I am writing my personal thoughts from the Cayuga Nation, in upstate New York. I was introduced to the homelands September 2007 at a Cayuga Nation picnic. Since then I have explored the land our forefathers walked upon and at times feel overwhelmed.
When I first learned about Hiawatha, I was in grade 5 and I remember coloring the little Indian Boy and the stories that went with this brave person. I never in a million years thought I would be here and it is a great honor to be a part of helping rebuild the Cayuga Nation.
There are many things happening here from politics to building new relationships. As it was told by our elders, “You gotta be able to take the good with the bad, it’s a part of learning.”
In 1779 General Sullivan, ordered his army to burn us out of our homelands, the Five Finger Lakes Territory. Some of us traveled and stayed within the United States making another nation and/or tribe their home and some of migrated to Grand River and made Six Nations our home.
Today we have been given an opportunity to build the bridges that separate our nations. So if you ask and wonder how we are getting along, I would have to say, be mindful of the things our Ancestors put here for us and the “Faces yet to be born.”
It is about the land, membership, our culture and the international treaty relationships that we acquired along the way, that extends from the east to the west. It is what makes us sovereign.
And yes there are many obstacles that we are overcoming and it’s been a real struggle, but with lots of hard work and determination, we are moving forward. With the help of the Six Nations Confederacy, we have in our canoe all our traditional customs, values and beliefs. These entwine us with the “Law of the Land.”
Cayuga Nation Turtle Clan