A Gahnonyo (Thanksgiving) will be held on Wednesday, June 20 at Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, New York to protect sacred places and promote world peace as part of National Sacred Places Prayer Days.
“We will gather before noon near the Great White Pine at the head of the Trail of Peace to offer words of Thanksgiving to the Creator,” says Peter Jemison, Seneca, the historic site manager. The event is open to the public, but photography will not be allowed.
Ganondagan was once the site of a thriving Seneca Nation town until it was destroyed by the French forces led by the Marquis Denonville in 1687. It is sacred to the Seneca people because buried nearby are the remains of Jikonhsaseh, the Mother of Nations, who was the first person to accept the message of peace brought by The Peacemaker.
He would later unite the Haudenosaunee or Five Nations: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk under the Great Law of Peace. It became six nations when the Tuscarora joined later.
“The Seneca remember the invasion, yet the site is revered as a place of peace. This is consistent with the Iroquois and their tradition, that the places they choose to commemorate are not battlegrounds, but are those of peace,” says The First Lady’s Treasures Tour website from when Hilary Clinton visited.