The University community is invited to a campus forum on Monday, March 4, to learn about Universitywide diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) efforts. Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Mary Grace A. Almandrez will provide key updates about DEIA…
Monument in Recognition of Onondaga Nation to Be Installed on Campus
Syracuse University, in collaboration with the Indigenous Students at Syracuse (ISAS), Native Student Program, Ongwehonwe Alumni Association and Haudenosaunee/Indigenous alumni representatives, will create a permanent installation that acknowledges its relationship with the Onondaga Nation and recognizes its presence on ancestral land. The artwork is tentatively planned to be placed on the Shaw Quadrangle.
“Syracuse University is proud of its relationship with the Indigenous community, both on and off campus, and is committed to honoring the Onondaga Nation through a tangible expression of the land acknowledgement we make at every major University event,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “A permanent installation will serve as a lasting recognition of the Onondaga Nation’s past, present and future contributions to Syracuse University and its importance in our broader community.”
Indigenous students collectively recommended Onondaga artist Brandon Lazore to create the piece. ISAS president Nathan Abrams and Ongwehonwe Alumni Association representative Maris Jacobs say they have endeavored to include the voices of all Indigenous students at Syracuse University throughout this process. “We are proud to work toward a lasting, tangible statement of Indigenous survivance and resilience on Onondaga land,” says Abrams. “We look forward to Syracuse University’s continued efforts toward honoring their relationship and responsibility to our Indigenous community.”
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith Alford says the installation will be a welcome addition to campus. “The contributions of Indigenous people are present all over our campus and remind us of the importance of learning from and reflecting on our past,” says Alford. “This has been a student run initiative from the start, I look forward to connecting them with a myriad of stakeholders, including leaders from Onondaga Nation and expert faculty, to appropriately recognize the role these ancestral lands have played in Syracuse University’s history.”
Tadodaho Sidney Hill, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Betty Lyons, citizen of the Onondaga Nation, say they are happy to collaborate with the University to create a permanent and lasting message that recognizes the Haudenosaunee’s role and inspires more students to explore its culture and history.
“This work can be more than just an acknowledgement. It can start conversations and get people asking questions about the culture and historical context of the Haudenosaunee,” says Hill. “We welcome this collaboration and look forward to seeing a physical manifestation of the land acknowledgement on the Syracuse University campus.”
Representatives of Syracuse University and the Onondaga Nation will assemble a committee to discern the final placement and contents of the monument. Tentative early planning aims to have the acknowledgement installed in 2021.