This 400th anniversary campaign, carried out throughout 2013, is finished. The work to honor treaties with Native Nations and protect the Earth continues. Learn more, or join in that work: contact the Onondaga Nation, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, Neetopk Keetopk (Hudson Valley), Onondaga Canoe and Kayak Club or Two Row Paddle down the Grand (2016).

Haudenosaunee Paddlers En Route to Albany

Paddler Group near Oneida Lake

Following a ceremony at the Onondaga Longhouse on the morning July 2, a group of Haudenosaunee paddlers began the first leg of the Two Row Wampum journey travelling up rain-swollen Onondaga Creek into the Inner Harbor. They were joined there by a group of ally paddlers for a Two Row Paddle across Onondaga Lake. At the north shore they were met by a couple of hundred cheering people, overjoyed to see the powerful Two Row vision brought to life.

The paddlers, including representatives from all six Haudenosaunee nations, continued out of Onondaga Lake to the Seneca River, Oneida River and crossed Oneida Lake. As they head to the Erie Canal and then the Mohawk River, they will face obstacles because of the high waters, but are determined to continue the journey even if it means walking some of the way.

Each morning one of the paddlers takes out the replica Two Row Wampum belt and shares with the group what it means to them. “When they bring out the wampum and explain that this is for the Earth and for our brothers and sisters, it’s a great feeling and a beautiful way to start the day,” said Charlotte Logan, a Mohawk woman who has been documenting the journey.

As the group has moved from one Haudenosaunee territory to another, that nation has offered a Thanksgiving Address in their own language, first Onondaga, then Oneida and finally Mohawk. The group will reach the Hudson River on Sunday, July 14 and then the people and wampum belt will rest for two weeks before continuing down the Hudson to New York City and the United Nations.

See the full schedule.