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2013 Two Row Wampum & & Dakota Nation Unity Ride

Journey to the United Nations

400th Anniversary of the 1613 Treaty

Onondaga Chief Jake Edwards “In the Two Row Wampum, it’s stated, all the teachings that we shared from the Great Law of Peace, we shared with these newcomers to the forest. And so, in doing so, we also told them to be respectful of all and only take from Mother Earth as what you need to survive. “And so this agreement came about. And what the Two Row represents is the Haudenosaunee people, Onkwehonwe, in their canoe, traveling down the river of life alongside the newcomers in their vessel, their ship.

Photo: Chief Jake Edwards is holding the Onondaga belt on his right hand, the Haudenosaunee Hiawatha belt on the podium and the Two Row wampum in his left hand

Lifting the Haudenosaunee flag on the Hudson River, 2013

The Kawentha or Two Row Wampum belt is the symbolic record of the first agreement between Europeans and American Indian Nations in North America / Turtle Island. The year 2013 marks the 400th anniversary of this first covenant, which forms the basis for the covenant chain of all subsequent treaty relationships made by the Haudenosaunee and other Native Nations with settler governments on this continent. The agreement outlines a mutual, three-part commitment: (1) friendship, (2) peace between peoples, and (3) living in parallel forever (as long as the grass is green, as long as the rivers flow downhill and as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.


Reverse of the U.S. Gold Dollar coins ( Notice the Haudenosaunee belt pattern that wraps up the five arrows) Source: USMINT.GOV


Great Tree of Peace The Haudenosaunee Confederation, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy of upstate NewYork, was remarkable for being founded by two historic figures, the Peacemaker and his Onondaga spokesman, Hiawatha, who spent years preaching the need for a league. The Peacemaker sealed the treaty by symbolically burying weapons at the foot of a Great White Pine, or Great Tree of Peace, whose 5-needle clusters stood for the original 5 nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca. The Hiawatha Belt is a visual record of the creation of the Haudenosaunee dating back to the early 1400s, with 5 symbols representing the 5 original Nations. The Haudenosaunee symbol, the Great White Pine, is the central figure on the belt, also representing the Onondaga Nation. The four square symbols on the belt represent the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca nations. The bundle of 5 arrows symbolizes strength in unity for the Iroquois Confederacy. Northern European settlers from France, England and the Netherlands interacted with the Haudenosaunee as a separate diplomatic power. The success of the confederation showed the colonists that the Greek confederacies they had read about in the histories of Polybius were a viable political alternative to monarchy. The symbolism of the Great Tree of Peace and eagle sitting on its top were adopted as United States national icons during the American Revolution.

Horse Chief - Gus High Eagle (Tankan Chan Tipi Dakota): “I am compelled by the Creator to lead the Dakota Unity Riders, who have traveled together to the United Nations events to listen to the other nations and to present a message. We travel by horse, we pray on horse because the horse is sacred. We ask you to respect our ways and our sovereignty. We ask you to honor your treaties and the treaties of all First Nations. We ask you to pray with us for unity, healing of Mother Earth, protection of her resources to sustain the world’s children seven generations from now. Pray with us for healing between people of all nations as we work together to protect the water and the sacred sites of all faith traditions.”

“We are the People of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota People. We have adopted the Sacred Horse, [ SunkaWakan ] into our nation and into our families. It is part of who we are. It is hard in our ways to remember our lives without our Horses. They are part of our family. We give them names and honor them. They take part in our spirits. They are part of our lives, not only for transportation, but also the Sunka Wakan help heal our minds, bodies. “Before the horse, Sunka (Lakota word for ‘dog’) helped us with our transportation. They also are our family members. When Sunka Wakan, the ‘Sacred Horse’ came, it became a blessing, a gift from our Creator to be forever in our lives. “Today, our grandchildren and children still need the Sunka Wakan for our healings of body, mind and spirit.” Wowitan Yuhi Mani (David Swallow, Jr.), Teton Lakota Spiritual Leader, Sun dance Chief of the Medicine Wheel Sun dance. Headman of the Lakota Nation Band of Wana Way Gu (Broken Bow) Statement Date; May 3rd 2010. (Not in photograph)

Crossing the Rosendale Railroad Bridge, NY

Dakota Nation (Sioux) Unity Ride delegation from Manitoba to complete spiritual journey on horseback as they arrive at the United Nations, New York City USA. PRESS RELEASE August 10, 2013 - Citizens of New York are invited to witness and welcome the arrival indigenous people from around the world who are participating in the 2013 International Day of the World Indigenous Peoples hosted by the United Nations; Their arrival in New York City presents an opportunity to build goodwill and better friendships between Dakota people, the indigenous Peoples for whom New York is their homeland, and all those who now call this region their home. At least two indigenous delegations are travelling to the United Nations in their traditional ways: the Hadenosaunee (Six Nations) by canoe / on foot and the Dakota by horse. Some members of the Six Nations (Two Row Wampum) delegation left July 10 for their canoe trip down the Hudson River; The Canupawakpa Dakota Nation Unity Riders ceremony left Manitoba, Canada in July. Both groups have met multiple times along their respective journeys and will soon converge again at Pier 96 approximately 10:00 AM as the Dakota Unity Riders welcome the Six Nations to shore.

After meeting at Pier 96, the two delegations will then cross midtown Manhattan, the Six Nations on the sidewalk and the Dakota Unity Riders on horseback single file in the street. Both groups will pass by Columbus Circle en route to the United Nations, lawfully abiding statutes regarding public safety. The Unity Ride is not a parade, nor a protest, but a spiritual journey or pilgrimage using traditional transportation en route to the UN as invited guests. Their entire prayer journey is supported by multiple Rotary Clubs who provide the necessary insurance for this co-created event, and who are committed to apply the Four Way Test to guide dialogue when government entities and sovereign nations reach an impasse regarding the human right to pray. The Bloomington Daymakers Club (District #5950 Minnesota) has partnered with multiple nations for similar journeys like World Peace and Prayer Day and Dakota 38, and the Dakota Women’s March. The current Unity Ride schedule includes stops in Syracuse, NY, Woodstock NY, Danbury CT, and Newtown CT where they presented the prayer ties to Sandy Hook families and to members of the 2nd Governor’s Horse Guard.

Source: UN Website “Hundreds of indigenous and non-indigenous rowers in the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign and the Dakota Nation Unity Riders arrived at Pier 96 at 57th Street in Manhattan after 10am. “Collectively they travelled thousands of miles on rivers and horsebacks to honor the first treaty -- the Two Row Wampum -- concluded between Dutch immigrants and the Haudenosaunee (a confederacy of six nations, with capital in the Onondaga nation, in NY State) 400 years ago, in 1613. “After crossing Manhattan on foot and horseback, they gathered with members of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza before attending the session at the United Nations.” “The Dakota Nation Unity Riders of Manitoba Canada arrived in Albany New York on July 27, 2013 where they for the first time in history, would unite with the Haudenousaunee (Six Nations) of the East Coast who are part of the Two Row Renewal Campaign. The Unity Riders then joined the Two Row Renewal Campaign for opening ceremonies. For two weeks these two groups would travel down the Hudson Valley on land and on the Hudson river en route to New York City to address the United Nations. “The Haudenousaunee launched their canoes on July 28 as the horses departed to make their way over land. The two groups would rendezvous at several locations as they come down the Hudson River Valley.

“Many communities along the river educational and cultural hosted events, giving the public an opportunity to meet these great ambassadors of peace en route to the United Nations for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples August 9, 2013 with the theme: Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honoring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. The International Day of the World's Indigenous People (9 August) was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995 – 2004). In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005 – 2014, with the theme of "A Decade for Action and Dignity." The theme aims to highlight the importance of honoring arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize indigenous peoples' rights to their lands and establish a framework for living in proximity and entering into economic relationships. Agreements also outline a political vision of different sovereign peoples living together on the same land, according to the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace.” Photo: Tadodaho Sid Hill, A Chief of the Onondaga Nation, at the opening of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues' twelfth session. UN/Rick Bajornas

UN Sponsor: Department of Public Information (DPI) Event URL: Webcast live at

"We must ensure the participation of indigenous peoples – women and men – in decisionmaking at all levels. This includes discussions on accelerating action towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and defining the post-2015 development agenda. " UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Oren Lyons, (Seneca) Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, who helped establish the United Nations working Group on Indigenous Peoples in 1982. "We’re concerned about the future, we’re concerned about the Earth — seven generations hence — and the conduct of people. We wonder, how do you instruct seven billion people as the relationship to the Earth? Because unless they understand that, and relate the way they should be, the future is pretty dim for the human species." Oren Lyons in front of the flag of the Haudenosaunee (Also known as Iroquois, the Six Nations and the People of the Longhouse) flag representing the Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, Cayuga & the Tuscarora which joined 172

Schedule of Events July – August 2013 July 26.

July 30.

Syracuse : Arrival of the Unity Riders Dunbar Association, Inc., 1453 South State Street, Syracuse, NY 13205 10am-5pm Troy: Welcome Unity Riders and Two Row paddlers Two Row Celebration Festival at Russell Sage College ,65 1st St, Troy, NY, 12180, USA 2pm-4pm Troy: Departure of canoes on Hudson River 12:30pm Saugerties : The Unity Riders lead opening ceremony for HITS Grand Prix 319 Main St, Saugerties, NY 12477 10am Rosendale: The Unity Riders cross the Rosendale Railroad Tressel. 2pm-4pm Unity Riders leave from Woodstock Community Center through the town center on to KTD, Buddhist retreat center for a clearing ceremony at Magic Meadow. 11am The Unity Riders will ride from Mount Tremper on Rt 212 through Phoenicia

Aug 1.


July 27. July 28.

July 29.


11am 11:30am

12pm 12:30pm 1:30pm

Aug 2.

2:30pm 9:30am 1:30pm

Kingston: Hudson Maritime Museum (HMM), Kingston Roundout Opening Ceremonies Introduction to Two Row Wampum & Unity Ride Unity Riders ride down Broadway: Arrival and Welcome at HMM Nina Postupack - County Clerk - Ulster Co., Shayne Gallo - Mayor of Kingston Welcome Two Row Renewal Campaign speakers: Jim Davis, Hawk Storm, Gloria Fogden Two Row Wampum paddlers come up the Rondout Creek to join riders at Hudson Maritime Museum for lunch Pipe presentation at HMM Unity Rider Chief Gus High Eagle addresses paddlers Unity Riders depart to drumming by Donna & All Drums, performance of dancers Beacon Fire tower ceremony. Leaving Mount Beacon Park at Intersection Howland Avenue and 9D ( Wallcott Rd)

Aug 3.

9:30 am11:30am

The Riders go across the bridge "Walkway over Hudson" in Poughkeepsie as Two Row Canoes paddle under bridge.

10am -8pm Beacon Native Festival 2pm The Unity Riders at Beacon Waterfront Park. (next to Metro North Train Station)

Aug 4 11am


5pm Aug 5 Aug 6

Aug 8 Aug 9

Aug 10 Aug 11


Woodstock, NY Unity Riders lead the Flag Procession of all Nations in Woodstock on the International Day For Peace. Procession leaving from intersection of Rt 375 & Rt 212 and ends at Comeau Property. Flag Ceremony offered by World Peace and Prayer Society. Special guest NY Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk Free Concert at Comeau property Hothouse Flowers (Liam O’Maonlai), Dakota drummers, singer Jessie High Eagle, Jerama African Drummers, Tibetan singer Colony Cafe, Rock City Road Liam O’Maonlai, Gayle Two Eagles, Paul McMahon & friends

Newtown, CT The Unity Riders arrive at the Connecticut Horse Brigade 9-11am Danbury, CT The Unity Riders arrive at Tarrywile Park 70 Southern Blvd, Danbury, CT 06810. 12pm The Unity Riders ride up the hill at Tarrywile to the Pines for ceremonies and gathering to honor Albert Afraid of Hawk and the greater Danbury community for honorably returning his remains to Pine Ridge, North Dakota. 5:30pm Danbury Museum: picnic with the riders 10am-6pm Mawah NJ Ramapo Nation / Dakota Nation gathering 10am New York City, Pier 96 ( 57th Street) Paddlers come on land and are welcome by dignitaries and community leaders, including Dutch Consul General, Rob de Vos. 11:30am Two Row paddlers march from Pier 96 to United Nations; Unity Riders cross Manhattan on horseback to UN 1:30pm Dag Hammerskjold Plaza Welcome by UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 3-6pm United Nations: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Two Row Festival at Battery Park 12pm Beacon: Corn Festival at waterfront


Arriving A

Historic meeting of the Dakota Unity Riders and the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard of Connecticut. This was the first meeting between the U.S. Cavalry and members of the “Sioux” nations on horseback since the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.


M eeting {

United Nations welcome and exchange of gifts on Pier 96

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Leland Higheagle arrives at the United Nations

Horse Chief Gus High Eagle presenting at the United Nations

The Unity Riders have been planning to continue their prayer journey to Washington DC and then later from Davenport Iowa to Bdote, Minnesota (Minneapolis-Saint Paul). Although originally scheduled for September 2to 19, the Unity Riders look forward to completing this vision in the coming year

It is nearly impossible to begin listing the names of those individuals and organizations for whom we wish to express our deepest gratitude both as participants and support staff for both the Dakota Nation Unity Ride and the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign. The Creator knows how much of yourself you have invested --and all those along this journey recognize it too. We thank you for sharing your gifts and resources with us and everyone’s efforts to bring healing, peace and protection of the Earth. We thank you for your continued prayers. One special thank you to the tireless committee workers, fundraisers, logistics helpers, vets, horse support staff, press & community leaders from Canada, MN, NY and CT. We publicly thank again our gracious hosts all along the way. We thank again the tribal nations, Clan Mothers, elders, elected officials, LIVEPEACE, Father John Nelson and Andy Mager. Thank you to the Bloomington Daymakers Rotary Club, countless other Rotary Clubs and to Stephanie Hope Smith who have repeatedly come alongside of indigenous sovereign nations to provide event liability insurance and logistic support; they help secure permits, serve as neutral mediators and help protect our human right to pray in traditional ways. We apologize for using photos without proper credit that we received online. (Please share and we will be pleased to include the byline). If you wish to submit or remove a photo, please email Mitakuye Owasin.

The Unity Riders and the Two Row paddlers are not finished in their work... and we eagerly look forward to when our paths cross again!

Unity Ride and Two Row journey to the United Nations  

2013 Photo journal

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