March 2016



Our Debt to Haudenosaunee Women

Many factors contributed to the Women's movement in the USA. Do you know the contribution the Haudenosaunee women contributed? Women's History Month seems like a good time to reflect on this connection.

The Onondaga Nation web site describes the role of Clan Mothers'. “The Clan Mother is very important in the role of Haudenosaunee culture. Not only is the Clan Mother working with the chiefs in making decisions for the people, they also have the duty to ensure that our way of life continues. The Clan Mothers gather and sit to decide when the ceremonies will begin. Then the Clan Mothers supervise the procedures of the ceremony, the food, and soups that are needed. The Clan Mothers are so integral, that the ceremonies cannot begin without the Clan Mothers present.

Children are the future of any community and the Clan Mothers are important in raising the children. When a new baby is born, it is the Clan Mother who provides the name of the baby of her clan. It is said that the Clan Mother has a bag of names at the ready. When a person passes away from her clan, she takes back that name to be used again for future member of the clan.

The Clan Mothers also make sure that the children are raised in the ways and customs of the Longhouse. They are often teaching the young and old of the ways of the Haudenosaunee. Often when people have questions or there is a dispute among families, often it is the Clan Mother who is sought after for guidance. Their words hold great weight in the community. The Clan Mother holds an important role in both the political and social world of the Onondaga.”

In the wider community, the woman did not have to demand, fight or struggle for equality and control in their lives. They enjoyed it in a way that American women did not. Sally Roesch Wagner describes in her book Sisters In Spirit how Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage were influenced by their indigenous neighbors in upstate NY. So many indigenous women continue to inspire us to this day.


March 26,  "Women Voted in NY Before Columbus," Sally Roesch Wagner, 1-2:30 pm, Rundel Auditorium, Central Library, Rochester.

APRIL Activities, Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan, 7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road) Victor, NY 14564

- April 2, Shucking Bee, Iroquois White Corn Project Farmhouse, 10 am-2 pm

- April 2, 10 am-noon, 3-Loop Beaded Earring Workshop with Instructor Alicia Lazore. Supplies included. Suitable for ages 10 and older. Cost: $30/$25 members. Pre-registration by March 28th is strongly encouraged and appreciated! The class is limited to 12 participants. To register by mail, send a check payable to Friends of Ganondagan, PO Box 113, Victor, NY 14564. For credit card, call (585) 742-1690. Questions? Contact Meg Joseph,

- APRIL 5, 12, 19, and 26, 7-8 pm free (suggested donation $5/session) Weekly Meditation Series Features Native American Flute. Join Bani Aello,Fiddlers Green is an 11 acre natural green oasis located at 4691 Solvay Rd, Jamesville, NY 13078. This area, so named because of its location just south of the original Fiddlers Green Park, is a beautiful scenic area running along Butternut Creek with fishing access and about one mile of hiking trails to explore. Informative historic signs follow the trails. Memorial benches, picnic tables and two small parking lots are available in this gem of a neighborhood park. guided meditation instructor, and Jefferson Svengsouk, Native American flutist, who together help bring you in deeper contact with your heart, allowing you to live more fully and uncover deeper and more fulfilling levels of joy. Bring a yoga mat or blanket. Chairs will be available for those preferring to sit. Free, with $5/person suggested donation. For ages 14+. Please arrive at 6:45.
- April 29, Arbor Day Tree Planting at Ganondagan. 1-3 pm, volunteers needed

From the Earth Arts & Crafts Festival, Saturday April 16th from 10am to 5pm, Onondaga Nation School, Rte 11A. Haudenosaunee Singers & Dancers, Alfie Jacques with his assortment of wooden lacrosse sticks, over 40 Arts folks and crafters from all Six Nations as well as a visitor or two from the Navajo Nation. There will be paintings, silver jewelry, stone jewelry, leather work, baskets, and many beaded items. Lots of food, Corn Soup, hot scoons, Indian Tacos and lots of good food otherwise. It is always an enjoyable time seeing friends from all other Nations and visiting with friends from around the territory. Extra parking will be in the Health Center parking lot. From the Earth Arts & Crafts Festival benefits our ONS PTS which contributes to student needs and class trips at ONS. Call Freida at 469-6991 if you have any questions. All are welcome.

Traditional Mohawk Wing Feather Fan Workshop, April 30, 2016, 9 am - 4 pm, KANATSIOHAREKE

4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY 12068. Taught by Bill Loran (Mohawk). Related discussions will include the evolution of fans, etiquette, Mohawk language connections and cultural ties. Fans will be made of deerskin and five 5-7 inch wing feathers. You may bring beads if you would like to bead your handle and if there is time. These fans retail for $150. Tuition: $140 includes lunch, materials and instructions. Pre-registration is required. Class size: Maximum of 12 students. Register no later than April 23, so that we can plan for meals and materials. To register: Email: or call 518-584-9270.


NOON Steering Committee Meeting, April 8, 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.


 Who Are these People Anyway is a  new book by Irving Powless Jr. has been a chief of the Beaver Clan of the Onondaga Nation since 1964. An historian, statesman, actor,  musician, and veteran, he has lectured about Indigenous culture and sovereignty, and has been a key spokesperson for the Haudenosaunee nations. Edited by Lesley Forrester, editor of And Grandma Said . . . Iroquois Teachings: as passed down through the oral tradition.
Amazon's description "In the rich tradition of oral storytelling, Chief Irving Powless Jr. of the Beaver Clan of the Onondaga Nation reminds us of an ancient treaty. It promises that the Haudenosaunee people and non-Indigenous North Americans will respect each other's differences even when their cultures and behaviors differ greatly.
Powless shares intimate stories of growing up close to the earth, of his work as Wampum Keeper for the Haudenosaunee people, of his heritage as a lacrosse player, and of the treaties his ancestors made with the newcomers. He also pokes fun at the often-peculiar behavior of his non-Onondaga neighbors, asking, "Who are these people anyway?" Sometimes disarmingly gentle, sometimes caustic, these vignettes refreshingly portray mainstream North American culture as seen through Haudenosaunee eyes. Powless illustrates for all of us the importance of respect, peace, and, most importantly, living by the unwritten laws that preserve the natural world for future generations."

The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code Film 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 is available to borrow from the Syracuse Peace Council. If you have a group of friends or an organization and would like to show this film, please contact Carol Baum at 315-472-5478 or

Iroquois Indian Museum, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave, NY opens for their 35th season on April 1 with a wonderful year of exhibits and programs including a special 35th anniversary party on Saturday, July 9. The opening exhibition is: "35 Years of Iroquois Art: A Retrospective". For information on all 2016 events, please visit the Museum's web site:, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @iroquoismuseum.


Beaded Bird Workshop, Saturday, May 14, 10-4, Iroquois Museum, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave, NY with KarenLyne Hill, Member of the Native Roots Artist Guild. Maximum number of participants: 15; Ages: teen to adult; Supplies included. Workshop fee: $25 Registration Deadline: May 1.

Iroquois Museum, July 9th , 35th anniversary celebration.

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