NOON e-newsletter February 2015

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“New Yea!” “New Yea!” “New Yea!”



On Monday, December 22, 2014 the Onondaga Nation School held its 18th “New Yea” celebration as an educational enrichment component for the children.


New Yea” as it is pronounced at Onondaga is a contemporary holiday celebrated every January 1st and is accompanied by fresh, warm baked goods as treats for all the children and relations in the community.


An interesting similarity is at the Haudenosaunee communities of Tuscarora and Ohsweken “New Yea” is pronounced “New Nyah” and is celebrated in much the same style as it is here in Onondaga.


The holiday is borrowed from the time when the European neighbors came to settle in New York State. At the Onondaga Nation our neighbor’s celebratory enthusiasm became a part of the community’s newest holiday tradition known as “New Yea”, and it has been passed down through the generations as a way to celebrate the present New Year’s Day. The Onondaga Nation School held its first New Yea celebration in 1997. The school celebration traditionally takes place within the final days of the concluding year.


At ONS the primary students are divided into multi-aged groups for mini-lesson instruction combined with the classic school wide door to door New Yea. Each multi-age group has community students from the Kindergarten, First grade, Second grade and Third grade grade classes. Each of these student groups is accompanied by an 8th grade student leader. The 8th grade students are the senior class at the ONS and this activity affords each an opportunity to be a positive role model for the younger students.


New Yea is one event of many representing a cultural experience for students to celebrate throughout the year which is a unique educational component held only at the Onondaga Nation School.


Today’s winter solstice celebration for 2015 is once again featured by our healthy children embracing the halls of ONS with shouting cheers of “New Yea!” “New Yea!” “New Yea!”



Reprinted from: Onondaga Nation Newsletter, Onoñda'geh Oñgwaweñna', January 2015 Volume 17 Issue 9, contributed by Tsadeyohdi




    Don’t lump all indigenous people together. Each nation or tribe has its own customs, history, language, spirituality and treaties. It is as inaccurate to discuss totem poles and teepees when discussing the arrival of the Pilgrims in the Northeast as using Swedish cultural examples when discussing Italy.

Kay Olan, Mohawk/Wolf Clan




The Akwesasne Museum was founded over 40 years ago. “In recent years we have been challenged to re-think our assumptions of what a museum is. Part of that process has meant exploring who our perceived audiences are, what we would like them to know about the museum, and how to bring them that message. Our guided tours allow visitors to speak directly with knowledgeable Native people. The museum’s board and staff are all Akwesasne Mohawk community members. Our museum staff strives to present accurate information on our history and culture in an accessible manner.

The museum is located on Route 37, a highway that traverses the northernmost border of New York State. We are 8 miles east of Massena NY and 25 miles west of Malone NY. We are directly across the border from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada and within an hour and a half drive of Ottawa and Montreal, for those who are able to make an extended trip. There is plenty of food and lodging available within Akwesasne for those who have our community as their main destination. Visitors in September can plan to attend the Akwesasne International Powwow.” - 518-358-2461 -

Where is the Tree of Peace located?”


The Tree of Peace is symbolic of the five Haudenosaunee Nations uniting under the Great Law of Peace. This happened well over a thousand years ago. Like any symbol what it stands for is the real message. How the Peacemaker united warring nations to form a strong alliance of nations is remembered in Longhouses to this day. Hopefully, a search for the Tree of Peace will lead those inquire about it's location to learn about the Great Law of Peace and be inspired by its message. To quote Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp, “Every time you look at this tree and its greenery, you will be reminded of this peace you agreed to because this tree never changes color the year round, it’s always green, so shall be your peace.”


The Tree of Peace is generally considered to be a eastern white pine, the largest native conifer in NYS. Its range mirrors the extent of the Haudenosaunee territory. Its needles are bundled in groups of five symbolic of the five nations of the original Confederacy. On the Hiawatha Belt, which recoded the unitying of the nations in peace, a tree symbol represents the Onondaga at the center with 2 squares on each side representing the other nations.


Hiawatha Belt


Various groups have planted white pines and dedicated them to this concept of long-lasting peace, justice and unity. Cornell University placed theirs at the F. R. Newman Arboretum. A group of activists in Syracuse sited their tree on the shore of Onondaga Lake at Onondaga Lake Park. A large white pine stands on the grounds of the Canandaigua Ontario County Courthouse and figures in the ceremonies on Treaty Day every year on November 11th, which commemorate the Treaty of Canandaigua. West Virginia University's Peace Tree was planted on September 12, 1992. Chief Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho of the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy was present blessed the tree. A second Peace Tree replaced the original on October 19, 1996 after vandals cut down in August. Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp presided at that replanting and blessing. The UWV web site:


You can learn more about the Great Law of Peace and the Tree of Peace at

The Tree of Peace by John Kahionhes Fadden

The Onondaga Nation web site

Great Tree of Peace: the White Pine By Neil Patterson Jr., Skarure (Tuscarora),

Or in the book White Roots of Peace by Paul Wallace (Clear Light Publishing, April 1994).




New York’s Missing Link: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now”, February 11, Wednesday, 4:30-6:30 PM, Dr. Robert Spiegelman, Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library, Syracuse University


The Cooling of Mother Earth", February 12, Thursday, 5:00 PM, Dr. Robert Spiegelman, Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center, 6680 Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, New York 13088


Cultural Awareness Workshop: Understanding the Cayuga Conflict, February 17, 8:30AM-4PM, Holiday Inn Waterloo/Seneca Falls, 2468 NYS route 414, Waterloo. Topics to be covered: History of the Cayuga Nation, What is Sovereignty, Why We Are Here and What We Are Doing, and Issues That Face Cayuga People. Continental Breakfast and lunch will be provided. RSVP by February 6 to 315-712-4252.


An Evening with Sakowenionkwas Tom Porter, Friday, March 13, 6:00PM-9:00PM (doors open at 5:30PM).
Rochester Institute of Technology campus, Student Alumni Union (SAU) Bamboo Room (Room 2610/2650). Speaking on the founding, building and future direction of Kanatsiohare:ke with Rohsennase Dalton LaBarge and Ionataie:was Kay Olan. As a fundraising event for the
Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community, this event is free and open to the public. All donations will go directly to Kanatsiohare:ke. Directions to RIT:

Campus map for RIT: To get to the SAU, park in the D or E lot. Between these two lots is a driveway / walkway. Heading towards the buildings on campus, this driveway / walkway goes directly to SAU. The Bamboo room (Room 2610/2650) is on the second floor. Signs will be posted to lead the way.


NOON Steering Committee Meeting, February 10, 7-8:30 pm, Syracuse Peace Council, 2013 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, open meeting. Since new people often have a lot of questions, we recommend talking with Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff (315-472-5478, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer (315-492-2684, before the meeting.


Doctrine of Discovery Study Group, February 17, 7-8:30 will meet at the home of Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigtree, 100 Luan Circle, Jamesville, NY 13078 to discuss renewing the monthly meetings of the DoD reading group and interest in developing a 2nd DoD conference that will correspond with the UNPFII this coming May. Group is open and anyone is welcome to attend who wants to learn more about the Doctrine of Discovery or to help dismantle it. For additional information call Phil, 315-449-1650.


Shaleshock CNY, February 18, Wednesday, 6:15-8:15 pm, Community Room, Onondaga Free Library. Now that Fracking has been banned in NYS, we need to think about some of the other issues that connect like Save Seneca Lake, pipeline infrastructure in NYS, the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which could place control of our environment in the hands of foreign companies. All meeting are open to anyone interested.



The 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships will be hosted by The Iroquois Nationals in September of 2015 at Tsha’Hon’nonyen’dakhwa’ Onondaga Nation Arena near Syracuse and at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo. It will mark the first time in the tournament’s history that it will take place on Haudenosaunee Territories.


At the end of 2014, Denise Tsadeyohdi Waterman, Oneida, completed her second term as Iroquois

Nationals Executive Director. Reaffirmed the fundamental concepts of nationhood and sovereignty, Denise, among others, was committed to Haudenosaunee principles as part of the collective force that stood fast during the 2010 passport travel document challenge. Denise is a teacher at the Onondaga Nation School, was the first Oneida Nation member, and was the second female Executive Director. She will continue to serve on the Iroquois National's Board of Directors.


By manifesting Haudenosaunee ideology through the Iroquois Nationals team the entire world has seen,

learned about, and felt the pride of indigenous peoples wherever lacrosse enthusiasts gathered.


Bumper Magnets


Bumper Magnet



This effort is sponsored by The Morning Star Institute, a national non-profit organization devoted to Native American rights. Production of the bumper stickers - actually magnets - is being supported by individual donors. Their website,




Ganondagan Native American Dance & Music Festival, July 25-26, with the grand opening of the Seneca Art & Culture Center, this year's festival will bigger and better than ever!



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