Join Jake Haiwhagai’i(He speaks with strong voice) Edwards and Dr. Philip P. Arnold for a free webinar about about the impact of the Erie Canal on the Haudenosaunee. You can register for the webinar via Zoom by clicking here. This webinar is provided for free, but all donations you make will be split evenly to support the Erie Canal Museum and Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center. Click here to donate.
For millennia, waterways in Haudenosaunee territories have been profoundly important. In the Haudenosaunee cosmology, water is sacred as fundamental to all life. Therefore, while waterways were used for transportation, as food resources, and as locations for settlement, it was widely agreed among Indigenous peoples that they also be protected. The Erie Canal disrupted the natural flow of water, essentially damning watersheds so as to flow in an east-west direction. As Laurence Hauptman has discussed in Conspiracy of Interests: Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State, the creation of the Erie Canal corresponded with the dispossession of the Haudenosaunee. Transformation of the landscape throughout the 19th century had profound environmental effects and traumatic consequences on Haudenosaunee relationships to their lands.
This project is dependent upon the generous support from the Indigenous Values Initiative, American Indian Law Alliance, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the NYS Canal Corporation, along with support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY, New York State’s Division of Tourism, as a part of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.