Onondaga Nation

Scott Willis / WAER News

The exhibits are in place and stories are ready to be told at the Skä•noñh  Great Law of Peace Center.  Grand opening weekend kicks off Saturday, after more than three months of construction.   The former Saint Marie among the Iroquois Museum on Onondaga Lake Parkway has been undergoing a $1 million  transformation …from telling the story of the Haudenosaunee from the French perspective…to now sharing that history though the eyes of the Iroquois.   Until recently, center general manager Daniel Connors says most of us were probably taught through a Euro-centric model.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Anticipation and excitement are building as the Onondaga Nation gets ready to host the first game of the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship on Friday.  

"We have teams here now.  The teams are arriving every day. They're practicing right now.  The excitement is huge."

Onondaga Faithkeeper Chief Oren Lyons and Tadodaho Sidney Hill were among those on hand Tuesday morning for the raising of the Haudenosaunee flag in front of Syracuse City Hall.  Mayor Stephanie Miner read a proclamation…

"Whereas, nearly one thousand years ago, the Onondaga Nation, together with their Haudenosaunee brethren, began playing the "Creator's Game," now known as lacrosse, in an area that was to become the City of Syracuse and the County of Onondaga.”                                 

Now, for the first time ever, an international sporting event will be held on indigenous lands.  The Onondaga Nation will host lacrosse teams from a dozen countries, and Sid Hill couldn’t be more proud.

"For us to host an event around the world, a sporting event of this magnitude, we call it our game...I can't imagine what is means for everybody.  Just the pride for us to be able to do that is amazing."

Hill says this tournament is an opportunity to show the world who they are…

"We have to educate people, we are still here,  we're a proud nation, like any other nation is proud of their culture, of their heritage, it's just something that we've worked for.  It's all coming together, and for us to host other nations, it's just an awesome event."

The Onondagas spent more than $6.5 million to prepare for the games.  Most of it went toward the building of a new pavilion.  Most of the games will be played there or the nearby arena.  A few will be played in the county’s war memorial, including the game following the opening ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday.   The finals will be held September 27th in the Carrier Dome.  A schedule and more information is at wilc2015.com.  

Onondaga Historical Association

 Onondaga Lake is on the road to revitalization with its clean-up in progress, the extension of the loop the lake trail and plans to build an Amphitheater.   But the importance of the lake's history and culture has been added to its continued  rejuvenation with a County Legislature committee approval of $100,000 from  create the  Skä•noñh - Great Law of Peace Center. If approved by all lawmakers, the funding will come from the County's room occupancy taxes.  The center is planned to be located on the former grounds of the living history museum Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois which closed about 3 years ago.  Onondaga Historical Association Executive Director Gregg Tripoli says the new center is a result of different parties coming together.

www.ganondagan.org / Ganondagan

Leaders and citizens of the Onondaga Nation were among members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in Canandaigua Tuesday to commemorate the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Canandaigua Treaty. The pact, signed in 1794, brought peace between the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations and the United States. It also recognized the sovereignty of the six nations to govern and set their own laws. But Onondaga Nation Counsel Joe Heath says over the centuries, it’s been ignored by state and federal governments with the taking of nation lands and other injustices.

Hannah Warren / WAER News


Native craft-makers gathered at the Onondaga Nation Arena over the weekend to sell their work and raise money for the Onondaga Nation Education Group.  The effort raises funds to support Native Students attending college in the Syracuse area, and it attracted vendors from across New York State for the event.

Andrew Courtney / Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

The paddlers have returned home, unpacked, rested, and are now processing the past few weeks of a historic canoe trip, aimed at renewing the promise of a 400-year-old treaty.  It all began in early July, on Onondaga Nation Lands on Onondaga Creek, and ended about a week ago in New York City.  Native peoples and non-Natives formed two lines representing the Two-Row Wampum, with hopes of educating people along their journey about the treaty that once bound the two peoples and bringing new focus to the importance of environmental cleanup and preservation.