The Student Connection

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Central New York Center Hosts Native American Cultural Night; Strengthens Relations with Onondaga Nation

By Michael Mancini, assistant to the dean, Central New York Center

February 7, 2012

The Central New York Center, in keeping with its more than two-year commitment to connecting with the Onondaga Nation, hosted a Native American Cultural Night on Dec. 12. More than 70 people were in attendance to engage in a night of learning, music and fun.

Rob BenedictRob Benedict, Haudenosaunee, pictured here, played the flute as guests entered the theater to listen to the greeting by Heath Hill and presentation by Dr. Michael Taylor. Hill started the evening with a traditional opening greeting in his native language, and then explained the meaning of the greeting, which includes giving thanks to all elements of his surroundings.

Taylor, assistant professor of anthropology and Native American studies, Colgate University, then engaged his audience with his presentation, "Haudensaunee: Symbols of Sovereignty.CNY Onondaga event

“It was a wonderful time” said Deb McEligot, who planned the event. “We had upwards of 15 artists who brought their handmade arts and crafts, including deerskin coats, moccasins, beaded jewelry, pottery, women's sweaters and shawls, baskets, no-face dolls and blankets.

The night was augmented by a Haudensaunee dance group led by Sherri Hopper. Dressed in traditional native attire, they entertained and at times invited the audience to participate. The GunRunners, a blues/rock band closed out the night with their energetic style and music.

CNY Onondaga event