February 2018 - Wampum Belt Returns Home



Wampum Belt Returns Home

by Steve Thomas

On January 12, the Peabody Essex museum in Salem, Massachusetts completed the repatriation of an Onondaga Wampum belt back to the Onondaga Nation. The Nation had only become aware of this belt from a Standing Committee meeting that took place at the Peabody Essex Museum back in 2008. Under the guidance of our Nation legal counsel and the work of Tony Gonyea, Faithkeeper and NAGPRA representative for the Onondaga Nation, this process was a 10 year journey that finally concluded on a rainy, cold, yet beautiful day.

Leaving early in the morning, we arrived at the Peabody Essex Museum and were met with a warm reception. At the museum we met Alyssa Langlais, Registrar for the Collections, and Martin Copenhaver, President of the Andover Newton Theological School, previous holders of the wampum belt before Peabody Essex Museum. After some paperwork and handshakes, we were on our way back to complete the return home for the Wampum belt.

In the coming weeks, we hope that the community will have the opportunity to see this belt in person. Although the consultation process can be long and frustrating, to see items return home is very rewarding and helps to validate the work done by those who are committed to this process.

Reprinted From the Onondaga Nation Newsletter


NOON acknowledges that we are on the territory of the Onondaga Nation, counsel fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

We are thankful for their stewardship of our environment.



O.A.C. Winter Carnival, Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, 12-4, Onondaga Nation, OAC Ball Field and Arena. Soccer Games, Human Dog Sled Race, Tug of War, Crafters, Concessions, Raffles, Bounce House, Lacrosse games, Adult Co-ed Kick-ball game, Chuck-a-Puck, Men's Broom Ball Game. Down load flyer from NOON web page.

Native American Winter Fun Week, Tuesday-Friday, Feb. 20-23, Ganondagan State Historic Site, 1488 NY-444, Victor, NY 14564. FREE with admission to the Seneca Art & Culture Center. Each day is a different themed story with a make-and-take craft and new, participatory games. Find details and the full schedule here.

Native American Winter Games & Sports, Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10 am – 4 pm, Ganondagan State Historic Site, 1488 NY-444, Victor, NY 14564.15th annual Native American Winter Games Snowsnake, race snowboats, dog sled demos, storytelling, Iroquois Social Dancing, book signings, kids activities, food for purchase and more. Suggested donation: $5/individual; $10/ family includes free Seneca Art & Culture Center admission and snowshoe rental.

Furry Friends & Tales, 1 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 21 (bear) or Saturday, February 24 (turtle), Ganondagan State Historic Site, 1488 NY-444, Victor, NY 14564. Listen to animal tales, then make your very own stuffed animal to bring home. For 2nd grade and up, or younger with parent. $18/general public; $15/Friends of Ganondagan members. Registration is required by Feb. 19, so don't wait! Register online, call (585) 742-1690 or email info@ganondagan.org.


NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, Tuesday, February 13, 7-8:30 pm, Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 East Genesee St, Syracuse, NY. Since new people often have a lot of questions, we recommend contacting Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer, before the meeting.


Members of the Haudenousaunee Confereracy & the Onondaga Nation (Ononda'geh Ongwawenna) opened the Peoples State of the Union on Monday, January 29, 2018 providing an Indigenous opening to the event. Tadodaho Sid Hill offered the traditional thanks giving address.

San Francisco has joined a growing list of cities to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day.


NYC, Wells Fargo, and the DAPL

A Shinnecock Indian received a ticket for illegal fishing and is seeking to have the charges dismissed, arguing that ancient treaties predate and supersede government regulations.


WITNESS TO INJUSTICE: UNRAVELING HISTORIC NATIVE & U.S. RELATIONS. This inter-active group exercise is a 1 ½ hour teaching tool that uses participatory education to raise awareness of the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the part of the world now known as the United States. Through the use of meaningful quotes, and blankets that represent part of Turtle Island (the Western Hemisphere), we explore this shared history that most people rarely learn in traditional settings. We engage in a conversation about the European colonization of Turtle Island in order to deepen our understanding of the denial of Indigenous peoples' nationhood throughout U.S. History. NOON is offering this exercise to groups, organizations, schools and churches. A good will offering to support NOON's work is appreciated. If you would like additional information or to schedule a time for a presentation, contact Cindy Squillace.

The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code film is premised on Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, a book based on two decades of research by Shawnee, Lenape scholar Steven T. Newcomb. Available to borrow. Contact Carol Baum via email or phone 315-472-5478

Standing on Sacred Ground Videos. Each of the 4 episodes is 60 min. Pilgrims and Tourists, Profit and Loss, Fire and Ice and Islands of Sanctuary. If you have a group of friends or know an organization that would like to view any of these films, please contact Carol Baum via email or phone 3154725478.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.