OUR HISTORY: OUR FUTURE – Acknowledgements, The Haudenosaunee


An Ongoing Aeolian Perspective on how Understanding our History can achieve a more equitable Future


At every Aeolian production, we acknowledge the Anishinaabek (Ah-nish-in-a-bek), Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-no-show-nee), Lnaapéewak (Len-ahpay- wuk) and Attawandaron (Add-a-won-da-run) peoples and the traditional lands on which the Hall stands: those connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 

Our local lands continue to be home to diverse indigenous peoples whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and contributors to the arts, education and society in general.

Aeolian would like to do more than just give mention to the traditional peoples of these lands by helping our patrons and friends to understand who they were, and why they remain an important part of day to day life as well as to help understand the various treaties that have affected the land rights of indigenous people here.

This week we continue with the Haudenosaunee people. means “people who build a. house.” The name refers to a confederation among six First nations who are more commonly known as the Iroquois Confederacy.

Hiawatha Belt

This belt is a national belt of the Haudenosaunee. The belt is named after Hiawatha, the Peacemaker’s helper. In this belt, it records when 5 nations; the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk, buried their weapons of war to live in peace. Each square represents a nation and the line connects each nation in peace.

The center symbol represents Onondaga. Here the peacemaker planted the Tree of Peace. Under this tree the leaders buried their weapons of war beneath it. Then the Peacemaker set forth a method for the Haudenosaunee to gather as one to think about decisions concerning the Haudenosaunee. The Peacemaker set the council fire at Onondaga. At Onondaga is where the nation leaders will meet. He then used the symbolism of the longhouse in the belt. To the west, he named the Senecas as our Western Doorkeepers and the east the Mohawks the Keepers of the Eastern door. As for the Onondagas, he named them the Firekeepers. They are entrusted ensure that the council fire of the Haudenosaunee continues on.

This belt was made when the Haudenosaunee was formed before the first Europeans came to Turtle Island.