continued Haudenosaunee representatives are Bradley Powless from the Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Beaver Clan Mother Wendy Gonyea, and Sandy Bigtree from the Indigenous Values Initiative.
Bigtree sang her way to local fame when she was 8 years old in 1958 as a member of the Bigtree Sisters vocal group also starring her older siblings, Norma and Jean. Years later Sandy fronted her own rock’n’roll bands and played with the Livin’ Ennd, which also featured Liverpool drummer Jan Fetterly. Sandy Bigtree was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame in June 2008.
Thanksgiving every day
Another artistic native woman, planning committee member Wendy Gonyea, is a poet who formerly taught social studies at the Onondaga Nation School and edited the Onondaga Nation News. She explains the Iroquois worldview this way:
“At the core of [our] way of life is a Thanksgiving that acknowledges all the elements that sustain us; the trees, grasses, animals, birds, air, sun, moon, stars, rains, the Creator and one another. An oral Thanksgiving is given daily by individuals, and at the beginning and end of all ceremonies, meetings and other gatherings. The minds of those present are brought together in common thought, a calming reminder of our place in the universe. We are not a force to subjugate others, but a part of this whole life plan to live in balance with the rest of creation.”
If the planning committee holds true to those values, the new Great Law of Peace Center could well develop into Central New York’s most forward-looking educational and historical institution; skanonhcenter.org.
Lake doc in progress
By the way, the OHA is also producing a documentary film called “Beneath the Surface: The Storied History of Onondaga Lake.” Check out the trailer at cnyhistory.org.
Gull ready to Bark?
Craving a crunchy and scrumptious wood-fired pizza? Well, the Barking Gull’s preparing to bake them any day now at 116 S. Willow St., on the southwestern corner of the basin block, down by the Griffin Visitor Center at Onondaga Lake Park. May 6 was mentioned as opening day, so stand by and keep your fingers crossed…
Jamie, Miss E & Mick
Live music rings out several nights a week right next door at the White Water Pub, at 110 S. Willow St. Pub owner MaryKay Manns has booked the popular songster Jamie Notarthomas there at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 8, followed by Miss E and Off the Cuff at 9 p.m. Friday, May 9, and the ever-feisty Mick Fury at 10 p.m. Saturday, May 10. And the White Water hosts an open mike at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday; WhiteWaterPubLiverpool.com; 314-7398.