CANANDAIGUA — Representatives of Native American tribes from the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy (or Haudenosaunee) and the federal government met at the corner of Main and Ontario streets on Nov. 11, 1794, to sign the Treaty of Canandaigua.
On Monday, the 225th anniversary of the signing of that historic treaty will be commemorated.
The treaty established and formalized peace between the two parties and recognized the sovereignty of each other as distinct nations to govern and set their own laws.
Col. Timothy Pickering signed the treaty as the official agent of President George Washington. Sachems from the Six Nations of Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawk, Onondaga, Tuscarora and Oneida tribes also signed the treaty.
Monday's event begins with attendees gathering at 1:30 p.m. outside the Canandaigua Primary School at 96 W. Gibson St. to organize for a march down West Gibson Street to Main Street to the front lawn of the Ontario County Courthouse. Haudenosaunee chiefs will lead the march, followed by representatives of the six tribes and the public.
Two descendants of Col. Pickering will be in attendance, along with current tribal members and leaders. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, descendant of Col. Pickering, is a Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He has served more than four decades as an American diplomat, most recently as undersecretary of state for political affairs.
The event is being hosted by the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor and site manager Peter Jemison.
"Our rededication event is an important reminder to the United States that treaties are the supreme law of the land and that this treaty continues to be valid and in effect,'' Jemison said.
At 2 p.m., Jemison opens the commemorative ceremony with the traditional Thanksgiving address. From noon to 4 p.m., people are invited to the Ontario County Historical Society at 55 N. Main St. to view one of only two original copies of the 1794 treaty, plus letters related to the treaty.
Native American vendors will be at the Canandaigua Primary School from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. at the school, Jemison will present the keynote speech on the significance of the Treaty of Cananadaigua.