August 2016

                    Sacred Ground                                    


Indigenous Peoples all over the world are challenged to defend and fight for places that are Sacred in their culture. The sites of their rituals and the burial grounds of their ancestors have been destroyed as western “civilization” moved towards fulfilling our wants and needs in the name of “progress”. Indigenous Peoples see themselves as a part of the land and the environment acting as stewards. “Western” civilization treats the earth as if it is ours to exploit at whatever cost.

Indigenous Peoples and their cultures are not of the past. They live today and are standing up for their ancient values, the environment and their Sacred Grounds. Here in the western hemisphere, we witness Indigenous Peoples standing up to large companies that consider it their right to develop natural areas for their profit and our way of life.

Here is Central New York, we have our own sacred site in Onondaga Lake. It was here that the Peacemaker brought the five warring nations together to bury their weapons and form a democracy that inspired many aspects of our own democracy, acknowledged in a joint resolution of the US Congress. So Onondaga Lake is, in a sense, our history and Sacred site also. The lake was turned into a Super Fund Site through industrial pollution and waste. Millions of dollars were earned through manufacturing soda ash while the environment paid the price in ways too numerous to mention here. And now the lake's shores are a recreational area for us including an amphitheater build on those very waste beds. (link to Lindsay's article) And the remediation of the pollution of the lake is being “spun” as a “fait accompli”.

As the Onondaga Nation said in the opening of their Land Rights Complaint, “The Onondaga People wish to bring about 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. The Nation and its people have a unique spiritual, cultural, and historic relationship with the land, which is embodied in Gayanashagowa, the Great Law of Peace. This relationship goes far beyond federal and state legal concepts of ownership, possession or legal rights. The people are one with the land, and consider themselves stewards of it. It is the duty of the Nation’s leaders to work for a healing of this land, to protect it, and to pass it on to future generations. The Onondaga Nation brings this action on behalf of its people in the hope that it may hasten the process of reconciliation and bring lasting justice, peace, and respect among all who inhabit the area.”

We are called in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to address this issue by “ Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment, . . “


NOON continues to advocate for A Better Future For Onondaga Lake, which is culturally and spiritually important to the Haudenosaunee. Please consider signing the American Indian Law Alliance's petition asking for the cleanup to be completed and not left in its half finished condition.

You will also want to friend the Facebook page A Better Future For Onondaga Lake to keep informed about what is happening to the lake.

Letter to the Editor about refugees eating the fish


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



(We were asked to provide you with this additional information and are happy to do so.)

Akwesasne is one of the most vibrant and creative territories in the Six Nations. A visit to Akwesasne should definitely include a trip to both the Akwesasne Cultural Center - Museum and the Native North American Traveling College, to view a wide array of traditional arts and to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and history of the Mohawk people. One of the highlights at the museum is the exhibit “We Are From Akwesasne” a traveling exhibit co-curated with youth. The traveling college is known for special event that can be found on their facebook page.


A Song, A Dance, and a Story To Be Told: Iroquois Social Dancers, Saturday, August 13, 11:30 and 2:30, in the outdoor amphitheater, Iroquois Indian Museum. The North American Travelling College from Akwesasne consists of young adults who have learned their traditional songs and dances by attending longhouse ceremonies and socials. 

"AN Evening Of Southwest Music" with Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle, Wednesday, August 17, 7-9 pm, Ganondagan Seneca Arts and Cultural Center. Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle will present a poignant and thrilling evening of Southwest music and dance.

Haudenosaunee Culture: Sharing the River of Life, Lacrosse Stick-maker and Former Coach Alfred Jaques, Onondaga, Turtle Clan, Saturday, August 13, 2016, 2-3 PM AND Dan Hill, Paddler and Flute-maker, Musician, Member of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, Caretaker of the S.H.A.R.E, Farm, Cayuga Nation, Heron Clan, Sunday, August 14, 2-3 PM at the Waterman Conservation Center. 

35th Annual Iroquois Indian Festival, September 3 & 4. Iroquois Indian Museum. It’s time again to celebrate Iroquois art and culture with Iroquois dancers, singers, storytellers and much more.



NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, September 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 talking with Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff (3154725478, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer (3154922684, before the meeting.


You are probably on this list serve because you sign up at one of the events where NOON has a display table. We can always use more people to help. If you have an interest and would like to find out more, please contact Paul at 315-243-4498 or Thanks for considering this request.


John Fadden was recently interviewed about his father Ray and the founding of the Six Nations Indian Museum.


NOON supported the creation of a new mural about the Great Law of Peace painted by Brandon Lazore at LeMoyne Elementary School in Syracuse.


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 - In the Altai Republic of Russia and in northern California, indigenous shamans resist massive government projects that threaten nature and culture.

Profit and Loss - From Papua New Guinea to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, native people fight the loss of land, water and health to mining and oil industries.

Fire and Ice - From the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia to the Andes of Peru, indigenous highland communities battle threats to their forests, farms and faith.

Islands of Sanctuary - Aboriginal Australians and Native Hawaiians reclaim land from the government and the military, and resist the erosion of culture and environment.

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 315-472-5478 or

Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center Videos can be accessed on line.


Healing to the Core: Community Cooking Class, Sat, September 17, 10am – 1pm, Iroquois White Corn Project, 7191 County Road 41, Victor, NY. Iroquois white corn is an heirloom seed that dates back at least 1,400 years and is still central to healthy lives and healthy communities of the Haudenosaunee. Non-GMO, gluten free Iroquois White Corn is high in protein, high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, making it an ideal, healthy food source. Using the Iroquois White Corn products, the Friends of Ganondagan will host 3 cooking classes at the Farmhouse. After helping to prepare a tasty and healthy meal, participants will gather together to eat and learn more about the importance of the white corn to the Haudenosaunee and how it can benefit everyone. Cost: $30 general public/$25 member – must pre-register, limited to 18 participants. Event made possible through the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

Making a Mohawk Tobacco Bag with Tom Porter (Mohawk), Sept. 24, 9-4pm, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community. Make and take home a traditional Mohawk-style deerskin tobacco bag while learning about related traditions. $100 tuition includes lunch, materials and traditional teachings. RSVP by September 17. (Max: 15 students)

Living History - Exploring Haudenosaunee Arts, Sat, September 24, 10am – 4pm, Ganondagan State Historic Site. Traditional Art Exploration will take place in gallery and in the Bark Longhouse where re-enactors will talk about the functional use of baskets, pottery, weavings, etc. and traditional artists will be demonstrating their work. Outdoors will reinforce the fact that art is still being created today by Haudenosaunee artists, sometimes using the same elements as in the past – natural materials with a contemporary result.

Making a Traditional Wedding Basket with Richard Nolan (Mohawk), 9-5pm, October 8-9, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community. Make and take home a traditional Mohawk Wedding Basket (8” x 5.25” x 6”), which can be used for a variety of purposes. $175 tuition includes two lunches, one breakfast, materials and instruction. RSVP by October 1. (Max: 16 students)

Demonstrations and works in progress with gifted antler and bone carvers Hayden Haynes (Seneca from Allegany) and Trevor Brant (Mohawk from Tyendinaga Territory). October 15 & 16, Iroquois Indian Museum.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.