May 2016




Update on Murphy's Island

As you are aware from the alert sent out on April 29th, NOON has been activating to support and assure the Onondaga Nation receive a parcel of land on their sacred lake. We were gratified by your outpouring of support. We had 900+ signatures on our petitions and approximately 30 people attended the session. Thanks to everyone who passed our alert along to others. Thanks to all who signed our petition. Thanks to all who came to the hearing. Thanks to all who spoke.

As well as the alert, we sent a Letter to the Editor, Syracuse Post Standard. There were also several articles about Murphy's Island and Onondaga Lake.

May 3rd Hearing Summary

A new resolution redrafted just that morning was presented to the Legislature and copies given to us. It took out some of the language that concerned us but still replaced the 2011 resolution. The resolution presented on that morning does acknowledge the sacredness of the lake to the Onondaga Nation, refers to the 2011 resolution to return Murphy's Island to them and reaffirms the county's commitment to give land to the Nation. However, its primary thrust is to keep the Onondaga Lake shore accessible to the public and called on Honeywell and state facilities positioned on the lake shore to cooperate in this effort.


Over a dozen people from the community spoke emphatically about the importance of returning land on Onondaga Lake to the Onondaga Nation and requesting the Onondaga Nation be given the opportunity to CHOOSE what land it would be receiving. Many people also called for a better cleanup of Onondaga Lake. In addition, several speakers asked that the resolution be tabled to give people a chance to read and study it. After a lengthy recess to draft an additional resolution, the legislature reconvened with another resolution that established an advisory committee to carry out the selection of land for transfer to the Nation, stipulate a time frame for meetings and required the committee to report to the full legislature. The second resolution stipulates that the committee include Onondaga Nation leaders. Both resolutions passed by 11-6 vote despite several legislators asking that they be tabled. Legislators Ryan (D), Ervin (D), Chase (D), Holmquist (R), Williams (D), and Doherty (R) all voted against both. These resolutions do not promise Murphy's Island to the Onondaga Nation but are clear that they intend to give some parcel of land back to the Onondaga Nation.


The intent of the 2011 resolution is not gone entirely. But we're back to the drawing board on "where."


Clearly, having Onondaga County keep its word will be an ongoing process. At our meetings, NOON will be discussing what transpired on May 3rd, as well as, how to keep the pressure on to see that the commitments in the resolutions are carried out.


Lloyd Withers first began and has monitored this process to get land for the Onondaga on Onondaga Lake. He alerted NOON to the need for action when he became concerned. His Onondaga Shoreline Heritage Restoration face book page


Media report


NOON wants to thank all of you who stepped up to help in this effort. We believe it had an impact on the outcome. We also want to share how being aware and stepping up to voice our concerns help to challenge indigenous injustices. These kinds of issues happen all to often. As reported by Onondaga Clan Mother, Wendy Gonyea, in the May, Onondaga Newsletter, a “critical drought has been made even worse by the August 5, 2015 toxic spill at the Gold King Mine in Colorado polluting the Animas River which flows into the San Juan River, a water source for half the Navajo population.” “74,000 people living on vast lands 27,425 square miles - panning four states” are affected.

Find out and speak out about what is happening in you area?




NOON acknowledges that this is the ancestral territory of the Onondaga Nation.


NOON decided recently to acknowledge whenever we meet or gather that we are on the ancestral land of the Onondaga Nation. We will recommend to the Syracuse Peace Council, of which NOON is a committee, they and their other committees follow our example. We would encourage you to acknowledge the indigenous nation upon whose land you are gathered.




The Annual Indigenous Arts & Crafts Market, Wednesday, May 11, 10:00am to 6:30pm at the Church Center for the U.N., (located at 777 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor, on the corner of 44th Street & 1st Ave, Manhattan, NYC.)

 Beaded Bird Workshop, Saturday, May 14, 104, 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.

 AUTHOR SERIES, SUNDAY, MAY 15,2-4 PM, author Robin Wall Kimmerer's discussions her book, "Braiding Sweetgrass": how plants are our indigenous teachers. Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan, 7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road) Victor, NY 14564. With incredible grace and inspiring attention to the natural world, Robin Wall Kimmerer (Potawatomi) shares her unique combination of science, Native American teachings, and memoir to reveal how plants are our indigenous teachers.Cost: $7/general public; $5/Friends of Ganondagan members. Tickets available day of event beginning at 1 pm at Seneca Art & Culture Center.

 "Who Are These People Anyway?" by Chief Irving Powless Jr., May 19, 7pm, Skä•noñh-Great Law of Peace Center on Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, New York. Onondaga Historical Association, in cooperation with Syracuse University Press, will host a book signing event.It is free and open to the public. The book's editor, Lesley Forester, will give a presentation and be available to sign copies of the book which can be purchased in the Skä•noñh Center gift shop the day of the event. If you have any questions about this event please contact Dan Connors at (315) 453-6767 or

 Making a Traditional Hand Drum, May 28, 9-6pm, with Jackie Labonte (Mohawk), Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY. $100 tuition includes lunch, materials, and instructional costs. Completed drums retail around $150. RSVP by May 20. (Max: 25 students)

Making a Plains Courting Flute, June 11-12, 10-4pm, with Eric P. Marczak, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY. Make and take home a 21-inch Plains-style G Minor flute while learning about the history of these flutes. $150 tuition includes two lunches, one breakfast, materials and instruction. RSVP by June 4. (Max: 6 students)



NOON Steering Committee Meeting, May 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 (3154725478, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer (3154922684, before the meeting.



Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community is raising money to build a new outdoor pavilion! For decades they have been struggling with deteriorating infrastructure. They want to begin rebuilding spaces where they can hold cultural and educational workshops, talks, teachings and fundraisers! You can donate now online. You can also help by sharing this post far and wide. Other ways you can help the community include checking out its workshops, educational talks, and upcoming Strawberry Festival. More information on these workshops can be found here or by contacting Kay Olan at or at 518-584-9270.


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 3154725478 or


CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: Deyagwadohda•s ne' ganyada•de' na' o' ne' gana'ahga•' Is a voluntary clean up event to help Onondaga Lake. It is a chance to help Mother Earth like she's helped all of us throughout all of our lives!! The next clean up event will be in May if everything goes as planned. For more information go to the Facebook Page Deyagwadohda•s ne' ganyada•de' na' o' ne' gana'ahga

From the Onondaga Nation Newsletter.



Annual Kanatsiohareke Strawberry Festival, June 25 -26, 2016, 10 am - 6:00 pm at the Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY. For more details and directions, check out


If you would like to be a volunteer for part of Saturday or Sunday or both, please don't hesitate to let us know by emailing Donna at She can give you details and choices as to how you can help out. There's lots to do before the festival, during and after. There are also lots of opportunities to make new friends, renew old relationships and have fun at the same time. Wow! What a great opportunity!I


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


Making Center-Seam Deer Skin Moccasins With Jamie Jacobs (Seneca), July 17, 9-3pm, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY.. Make and take home a pair of old-style, center seam, deer skin moccasins. $100 tuition includes lunch, materials and instruction. RSVP by June 30. (Max: 15 students)


Haudenosaunee Culture: Sharing the River of Life, Lacrosse Stick-maker and Former Coach Alfred Jaques, Onondaga, Turtle Clan, Saturday, August 18, 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. 403 Hilton Road, Apalachin, NY 13732. For information on the center and directions

Making a Mohawk Tobacco Bag with Tom Porter (Mohawk), Sept. 24, 9-4pm, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY. 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)

Making a Traditional Wedding Basket with Richard Nolan (Mohawk), 9-5pm, October 8-9, Kanatsiohareke, Mohawk Community at 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY.: 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)


You can access past NOON E-Newsletters