Onondaga Nation to Honor Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud

Published April 27, 2018

Scholarships, recognition help make university a welcoming place for Haudenosaunee students.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – The Skä·noñh-Great Law of Peace Center will be hosting a reception on Sunday, April 29, in which the Onondaga Nation will honor Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud for his commitment to raising awareness of Haudenosaunee history and heritage. Ongoing efforts at Syracuse University to honor and respect the cultural, historical, and traditional legacy of the Haudenosaunee have led to the development of programs that promote strong connections between the University and the Haudenosaunee nations. Syracuse University itself is built upon the ancestral lands of the Onondaga Nation, Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee.

Kent Syverud

Since his inauguration, Chancellor Syverud has worked steadfastly to further enhance the University‘s long established relationship with the Haudenosaunee. Among other measures, he initiated the University‘s policy of opening public events with an acknowledgement of the Onondaga Nation—“the indigenous people on whose ancestral lands Syracuse University now stands.” In 2016, Syverud announced “that the Haudenosaunee flag will fly at major University locations.”

“The Onondaga are known as the ‘People of the Hills,’” said Tadodaho Sid Hill, of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs, “hills like the ones Syracuse University is built upon. We appreciate that the University recognizes the land it is on, and the importance of this land to our people.  These acknowledgements make Syracuse University a more welcoming place for our people.”

Launched in 2006, Chancellor Syverud’s continued support for the Haudenosaunee Promise reaffirms Syracuse University’s commitment to the six Haudenosaunee nations, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. Speaking at the “Nyaweñha Skä·noñh Welcome Luncheon” on August 22, 2016, Syverud lauded the program “created 11 years ago to honor the historical, political, and cultural legacies of the Haudenosaunee to the University and to the region”.

“It sets an important precedent,” says Betty Lyons, President of the American Indian Law Alliance, “I’m hopeful that more Universities will follow this course.”

Chancellor Syverud has also been extremely supportive of the Skä·noñh Great Law of Peace Center, located on the shores of Onondaga Lake. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy was founded on the shores of Onondaga Lake over 1000 years ago. The University played a major role in Skä·noñh’s development and the academic collaboration that governs its mission to tell the story of the Haudenosaunee.

Tadodaho Sid Hill, of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs, affirms that “Onondaga Lake is a crucial part of our history. It is a place we will always be tied to. It is right that we should meet with our neighbors here where the Peacemaker brought together our Nations.”

The public is invited to  join Onondaga leaders at the Skä·noñh Great Law of Peace Center, located at 6680 Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, for the reception on Sunday, April 29th, from 5-8pm. Hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic refreshments will be provided.  Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at cnyhistory.org/syverud. All proceeds from the reception will support the center’s educational programming and the restoration and stabilization of an exceptional three-panel ceramic masterwork by Mohawk artist Tammy Tarbell.

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