The communities have a shared goal of creating an emblem to accurately reflect their relationship – past, present and future.
Today the Mayor of the Village of Whitesboro and the Oneida Indian Nation announced they will meet to discuss the creation of a new emblem for the Village of Whitesboro.
This joint effort opens the door to establish a new legacy, as well as accurately represent the historical and current relations between the Nation and the Village. The story of Whitesboro and the Oneida Indian Nation is one of communities working together.
This seal, which appears on city vehicles and signage in Whitesboro, including the welcome sign in the village green, has received much interest and attention lately. The seal has been called into question as of late making local, national, and international headlines. On January 11, 2016, the residents of the village turned out and supported keeping the seal as part of a non-binding, public opinion vote. In a village board meeting and in the days that followed, many residents that supported keeping the seal had since voiced their opinion to keep the history, but have the seal re-drawn in a more modern, detailed, and culturally appropriate way.
The Mayor O’Connor was also contacted by descendants of the White family. While humbled that the community wanted to preserve the history of the seal and Mr. White’s involvement, they supported the effort of designing a new logo that would celebrate the Village’s proud history.
“In speaking with a lot of the residents that voted to keep the seal, I think they were surprised at the negative attention that Whitesboro was receiving as a result of the vote. They wanted to preserve history at the time of the vote, but also want to ensure that Village is seen as the inclusive place that it is,” Mayor Patrick O’Connor said. “This is an exciting opportunity for our community to create its own piece of history that they can be proud of for the next 100 plus years to come. We are extremely fortunate to have members of the White Family and the Oneidas involved in this process.”
“As we’ve always said, we are happy to work with anyone who wants to make sure the symbols they are promoting are honoring and respecting all people. We applaud the Village leaders’ willingness to evaluate their own symbols and how to make sure they accurately reflect their community’s core values,” said Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter. “This is but one of many important examples of communities taking welcome steps to be inclusive and promote our region’s commitment to civility. This is what makes America so exceptional – we are an increasingly diverse county that is always working to make sure the messages being promoted by our political, cultural and government institutions reflect a respect for all heritages.”