Syracuse University’s Chancellor Nancy Cantor unveiled a scholarship for Haudenosaunee students named, “The Haudenosaunee Promise”. The Promise is to provide scholarships to full-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree who are citizens of the Haudenosaunee and reside in their territories beginning in the fall of 2006. .
Chancellor Cantor sees this scholarship as a method to promote friendship between the University and the Haudenosaunee. Chancellor Cantor came to the Onondaga Longhouse to request our presence at her inauguration and to present the rationale behind “The Haudenosaunee Promise”. She stressed the significant contributions of the Haudenosaunee in government, religion and society. Chancellor Nancy Cantor also emphasized the Haudenosaunee’s role in the promotion of women’s rights and its mandate to protect Mother Nature as a perfect fit with the ideology of Syracuse University. Therefore with great honor she announced that Syracuse University was “polishing the chain” by extending their hand to the young minds of the Haudenosaunee with full scholarships to all qualified applicants living on Haudenosaunee lands.
David Smith, appointed director of the “Haudenosaunee Promise” explained how privileged he was to be associated such an endeavor. He recalled when he was young when helping out at his father’s place of business; Mohawk men would come and work for him. During their lunch, he recalled how the Mohawks always invited him to sit as they discussed the affairs of the Mohawk people. Although he was too young to remember the content of their discussions, he was deeply moved by their thoughtfulness and their kindness. He looks forward, as a “Runner” for the University, to continue the dialogue that began many decades ago.
Tadodaho Chief Sid Hill then accepted the Chancellor’sgracious gift to the people of the Haudenosaunee. Tadodaho then spoke of how the elders spoke of our agreements so many years ago. They told us of the promises made to our people. That many of these promises were not kept. But today is different. Today, he was proud to be part of the “Haudenosaunee Promise” making it possible for the Haudenosaunee and Syracuse University to work together polishing the chain of friendship to provide a great opportunity for our Haudenosaunee communities.