A land acknowledgement creates a more accurate picture of American history and pays respect to Indigenous people, who were here long before colonization began.
In upstate New York, there were six Indigenous nations that made up the Iroquois League. The Haudenosaunee (“people of the longhouse”) originally included the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations. In the 1700s, the Tuscarora became the sixth.
The Seneca were known as the "Keeper of the Western Door," as the westernmost of the Six Nations. In the Seneca language, they were known as O-non-dowa-gah, (pronounced: Oh-n'own-dough-wahgah) or "Great Hill People."
For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength, as well as their immeasurable positive impact on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a brighter future of equity and respect for Tribal Nations.
To view our sources and to learn more about the history of Indigenous land in our region, please visit https://www.history.com/news/iroquois-confederacy-hiawatha-peacemaker-great-law-of-peace and https://sni.org/culture/.