The Onondaga Nation is a sovereign nation of people with its own government.
This government has been in existence for countless centuries.
member-nations of the Haudenosaunee, the Onondaga Nation survives today as
a sovereign, independent nation, living on a portion of its ancestral territory
and maintaining its own distinct laws, language, customs, and culture. Today,
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.
As an independent, sovereign
Onondaga Nation government does not pay income, sales, or excise taxes
to New York State or to the federal government, nor does it receive any
of the benefits paid for by these taxes. 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 the
repair of homes, a reservation water system, a healing center, and the
recently-completed Onondaga Nation multi-purpose arena.