The Oneida Indian Nation recently joined with the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Weekend during what is historically recognized as Columbus Day weekend. The three-day event was held on Oct. 8 – 10 to honor Indigenous history and culture, as well as the role many American Indians played in the founding of the United States.
Visitors to the Museum during Indigenous Peoples Weekend were treated to Haudenosaunee dance exhibitions sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation, along with traditional craft demonstrations and presentations on American Indian history, culture and involvement in the Revolutionary War.
Oneida Indian Nation Members Brooke Thomas (Wolf Clan), Wes Halsey (Wolf Clan), Nathaniel Homer (Turtle Clan), and Jamisin Cathers (Turtle Clan), along with George White, participated in Haudenosaunee social dance exhibitions on the Museum plaza on Saturday, entertaining and educating visitors with the intricacies and beauty of traditional dance.
“I felt so proud and honored to be able to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Weekend through song and dance,” Brooke said. “To me, it meant that we are still here and that our rich history is being honored.”
Skilled Oneida crafter Mary Homer (Wolf Clan) showcased her work for guests while also demonstrating the painstaking process of beadwork throughout the weekend.
Museum educators led a discovery cart for visitors to learn more about Oneida woman Tyonajanegen (“Two Kettles Together”), who fought alongside her husband Han Yerry in the Battle of Oriskany that took place on Aug. 6, 1777, during the Saratoga Campaign. Screenings of “The People of the Standing Stone,” a 25-minute film that explores the little-known history of the crucial contributions of the Oneida People who chose to commit themselves to the revolutionary cause, were held daily.
The complete story of the American Revolution is detailed at the Museum, including an exhibit dedicated to the Oneidas’ role as the fledgling country’s first allies. Dedicated to taking an unvarnished look at the establishment of this country, the museum provides a setting for the often-untold stories of the Revolutionary War.
“More people need to visit the museum,” Brooke continued. “It was eye-opening and very educational. The Oneida Indian Nation’s important role in the founding of the country needs to be seen and heard.”
The Oneida Indian Nation is a founding sponsor of the Museum of the American Revolution, which stands as a tribute to the ideals of equality and liberty on which America was founded.
A prominent gallery, complete with recreated settings, pays homage to the historical account of the Oneidas fighting alongside the colonists during several key battles, including Oriskany, Barren Hill and Saratoga, during America’s war for independence.
Make sure to visit www.OneidaIndianNation.com/our-story-memorialized to see how collaborations with museums like the Museum of the American Revolution are helping to ensure our story is told for generations to come so that Oneidas stand proud and embrace their heritage.
Photos courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution.