As of January 1st 2013, the Onondaga Historical Association (OHA) took over management of the Onondaga County facility known as “Sainte Marie among the Iroquois” located on the eastern shore of Onondaga Lake. OHA is currently in the process repurposing this facility into a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Heritage Center named Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center. Skä•noñh, is an Onondaga welcoming greeting meaning Peace and Wellness.
Onondaga Lake is one of the most important places for the founding of the Haudenosaunee, or “People of the Longhouse” with the coming together of the Peacemaker, Hiawatha and the Tadodaho thousands of years ago. For these reasons it is a sacred place for the Haudenosaunee. The Onondaga Nation, who are the Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Seneca Nations) remain among the last sovereign Indigenous peoples in the U.S., if not the World, who still govern themselves by their ancient ceremonial Longhouse practices. As such, the “Great Law of Peace” has been continuously active from time immemorial until today. This tradition is reflected in the living community of the Onondaga Nation.
What does Ska-nonh mean? In Haudenosaunee it means, “Peace and Wellness.”