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.
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.
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.