Land, Language, Food Sovereignty & Ceremony
Proceeds from this fundraiser support the continuation of Cultural Revitalization efforts such as language classes and gardening, as led by the Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ Traditionalists.
After over 250 years of negotiations and broken treaties, Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ (Cayuga) Traditionalists are coming home to their ancestral lands located within the territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, otherwise known as New York State. In 2014 they built a schoolhouse modeled after the traditional long-house that was used to teach the cultural traditions, including language classes and ceremony. Behind the school was a garden where they planted their heritage seeds. To one side of their garden, they planted corn and to the other side, an orchard of fruit and nut trees.
On February 22nd, 2020 an internal conflict between the Bureau of Indian Affairs representative of the Cayuga Nation of New York and a group of Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ Traditionalists escalated. In the early hours, bulldozers demolished 12 structures that were controlled and operated by the Traditionalists. This included the demolition of the schoolhouse and the garden. This tragic event inspired the launch of this film as a fundraiser to support the continued cultural revitalization efforts of the Traditionalists.
Make a Donation
Your tax-deductible donations will be received by Neto Hatinakwe Onkwehowe Inc. a Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ -led 501(c)3 that supports Native arts and culture. You can mail a check with "Coming Home" written in the memo to:
Neto Hatinakwe Onkwehowe (U.S.)
1201 Pine Ave, Ste 234A
Niagara Falls, NY 14301-1917
Coming Home: Interviews with Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ, is a heartfelt film with powerful personal messages; it is a humble gift, a history lesson, an opportunity to connect, to heal our relationship to the land, to the indigenous people whose land we live on and to our ancestors.
The 35-minute documentary was inspired by a story that Sachem (Chief) Sam George, of the Bear Clan, shared about the return of their heritage seeds to the soils of their original homeland in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. These seeds were brought back by Stephen Henhawk, Faithkeeper of the Wolf Clan, and language teacher from Six Nations of The Grand River in Ontario, Canada. This is where a large number of Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ fled during the Clinton-Sullivan campaign of 1779 when President George Washington ordered the destruction of the Six Nation's homelands (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora).
The interviews, filmed in the community garden behind the traditional Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ schoolhouse, touch on the importance of language, ceremony, food sovereignty, and land stewardship. They also touch on the complex relationship with settlers and the internal conflict within the Nation. The film gives the viewer an overview of important treaties and a timeline of historical and current events that bring people closer to understanding the story of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʼ Traditionalists return to their homeland and their path toward sovereignty.
Interested in doing more?
Share the link to this campaign and host a viewing party and follow-up discussion with your family, friends, neighbors, religious community, or school. Here are some questions you can use to process the film. Try meeting in a circle, establish a time-keeper, and give each person equal amounts of time to respond to each one of these questions or come up with you're own generative questions.
1. What are your reflections and observations of the interviews or the history of the Goyogo̱hó:nǫʼ? Alternatively - What about the film really stands out to you?
2. What important messages did you glean from the interviewees?
3. What conflicts did you detect and what do you think are the roots of those conflicts?
4. What do you know about your ancestors? Who are they, where are they from, where did they settle, why did they settle in that specific region, whose land did they settle on?
5. How do you view your relationship to the land where you live and to the indigenous people whose land you are currently living on?
6. What questions do you have regarding the settlement of your region? What would you like to know? (generate a list of research questions for further research)
7. What does it mean to be a good ancestor? (This question is inspired by the work of Layla Saad)
If you host a viewing party we ask that you consider making a group donation or individual donations to the fundraiser using the GoFundMe campaign.