Making their mark in American history, the Oneida Indian 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 Indian Nation as a sovereign entity. The agreement granted federal protection of 300,000 acres.

Oneida Indian 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 Indian 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 Indian Nation reclaim this land.

Today, the Oneida Indian 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 Indian Nation that today prospers through their many diverse enterprises.

This economic upturn has allowed the Oneida Indian 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 Indian Nation

Gold, Silver and an Annulment

By Kandice Watson (Wolf Clan) Oneida Indian Nation Documentarian We have all heard of Oneidas like John Skenandoah, Hanyerry, and Polly Cooper, but have you ever heard of Emma Mead? My posit [...]

More than a Village: The Six Nations Agricultural Society Indian Village at the New York State Fair has a long, storied history

By Kandice Watson (Wolf Clan) Documentarian, Oneida Indian Nation The Great New York State Fair has been an integral part of New York State’s culture and history for many years. In 1832, the [...]

From the pages of The Oneida – Member Profiles

The following Member profile originally appeared in The Oneida, July, 1992, Vol. 3, No. 4. Oneida Profile: Elsie Eckhard There is a very special Elder who lives in Oneida. On March 27, 1992 [...]

First Allies: Others Who Served

From Smithsonian Magazine and American Indian Magazine: According to the Department of Defense, more than 23,000 of the 1.2 million men and women on active duty in the U.S. military today ar [...]

First Allies: Korea and Vietnam

From Smithsonian Magazine and American Indian Magazine: During the Korean War (1950–1953), battle-hardened Native American troops from World War II were joined by American Indians newly recr [...]

Nation Member Part of Reconnaissance Team in Vietnam

Vaughn “Chip” Isaacs (Turtle Clan) is a Vietnam Veteran who served two tours in the war from 1966-1969 as a long-range reconnaissance patrol specialist with the Army Rangers. He’s an honored [...]

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