Seneca Language Departments & Programs

Allegany Language Department

The mission of the Allegany Language Department, Ögwaiwanösde’ Ögwawënö’ (we cherish our language) is to promote conversational Seneca language use.

To increase the use of the Seneca language throughout the Nation, the department:

  • Requires its staff to continue working toward advanced proficiency in the Seneca Language
  • works with community members, school districts, and various Seneca Nation departments to offer Onöndowa’ga:’ gawë:nö’ classes/learning opportunities
  • regularly collaborates with other language departments/programs
  • actively promotes the use of the Seneca language through social media
  • offers online learning opportunities and translation services
  • provides web-based learning/teaching tools, hands-on instructional materials, and the audio-visual content required by Seneca language learners and teachers both on and off-territory
  • offers professional development opportunities to language teachers/teachers-in-training
  • acts as a Seneca language teacher certification/professional development center

Facebook Group:

Twitter: Onöndowa’ga:’ @ SenecaLanguage

Allegany Language Director, Ja:no’s Bowen:

Digital Media Developer, James Crane:

Please scan and email the form below for a language media resource request:

Public Language Request Form

Email to

Cattaraugus Language Department

Our mission is to revitalize the Seneca traditional way of life by instilling the Haudenosaunee Worldview and values in order to support the knowledge of our history, culture and a sense of identity and by stabilizing the Seneca language by creating diverse language and culture opportunities through multigenerational interaction for the purpose of becoming functional in speaking the Seneca language.

“In our future the Seneca language will be in use in the daily lives of all Seneca’s, and our culture will be a vibrant force for identity and community collaboration, resulting from a shared understanding of our history and the implementation of a comprehensive instructional approach that incorporates our linguistic, cultural, and spiritual traditions.”- LANGUAGE GROUP 2001


Cattaraugus Language Director, Alexis Stevens:

Immersion Department

The Deadiwënöhsnye’s (They Protect the Language) Gëjóhgwa’ (Group of people) “Immersion Program”, is designed to contribute to the revitalization efforts of Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö’ (Seneca Language). This program is dedicated to providing adult learners the opportunity to exponentially increase their Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö’ verbal proficiency through various teaching methods and practical applications.

The goal of the Deadiwënöhsnye’s Gëjóhgwa’ Immersion Program is to enable students to converse in Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö’ with fluent speakers on a limited number of subjects involving common situations (but not events). They will learn to describe their friends and family members, their physical appearance, clan and nation, health, mental state, aches and pains, location, place of residence, age, children, marital situation, personal possessions, and the weather. They will learn to describe people, objects, where and how they are located, their ownership, color and number. They will learn to talk about all these situations in the past, present, and future. Students will also be able to name common domestic and “wild” animals, birds, and insects. They will be able to name geographic features, along with common local, regional and world place names. They will also gain an understanding, but not a mastery, of how to speak about everyday actions and events.

Students will learn to read and become familiar with writing Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö’ orthography, and will also be taught dialectical differences between different Onöndowa’ga:’ communities.

Deadiwënöhsnye’s Gëjóhgwa’ would like to thank everyone who has supported our efforts in developing this immersion program, and in our endeavors to produce new Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:nö’ speakers with a proven pedagogy.


Immersion Director, Amber Bennett:


Faithkeepers School

The FKS Montessori Seneca Language Nest has a mission of fostering independent, confident, and socially responsible citizens who are exposed to the traditional teachings of Gaiwi:yo:h and the traditions of the Seneca people.

We are committed to fostering a child’s love of learning and respect for self, others, and the environment through the methodologies of Montessori.