Making their mark in American history, the Oneida Nation became the first ally to America when they joined the colonists in their fight for independence during the American Revolutionary War. In 1794, after the victory over the British and many hardships for the Oneidas, George Washington signed the Treaty of Canandaigua recognizing the Oneida Nation as a sovereign entity. The agreement granted federal protection of 300,000 acres.

Oneida Nation homelands originally consisted of more than six million acres stretching from the St. Lawrence River to the Susquehanna River. Oneida villages thrived in and around the present-day communities of Stockbridge, Oneida Castle, Canastota, Oriskany, the city of Oneida and elsewhere in what are now Oneida and Madison counties.

By the early 1900s, illegal state treaties nearly depleted the Oneida Nation of its homeland. The Oneidas did what they had to do to survive. Some moved, some sold their land. The Oneidas had to fight to recover the last 32 acres granted to them. The federal government filed suit in U.S. District Court in 1919 to help the Oneida Nation reclaim this land.

Today, the Oneida Nation has regained more than 18,000 acres of their original homelands – the most they have had recognized sovereignty over since 1824. A slow steady climb and dedicated perseverance has led to a resurgence for the Oneida Nation that today prospers through their many diverse enterprises, including Turning Stone Resort Casino and a chain of SavOn Convenience stores.

This economic upturn has allowed the Oneida Nation to provide many
programs and services to its Members as well as reinvest in their enterprises and community to become an economic engine in the Central New York region,
as one of the largest employers in the state.

Historical Timeline of the Oneida Nation

Few Accounts Exist of Oneida Involvement in Revolutionary War

History books are replete with accounts of the American colonists’ fight for independence. However, few literary offerings are available depicting the participation of America’s first allies [...]

Dartmouth and Hamilton Colleges Linked in Original Mission

Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, like Hamilton College in Clinton, was founded originally to educate American Indians. Each was conceived by a minister and each evolved into a college. An [...]

Did You Know? Curiouser and Curiouser

Back in the day (the day being circa 1910), a group of City of Oneida businessmen had the idea to found a boosters club, a form of civic organization recently come into vogue, touting cities [...]

Did You Know? The Timelessness of Oneida Hospitality

Oneidas are famous for their hospitality. Noted as warm, welcoming and sharing hosts, Oneidas continue this tradition that spans centuries. The following is a written account of such generos [...]

Did you know? Oneida Nicholas ‘Saucy Nick’ Sharp

Nicholas Sharp was an Oneida Indian also known as Saucy Nick. His Indian name was Loghtandye, which means 'He Continues Speaking'. Nick was probably born around 1755 and lived a very interes [...]

Gift Recalls 1816 Volcanic Eruption

A volcanic eruption in Indonesia nearly 200 years ago affected climate around the globe (researchers believe), leaving decimated crops in its wake. The Oneida suffered, too, enduring the fai [...]