the Onondaga Nation consists of a 7,300-acre territory just south of Syracuse,
on which it maintains its sovereignty and operates outside the general jurisdiction
of New York State. The Nation is still governed by a Council
of Chiefs, selected in accordance with its time-honored democratic
system. In the same vein, many Onondagas practice traditional ceremonies
and adhere to religious philosophies and social customs that long predate
contact with Western civilizations. Aspects of this ideology have been incorporated
into America’s legal system, as well as into its culture. Personal
and societal consideration of the Seventh Generation is
but one example of a Haudenosaunee world view that has informed, enhanced
and enlightened American and other national cultures.
Unlike several other New York native nations, the Onondaga Nation has chosen not to become involved in the casino business or other gambling ventures; instead, the Nation operates a tax-free smoke shop, which funds many community projects, including Onondaga language classes, a fire department, a Nation water system, a healing center, a waster transfer station, and a multi-purpose arena.