Dr. Brennan told NEWS10 the most significant error is the five tepees behind the image of an Indigenous person, believed to be a member of the Haudenosaunee Confederation of the Mohawk Nation. He said the Haudenosaunee actually lived in longhouses.
In addition, Dr. Brennan said the five tepees were meant to represent the five nations in the Confederation, but by 1809 when Niskayuna was established, there were six. The Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oneida were the original five nations. The Tuscarora joined in 1722.
Dr. Brennan also said the farmer on the town seal is meant to represent a Shaker farmer. However, he said the Shaker Society who owned farms in Niskayuna did not live there. He said they lived in the Shaker community in Watervliet and leased the farms to others.
He doesn’t believe the mistakes were intentional or malicious, but he said it’s time to change them. He hopes to have a proposal ready for the regular town board meeting later in the month.