November 5, 2015                                        

Canandaigua, NY—On November 11, 2015, the seminal federal Canandaigua Treaty will once again be commemorated in Canandaigua, where in 1794, representatives of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) and the United States government met to sign an historic agreement. Friends of Ganondagan, along with the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty Committee, host this annual event in recognition of the treaty that brought peace between the Haudenosaunee and the United States, and recognized the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee to govern and set laws as individual nations. 

This yearly commemoration is a time of rededication, to “polish the chain of peace and friendship” which recognizes that agreements between nations remain current and vibrant. In 1794, the treaty was signed in Canandaigua by Colonel Timothy Pickering—official agent of George Washington—and sachems from the Grand Council of the Six Nations (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora). Washington realized that the friendship of the Six Nations was vital to the still-burgeoning United States. Continuing to celebrate the treaty helps to raise community awareness and understanding of its viability despite numerous violations.

The public is invited to gather at the Canandaigua Primary School (96 W. Gibson St.) for a 1:30 pm march to the Ontario County Courthouse. Leading the march are Haudenosaunee Chiefs with representatives from the Six Nations and the United States. The traditional commemoration ceremony takes place at 2 pm on the Courthouse lawn, introduced by Ganondagan State Historic Site Manager Peter Jemison. In attendance are Quaker representatives whose ancestors bore witness to the original signing as people of peace 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.). From 10:30–5 pm, a Native American art and craft sale will take place at the Canandaigua Primary School gym, followed at 6:00 pm by special keynote speaker and treaty authority, Michael Oberg in the auditorium.

Oberg is a SUNY Geneseo Distinguished Professor and author of the newly published book, Peacemakers: The Iroquois, the United States, and the Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794. Oberg is a master ethnohistorian and a leading international authority on the intersection of colonial English and Native American societies. 

 All activities are free and open to the public. This event is organized by the Friends of Ganondagan through the collaboration with the City of Canandaigua and the Friends of Ganondagan. It is made possible by the Haudenosaunee Peace & Trade Committee, Mohawk Nation Council, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Tuscarora Nation of Indians, the Seneca Nation of Indians, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Visit or call 585-742-1690.

Canandaigua Treaty Day Commemoration Schedule (free and open to the public)

10:30 am – 5 pm: Native American art and craft sale at the Primary School gym

1:30 pm:         Walk 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

6:00 pm:         Keynote Speaker Michael Oberg; at Primary School Auditorium

Amy Blum (585) 425-1864