Peachtown Native American Festival and Education Week

September 10, 2013

Wells College is proud to host the annual Peachtown Native American Festival on campus as well as a week of special educational events leading to the celebration on Friday, September 20. The week’s schedule includes presentations related to anthropology, land rights, the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, local geography and biodiversity as well as a film screening and peach tree planting on the Wells campus. The festival and all events are free and open to the public.

The schedule for the week is:

Monday, September 16

Molly Heslin ’14, Anthropology Major, "Digging Up the Truth: The Archaeological Experience of Aurora, NY”
"Digging Up the Truth: The Archaeological Experience of Aurora, NY” will focus on my experiences digging in the area with Ithaca College's archaeological field school. Digging on a farm site that used to be the location of a Cayuga village or feasting venue, I gained a new perspective for the area in which I lived and studied for three years. From visiting local historical landmark plaques marked incorrectly in favor of perpetuating inequality, to working alongside returning Cayuga people on the S.H.A.R.E farm and field site, my archaeological field school experience offered me a much broader context on the history of Wells College's surrounding area.

Kristen Ryan ’14, Anthropology Major and Religion Minor, “Negotiating Space in Cultural Representation”
“Negotiating Space in Cultural Representation” will focus on the following questions: How is physical space negotiated to explain and even teach culture? What are potential difficulties in truthfully representing cultures in conflict? Given that humans derive individual and cultural identity through place, understanding these diverse definitions can help create a truly unique and welcoming learning center, but doing so is both difficult and controversial. The new Skänoñh Great Law of Peace Center is a prime example of negotiating meaning in shared and valued space.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Hostetter Lecture Room (209), Stratton Hall

Light Refreshments at 1:30 with further dialogue with Molly and Kristen in Stratton Lobby.


Tuesday, September 17

Dr. Hilary Lambert, Steward/Executive Director Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, “Pressure Points in the Cayuga Lake Watershed”
The area of land that drains to Cayuga Lake - its watershed - is 860 square miles in extent, contains 48 municipalities, and reaches into 7 counties. Pressure points on this environmentally healthy area include potential gas drilling and fracking, a rising political backlash against necessary land-use protections along creeks and lakefront, toxic legacies and lack of communication between interest groups, towns, and government agencies; invasive species including hydrilla and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid; and the need to protect our water resources from withdrawals for industry and distant areas suffering climate change shortages. The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network's approach to these challenges: "It takes a Network to protect a watershed."

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Hostetter Lecture Room (209), Stratton Hall

Light Refreshments at 1:30 with further dialogue with Hilary in Stratton Lobby.


Wednesday, September 18

Donna Silversmith (Cayuga) and Dan Hill (Cayuga), “Two Row Wampum From an Enactment Perspective”
This presentation will focus on the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign enactment which took place with paddlers starting at Onondaga and paddling down the Hudson River (The River That Runs Both Ways) to arrive at Manahatta and the United Nations for the anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The speakers will discuss the process of this journey from the perspective of how Native women and men and allies worked together to support each other on this amazing journey to commemorate the Two Row Wampum Treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers 400 years ago.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Hostetter Lecture Room (209), Stratton Hall

Light Refreshments at 1:30 and dialogue with Dan and Donna in Stratton Lobby.


Thursday, September 19

“The Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story” facilitated by Professor Susan Tabrizi. The film will be followed by a community discussion with Peltier attorney Michael Kuzma who will offer his insights into this fascinating and important case.
The film examines the 1975 incident where armed FBI agents illegally entered the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, resulting in the deaths of a Native American and two FBI agents. Explores the controversy and potential abuse of justice surrounding the case of Leonard Peltier, who was the sole person in the incident convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Michael Kuzma, Leonard Peltier’s attorney, will discuss his experience and insights.

11:05am – 1:30pm

Cleveland Hall Auditorium

Light refreshments and dialogue with Mike will follow.


Meghan McCune '03, "It's a Question of Fairness": Fee-to-Trust and Non-Native Opposition to Haudenosaunee Land Rights
This talk will address the background of Haudenosaunee land dispossession — specifically Cayuga, Seneca, and Oneida land loss — and strategies for regaining land after the City of Sherrill U.S. Supreme Court decision, which was used to dismiss Haudenosaunee land claims. Specifically, Meghan McCune will provide an overview of the fee-to-trust process and analyze current obstacles to Haudenosaunee land rights and sovereignty — namely, organized opposition from local non-Native populations.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Hostetter Lecture Room (209), Stratton Hall

Light refreshments and dialogue with Meg will follow.


Friday, September 20

Peachtown Native American Festival
Opening, Peach Tree Planting, Clan Mothers and Chiefs speaking, Social Dancing and Singing with Cayuga Clan Mother Birdie Hill, Norm Hill, Cam Hill, and Elan Henhawk.

1:30 p.m.: Opening and Songs

1:45 p.m.: Peach Tree planting

2:15 p.m.: Phillip Arnold, Associate Professor of Religion, Syracuse University, Founding Director, Skänoñh—Great Law of Peace Center

3:00 p.m.: Cayuga Clan Mothers and Chiefs

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.: Food and Social Dancing and Singing

Sommer Center


Wells is pleased to host this important festival as an opportunity to build community; to honor the past and present contributions of Native American culture; and to recognize the history of Aurora, or Deawendote, the “Village of Constant Dawn.”

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

170 Main Street, Aurora, NY 13026
Admissions: 800.952.9355 |
General Information: 315.364.3266
© 2022 Wells College
The following email addresses are a honeypot intended to test automated bots' ability to parse encoded addresses. Please do not contact these addresses.