November 2016

                         Honor the Treaties



Article VI of the United States Constitution says in part

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

In spite of its clarity and with respect to treaty making with Indian nations, the results have all been negative. The treaty making provisions of this Article of the Constitution have been either completely ignored by States making their own treaties with Indian nations; or, the US broke or violated all the treaties it made with no repercussions. Whether it was the States or the US treaty making was all about acquiring land, and especially so when lands had resources on them such as gold or coal.

Despite being involved in many treaty negotiations with Indian Nations, President Andrew Jackson supported Georgia in its desire to acquire Cherokee land. When gold was discovered there, he drafted and moved through congress the Indian Removal Act which passed the House by only 5 votes. And despite Americans speaking out against the Act and the Supreme Court ruling annexation of Cherokee land unconstitutional because it violated a treaty, Jackson moved forward to take the their land and send them west (Trail of Tears) to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851was intended to end nation conflicts and assure the safety of homesteaders. The Plains nations were called to send representatives to a negotiation to designate territories for each nation. Today, the Sioux and other Nations believe that the “private land” now being “protected” by an armed police force is land granted to them in this treaty. Their claim that there are sacred sites being destroyed is disputed by the companies that want that land for their pipeline and profit. But that is our history with native peoples. Today the fight is not just about land and sacred ground but also the environment especially water as we again break faith with our indigenous neighbors.

In 1794, a historic federal treaty signed in Canandaigua, NY brought about peace between the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Confederacy) and the United States, each recognizing the sovereignty of the other to govern and set laws as distinct nations. Each year on November 11, (2016 will be 222 years later), the Canandaigua Treaty is commemorated.

We consider the Canandaigua Treaty between the United States and the Six Nations to be valid and in effect,” said Peter Jemison, Ganondagan State Historic Site manager. “Commemorating the event not only keeps it top of mind, but reminds the United States that the treaty agreement continues to represent peace, friendship, and sovereignty, and provides an accepted protocol when conflicts arise.” Some of its commitments are still kept,such as the Onondaga Nation being provided schooling for their children, health care and yearly deliveries of bolts of cloth (no longer gingham but cheese cloth). The construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River, which destroyed Seneca village is a recent example of ignoring the treaty. Just like in North Dakota where the Dakota Access Pipeline could be built elsewhere on the Missouri River and, therefore, respect treaty provisions, so too could the Kinzua Dam have been built elsewhere to respect the Canandaigua Treaty.

General William Tecumseh Sherman probably summed up, as best as anyone the position we have taken on treaties with Indian nations when he said that treaties "were never made to be kept, but to serve a present purpose, to settle a present difficulty in the easiest manner possible, to acquire a desired good with the least possible compensation, and then to be disregarded as soon as this purpose was tainted and we were strong enough to enforce a new and more profitable arrangement."

We need to honor treaties. We all live today with the outcomes of broken treaties and attempts to erase indigenous people. We need to find ways to deal with these ramifications peaceably. How can we do that with respect and understanding for for each other and for the environment? That is the challenge.


Photos from Standing Rock: Documenting the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors.” Photographer Alex Hamer (Oneida) will narrate a presentation on Treaty Day (see below) at 6 PM. Hamer has made trips in August and September to Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota to support the water protectors.

Local events to raise awareness and build solidarity.

The Onondaga Nation led a flash mob at Destiny Mall on Indigenous Peoples' Day, convened a rally in Syracuse, organized a benefit concert and will lead a march from Onondaga to downtown Syracuse this month. Onondaga also sent their attorney, Joe Heath, to Standing Rock. Joe is experienced in the defense of environmental activists and an expert in indigenous rights. Events organized by other people in Syracuse include a fund raiser at Funk and Waffle and a teach in at SU.


SGENNONH UNITY MARCH, Stop The Violence Against Water Protectors at Standing Rock, December 12, 2016, 12-4PM. Meet at the Onondaga Nation Arena and march to Perseverance Park (W Fayette & S Salina, Syracuse, NY). Haudenosaunee organized and led for unity under the Great Law of Peace.

To understand Indigenous Peoples' view - these 2 articles are a must read.

Remember This When You Talk About Standing Rock by Kelly Hayes reprinted in Yes! Magazine.

As Long as the Grass is Green from The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King


"Onondaga Lake is as clean as the Finger Lakes" according to Onondaga County officials. Yet at least 7 million gallons of sewage spewed into Onondaga Lake after a pipe break.



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




The Good Mind, Thursday, November 3, 2016, 7- 8:30 p.m., Catherine Cummings Theater, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY. 60 minute film with panel discussion to follow with filmmaker Gwendolen Cates, Sidney Hill Tadodaho of the Haudenosaunee, and Cazenovia College alumna Betty Lyons (Onondaga). Presentation on Standing Rock by Joe Heath, (Onondaga Nation's attorney), who was at Standing Rock will start the event. FREE. Open to the Public.


Canandaigua Treaty Day Celebrates 222nd Anniversary, November 11, Canandaigua, NY. Free and open to the public. Come help “polish the chain of peace and friendship.”

1:30 pm - gather outside the Canandaigua Primary School (96 W. Gibson St.) for a march to the lawn of the Ontario County Courthouse lead by Haudenosaunee Chiefs.

2:00 pm - traditional commemoration outdoor ceremony. Dress for the weather.

12-4 pm - attendees may view one of only two original copies of the treaty and pertinent letters at the Ontario County Historical Society (55 N. Main St.).

10:30–5 pm - Native American art and craft sale at the Canandaigua Primary School gym.

6:00 pm - photographer Alex Hamer (Oneida) will narrate his “Photos from Standing Rock: Documenting the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors.”

- Doug George (Mohawk) also will speak about the White Pine Tree of Peace planted at Cohoes Falls.


Haudenosaunee Artist & Crafts Show, November 19, Craft Show, 10-5, Food & Entertainment, 12-5, SRC Arena & Event Center, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY.

Thanksgiving Circle of Peace, November 24th, (Thanksgiving Day)10 am at Willow Bay, Onondaga Lake Park, Syracuse, NY. All are welcome for a brief gathering to appreciate the environment and our friendships working together. Onondaga people and allies will gathered to express thanks for the goodness of the Earth and to each other for our ongoing friendship, as we work side-by-side in peace and hope for healing, justice and environmental restoration. Everyone welcome, dress for the weather, light refreshments.

Thanksgiving Day Silent Sacred Prayer Walk —Thursday, November 24 at 11am, Bear Mountain, NY. Gather on the lawn of the Bear Mountain Inn with allies from various groups and Indigenous Nations in the Hudson Valley and CT areas and then walk in silence to-and-across the Bear Mountain Bridge and back to the Inn. Join in solidarity with Standing Rock against the North Dakota Access Pipeline, the Spectra AIM Pipeline near Indian Point, and the newly-proposed Pilgrim Pipelines. Bring a sign to carry but note no one is allowed to climb on bridge infrastructure. This is a peaceful, mindful, silent prayer walk in defense of our sacred rivers.

46th Annual Plowshares Crafts Fair and Peace Festival, December 3 and 4, Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm at Nottingham High School, 3100 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Central New York’s premier multi-cultural crafts fair, Plowshares includes over 110 area craftspeople and 20 community organizations. The show features ongoing live entertainment and tasty food. Admission is free for under 16 and over 65, all others are asked to make a sliding scale donation of $2-5 (please give what you can – no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay). For further information, contact the Peace Council at 315.472.5478 or

Ada Jacques Memorial Art Show, ongoing, temporary, Skä noñh Great Law of Peace Center (formally Saint Marie Among the Iroquois), Onondaga Parkway, Syracuse, NY.

NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, November 8, 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.


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, 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 at 3154725478 or


From the Earth Arts and Crafts Fair, Saturday, December 17, 2016, Onondaga Nation School. Native Artists and Craftsman, Live music.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.