By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

People standing together and smiling.

Syracuse University’s land acknowledgement recognizes the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Onondaga Nation, offering respect and appreciation for their enduring connection to the region.

Why Syracuse University Has a Land Acknowledgement

This land acknowledgement is a gesture of respect and recognition toward the Onondaga Nation, on whose ancestral lands the University’s campus now resides. We honor the deep and enduring connection that indigenous communities have with the land and their contributions to the area’s history and culture. We raise awareness about the ongoing struggles and challenges faced by indigenous communities to foster a more inclusive and equitable campus environment.

Land Acknowledgement Protocol

Syracuse University commits to reciting the acknowledgment at significant University events, gatherings and public meetings to ensure that the message is consistently heard and understood. This practice should always occur at the beginning of events, reinforcing the importance of acknowledging the indigenous peoples’ connection to the land. Additionally, the land acknowledgement is shared in various outreach activities, emphasizing the University’s recognition beyond our immediate physical boundaries.

The grand opening ribbon cutting of 113 Euclid.

The Indigenous History of Syracuse University

Syracuse University’s campus is located in Central New York, on the ancestral lands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, particularly the Onondaga Nation. The Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, is a group of indigenous nations that includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora peoples.

The Onondaga Nation has a deep historical connection to the Syracuse area. They are considered the "Keepers of the Central Fire" and the spiritual center of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Syracuse region was historically an important gathering place and crossroads for the Haudenosaunee, playing a significant role in their cultural, political and social activities.

Our Commitment

Beyond the land acknowledgment, Syracuse University is taking action that reflects the University’s commitment to fostering positive relationships with indigenous communities and advancing a more inclusive and equitable community.

  • Educational programs, courses and workshops focus on indigenous history, culture and contemporary issues to increase awareness and understanding of indigenous peoples and their contributions to society.
  • Cultural events, guest lectures and activities that celebrate indigenous cultures and traditions provide opportunities for the campus community to engage with indigenous perspectives and experiences.
  • Syracuse University’s partnerships and collaborations with indigenous organizations, communities and leaders support initiatives that address common goals and challenges, such as environmental sustainability, education and social justice.
  • Scholarships and support services specifically designed to benefit indigenous students ensure they have access to higher education and the resources needed to succeed.
  • Environmentally sustainable practices on campus reflect our commitment to being good stewards of the land and its natural resources.
Indigenous dancers celebrating together.
A person talking to a crowd.
Indigenous land map on display at a booth.