NYC Kickoff a grand success!
Over 350 people gathered into the Pavilion room at the National Museum of the American Indian on March 12th for the NYC kickoff event for the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign. It was standing room only. John Haworth, Director of the NYC National Museum of the American Indian, began with opening remarks.
Syracuse University professor Philip Arnold spoke about SU’s relationship with the Haudenosaunee and presented SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who was in attendance, with a leather lacrosse ball that he had been asked to give her in thanks.
Pete Seeger stole the show by teaching the audience the “canoe song” he had learned from Mohawk artist and historian Ray Fadden. “I was up at Akwesasne in the 1970s and asked to learn traditional songs. ‘Our traditional songs are sacred and not to be shared,’ Ray said, ‘But I’ll teach you this canoe song'” I asked some of the Onondagas afterwards how he did. “We know the song, he did it well,” they said.
Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper to the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation, explained the history & significance of the Two Row Wampum, and Tonya Gonnella Frichner of the American Indian Law Alliance explained the international importance of it.