These words of thanksgiving come to us from the Native People known as the Haudenosaunee, also The Iroquois or the Six Nations. They consist of the Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, and the Tuscarora. They all reside in upstate New York and Canada.
The Thanksgiving address has ancient roots dating back over a Thousand years to the formation of the Great Law of Pease by a Man called the Peacemaker, and perhaps before that.
Today these words are still spoken at the opening and closing of all ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations.
One mind – ska:d nëyögwa’ nigo’ dë:ök.
People – ha’deyögwe’ dage:h.
Earth – ethinö’ ëh yoë jahde’.
Waters – gane gada: nyö’.
Fishes – gënjöh shö’ öh.
Grasses – ha’ deyo goc’ dza: ge:h.
Medicines – ha’ deyo nöhgwa’ shä: ge:h.
Fruits – ha’ deyo jiyage:h.
Strawberry – ojisdö’ da’shä’.
Forests – ga ha dayë: dö’.
Maple Tree – wahda’ gäid.
Animalsha’ dega nyo’ dage:h
Birds – hadegaji’ dage:h.
Three Sisters – ha’dewëno dë: nö:de:’.
Wind – deyäwë: nye:h.
Thunderers – hadiwëno daje’s.
Sun – ëdeka: gähgwa:.
Moon – soehka: gähgwa:.
Stars – gajisö’ dah siya:.
Handsome Lake – gahyö daiyo’.
Sky People – ge:ih yënöndi:h deyökiyë’ nyadö’.
Creator – sögwa jënök da’ öh..
We have now arrived at the place where we end our words of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.
-Vasilios Markousis, Art Director