April 2022 UPDATES ON NOON EFFORTS

 

 

 UPDATES ON NOON EFFORTS

Replacing Columbus Statue

The Columbus Statue in downtown Syracuse still looms, physically and figuratively, over residents of the area. NOON remains committed to assisting the efforts to remove it from its current location, so that Columbus and the legacy of genocidal settler colonialism that he represents no longer receive such public celebration in Syracuse. On March 11th, in a temporary setback, the judge presiding over the lawsuit brought by the Columbus Monument Corporation—a group of citizens attempting to prevent the City of Syracuse from executing its plan to remove the statue—issued a decision against the City. The City immediately announced its intention to appeal. In the meantime, NOON will continue to collaborate with WISH (Women of Italian and Syracuse Heritage) and other “Replace Columbus” advocates to support the removal effort.

To strengthen the City’s case in the court of public opinion, NOON seeks to make the continuing public support for the statue’s removal both visible and vocal. On March 14th, NOON helped to organize a successful rally protesting Judge Neri’s decision and articulating why the statue should come down. Speakers, including members of NOON, WISH and RIAC (the Resilient Indigenous Action Collective), spoke forcefully to cheers from the assembled crowd about the need to disown the legacy of Columbus and find more productive ways to honor the diverse communities that make up the city of Syracuse. NOON and WISH also recently organized two informational workshops related to the “Replace Columbus” effort. On March 7th, in “Goodbye Columbus: Time for Justice, Time for Healing,” Joe Heath, General Counsel of the Onondaga Nation, provided background on the Columbus Monument Corporation lawsuit as well as the Onondaga Nation’s effort to file a motion for Amicus (friend of the court) in the case, which Judge Neri refused to allow. And on March 24th, the workshop “Why Removing Monuments Matters: Seeking Justice in Syracuse” helped attendees understand the historical impact of monuments as powerful political symbols, and the evolution of shifting attitudes toward removing oppressive statues, in Syracuse and beyond.

Moving forward, NOON is considering a push to lobby members of the Syracuse Common Council to take a stand in favor of the statue’s removal, which has to this point been publicly endorsed only by Mayor Ben Walsh. In his decision against the City, Judge Neri cited a decades-old Common Council ordinance related to the statue and argued that Mayor Walsh has not “received approval from the Common Council to overturn their ordinance and remove the Monument.” Common Council action on this issue could therefore potentially invalidate one aspect of the legal resistance to the statue’s removal. To help publicize popular support for the statue’s removal, NOON is encouraging Syracuse residents to write letters to the editor at syracuse.com about why they feel the statue should be removed. And “Celebrate Diversity: Replace Columbus” lawn signs and buttons—a great way to show support for this effort—are still available!

Indigenous School Funding in New York State

Thanks to your advocacy and the work of over a thousand people across New York State we expect to celebrate a significant increase in funding for the three Indigenous schools on recognized Indigenous Territories this coming year.

It appears we will not be successful in pushing New York State to provide the full $20 million we sought for each of the schools. The one house budgets of both the NYS Senate and Assembly kept the Governor's total of $35.7 million for the schools (St. Regis Mohawk School - $17.8 million, the Tuscarora School - $11.8 million, and the Onondaga School - $6.1 million).

The major obstacle to increased funding is the NYS Department of Education's mistaken judgment about what constitutes "immediate needs."

Given that we're near the end of the budget process, and there is only a very small chance of convincing them to increase the funding at this point, the organizing team has decided to accept the partial victory and prepare a push for more funding next year.

The main project for the Onondaga Nation School, which is not covered by the current allocation, is a significant expansion to the school building, which has been needed for many years. Designs for that expansion were created almost 10 years ago and need to be revisited. Preparing a campaign for next year will provide time for those plans to be updated and for us to build on the great work done this year to provide an historic and much needed level of funding for these three Indigenous Schools.

NOON's fundraiser for the traditional Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga)

Our fundraising effort is 46% funded by 32 generous donors. Help us reach our initial $5,000 goal now!

Your donations help to ensure the future of the traditional community in their sovereign territory. Gifts made through Tiny Seed Project are used to support the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ rematriation effort. Raising these funds is necessary because New York State will not acknowledge Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ sovereignty- The Bureau of Indian Affairs names Clint Halftown as the “Cayuga Nation tribal representative” and therefore the recipient of funds. Currently, the traditional people are able to remain in housing on their traditional territory in Seneca Falls, despite Halftown's efforts to evict them.

To learn more, listen to the WRFI Human Rights Show interview about the crisis situation affecting the traditional people with Joe Heath, general legal counsel to the traditional Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ leadership.

#HalftownMustGo Petition

This petition was created by #HalftownMustGo organizers in August of 2021, in response to the Gayogohó:nǫ˺ Council of Chiefs’ May 2021 call for non-Gayogohó:nǫ˺ people to hold the US Department of Interior (DOI) accountable to Gayogohó:nǫ˺ self-determination.

 

 

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

We are thankful for their stewardship of our environment.

 

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EVENTS:

 

Fundraiser for OJI:SDA' Sustainable Indigenous Futures Youth Summer Camp 'Mochik Ania', May 8th at South Hill Cider, 550 Sandbank Road, Ithaca 3-7pm. Come celebrate mama earth on Mother's Day! If you cannot attend, you can donate to the camp at OJI:SDA' Indigenous Futures.

Virtual Programming- Ten Minute Teachings - Ganondagan

Virtual Tours - Iroquois Indian Museum

Virtual Tours and Educational videos – Seneca Iroquois National Museum

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MONTHLY:

NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, Next meeting April 19th, 7-8:30 PM, virtual. Since new people often have a lot of questions and you will need contact info for the virtual meeting, we recommend contacting Carol Baum , Syracuse Peace Council Staff, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer, before the meeting.

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FYI:

To aid you in focusing articles are arranged by topic and coded for length (S – short, M – Medium, L – Long) with a designation for Video and/or Audio.

Local

Local musician and Oneida Indian Nation member nominated for seven music awards - S

Judge rules New York took Mohawk land illegally in the 1800s - S

Culture

In Alaska, Indigenous Women Are Reclaiming Traditional Face Tattoos – L w pictures

Face tattoos and our changing perception of an ancient tradition – L

Decolonizing Maple Syrup – L

Rematriation is a Haudenosaunee-led, digital storytelling platform connecting Haudenosaunee and Indigenous women across Turtle Island and around the world. We rematriate through Indigenous women-led, in person gatherings; online, Indigenous women-only spaces; and initiatives designed to educate the public and build allies. Instagram rematriation.magazine Twitter @rematriation Facebook @rematriation

History

Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women: From the Time of Creation - Highlighting Jigöhsahsë’/Mother of Nations - Ganondagan Exhibit

Laura Cornelius Kellogg Reclaiming an Indigenous Visionary - L

Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery – Podcast link

Pope apologizes for ‘deplorable conduct’ of some Catholics in residential schools - L

Chickahominy Tribe reacquires ancestral lands - L

Government

Dryden Town Board passes resolution supporting Cayuga Nation Self-Determination – M

California plan would give $100m to Indigenous leaders to buy ancestral lands – M

Environment

Why are Indigenous people being left out of climate conversations? - M

As the Arctic thaws, Indigenous Alaskans demand a voice in climate change research – L

Onondaga Nation Newsletter

Anyone interested in subscribing to the Onondaga Nation's monthly e-newsletter can email nonewsletter@gmail.com with your first and last name. One request per email address please.

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NOON RESOURCES:

Because the Syracuse Peace Council office is closed during the pandemic, contact carol@peacecouncil.net so we can arrange to get them to you.

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 315-472-5478.

In addition NOON has organized dozens of educational programs over the past 20 years which are available on line at SPC's You Tube Channel. Fifteen years ago we coordinated the historic series Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future. Check out the videos here.

WITNESS TO INJUSTICE: UNRAVELING HISTORIC NATIVE & U.S. RELATIONS. This inter-active group exercise is a 2 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

Save the Date:

Red Hawk Native American Arts Events:

Raritan Native American Celebration - June 18-19, 2022, Middlesex County Fairgrounds, 655 Cranbury Rd, East Brunswick, NJ, 08816

Bear Mountain Native American Celebration - August 6-7, 2022

Indigenous Peoples Day - October 9-10, 2022

Past NOON newsletters can be accessed at E-Newsletters.

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