Canandaigua always makes for a wonderful and enlightening day trip and traveling to the town takes about an hour and a half by car from the Onondaga Nation Community. The historic Canandaigua experience will rekindle a time from the past that shows the strength of our ancestors and their relationship with a young United States. Every November 11th a substantial number of Haudenosaunee and supporters commemorate the signing of one of the most important treaties between the Haudenosaunee and the United States, the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.
This year, Faithkeeper Oren Lyons gave a vibrant keynote address before a standing room only audience at the Canandaigua School. Prior to Oren’s speech, Mohawk columnist Doug George, gave a eloquent introduction to the evenings historic commemoration. The Canandaigua Treaty are its strategic peace agreement and its recognition of reciprocating sovereignty between the Six Nations: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora and the United States whose officials served under the auspices of their first president, George Washington.
According to the Canandaigua Treaty organizing committee, the “yearly commemoration is a time of rededication helping to ensure that the “chain of friendship” and agreements between nations remain current.”
A special unveiling of a painting by Robert Griffing entitled “The Canandaigua Treaty” depicts the actual 1794 treaty signing; this was a new highlight to the day’s schedule of events. An interesting note about the painting is all the in the painting are actual present day individuals from several communities. A close study of the painting may reveal a person you may recognize who modeled for the artist.
Robert Griffing is from Pennsylvania and his renowned collection of prints can be found in many well known galleries. Mr. Griffing’s philanthropy has earned him prominence in the Haudenosaunee circles as he recently donated a full size print that captures a 19th century lacrosse game to the Iroquois Nationals.
If you haven’t experience a part of Haudenosaunee history think about circling November 11th on your new 2011 calendar for places and events to see.