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Local communities to come together at Onondaga Lake Sept. 20 to celebrate peace
Local communities to come together at Onondaga Lake Sept. 20 to celebrate peaceSeptember 07, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The Syracuse University, Onondaga Nation and Central New York communities will come together at Onondaga Lake on Thursday, Sept. 20, in conjunction with the United Nations International Day of Peace, for a public event meant to renew the communities’ peaceful connection with the Earth.
The event, “Roots of Peacemaking: Indigenous Values, Global Crisis,” will take place from noon-7 p.m. at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool (near the Salt Museum). The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available on site, and shuttle buses will run between the park, The Warehouse and the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center throughout the day. For more information, visit http://rootsofpeacemaking.syr.edu.
The event is meant to reorient communities to the wisdom of the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Six Nations Iroquois), says Philip Arnold, associate professor of indigenous religions in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and one of the organizers of the event. “Each day, it is becoming more obvious that our world is in deep crisis,” says Arnold. “The effects of environmental devastation, economic inequality and social strife are spreading at an alarming pace. What has been apparent to indigenous people for centuries is now becoming obvious to everyone.”
The Haudenosaunee founded the Great Law of Peace on the shores of Onondaga Lake, bringing together the nations of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk into a Confederacy based on the principles of respect for human beings and the natural world, says Wendy Gonyea, Longhouse Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation. These meetings, attended by the founding fathers of the United States, inspired the democratic principles that have spread around the globe. “Onondaga Lake is the birthplace of democracy, but it is also the most polluted lake in the United States,” says Gonyea. “We have strayed from these indigenous democratic principles, and this lake embodies the intersection of these two opposing paths. This event is meant to restore a viable path toward a hopeful future.”
The Waters Ceremony will be held at noon. The program will begin at 3 p.m. featuring speakers Evon Peter, executive director of Native Movement; Oren Lyons, Turtle Clan Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation and Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo; Audrey Shenandoah, Deer Clanmother, Onondaga Nation; Tonya Gonnella Frichner, president of the American Indian Law Alliance and North American representative to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Jerry Mander, co-director of the International Forum on Globalization, among others.
“Roots of Peacemaking” will also feature Haudenosaunee traditional foods, artisans, music and dancing.
The event is collaboratively organized by Syracuse University and the Onondaga Nation, and is part of the 2007 Syracuse Symposium focusing on justice, presented by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Additional support comes from SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, Dean Cathryn R. Newton of SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, SU’s Department of Religion, the Native American Studies Program, the Center for Native People and the Environment and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, the Onondaga Nation and the Syracuse Peace Council.
For more information on the event, contact Arnold at 443-3861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the 2007 Syracuse Symposium, visit http://symposium.syr.edu.