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Oneida Nation of New York

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Members of the Great Swamp Conservancy, Lenox residents and officials and members of the Nation came together April 27 to plant a white pine tree as a symbol of peace and healing between neighbors. The Arbor Day/Earth Day celebration called on all county residents and Oneidas to lay down differences for at least one day to respect and preserve nature. Brian Patterson of the Oneidas Men's Council related the legend of the Peacemaker. "The Peacemaker united us under a federation after a long period of bloodshed," said Patterson. "We must remember that we are a people with a specific duty on Earth and it is now spring, a time when the trees and plants follow their instructions from the Creator." It is hoped to make the ceremony an annual event. Men's Council member Dick Lynch handed out purple ribbons to everyone to be tied to the tree as an expression of peaceful coexistence. He passed out pine seedling to all who attended as gifts from the Nation.