Community News

Friday, November 11th – Commemoration of the Canandaigua Treaty

Photo: Pictured: “The Great Treaty of Canandaigua” by Robert Griffing

This year’s 228th anniversary of the historic, federal Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 Commemoration began at Noon at Ganondagan’s Seneca Art & Culture Center with a meal and speaker. The commemoration continued at 2pm on the front lawn of the Ontario County Courthouse.

The annual commemoration serves to “polish the chain of peace and friendship” between the Hodinöhsö:ni’ (Six Nations Confederacy) and the young United States. The treaty was signed by Colonel Timothy Pickering—official agent of President George Washington—and sachems from the Six Nations Grand Council. It signified peace between the two and recognized the sovereignty of the other as distinct nations to govern and set their own laws.

“Our rededication event is an important reminder to the U.S. that treaties are the supreme law of the land, and that this treaty continues to be valid and in effect,” said Peter Jemison (Seneca).

On February 22, 2016, Haudenosaunee leaders met with U.S. officials at the White House in Washington, DC to commemorate and formally acknowledge the Canandaigua Treaty. The treaty was signed on November 11, 1794, and ratified by President George Washington on February 21, 1795, 300 years and one day before this historic meeting.

Read the text of the treaty: