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Native Americans

September 3, 2019 - 12:12pm

Tonight the Oakfield Historical Society will offer a free special presentation with an Onondaga Turtle Clan storyteller and educator at the Oakfield Community and Government Center.

At 7 p.m., Perry Ground will speak on the "Haudenosaunee Influence on American Democracy."

Everyone is welcome to attend.

This engaging and informative talk will focus on how the founders of the United States were influenced by ideas that had been a part of the Haudensausee Native Americans for hundreds of years.

Learn about the Great Law of Peace and the story of how the Five Nations came together. Learn about how the ideas of the Haudensausees influenced Benjamin Franklin and George Washington in the forming of the U.S. Constitution.

The Oakfield center is located at 3219 Drake Street Road in Oakfield.

Questions? Call Laurie at (585) 259-4145.

(Onondaga (the keepers of the Central Fire) is considered to be the capital of the Haudenosaunee, a name meaning “People of the Longhouse.")

Photo: Perry Ground, from his Facebook page.

November 23, 2018 - 12:43pm

Above photo, local paleontologist/geologist Richard Hamell taught the students about the history and uses of wampum.

Submitted photos and press release:

On Nov. 8 the Byron-Bergen Elementary School fourth-grade classes celebrated the fourth annual Haudenosaunee Day. This day came at the end of their English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies units based on the Iroquois people, history and culture and included art and cultural-themed activities and special guests.

In the morning, students joined Byron-Bergen High School music teacher Lawrence Tallman in the cafetorium for an interactive presentation of Native American music, stories and dance. Tallman is descended from the Onondaga and Tuscarora tribes and studied Native American song and dance while traveling around the country with his grandfather who was a musician.

The students joined him in several songs and dances including the Rabbit Dance and the Partridge Dance, historically used to teach counting to children.

In the afternoon, Byron-Bergen parent Michelle Caballero shared the story of the vain doll whose face was taken away by the Great Spirit. Caballero then showed the students how to make their own corn husk dolls. Caballero is a member of the Seneca Nation and enjoys having the opportunity to share her culture each year with the fourth-grade students at through this activity.

Local Paleontologist/Geologist Richard Hamell taught the students about the history and uses of wampum and shared with them his collection of wampum and Native American artifacts. Finally, retired Byron-Bergen teacher Rick Merritt shared stories and legends around an indoor “campfire.” Each of the special guests has taken part in Haudenosaunee Day since its inception in 2014.

The following day, the fourth-grade students closed out their study of Haudenosaunee culture by presenting projects created by the students to the other grade levels who visited their classrooms. Projects included longhouse dioramas, wampum, flags and the history of the Three Sisters.

The goal of each annual Iroquois celebration is to help the fourth-grade students develop an appreciation through understanding of the Haudenosaunee people.

Photo below: retired Byron-Bergen teacher Rick Merritt shared stories and legends around an indoor “campfire.”

Photo below: Byron-Bergen High School music teacher Lawrence Tallman led an interactive presentation of Native American music, stories and dance.

October 6, 2015 - 12:35pm
posted by Jamie Lindsley in Native Americans, arts and crafts, history.
Event Date and Time: 
October 6, 2015 - 7:00pm
The Oakfield Historical Society will host a presentation by longtime community resident Bill Chase on Native American crafts at the Village of Oakfield office.  All are welcome.
June 11, 2013 - 8:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Native Americans, Tonawanda Creek, Six Nations, Iroquois.

Rick Levins says the Tonawanda Creek is a spiritual place. He's been drawn to it most of his life, he said. For more than 30 years, he's lived on its bank in a home on Walnut Street.

This spring, he started paddling it every day, finding a few moments of peace, but also preparing for a historic canoe trip next month from Albany to New York City down the Hudson River.

The trip is known as the Two Row Wampum Renewal Epic Canoe Trip and is being organized by a group of Native Americans in the Syracuse area to commemorate the first treaty between Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Dutch traders in 1613.

"Basically, the treaty said, 'we're in our canoes, you're in your ships, we're going down the same river together, but we won't bother you, you don't bother us,'" Levins said. "That didn't always work quite so well, but the Iroquois and Haudenosaunee have honored that treaty. This is a 400-year renewal. It's the basically indigenous person saying we're losing the path here and we need to get back to some of these old ways."

Levins is half Native -- his mother was from the Six Nations in Canada -- and his cousin from Six Nations introduced him to the trip.

The journey starts July 27 and ends Aug. 9 on the United Nations Indigenous People's Day. 

Along the way, there will be seminars and lectures. The trip is intended to promote peace, friendship and environmental sustainability.

Levins has been paddling on the Tonawanda every day since the start of spring preparing for the trip. Every day, he says, he has the creek to himself. He sees geese, ducks, herons, beavers and deer and listens to the birds tweet and twitter.

"I've even seen deer swimming in the creek," Levins said. "I was going up the creek, coming around the bend, and I saw something in the water. At first, I thought it was a beaver. There's a lot of beaver in here. Well, the beaver started to get up out of the water and it turned into a deer. A nice young buck with velvet."

Because of the historic meaning of the Tonawanda to both Natives and white settlers, Levins said he's always felt a special connection to the waterway that was once an important transportation link.

"The creek holds a lot of meaning to me," Levins said. "There's so much history here."


October 2, 2012 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, GCC, civil war, Native Americans, dan hamner.
Event Date and Time: 
November 7, 2012 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Free public lecture about Native Americans and the Civil War at GCC:

"Among the Many Fires: Trials, Opportunities and Experiences of Native Americans in the Civil War."

Presented by GCC History instructor Dan Hamner in the Stuart Steiner Theater.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, Batavia Campus, 7 p.m.

The college is located at One College Road, off R. Stephen Hawley Drive.

November 12, 2008 - 1:02pm

Learn about "People of the Longhouse". Larry VerWeire of Ganondagan State Historic Site will speak about the people and the site. Ganondagan was the site of a 17th century Native American community that was a flourishing, vibrant center for the Seneca people. This program will take place at Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center, 11095 Bethany Center Rd., E. Bethany, NY 14054.


Saturday, December 13, 2008
$5/person ($10/family)
Pre-registration required by December 12, 2008.
Please call (585) 344-1122 to register.

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