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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Ska-nonh Great Law Of Peace Center Opens
by Sarah Moses -
An eagle hovers over the Tree of Peace made of fabric. Fabric panels make up the represention for the Tree of Peace. Various panels have some of the nine clan sympols. The Ska nonh Great Law of Peace Center.
Figures representing Hiawatha, at left, and the Peace Maker.

LIVERPOOL, NY — The Ska-nonh Great Law of Peace Center is set to open to the public on Saturday.

Ska-nonh, which is located at the site of the former Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois, will celebrate Haudenosaunee culture from the perspective of the Haudenosaunee people. The Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora nations.

Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois was a living history museum that told the story of the Haudenosaunee from the perspective of the French Jesuits as they encountered the indigenous people along the shore of Onondaga Lake in the 17th Century. The fort was only in use from 1656 to 1658.

"There is a bigger story to tell," said Ska-nonh Director Phil Arnold.

Arnold, a Native American studies professor at Syracuse University, said the new center will tell the story of Haudenosaunee including the Thanksgiving Address, the creation story and the Great Law of Peace. The center will also highlight the history of Native American/European contact and the Haudenosaunee contributions to the American way of life, including lacrosse, women's rights, food, democracy and the environment.

The center includes exhibits that reflect the native oral tradition by using audio/visual components and interactive displays. The centerpiece of each exhibit is a film that features Haudenosaunee people explaining their heritage and values as they have been passed down from generation to generation.

Ska-nonh is pronounced like "SCAN-oh" and it is a greeting in the Onondaga language that means peace and wellness.

The building owned by Onondaga County near Onondaga Lake in Liverpool is leased by the Onondaga Historical Association.

Funding for the $1 million project has come from the county, the Onondaga Nation, Empire State Development and several local foundations. Onondaga County dedicated $250,000 of room occupancy tax over three years. New York state, through Empire State Development, granted $160,000.

The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and is located on Onondaga Lake Parkway. Admission is free for the opening day celebration.

The celebration will feature Native American social dancing and native food vendors and arts and crafts. Wooden lacrosse stick maker Alf Jacques will also demonstrate stick construction.

The regular hours for the center will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Regular admission will be $5 per person and children under 12 are free.

A second floor display on First Encounters-First Impressions.
A painting and story of the Creation.
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