepers School becomes all the more urgent, with the passing of Seneca elders. It is the elders who possess the means, the Seneca langauge, to pass on their knowledge and wisdom of our Seneca heritage”.