While we honor the men and women who are and have served in the U.S. armed forces on Veterans Day, members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, including the Oneida Indian Nation, also mark the anniversary of the Treaty of Canandaigua on Nov. 11.
Signed by President George Washington in 1794, the treaty established peace between the new United States and all of the Six Nations following the Revolutionary War, in which only the Oneida Nation and some Tuscaroras supported the colonists. The treaty also sought to define and secure rights in each member Nation’s territory.
The Treaty of Canandaigua is the oldest valid treaty in the U.S. In accordance with its terms, the United States still delivers bolts of cloth – known as treaty cloth or annuity cloth – to the Oneida Indian Nation and the other members of the Confederacy every year.
Although each Member’s portion of treaty cloth has diminished over the years, it remains an important symbol of the continuing government-to-government relationship between the Oneida Nation and the United States.
Read the full text of the Treaty here.