April 28, 1997
Syracuse, New York
On Saturday morning, at 10:45 am, April 26, 1997, a large number of Six Nations People from Seneca, Tuscarora, Mohawk, and Onondaga Nations were locked out of the Onondaga Longhouse. Double padlocks were fastened to the Onondaga Longhouse door. When people began to arrive from their long distance travel, they were shocked to find that they could not meet in the Longhouse. During February and March, 1997, these Six Nations People had met in the Onondaga Longhouse about issues important to each of the Nations. Onondaga is the Central Fire of the Six Nations. There were a few Clan Mothers and Onondaga Women who supported the lockout, and sat next door at the cookhouse. One Clan Mother came out to talk and say that she was sorry it was locked. When asked by the People who travelled there, "Why is the Longhouse locked?" The Clan Mother replied, "I'm sorry, you can't go in there, not today." The Six Nations People met anyway outside on the steps of the Onondaga Longhouse. The purpose of the meeting was information gathering, status of the Six Nations Chiefs, and the ongoing struggle against Governor Pataki's tax agreement against the Six Nations. No disruption or violence occurred. The Clan Mothers stayed next door at the cookhouse after a dialogue with an Onondaga woman from the meeting, but still accepted hand-outs of information from this meeting.