Capital Region Events this Summer / Albany Common Council Resolution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 3, 2013
For More Information
Lindsay Speer, Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, 315-383-7210 or 315-475-2559
Hon. Barbara Smith (518) 436-1279
Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign Announces Capital Region Events this Summer
Albany Common Council to Consider Resolution of Support June 3, 2013
Albany, NY—The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign comes to the Capital region on June 5 with a talk at Russell Sage College by Onondaga Nation Turtle Clan Faithkeeper, Oren Lyons. He will also participate in a press conference at 1 pm at Albany’s City Hall with Common Council Member Barbara Smith, regarding the resolution of support being considered by the Albany Common Council on June 3, 2013.
The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign is a joint project between native and non-native peoples to raise awareness of the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and European settlers, created 400 years ago this year. It explains how to coexist together in peace and friendship, and the shared responsibility to take care of the environment. The project was officially endorsed by the Haudenosaunee Grand Council of Chiefs in January, 2013 and involves people from all six Haudenosaunee nations. The Haudenosaunee are also known as the Iroquois Confederacy. The campaign is co-sponsored by over 85 organizations statewide.
The resolution being considered by the Albany Common Council expresses support for the year-long Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign. It recognizes the tarnishing of the relationship over the past 200 years, and calls for a renewal and polishing of the Silver Covenant Chain, the traditional basis of diplomacy between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch, English and Americans. The resolution joins the Campaign’s call to keep fracking out of New York State, and calls on the United States government to fully implement the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Albany Common Council Member Barbara Smith explained, “The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign honors a significant historical event when the indigenous Haudenosaunee people and European immigrants made a commitment to peacefully coexist with respect for each other and for the earth they shared. This model of cooperation continues to inspire us today.”
“I am happy and proud to support the Two Row Wampum campaign to remind us of the 400 year history of agreements between Native Peoples and the federal government,” stated Albany Common Council Member Dominick Calsolaro. “Many of these agreements have not been fulfilled and it is necessary to bring attention to the issue of a lack of effort by the government to fully implement the terms of treaties.”
“As Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, we have learned that honoring the Two Row Wampum Treaty -particularly the part that talks about commitment to not interfere in each other’s internal affairs – provides a good basis for working respectfully with the Onondaga Nation,” explained Andy Mager, Project Coordinator for the campaign. “Together, we are keeping fracking out of our area, benefitting all of us.”
“We’re looking for a healing,” explained Jake Edwards, of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs. “It’s not that complicated. It starts with respect, and honor of our Mother Earth, for all of us to survive, for all of us to carry on… that’s where it starts. And if we work together, we can bring that healing to our Mother, so that we are all at peace.”
Capital Region events include:
- Wednesday, June 5, 2013 6:00-8:30 pm – An evening with Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons. Bush Memorial Auditorium, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY. Oren will discuss the Doctrine of Discovery as it relates to the Two Row Wampum. The event is free and open to the public.
- Saturday, June 15, 10 am to 3 pm – Mohawk elder Tom Porter on Iroquois Spirituality and the Two Row Wampum. Kanatsiohareke, Fonda, NY. Includes Continental breakfast, a silent auction, raffles, and a Spaghetti dinner. Cost: $25 per person, cash only. RSVP by June 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Saturday, July 27, 10 am to 5 pm – Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign Send-off Celebration Festival. Russell Sage College, Troy, NY. Featuring Tom Porter, Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers, Akwesasne Women Singers, Margo Thunderbird, Native and Dutch Craft Vendors, Tours of the Onrust Ship, and children’s activities. The Dakota Unity Riders from Manitoba, Canada, will also be in attendance. They ride on horseback to spread a message of peace and healing for every nation and for humankind. Free and open to the public.
- Sunday, July 28, 10:45 am – Over 200 canoers and kayakers will launch from Rensselaer Boat Launch to start their epic journey from Albany to NYC. They will travel in two lines, one native, one non-native, depicting the imagery of the Two Row Wampum. Albany residents will have a good view and are encouraged to cheer on the paddlers from the Corning Preserve.
The paddlers will take thirteen days to complete their journey, stopping in communities along the way. A large gathering will be held on August 3rd in Beacon, NY, also with the Dakota Unity Riders. The paddlers will land at Pier 96 in NYC on Friday, August 9th and make their way to the United Nations in honor of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. To learn more visit www.HonorTheTwoRow.org.