New Sugaring Enterprise Seeks to Share the Oneida People’s Cultural Legacy with Upstate New York and Continue the Oneida Indian Nation’s Commitment to Sustainability
After a successful first sugaring season for Wáhta’ Maple Farm, the Oneida Indian Nation has announced that its sustainably produced maple syrup is now available for sale. The commemorative first-edition syrup celebrates the importance of maple sap and syrup in Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture and allows the Nation to share this cultural legacy with its guests and the community.
Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (April 24, 2023) – The Oneida Indian Nation today announced that the first batch of premium-grade amber maple syrup produced by Wáhta’ Maple Farm is now available for purchase. This commemorative first-edition syrup allows the Nation to share the rich heritage of maple sap and syrup in Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture with its guests and the community and continues its commitment to sustainability across its business enterprises. Starting today, Wáhta’ Maple Farm syrup will be available for purchase at Maple Leaf Market and SavOn convenience stores, Turning Stone Resort Casino’s General Store and Oneida Heritage, YBR Casino & Sports Book, Point Place Casino, Sylvan Beach Supply Co. at The Cove at Sylvan Beach and the Oneida Indian Nation’s Shako:wi Cultural Center.
From the sugarbush to bottling, Wáhta’ Maple Farm syrup is produced entirely on the Oneida Indian Nation’s homelands with some of the same trees Oneida ancestors would have tapped to produce syrup more than 100 years ago.
In its first year of sugaring, the Wáhta’ team tapped more than 2,000 maple trees, which range in age from 40 to 150 years old. In 2023, the maple farm has collected and boiled 32,650 gallons of sap and produced approximately 500 gallons of syrup. By its third year of operations, the Oneida Indian Nation expects to tap more than 10,000 trees and produce nearly 4,000 gallons of maple syrup, weather permitting.
“Maple syrup holds a special significance in Haudenosaunee culture, one that our people have honored since time immemorial,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Turning Stone Enterprises CEO. “With this commemorative first-edition syrup, Wáhta’ Maple Farm will allow us to share our cultural legacy with our neighbors throughout Upstate New York while continuing our commitment to sustainability and doing all things unto the benefit of the Seventh Generation.”
Maple sap is considered by the Haudenosaunee to be a medicinal gift from the Creator that provides a sweet reward after the challenges of a long winter. However, to ensure gratitude for this gift, transforming sap into maple syrup requires a great deal of hard work and determined collaboration. Today, the Oneida people continue to celebrate the Creator’s gift with maple ceremonies held during the spring. With the release of Wáhta’ Maple Farm’s commemorative first-edition syrup, the Oneida Indian Nation looks forward to continuing this legacy and sharing it with neighbors throughout the region.
All maple syrup produced by Wáhta’ Maple Farm is created by using sustainable sugaring practices that reflect the Oneida Indian Nation’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The sugarbush is maintained with sustainable forestry practices and the use of chemicals is avoided within it and on adjacent lands. Environmentally friendly processes are used for everything from sap collection to syrup bottling, including advanced reverse-osmosis equipment that maximizes yield for every batch of syrup produced.
For more information about Wáhta’ Maple Farm, please visit: WahtaMaple.com
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 4,500 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, YBR Casino & Sports Book, Point Place Casino, The Lake House at Sylvan Beach, The Cove at Sylvan Beach, Maple Leaf Markets, SāvOn Convenience stores, RV Park, and marinas. 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.
Kelly Abdo, Director of Public Relations
Oneida Indian Nation