11 September 2005

2nd Annual Haudenosaunee Conference

2nd Annual Haudenosaunee Conference
Syracuse University College of Law
More Information will follow! Check out our website,

Conference Abstract:
Since the arrival of Europeans on the shores of Turtle Island, Indigenous peoples have faced continuous threats to survival. Trespass followed by warfare served as the leading edge of the threat. Eventually, strange European diseases cost the lives of millions of Native peoples and the extinction of many distinct Indigenous societies. From this devastation, the colonists were eventually able to achieve the military neutralization of nearly all Indigenous nations. But they were not content with this victory to allow the surviving Natives to live in peace. Instead, the Founding Fathers of the emerging United States embarked upon a radical effort to re-engineer the Indigenous peoples into "civilized" carbon copies of themselves.

New threats, as well as intensified strains of the old, were unleashed. Christianization was promoted through government funded, missionary run boarding schools. Capitalism was promoted through land confiscation and allotment policies that destroyed the tribal land base. Education was promoted to facilitate social transition to American society. And citizenship was granted to attack tribal citizenship and undermine tribal sovereignty.

The Haudenosaunee have suffered through 400 years of such influences and yet remain distinct Indigenous societies in the present day. But the threats to Haudenosaunee survival continue. Recently, the American courts have rendered decisions that potentially represent the final move to confiscate almost all Haudenosaunee territory. In addition, New York State fueled economic and political policies have induced predatory colonizing behavior and a mentality of selling off treaty-protected tax and jurisdictional immunities. And at the individual level, health related problems such as diabetes and obesity threaten physical well-being, while the waning influence of the Longhouse and the churches opens the door to a new world of spiritual emptiness and victimization by America's mass consumer culture.

This year's conference is devoted to evaluating the "state of siege" that currently affects the Haudenosaunee and exploring pathways to potential solutions. Speakers representing a variety of Nations and perspectives will participate in this discussion with an eye towards developing long term remedial strategies at the collective and individual level.


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