Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Our county, Tompkins County of New York State, has declared today officially Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Our orchards (in Schuyler and in Tompkins County) are both on what is the Cayuga Nation lands of the Haudenosaunee. From the Cayuga Nation: “In the 12th century, the Cayuga Nation, along with the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk Nations united under the Great Law of Peace to form the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) Confederacy in order to end inter-tribal fighting and bring a sustainable peace to the land. This structure of government and its constitution influenced the creation of many modern day constitutions. The Cayuga Nation is made up of five clans. These clans signify family lineage and a Cayuga citizen’s clan is determined by the clan of their mother. Each of us is a member of one of the five clans – Bear, Heron, Snipe, Turtle and Wolf. Each clan has a Clan Mother, whose role it is to take care of her clan members. Each Clan has Council Representatives who form the decision making body of the Nation. All was stable until the Revolutionary War. Although the Cayuga Nation remained neutral, it became the target of U.S. military attacks. Cayuga villages were destroyed and its orchards burned during the campaigns of General Sullivan and Colonel Butler. The Cayugas were forced from their homeland and the land was dispersed in parcels to American soldiers. In November of 1794 it appeared that the wrongful taking of Cayuga land would be made right. The Treaty of Canandaigua was signed between the Sachems of the Confederacy Nations and the United States of America. This Treaty affirmed the Cayuga Nation’s rightful reservation as 64,000 acres of sovereign land. Unfortunately, the Treaty was ignored by New York. The Cayuga homeland was not returned to its owners. For the next 250 years the Cayuga Nation pursued its land claim against New York State. In the early 21st century we made the decision to take affirmative action. The Cayuga Nation decided to start reacquiring its land by simply purchasing it.”

It is our hope that someday we can be a part of land reparations.  In a small (too small we will admit) step towards that we at Redbyrd Orchard Cider have made a commitment beginning August 20th of 2019 to give a portion of every bottle sale to organizations that work towards preserving  culture and traditional land use ways for the Haudenosaunee (and for farmers of color). We mailed out our first checks today.

We refer often the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign from 2013 and would like to share part of it here:

How can you honor the Two Row Wampum?

(Some ideas for neighbors, friends and allies of Indigenous peoples):

Care for the Earth

Give thanks frequently

Respect and promote Indigenous sovereignty

Learn about treaties between the US and Indigenous nations

Remember that treaties are the Supreme Law of the Land (Article 6 of the US Constitution)

Demand that the US government honor their treaty commitments with native nations

Consider the consequences of your actions for future generations

Resist and question stereotypes about Indigenous peoples

Reject the Doctrine of Discovery

Grow & eat local foods and use native plants in your gardens

Get to know and make friends with your Indigenous neighbors

Slow down and notice where you are, listen more than you talk

Don’t pollute, don’t waste, be environmentally responsible

Work to end global warming

Campaign against hydrofracking

Buy only what you need

Read native authors

Read and promote the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Learn about the people indigenous to wherever you are and their stories

Celebrate and respect cultural differences

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day

Support native craftspeople, businesses and events

Consider what it means to be an ally to Indigenous peoples

Categories: nys hard cider

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