Welcome to the Historic Marker Project

The Historical Markers Project is an ongoing NOON project with the support and collaboration of the Onondaga Nation and a group of consultants that includes academic scholars. The project aims to analyze historical markers in our region which are of significance to Haudenosaunee peoples. We aim to provide accurate, complete, and contextualized information related to relevant markers. 

The Onondaga Nation has called for a "healing between themselves and all others who live in this region that has been the homeland of the Onondaga Nation since the dawn of time." In response to this call NOON has initiated an effort to analyze historical markers in our region which provide either inaccurate, incomplete or out of context information related to the Onondaga Nation.

They have a deeply rich living culture which dates back thousands of years Markers with misleading historical information on that culture make reconciliation and justice difficult. We hope that these "virtual" revisions will lead to understanding and changes in the consciousness of our community, as well as, on the ground.

We anticipate doing this initially via NOON's website, distributing materials and presenting programs on our findings. We hope to work with town historians and other groups develop new markers. We are working with the Onondaga Park Department to replace a sign at Onondaga Lake Park on the "Iroquois Confederacy which contains several misleading statements.

To offer assistance, inquire about other aspects of the project, or suggest other markers after reviewing our list, contact NOON.

 

Reading Markers 101

Marker List

 

The Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation are not alone in recognizing the bias present in some historical markers and our larger narrative of American and Indian history.

Virginia's department of Historic Resources received a federal grant to replace 173 of its historical markers, many of which were erected in the 1920s and 1930s and offensive to the Mattaponi and the Nansemond.

In Massachusetts. The local Deerfield historical society placed removable cloth covers on markers bearing offensive terms such as "savages." The covers provided additional text for explanation. This effort corrected markers erected by descendents of English settlers who died in a 1704 raid. A member of the Mohawk nation advised the new wording.

Missouri reviewed its markers and corrected names in a 1998 book published by the State Historical Society of Missouri, Marking Missouri History

Kansas replaced 35 markers in the 1990s, after concerns were raised to the Kansas State Historical Society by indigenous peoples and students at Haskell Indian Nations University.

James Loewen is a sociologist who has written two books on misinformation on American history, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong. He is an educator who attended Carleton College, holds the Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Learn more at his web site: http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/liesacrossamerica.php

Honoring the Onondaga Nation is an informational brochure on the history and context of the Washington Square Park monument in Syracuse: HONORING.PDF

New York State Historical Markers - background information and marker database search, from the New York State Museum.

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