November 2018




Story by Madis Senner

Holidays speak to tradition. Each year we go through a ritual of sorts where we perform the same acts and in doing so reinforce the spirit of the holiday. For thanksgiving it may be seeing old friends that have returned home to their families, or watching the Macy’s Day Parade, or football; you know that the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving Day. And then of course there is the Thanksgiving feast.

Even our food speaks to Thanksgivings past. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries … when else do you eat cranberries? It is so Thanksgiving.

One Thanksgiving tradition I have embraced in recent years is to join in the Thanksgiving Circle of Peace on the shores of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse (Liverpool) in the morning. It is a community gathering where Native and non-Native people give thanks. All are welcome.

The Thanksgiving Circle of Peace is put on each year by the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON), a committee of the Syracuse Peace Council. It looks to educate about the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) confederacy and all Native American people. NOON advocates for Onondagans and the Haudenosaunee and their causes — such as environmental healing and a just resolution to their land rights action among other things.

It can be cold and windy along the lakeshore; even snowy as it was in 2016. The Willow Bay section of Onondaga Lake Park where the Thanksgiving Circle of Peace is held is at western end of the Lake, so the wind can be quite brisk. You may also be standing for an hour.

I always layer up and dress warmly.

But it is the location and the people that will warm your heart. Onondaga Lake is where the great Haudenosaunee prophet the Peacemaker planted the Tree of Peace and gave his people the Great Law of Peace. America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights are modeled after the Great Law of Peace, as Congress recognized in 1988 with its “Concurrent Resolution to Acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution”– which makes Onondaga Lake a one of a kind stage to celebrate this truly unique American holiday.

As for the people, NOON is a dedicated bunch that has been fiercely advocating for the Haudenosaunee for years. Who among us would not feel blessed to celebrate this American Holiday gifted to us by Native Americans with those that passionately advocate for them.

People start gathering before the circle begins forming at 10 AM; some with kids and dogs in tow. Someone from NOON will start the ceremony by giving their name and saying what they have been grateful for this past year. Then one by one people around the circle will give their name and their thanks. People are always late, so the circle is constantly opening up, expanding and embracing new members.

When everyone has given their thanks the circle dissolves. Many will stay afterwards for coffee and to chat. Everyone will go on with their day better for the sharing of thanks in the Spirit of Thanksgiving.


Adapted from an article published in Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine.


Come join NOON at 10 AM, Thanksgiving Day for our Circle of Peace at Willow Bay on Onondaga Lake.



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

We are thankful for their stewardship of our environment.



Reception & Moderated Panel Discussion on Stereotypes Falen Johnson (Mohawk from Toronto), Carrie Hill (Mohawk from Akwesasne), and community members. November 7, 4 pm – 7 pm Iroquois Indian Museum, Howes Cave, NY. Presented in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill and supported in part by an Action Grant from Humanities NY. Held at SUNY Cobleskill.

Week of the Peacemaker, Iona College, Murphy Auditorium, 715 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801. AILA's President Betty Lyons (Onondaga Nation) will be offering the keynote address, “We Know Our Relatives: Indigenous Nations Rejecting Colonial Borders”. Free and open to the public. Full schedule for the week.

Commemoration of 224th Anniversary of the Canandaigua Treaty, The commemoration of the Canandaigua Treaty will take place on November 11 on the front lawn of the Ontario County Court House on Main Street in Canandaigua, NY. Please join us for a time of Peace and Friendship to commemorate a very important Treaty between the people of the United States of America and the Haudenosaunee people. Activities begin at 11 AM with a Arts and Crafts Sale at Canandaigua Primary School, 96 W. Gibson Street, Canandaigua, NY. 1:30 - Parade to Courthouse for ceremony.

Haudenosaunee Arts and Crafts Fair, Saturday, November 17th from 10 am to 4 pm. Skä·noñh-Great Law of Peace Center, 6680 Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, New York 13088 . Haudenosaunee vendors selling their hand-made products both upstairs and down. There are a variety of mediums being featured, including paintings, pottery, jewelry, baskets, soapstone, silverwork, leatherwork, and more. The event is free and open to the public. Theresa ‘Bear’ Fox will perform twice, once at 11 am and again at 3 pm. Bear is member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and sings in an all women’s group called Kontiwennenhawi, meaning “Carriers of the Words.”

Not Your Indians Anymore: Alcatraz and the Red Power Movement: 1969-1971. Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center, 6680 Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool, New York 13088, will be housing this new exhibit from Friday, October 19, 2018 through Sunday, January 20, 2109.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018, Official opening reception, beginning at 5:30pm Dr. Kent Blansett will talk at 6 PM about his latest book, first published autobiography of Richard Oakes, entitled: A Journey to Freedom: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz, and the Red Power Movement. The gift shop will have copies available for purchase. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 29th, 2018 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, Dan Longboat will speak. He belongs to the Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation and is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee and originally from Ohsweken the Six Nations community on the Grand River Territory. An Associate Professor in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, Director of the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Program, and the Director of the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University in Peterborough, Longboat will we be talking on Creation and the Original Instructions and how people are trying to find their way back to skä·noñh- peace and well-being. The event is open to the public with a sliding scale fee anywhere from $2 to $20 with children 8 and under free. Light refreshments will be available throughout the evening.

Farm to Table Cooking Class and Dinner, with Tawnya Brant, November 10, Doors open at 1pm. Class runs from 2pm until the dinner is served. Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community, 4934 State Highway 5, Fonda, NY 12068.
Farm to Table Cooking Class, Spend the day working with Haudenosaunee Chef Tawnya Brant to make an entire, Indigenous, gourmet farm-to-table meal while getting instruction in various aspects of traditional and modern Haudenosaunee food preparation. Class Tuition: $25
Farm to Table Dinner: Enjoy a delicious, healthy, and nutritious farm-to-table meal prepared by Haudenosaunee Chef Tawnya Brant and the students in her Farm-to-Table Cooking class, with food harvested from the Kanatsiohareke garden and ingredients from other Haudenosaunee community gardens. Price per plate: $30
To attend, please RSVP to: 518-673-4197 or

48th Annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, Saturday, December 1, 10-5 Sunday, December 2, 11-5, 2018, Nottingham High School, Syracuse, NY.

From The Earth Arts & Crafts Show, Saturday, December 1, 10 AM- 5 PM, Onondaga Nation School (Exit I-81 S, Route 11A). Free Admission, Free Parking.



NOON Steering Committee Open Meeting, Tuesday, November 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 contacting Carol Baum, Syracuse Peace Council Staff, or Sue Eiholzer, NOON Volunteer, before the meeting.

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Grand Canyon uranium mining ban upheld as supreme court declines to hear challenge

Re-vote allows SF to remove racist statue, overturning prior decision

SF’s controversial ‘Early Days’ statue taken down before sunrise

Court quashes Canadian approval of Trans Mountain oil pipeline

Onondaga Nation Newsletter If you would like to receive a copy each month in your email, send your first name and last name to: One request per email address.


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

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.


None at this time.

You can access past NOON E-Newsletters.