Sharing the River of Life Teach-In–April 25-26

Teach-In graphic
Register Now! for talks, presentations, social dancing, workshops and more

Friday, April 25, 6 – 9:30 pm and Saturday, April 26, 9 am – 6 pm

Download the Flier to Share

Brooklyn Friends School, 375 Pearl St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, and Brooklyn Friends Meetinghouse, 110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The teach-in is a follow-up to the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an educational and advocacy effort to Honor Treaties with Native Nations and work together to Protect the Earth.

Friday evening will feature an Opening Thanksgiving Address, dinner, and a keynote presentation on Haudenosaunee values: gifts to our contemporary world by Freida Jacques, Onondaga Nation Clanmother and educator. This will be followed by Haudenosaunee Social Dancing in which all are invited to join.  No Charge

Saturday:  A voluntary $25 donation is requested to cover costs; but no one will be turned away because of inability to pay. Morning bagels, coffee, tea and lunch included.

Saturday, April 26
Thanksgiving Address and Keynote: From Where We Stand to Seven Generations by Mohawk Elder Tom Porter.

Workshops, 11 am
-Bringing the Haudenosaunee Longhouse into the Classroom—Kay Olan (Mohawk)
-Creating an Ally organization/working as allies to indigenous people—Andy Mager, Sally Bermanzohn, others
-Drumming Workshop—Spirit of Thunderheart
- Incorporating indigenous perspectives into environmental activism/TEK and SEK—Charlotte Logan (Mohawk), Aya Yamamoto… and others

Presentation Session I, 2:30 pm
-Role of Haudenosaunee Women and influence on Women’s Rights Movement – Daygot Leeyos Edwards (Oneida), Sally Bermanzohn and others
-Unity and the Oppressed: The Ramapough and recent film “Out of the Furnace”–Chief Dwaine Perry (Ramapough)
-Forgotten Founders: Haudenosaunee influences on US Democracy – Kay Olan (Mohawk) and Andy Mager
-Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum, a short film by Gwendolen Cates – Hickory Edwards (Onondaga), Gwendolen Cates, others
-Indigenous Media–???

3:45 Presentation Session II
-The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Progress and Challenges– Roberto Múkaro Borrero (Taino)
-The Anti-Fracking Struggle and Indigenous Rights—Emily Bishop, Hickory Edwards, others
-Doctrine of Discovery—Susan Wolf, others
-Three Lessons in Peace–Freida Jacques
-Native New Yorkers—Evan Pritchard (Algonquin)

5:00 Closing Plenary—Moving forward for indigenous rights and environmental protection…

For more information, or to offer to assist in some way, contact Aya Yamamoto or Tom Rothschild.

During the day on Friday, a variety of events and presentations will be scheduled for students at the Brooklyn Friends School.

Co-sponsored by the Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign in conjunction with Brooklyn Friends School, Brooklyn Friends Meeting and NYC Free Peltier.

Additional co-sponsors (list in formation), Judson Memorial Church, American Indian Law Alliance, Native Resistance Network and Neetopk Keetopk: Sharing the River of Life.

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Sharing the River of Life: A Teach-In

Teach-In graphic
Friday, April 25, 6 – 9:30 pm and Saturday, April 26, 9 am – 6 pm

Register Now!

Download the Flier to Share

Brooklyn Friends School, 375 Pearl St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, and Brooklyn Friends Meetinghouse, 110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The teach-in is a follow-up to the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an educational and advocacy effort to Honor Treaties with Native Nations and work together to Protect the Earth.

Friday evening will feature an Opening Thanksgiving Address, dinner, and a keynote presentation on Haudenosaunee values: gifts to our contemporary world by Freida Jacques, Onondaga Nation Clanmother and educator. This will be followed by Haudenosaunee Social Dancing in which all are invited to join.  No Charge

Saturday:  A voluntary $25 donation is requested to cover costs; but no one will be turned away because of inability to pay. Morning bagels, coffee, tea and lunch included.

Saturday, April 26
Thanksgiving Address and Keynote: From Where We Stand to Seven Generations by Mohawk Elder Tom Porter.

Workshops, 11 am
-Bringing the Haudenosaunee Longhouse into the Classroom—Kay Olan (Mohawk)
-Creating an Ally organization/working as allies to indigenous people—Andy Mager, Sally Bermanzohn, others
-Drumming Workshop—Spirit of Thunderheart
- Incorporating indigenous perspectives into environmental activism/TEK and SEK—Aya Yamamoto… and more

Presentation Session I, 2:30 pm
-Role of Haudenosaunee Women and influence on Women’s Rights Movement – Daygot Leeyos Edwards (Oneida), Sally Bermanzohn and others
-Unity and the Oppressed: The Ramapough and recent film “Out of the Furnace”–Chief Dwaine Perry (Ramapough)
-Forgotten Founders: Haudenosaunee influences on US Democracy – Kay Olan (Mohawk) and Andy Mager
-Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum, a short film by Gwendolen Cates – Hickory Edwards (Onondaga), Gwendolen Cates, others
-Indigenous Media–???

3:45 Presentation Session II
-The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Progress and Challenges– Roberto Múkaro Borrero (Taino)
-The Anti-Fracking Struggle and Indigenous Rights—Emily Bishop, Hickory Edwards, others
-Doctrine of Discovery—Susan Wolf, others
-Three Lessons in Peace–Freida Jacques
-Native New Yorkers—Evan Pritchard (Algonquin)
-Organizing for Indigenous Rights in the New York Metro area – Aya Yamamoto, Tom Rothschild, Maggie Tobin, others

5:00 Closing Plenary—Moving forward for indigenous rights and environmental protection…

For more information, or to offer to assist in some way, contact Aya Yamamoto or Tom Rothschild.

During the day on Friday, a variety of events and presentations will be scheduled for students at the Brooklyn Friends School.

Co-sponsored by the Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign in conjunction with Brooklyn Friends School, Brooklyn Friends Meeting and NYC Free Peltier.

Additional co-sponsors (list in formation), Judson Memorial Church, American Indian Law Alliance, Neetopk Keetopk: Sharing the River of Life.

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Support Onondaga Nation’s quest for Justice

The Onondaga Nation’s quest for Justice took another step forward yesterday!

Two busses carried Onondagas, other Haudenosaunee people and a couple of non-native allies to Washington, DC yesterday.  We traveled to show our support for the petition filed by the Onondaga Nation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (part of the Organization of American States).

A well-attended news conference was held at the Washington Quaker Meeting House and then we went to the White House (though President Obama wasn’t there to welcome us).  The Onondaga leaders brought with them the original wampum belt, commissioned by President George Washington, to mark the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.  The Onondaga continue calling on the US government to honor the Covenant Chain of Treaties. President Obama specifically referred to this when speaking to native leaders last fall. Unfortunately, he is taking no action to honor the commitments, at least not yet.

Our work continues with a

Support Gathering
for the Onondaga Nation’s Quest for Justice
Syracuse’s Inner Harbor – map
Tomorrow, Thursday, April 17 at 5pm

Please join Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation in support of the Onondaga Nation as they bring their Land Rights Action to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (part of Organization of American States) as the next step in their quest for justice. They will present their petition in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 15.

We will gather at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, where Onondaga Creek begins its final flow into Onondaga Lake. We will hear about the filing and offer our appreciations. If weather permits, those who wish to will walk to the Lake (about a mile). For more information, contact Carol at carol@peacecouncil.net or  315.472.5478

 
 

Read NOON’s statement of support

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Onondaga Nation to File Historic International Appeal

Inline image 1

On Tuesday, April 15 at 11:00 am
in front of The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC

members of the Onondaga Nation will file a petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  They invite supporters to join them.
More background information below…

To join in ride-sharing from Syracuse  (leaving between 1 and 3 am that morning, contact Andy, 315-559-7058.  If you’re interested in helping organizing carpooling from other parts of the region, contact Andy as well.

For those in Central New York, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation has organized a gathering, Support the Onondaga Nation’s Quest for Justice on Thursday, April 17 at 5 pm at the Syracuse Inner Harbor, 412 Spencer St, Syracuse, NY map.

We know that few people will be able to come to Washington, DC on short notice on a weekday, so wanted to suggest additional ways to lend support.

1)  Organize a local support action in your community.  Possible venues could include sites where we gathered last year during the paddle or polluted sites in your community (since environmental protection is so central to the Onondaga message).

2)  Write a letter to the editor of local papers expressing your support.  If the Two Row Campaign came through your community, referring to it would help add some local relevance.

3)  Check out the Onondaga Nation’s website for updates and great background information or the Two Row website.

Background Information
Since 1788, 2.5 million acres of land have been stolen from the Onondaga Nation by New York State, and the failure of the domestic court system has left the Nation with no choice but to seek assistance for human rights violations from the international community.

Chiefs, clanmothers, nation citizens and non-native supporters will demonstrate in front of the White House with the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty belt, commissioned by President George Washington to signify peace and friendship as guaranteed by the treaty.

The Nation is not seeking evictions, monetary damages or a casino. Instead, it is asking to continue a healing process between themselves and others who live in the region, and for a ruling that would allow the Nation to continue its role as an environmental steward of the land it conserved for centuries.

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Guswenta Screenings in Syracuse and Albany

Guswenta image for emailsThe new film Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum will be shown twice this month, in addition to the screening at the Sharing the River of Life Teach-In in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 16 at 2:30 pm at Moon Library Room 110 at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
Dr. Robin Kimmerer, Director of the SUNY ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment and Hickory Edwards, Onondaga Nation Turtle Clan and Two Row lead paddler. will speak after the film
Download the flier to share.

Monday, April 28, 7:30 pm at The Madison Theater, 1036 Madison Avenue, Albany
Cost: $10/adults, $8/senior citizens, $5/children
The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Hickory Edwards, Onondaga Nation Turtle clan and Two Row lead paddler
Gwendolen Cates, award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and author
Don Rittner, of the Onrust which joined with the Two Row in 2013
Denise Watso, Abenaki community organizer and Two Row paddler
Download the flier to share.

Screenings are also being scheduled in Rochester, Buffalo, Onondaga Nation, Hudson Valley, Seattle and more. To find out about scheduling a screening in your area, contact Andy, 315-701-1592.

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Two Row-Inspired Art Exhibit in Albany

spiritkeeper-painting MaryK
New artworks by MaryK Weeks debuted at The Daily Grind, 204 Lark Street, Albany, NY, on Friday, April 4. The exhibit will be up at least through early May.

The acrylic paintings and mixed media collage are infused with the spirit of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign begun in 2013. The campaign was initiated by the Onondaga Nation (Haudenosaunee) in partnership with its non-indigenous neighbors.

The artist became energetically charged at the Two Row flotilla launch on the Hudson River in Rensselaer and at commemorations of the Tawagonshi Treaty of 1613, an agreement to honor the Earth, at Sage College in Troy and in lower Manhattan. It is her hope that the power of native heart to bridge time, space and culture be felt through the exhibited images.

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Connecting the Dots: The Onondaga Nation Land Rights Action Goes International

The Onondagas were among the first in NYS to be aware of the dangers of hydrofracking. Tadodaho’ Sid Hill speaking at an anti-fracking rally in Albany on May 2, 2011. Photo: NOON Archives.

The Onondagas were among the first in NYS to be aware of the dangers of hydrofracking. Tadodaho’ Sid Hill speaking at an anti-fracking rally in Albany on May 2, 2011. Photo: NOON Archives.

An update on the Onondaga Nation’s plans for taking their land rights case to the international arena, from the April 2014 Peace Newsletter #833

by Jeanne Shenandoah, Onondaga Nation

“All men are born free and equal, in dignity and in rights, and, being endowed by nature with reason and conscience, they should conduct themselves as brothers one to another.”
- From the Preamble to the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, adopted in 1948 by the Ninth International Conference of American States in Bogotá, Colombia; the same meeting adopted the Charter of the Organization of American States and thereby created the Organization of American States.

In “Reasserting Sovereignty: Onondaga Lake” (Peace Newsletter #832, March 2014), Joe Heath, the General Counsel for the Onondaga Nation, explained the reasoning behind the Onondaga Nation’s 2005 filing of its Land Rights Action in Federal District Court. In 2013 the case finally reached the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear it, thereby leaving the Onondaga Nation without a remedy for the wrongful taking of their land. In this article, I want to share more about the Nation’s connection to the lands that are its home, particularly Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek, to help deepen understanding as the Land Rights Action moves into the international arena

The Land Rights Action
The Onondaga Nation continues to believe that there needs to be a healing with respect to New York State’s wrongful taking of the Onondaga Nation’s land. In April, 2014, the Nation will bring the Land Rights Action to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the Organization of American States. This Commission has demonstrated, through rulings in other cases, a profound respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, demonstrated in part by its reliance on and respect for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Throughout the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the fundamental rights associated with land are explicitly and implicitly protected. Article 32 speaks directly to the prevention of environmental degradation. It provides that “indigenous people have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories or other resources,” that States shall consult and obtain free and informed full consent from indigenous people through their own governments “prior to any activity affecting their lands or territories, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.” Significantly, the article concludes: “States shall provide mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.” It is this just and fair redress that the Onondaga Nation seeks in bringing its Land Rights Action into the international arena.

The Creek and the Lake
It is difficult to put into English words our Nation’s and our people’s deep and fundamental cultural, historical and spiritual connection to Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake. Onondaga Creek flows through the center of both our currently recognized territory and our much larger aboriginal territory. We believe that the Creek is a living spirit which has provided life and sustenance to our people for all the centuries that we have lived in what is now called Central New York.
The Creator has given us a great duty to take care of, or be stewards of, Mother Earth and the air, water and all plants and animals. It is the knowledge of our people that all living things have a spirit. It saddens us greatly that the Creek, the Lake, and all the fish, plants and animals that depend on these waters are being harmed and destroyed.
In our culture, we are taught to give thanks daily to the Creator for all forms of plants and animals; we do not consider that humans have superior rights to these other life forms. We are taught that we must all share the gifts of the Creator. One of the responsibilities of our leaders is to preserve the natural world for those yet to be born.

Water
Historically, it is important to remember that the Onondaga Nation’s aboriginal territory, which we enjoyed up until the invasion of the Europeans about 400 years ago, was an area of land approximately 40 to 50 miles wide that began on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario in the North, and ran down well into Pennsylvania to the south.  Our aboriginal territory was bordered on the east by the territory of the Oneida Nation and on the west by the territory of the Cayuga Nation. Before the Europeans, our people had access to many lakes, rivers, streams and ponds for fishing and gathering. Fish from all of these waters were one of the main sources of our food and sustenance. Additionally, our culture relied heavily on plants and other wildlife from these water sources.
After the illegal activities of New York State in the late 1700s and early 1800s, taking our land in violation of federal law and treaties, our territory was drastically reduced from this large aboriginal area to its currently limited size. During this same period, the majority of our people were either killed or driven out of our territory to try to live elsewhere.
The negative impacts of these land thefts were extreme on the Onondaga people and on our culture. One of these negative impacts was to dramatically reduce our access to water to that limited portion of Onondaga Creek that runs through our currently recognized territory. Therefore our ability to supply our people with the important food source of fish and other water-based wildlife has been drastically reduced. As a result, our people’s health has suffered immeasurably.
Further, the lack of access to water-based plants and other water-related wildlife has had an extremely negative impact on our people and our ability to maintain our traditional culture. One example of this is that several of our clans, such as the turtle clan, the eel clan, and the heron clan, are named after our water-based brethren. Even today, fish, eels, crabs (crayfish) and clear water are still key components to some of our ceremonies. A key activity connected to the need for clean water is a ceremony where participants dance in the Creek and use fish and eels from the Creek as part of the ceremony.

Healing
Because of our traditional mandate to preserve the natural world for our future generations, our Nation and its Chiefs, Faithkeepers and Clan Mothers are dedicated to restoring Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek to the pristine condition we enjoyed for centuries before the arrival of the Europeans. We believe that such restoration will provide and promote a healing, not only for our people and our culture, but also for all people who live in this area.
We are very grateful to those who have supported the Onondaga Nation in so many ways over the years. Going forward, it is clear that support from our neighbors will be critical to the success of our Land Rights Action. While the international forums in which the Onondaga Nation will seek justice have moral authority, they have limited ability to compel the United States or New York State to redress the harm that the Onondaga Nation has suffered to its lands and waters. We call on you, our neighbors, to support the Nation by calling for clean water, clean soil, clean air, for all of our children and grandchildren.

Note: Portions of this article appeared in slightly different form as Appendix 2 to the Partnership for Onondaga Creek’s Title VI Petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 2004.

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Two Row Photo to be cover of 2015 Peace Calendar

Peace CAlendar 2015TwoRow
The Two Row Paddle will be the cover image of the 2015 Peace Calendar published annually by Syracuse Cultural Workers. The beautiful wall calendar, published continually for over 40 years, features artwork and information to inspire people to work for peace, social justice and environmental protection. Congratulations to Jessica Hallenbeck, a paddler for the full Hudson trip, whose photo will be featured.

Tens of thousands of people will learn of our work through the calendar. A Two Row image also appeared in the 2013 calendar.  The calendar is scheduled for publication on August 1, 2014 and will be available from Syracuse Cultural Workers. They publish many other beautiful posters, notecards, t-shirts and more. The Two Row Campaign collaborated with the Syracuse Cultural Workers to publish the poster, postcard and bookmark “How to be An Ally to Indigenous Peoples.”

How to be allies posterFinal

Here’s a link to this year’s calendar: https:///products/calendar-2014-peace-calendar

The photo they’re using is Jessica Hallenbeck’s picture of paddlers with paddles up before departing on the final morning!

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Guswenta Film Wins Award at NYC Film Fest

Guswenta image for emails
Contact us to schedule a screen in your community of Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum by Gwendolen Cates.  This inspiring piece won the award for best short film at the Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Fest in New York City.

This 33-minute film features stunning footage of the 28 day paddling journey from the Onondaga Nation to the United Nations in New York City during the summer of 2013, along with powerful words from Haudenosaunee leaders including Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Onondaga Clanmother Freida Jacques, Mohawk spiritual leader Tom Porter, and Tadodaho Sid Hill. The film inspires people, indigenous and non-native, to consider our collective responsibility 400 years after the Two Row Wampum Treaty was created.

Fees are negotiable to bring the film and speakers involved in the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign and filmmaker Gwendolen Cates to present to campus programs, classes and community groups. For more information, or to make arrangements, contact  Andy Mager, 315-701-1592.

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Registration Fee for Sharing the River of Life: A Teach-In

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Please register before paying.


Voluntary Donation
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Friday, April 25, 6 – 9:30 pm and Saturday, April 26, 9 am – 6 pm

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Support Two Rowers in Strike for Peace Bowlathon

At last year's bowlathon, we bowled side-by-side in parallel lanes.

At last year’s bowlathon, we bowled side-by-side in peace and friendly competition in parallel lanes.

Two Row folks will participate in the Syracuse Peace Council’s Strike for Peace Bowlathon on Sunday, March 30.

Support the Two Row Bowlers
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Funds raised will support the Syracuse Peace Council, the parent organization of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, a partner in organizing The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign with the Onondaga Nation.

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