Onondaga Nation

Scott Willis / WAER News

About three dozen self-described Water Protectors came to Syracuse’s Clinton Square Tuesday as part of a national day of action calling on the federal government to reject The Dakota Access Pipeline.  The group stood outside of the Bank of America to protest the loan issued to build the pipeline.  Many people came to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, the native population that has been negatively affected by the pipeline’s construction. Water Protector Margaret Birdlebough of Syracuse was among the crowd.

Morgan Bulman / WAER News

With signs in hand, Syracuse locals standing in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux started their rally by chanting “Water is Life!” to the beat of drums.

Marlee Tuskes / WAER News

A new mural will now greet students and visitors as they enter Syracuse’s LeMoyne Elementary School. The mural depicts the five Native American nations coming together to create the Haudenosaunee confederacy.  Andy Mager with neighbors of the Onondaga Nation says the mural will help to educate residents about the history that happened right in their own backyard.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday agreed to transfer a parcel of land along Onondaga Lake to the Onondaga Nation while the county continues its effort to ensure public access to the rest of the lakeshore. 

   Many were concerned an early version of the resolution  proposed three weeks ago went back on a 2011 promise to give Murphy’s Island near Destiny USA to the Onondaga’s.  But Chairman Ryan McMahon says that measure was just a non-binding gesture that never saw any additional action.

http://www.filminsyracuse.com/

  A film about the first spectator sport in North America is part of a special spring edition of the Syracuse International Film Festival. They’re calling SpringFest.  It’s focusing on films that have a Central New York connection through subject, filmmaker or local talent working on them.  Syracuse University Sport Management Professor Dennis Deninger says his film “America’s First Sport” tells of the first time spectators actually watched a sporting event: a lacrosse game.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Onondaga Nation is calling for a change in strategy on cleaning up Onondaga Lake. Nation leaders were at the lakeside today, criticizing one part of the remediation that failed. Nation attorney Alma Lowry says the public hears about progress, but not problems.

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.

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