Oren Lyon’s painting of the Tree of Peace, under which the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was formed many hundreds of years ago. The painting now appears in the brochure for Syracuse University’s new Certificate in Iroquois Linguistics for Language Learners brochure.


From its founding over 1000 years ago at Onondaga Lake until today the Onondaga Nation, Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, has continued to use the Great Law of Peace to guide their people.  Thanksgiving ceremonies are performed each season in Longhouses throughout Haudenosaunee traditional territories.  Clan leaders are elected and raised into office by means of the Condolence process.  In spite of attempts to assimilate and destroy the Haudenosaunee the Longhouse tradition has survived due to strong and forward thinking leadership.  Its lowest ebb was the early 1900s but now there are signs of language revitalization; a greater interest in the ceremonies and governmental process by the youth, and a greater level of support by allies around the world.

Remarkably, the Onondaga Nation survived the tidal waves of colonization and continue to live within their original homelands. Their council fire still burns. The Great Law of Peace still continues to inspire the decisions of the Chiefs, Clan Mothers, and Faithkeepers.