January 2017 - Janus




January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. It is generally a time for evaluation of our lives. One aspect you might want to look at is your understanding of the past and present relationship we have with our Indigenous neighbors. Of the 2850 of you who receive this newsletter, some of you are just starting being aware. Others have years of experience learning, advocating and supporting. And many are somewhere in between. Here we offer you some subjects for consideration.

Have you looked at our shared history through an Indigenous lens? Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, for a scholarly evaluation or Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America for a humorous but very thought provoking slant are possible places to start.

In whose ancestral land did you grew up? And where you live in now? Are there nation territories/reservations near you?Are there related cultural centers near you? Are there events these nations hold – like craft shows or Pow Wows that you can attend? Are there related university events or talks? Have you talked to and gotten to know an Indigenous person at such an activity?

Do you know about the Doctrine of Discovery? Do you know that it's based on Vatican documents from the 15th Century, and has profoundly affected United States law regarding Indian Nations? Steve Newcomb's Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery is a good place to start. You can also find web videos of Steve speaking on this topic.NOON has a film by Steve Newcomb which is available to borrow (see below)

The Doctrine of Discovery list serve is often a good, ongoing venue for some challenging and thought provoking discussions on wide ranging topics. Emailing SU professor of religion Phil Arnold to join the list. 

Do you know that as they learn about the Doctrine of Discover many religious denominations have called for its renunciation​? Has your denomination? The Episcopal Church is one of several faith communities that have taken a position. 

Have you read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Did you know it came out of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues​? Did you know that this forum meets yearly to work on issues that impact Indigenous Peoples all over the world? Did you know that the United States was one of four nations that originally voted against the Declaration and now only conditionally supports it?

What do you know about the long and ongoing struggle to protect sacred sites? Or to protecting land rights and water rights? Or hunting, fishing and gathering rights? Here in New York State the nations of the Haudenosaunee continue to have to wage these struggles on a regular basis. Just several generations ago the Haudenosaunee suffered some major land and water rights losses. Mohawks lost thousands of acres of land to the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway project in the 1950's. In the 1960's the Tuscaroras lost 550 acres to New York State to build a reservoir for the Robert Moses Niagara Power Project;and, the Senecas lost thousands of acres and many homes to lands flooded for the Kinzua Dam project on the Allegheny River. Locally, in the late 1940's the Onondagas lost many homes and land along Onondaga Creek for a flood control dam built directly on Nation territory.

What do you know about the intergenerational trauma at Indian boarding schools? Are you aware of the atrocities committed in them? Do you realize that natives are affected by this legacy in a myriad of ways to this day? Get a copy of a recent report on the subject. 

Where are you? And what are you interested in learning about next?



NOON acknowledges the Onondaga People and Nation, on whose aboriginal territory we reside.




Ada Jacques Memorial Art Show, ongoing, temporary, Skä noñh Great Law of Peace Center (formally Saint Marie Among the Iroquois), Onondaga Parkway, Syracuse, NY.



NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, February 14, 7-8:30 pm, Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 East Genesee St, Syracuse, NY. Since new people often have a lot of questions, we recommend talking with Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff (315-472-5478), email  or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer (3154922684) or email before the meeting.


Top Prosecutor in Leonard Peltier Case Urges Clemency in an "Extraordinary" Move. Will Obama address this case before he leaves?

Coalition applauds plan 2014 being enacted to restore health of Lake Ontario & St. Lawrence river.

From the Dakota Access Pipeline to the Bears Ears National Monument, 2016 marked a turning point.


Bears Ears and Gold Butte have been designated National Monuments protecting more than 1.6 million acres in Utah. A collaboration of native nations will be involved in the future management appearing to set a very positive new precedent for land preservation and responsible management of environmental and archeological sites. Another perspective: Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres

Is the Pilgrim Pipeline Protest the Next #NoDAPL?

Youth Seek Testimony From Exxon's Rex Tillerson in Federal Climate Lawsuit

 20 Photos From My Seven Months of Living at Standing Rock

 Hogansburg Dam Removal The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is restoring the natural flow of the St. Regis River, improving fish habitat, and reclaiming tribal lands.

American Friends Service Committee's report on Standing Rock

NOON Videos available to borrow:

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.

Standing on Sacred Ground 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 at 3154725478 or email.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.