Students Attend Treaty Commemoration


Contributed by Jack Rossen

On Thursday, November 11, Jack Rossen, Brooke Olson, and Ernie Olson of the anthropology department took eight students on an all-day field trip to the annual Canandaigua Treaty Commemoration in Canandaigua.

Every year, Native and non-Native people assemble to celebrate the 1794 treaty between the U.S. and the Haudeonosaunee (Iroquois) nations that recognized mutual sovereignty, peace, and friendship. George Washington signed this treaty of friendship only 15 years after he had ordered the American army to destroy the Haudenosaunee Nations.

The treaty commemoration is a special event during which non-Native and Native people walk in procession together to the council rock on the courthouse lawn. Hundreds braved the chilly weather to hear representatives from various nations and their non-Native friends (local politicians, Quakers) speak from both historical and contemporary perspectives. To conclude, members of all six Haudenosaunee nations held a small ceremony at the white pine tree (Haudenosaunee symbol of peace) by the courthouse. It is always an unforgettable day for everyone who attends.

Contributed by Jack Rossen