Fort Drum Garrison Commander Colonel Dean Harrison and New York Assembly Member Pamela Hunter Featured Speakers at Event

Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (November 5, 2018) – The Oneida Indian Nation hosted its 18th annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony and breakfast this past Saturday, November 3 in honor of Veterans Day. Known as America’s First Allies, the Oneida Indian Nation has a legacy of supporting the United States military and honors Central New York veterans and active service men and women of the military in many ways throughout the year.

More than 400 local veterans and active service members were in attendance.  Colonel Kenneth Dean Harrison, United States Army Fort Drum Garrison Commander, spoke about Fort Drum’s continued efforts to boost community interaction and involvement, highlighting the importance of its continued collaboration with the Oneida Indian Nation, which he credits for jumpstarting the Fort’s outreach efforts.

“We’re working hard to open the gates of Ft. Drum to the community,” Colonel Harrison said. “This friendship and cooperation with the Oneida Indian Nation is a treasure.”

Preceding Colonel Harrison’s keynote address, Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, an Army Veteran and chair of the New York State Assembly Subcommittee on Women Veterans addressed the group.  An Upstate New York native, Assemblywoman Hunter serves the 128th Assembly District, which includes parts of the city of Syracuse.

Assemblywoman Hunter addressed her continued efforts in the New York State Assembly to fight for additional resources for the state’s veterans. As the only female veteran in the state Legislature, she says it’s incumbent on us all to honor the men and women in the military. Assemblywoman Hunter also highlighted a recent bill that makes it easier for individuals to get into civil service and says she works every day to ensure veterans have every opportunity to succeed.

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran and Oneida Indian Nation Wolf Clan Councilmember Keller George presented Colonel Harrison and Assemblywoman Hunter with a friendship feather and a copy of the book, Forgotten Allies, which details the Oneida Indian Nation’s history as the country’s First Allies.

During Saturday’s event, the Oneida Indian Nation Foundation also donated $1,000 to Feed Our Vets, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing fully-stocked food pantries for veterans in need.

The Oneida Indian Nation supports local veterans in several ways throughout the year.  Recently, the Oneida Indian Nation announced a program offering free golf lessons for Central New York veterans.  The fall session is currently underway and continues until December 15. The Oneida Indian Nation will be announcing a new six-week winter session shortly, slated to begin in January. Interested veterans can learn more about this free golf program by calling the Golf Dome and Sportsplex at 315.361.7612.


About the Oneida Indian Nation

The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation consists of about 1,000 enrolled Members, most of them living in Central New York. The Nation’s enterprises, which employ more than 4,700 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, Point Place Casino, Maple Leaf Markets, SāvOn Convenience stores, RV Park, three marinas and Tin Woodman’s Flask, a wine and spirits superstore. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and provide essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, to its Members.

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