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219th Anniversary of Historic Canandaigua Treaty Commemorated
Ganondagan State Historic Site
Monday, November 11, marks the celebration of the 219th anniversary of the historic Canandaigua Treaty between the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Confederacy) and the U.S. Representatives from the Six Nations and the U.S. will march side by side to honor the continuing the “chain of friendship” agreement between nations. This year is especially noteworthy with the recognition of the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum between the Six Nations and the Dutch, the subject of the keynote speech by Chief Jake Edwards (Onondaga) later in the day.
In November, 1794, the treaty was negotiated and signed by Colonel Timothy Pickering, official agent of George Washington, and sachems from the Six Nations (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora). The treaty brought peace between the two, and recognized the sovereignty of the Six Nations to govern and set laws as individual nations.
Leading the public events is Master of Ceremonies Peter Jemison, Ganondagan State Historic Site manager. At 1:30 pm, a parade led by Haudenosaunee Chiefs leaves from the Canandaigua Primary School (96 W. Gibson St.) heads up to Main Street, ending at the Ontario County Courthouse. The traditional commemoration ceremony takes place at 2:00 pm on the front lawn. Also in attendance will be Quaker representatives whose forebears attended the original signing to ensure fair negotiations. From 12-4 pm, attendees are invited to view one of only two original copies of the Treaty and pertinent letters at the Ontario County Historical Society (55 N. Main St.). A potluck supper at 4:30 pm will be provided at the School cafeteria.
At 6:00 pm keynote speaker Chief Jake Edwards (Onondaga) will discuss the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum, celebrated this past summer with a symbolic re-enactment of the agreement. The ceremonial belt shows two parallel rows of purple beads along a white background, one representing a canoe with the way of life of the Haudenosaunee; the other representing the traditions of the Europeans. In July, Native Americans and non-Natives journeyed by canoe and kayaks in July from the Onondaga Nation down the Hudson River to New York City and the United Nations.
This event is organized by the Friends of Ganondagan and is made possible through the collaboration with the Canandaigua City School District, City of Canandaigua, and the Friends of Ganondagan. It is sponsored by the Haudenosaunee Peace & Trade Committee, Mohawk Nation Council, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Tuscarora Nation of Indians, and the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Canandaigua Treaty Day Commemoration Schedule (free and open to the public)
1:30 pm: Parade from Canandaigua Primary School (96 W. Gibson St.) to Ontario County Courthouse (27 N. Main St.)
2:00 pm: Commemoration Ceremony; front lawn of Ontario County Courthouse
4:30 pm: Potluck Dinner; Primary School Cafeteria
6:00 pm: Keynote Speaker Chief Jake Edwards (Onondaga): “Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Two Row”; Primary School Auditorium
A Native American Arts and Crafts sale will take place from 10:30 am - 7:00 pm at the School.