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Canandaigua Treaty message a pipe dream?

On Sunday, crowds gathered at the Ontario County Court House to commemorate the 224th anniversary of The Canandaigua Treaty. The treaty of peace and friendship between the federal government and the Six Nations Confederacy is celebrated each year in Canandaigua where it was signed Nov. 11, 1794.

The treaty’s timeless message of peace and respect continues to inspire people like Kathy Gill. A trail guide and docent for Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, the original site of a 17th century Seneca town, Gill has participated some 20 years in the annual commemoration. She never gets tired of hearing the words marking the historic pact between the United States and the Six Nations. Gill said she finds the treaty message of “peace and friendship forever” more timely than ever.

“We can do this, we can embody that,” said Gill, adding she is not giving up on those values of kindness and respect guiding the actions of all people.

The Canandaigua Treaty signified peace between the U.S. government and the Six Nations Confederacy (also known as the Haudenosaunee) comprised of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora people. The treaty recognized the sovereignty of both parties as distinct nations to govern and set their own laws. Signers were Col. Timothy Pickering — official agent of President George Washington — and sachems from the Six Nations Grand Council.

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