Two Row Alive and Well in Central New York
At Sharing the River of Life, the campaign kickoff event in Syracuse, a procession featured 22 pairs of people working together in the spirit of the Two Row, one Haudenosaunee or other indigenous person and one non-native ally. Check out the photo gallery and the video.
Here they are:
Curtis Waterman, Beaver Clan, is a longtime blues musician who serves as the Onondaga representative to the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force. Aya Yamamoto is a student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and active member of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation. They work together musically and on the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign Steering and Enactment Committees.
Tadodaho Sid Hill is the spiritual leader of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Maurice Hinchey served in Congress for 20 years and has long been a voice for social justice and environmental protection. They represent the promise of the Two Row, two governments working side-by-side in peace and friendship, respecting one another’s different ways.
Irving Powless, Jr., Beaver Clan, is an Onondaga Chief, secretary of the Onondaga Nation, author, historian, ambassador and more. Robert W. Venables is a longtime educator and historian and author of the two volume set American Indian History: Five Centuries of Conflict & Coexistence. Irving and Bob have worked together for over 30 years to untangle the web of misinformation about the Haudenosaunee and share the true history of relations between our peoples.
Jeannie Shenandoah, Eel Clan, works for the Onondaga Nation Communications Office and is the Founding Vice President of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Sally Roesch Wagner, the founder and Director of the Gage Foundation, is a longtime feminist activist and educator. Jeannie and Sally have spoken widely together, including from this stage, about the Haudenosaunee Influence on the US Women’s Rights movement.
Robin Kimmerer, Potawotamie, is a Botany Professor, Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a poet. Bruce Bongarten is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY ESF and works with Robin on the Board of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. The Center is at the forefront of efforts to bridge the gap between indigenous understandings of the natural world and western environmental studies.
Regina Jones, Turtle Clan, is the Assistant Director of the Native Student Program at Syracuse University. She works closely withJames Duah-Agyeman, the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs to make SU a welcoming place for native students and people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Their work builds on the strong foundation established by Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s commitment to scholarship in action.
Dan Hill, Heron Clan, is a Cayuga title holder, Cayuga representative to the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force and an artist and musician. Dan helps maintain the land known as the Cayuga SHARE Farm. Jack Rossen, a professor of anthropology at Ithaca College is a founding member of SHARE, Strengthening Haudenosaunee American Relations through Education, and works to gain respect for indigenous oral traditions among scholars. Jack played a key role in the return of Cayuga Land to the Cayuga Nation.
Tom Huff, Deer Clan, is a stone sculptor, curator and arts educator. Rose Viviano is a stained glass artist and director of the ArtRage Gallery. Tom and Rose have worked together to promote the arts as a source of understanding and inspiration to work for peace and social justice.
Debbie Webster, Eel Clan, has worked regularly at the Syracuse Peace Council for nearly a decade. Carol Baum is a longtime Peace Council staffperson and co-founder of NOON. The Peace Council was a strong ally and friend of the Onondaga Nation long before NOON was formed in the late 1990s. Because peace is central to the missions of both the Haudenosaunee and the Peace Council this is a natural alliance.
Shirley Hill, Turtle Clan, works at Tsha’Hon’nonyen’dakhwa’, the Onondaga Nation arena and works on planning for the Two Row Symbolic Enactment. She has worked for several years with Joan Cope Savage, a local environmental scientist and NOON member, on the Good Friends Garden. The garden is a collaboration between NOON and Onondaga gardeners to build relationships and support sustainable agriculture.
Alf Jacques Turtle Clan, is one of the few traditional lacrosse stick makers still keeping up that craft. Mike Greenlar is a local photographer who has worked with Alf and others to document the Haudenosaunee roots of lacrosse and other aspects of the culture.
Dr. Roberta Johnson , Coyote Clan, grew up on the Onondaga Nation and works at the Health Center there. Dr. Joel Potash, a member of NOON, works with Roberta and others at the Onondaga Nation Health Center. Both seek to blend modern healthcare with traditional Haudenosaunee understandings of health.
Bradley Powless, Eel Clan, is a teacher at the Onondaga Nation School and sits on the Onondaga Council of Chiefs. He is working with Phil Arnold, professor of Religion at Syracuse University and Founding Director of “Skä noñh—The Great Law of Peace Center” at Onondaga Lake. This major project will transform a site of confused and misleading history into a multi-purpose educational center at the birthplace of Democracy.
Tony Gonyea, Beaver Clan, Faithkeeper is active with the Haudenosaunee Repatriation Committee. He worked closely with Greg Tripoli, Director of the Onondaga Historical Society, for the Return of Wampum to Onondaga Nation. Greg led his organization in voluntarily returning the belt and other cultural patrimony, a precedent-setting repatriation of a significant collection from a non-federally funded private museum and historical association. Tony created a replica belt for OHA as a sign of the Onondaga Nation’s appreciation.
Wendy Gonyea, Beaver Clan clanmother, is a writer and educator. She has worked closely with Carole Resnick, a founder of NOON, since the original Neighbor to Neighbor: Nation to Nation booklet was published in 2000. They are among the coordinators for the revised 72 page educational booklet, which will be published in the coming months. Look for and share this rich educational resource for the community.
Oren Lyons, Wolf Clan, is a faithkeeper and internationally-recognized spokesperson for indigenous peoples and protection of the Earth. Ed Bogucz is the Executive Director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, New York State’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Oren and Ed collaborate to bridge the gap between indigenous understandings of the environment and technical environmental science.
Bob Shenandoah, Eel clan, sings in traditional Haudenosaunee settings and has sung with the Syracuse Community Choir for 20 years. Karen Mihalyi directs the choir and is a longtime friend of the Onondaga. For over 25 years the Choir has sung of peace, social justice and protecting Mother Earth. Bob’s mother Audrey loved the choir and often participated in their concerts. This year’s Summer Solstice Concert, Thursday, June 13 at the Onondaga Nation School, will honor the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum agreement.
Tamra Cook, Bear clan, is active in the effort to prevent Hydrofracking and has organized Idle No More Events in Syracuse. Jack Ramsden has led NOON’s anti-fracking work for several years, organizing, speaking, passing out literature, etc. Jack has likely distributed more anti-fracking lawn signs than anyone else in the state. You can get one for only $6 and learn how you can get involved after the presentation.
Tom Porter, Bear Clan, is a Mohawk leader and founder of the Kanatsiohareke settlement re-established in 1993 on the Mohawk River near what is now Fonda, NY. When Amanda Hopkins, a nearby landowner learned of the resettlement, she generously offered support. Kanatsiohareke is a Mohawk community which returned to that nation’s ancestral lands as part of an effort to strengthen their culture.
Michael Taylor, Wolf Clan, is an assistant professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies at Colgate University. Brooke Hansen, a professor of anthropology at Ithaca College is a founder of SHARE. Michael and Brooke are active members of the Central New York Native American Studies Consortium which works to teach about indigenous issues and peoples both historically and in our current context in area colleges and universities.
Ron Shenandoah, Eel clan and Onondaga Fire Captain. Harold Smith is the Fire House Captain for Nedrow. They collaborate on Emergency Response for the area which includes the Onondaga Nation and neighboring towns and villages. The two departments have a strong working relationship which has resulted in faster and more effective emergency response in the area.
Hickory Edwards, Turtle Clan, is the Onondaga Coordinator for the Two Row Symbolic Enactment. Lindsay Speer is an environmental organizer on behalf of the Onondaga Nation and is Publicity Coordinator for the Two Row Campaign. Hickory and Lindsay work together to plan and implement the Two Row Enactment this coming summer. They’ll be doing a lot of paddling and looking for others to join in the fun.
Jake Edwards, Eel Clan, sits on the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs and speaks widely on historical and environmental issues. Jack Manno is a professor of Environmental Studies at SUNY ESF and Educational Coordinator of the Two Row Campaign. Jake and Jack work together to educate folks about the campaign. Both are eloquent and engaging speakers who are spreading the two row message far and wide.