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Sacred Sites: Ganondagan

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The Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, New York, will be the site of a Gahnonyoh (Thanksgiving), starting at 11:30 a.m., on Tuesday, June 21. This gathering is aimed bringing awareness to the importance of protecting sacred places and to promote world peace.

G. Peter Jemison, manager of the site, spoke to us about the importance of the event; “Ganondagan is and has been a sacred site to Haudenosaunee for many generations long before it became a State Historic Site. My effort as the manager has been to protect the site and interpret the various traditions that are tied to the site. Early on it was related to me that we can go back to the time of Jikonhsase and the Journey of the Peacemaker. She was the first person to accept the message of Peace, Power and Righteousness among our people. She united the Haudenosaunee or Five Nations: Seneca Nation, Cayuga Nation, Onondaga Nation, Oneida Nation and Mohawk Nation. When she embraced that message she earned for our women the rights, privileges, and responsibilities they have until this day.”

Just south of Rochester, this site was once the vital capitol for the Seneca, populated with 150 bark longhouses and 4,500 residents. It was destroyed by the French in 1687. Eventually declared a National Landmark in 1964 by the United States Department of the Interior, Ganondagan is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is currently the only site in New York State dedicated to Native Americans

For more information, please contact G. Peter Jemison at (585) 924-5848 or by e-mail at

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