Sunday, August 11, 2013. New York City – On August 10 was the historic commemoration of the 400 year anniversary of the Two Row Wampum, the oldest treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch.
The treaty emphasized the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace, and formed the basis for all subsequent indigenous peoples’ treaties with the English and the United States.
“The Two Row is the oldest and is the grandfather of all subsequent treaties. It set a relationship of equity and peace. This campaign is to remind people of the importance of the agreements.” said Chief Oren Lyons from the Onondaga Nation, who has represented the Haudenosaunee at the UN and elsewhere.
The Onondaga Nation, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, American Indian Community House and the American Indian Law Alliance organized the Two Row Wampum Festival on Saturday, August 10 at the Brookfield Place between Brookfield, World Financial Center and the North Cove Marina, located along the Battery Park City waterfront.
The day-long festival featured world-class Native singers, dancers, speakers, and other performers.
On August 9 was “The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People”, proclaimed by the United Nations in December 1994, to be celebrated every year.
The 2013 Theme was, “Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.”
“The theme aims to highlight the importance of honoring arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and establish a framework for living in proximity and entering into economic relationships. Agreements also outline a political vision of different sovereign peoples living together on the same land, according to the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace,” the UN website says.
“Our ancestors made this great agreement on our behalf 400 years ago. Now is the time for us to think about the people living in the next 400 years.” -Hickory Edwards (Onondaga Nation)
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On Friday, August 9, indigenous and non-indigenous rowers arrived (see pictures by Adrian Resa Jones at Pier 96 at 57th Street in Manhattan, after having traveled for almost two weeks down the Hudson River from upstate New York to honor the first treaty -– the Two Row Wampum -– between Dutch immigrants and the Haudenosaunee (a confederacy of six nations, with capital in the Onondaga nation, in NY State) 400 years ago, in 1613.
After arriving in Manhattan, they went to the United Nations to attend an event with UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, UN Assistant Secretary-General Shamshad Akhtar, and Paul Kanyinke Sena, chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger & Onondaga Leader Oren Lyons talked with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now about The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, fracking, Indigenous struggles and Hiroshima bombing.
Watch part 2 and part 3 of the interview.
August 9, 2013 – Remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the 2013 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
Videos from the Two Row Wampum Festival in NYC on 8/10/2013.
Daygot Leeyos Edwards. Listen her music here.
“Daygot Leeyos Edwards is a young female lyricist and music producer from Oneida Nation, of the Wolf Clan. One of her passions is to produce music that empowers, educates, and uplifts our conciousness. Her lyrics and music reflect the struggles and triumphs of being a human being. Collecting sound bytes along her travels, she mixes together collages of words and melodies to deliver messages and inspiration to all listeners.”
Shawl Dance – Josephine Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahannock/Hopi/Ho-Chunk Nations), Pura Fe (Katenuaka Skaroreh Nation of North Carolina), Akwesasne Women Singers and people dancing.