Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center
Nyaweñha Skä•noñh is an Onondaga welcoming greeting that means, “I am thankful you are well.” Skä•noñh means both “peace” and “wellness.” This is established through one’s proper relationship with all species of the natural world—human and otherwise. This is foundational to Onondaga (Onoñda’gega’) society. Skä·noñh, allows humans to reach their highest potential, by using the power of their good minds to build an unbreakable unity by using diplomacy and reason instead of violence to create perpetual healthy relationships on the Earth.
We welcome you to this place of peace, where we honor the great tradition started by Gayanashagowa (Great Law of Peace) and share the hope that peace can be real in our lives today.
The Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center is where you can contemplate what peace means to you, how this relates to other beings, and how this affects living in balance with the natural world. This Haudenosaunee vision of peace, strength and harmony with the natural world can guide the process of “peacebuilding.”
This educational facility gives voice to the Haudenosaunee, so that non-native people can understand and appreciate what took place here at Onondaga Lake long before the arrival of Europeans. Through Oral Tradition you will learn about the Thanksgiving Address, the Creation Story, and the Great Law of Peace. Haudenosaunee people and wampum belts tell stories of the contentious history of European contact and American era “Indian Policies.” You will see and hear words from our native language, which is still spoken today. Language is very important for the survival of our culture and ceremonies, for it goes back to our Original Instructions of living in proper relationship.
The Skä·noñh Center is open to all people, where visitors can reflect on the ideas, beliefs and history that we share. Our goals are to inspire people to action through contemplation on Haudenosaunee values and worldview; to nurture the Good Mind as the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum for a global discussion on peace, as well as social and environmental justice.