IMAGE Nation Representative and CEO Ray Halbritter talks with a reenactor

Oneida Indian Nation Representative and CEO Ray Halbritter (Wolf Clan), right, talks to a reenactor at the American Revolution Center.

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First Allies, Continued Friendship

The Oneida Indian Nation is known as the United States’ first ally, having fought with the colonists during the American Revolution. The Oneidas participated in key battles such as Oriskany and Saratoga, and traveled hundreds of miles to deliver corn to Washington’s starving troops at Valley Forge.

Fast forward to today, and the Oneida Nation continues this friendship, having become allies — so to speak — of the American Revolution Center. The center serves as the first national museum commemorating the entire story of the American Revolution and its enduring legacy.

On display are artifacts, manuscripts and objects from the American Revolutionary era. The center offers programming, lectures and interactive learning exhibits for teachers, students and the general public.

In September 2010, the National Park Service and the American Revolution Center held a ceremonial signing of a land exchange, making it possible to build the center in Philadelphia, PA. Attending the ceremony, which was held in the Liberty View Ballroom of the Independence Visitor Center, were Oneida Indian Nation Representative and CEO Ray Halbritter and Dale Rood, Turtle Clan Council member.

The Oneidas’ role in the war was recognized by the 2nd Continental Congress in 1777:

“We have experienced your love, strong as the oak, and your fidelity, unchangeable as truth. You have kept fast hold of the ancient covenant-chain, and preserved it free from rust and decay, and bright as silver. Like brave men, for glory you despised danger; you stood forth, in the cause of your friends, and ventured your lives in our battles. While the sun and moon continue to give light to the world, we shall love and respect you. As our trusty friends, we shall protect you; and shall at all times consider your welfare as our own.”

Oneida Members have proudly served in the military not only on behalf of their Nation, but on behalf of the United States of America. From the bloody battlefield at Oriskany during the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Iraq, Oneidas have stepped up to the challenge of protecting democracy and promoting peace.

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American Revolution Center

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