"The Great Treaty of Canandaigua" by Robert Griffing

Monday, November 11th - Commemoration of 225th Anniversary of the Canandaigua Treaty

The 225th anniversary of the historic, federal Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 will be celebrated at the location of its original signing. All activities are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

The annual commemoration serves to “polish the chain of peace and friendship” between the Hodinöhsö:ni’ (Six Nations Confederacy) and the young United States. The treaty was signed by Colonel Timothy Pickering—official agent of President George Washington—and sachems from the Six Nations Grand Council. It signified peace between the two and recognized the sovereignty of the other as distinct nations to govern and set their own laws

Canandaigua Treaty Day Commemoration Schedule:

11 am–6 pm:  Native American art and craft sale at the Canandaigua Primary School gym (96 W. Gibson St.)

1:30 pm:         Public walk from Canandaigua Primary School to Ontario County Courthouse (27 N. Main St.)

2:00 pm:         Commemoration Ceremony; front lawn of Ontario County Courthouse

5:30 pm:         Keynote speaker Peter Jemison (Seneca), Canandaigua Primary School Auditorium

Directions to Canandaigua Primary School

 Photo Credit: Alex Hamer Photography

Photo Credit: Alex Hamer Photography

Photo Credit: Gale Karpel

“Our rededication event is an important reminder to the U.S. that treaties are the supreme law of the land, and that this treaty continues to be valid and in effect,” said Peter Jemison (Seneca), Ganondagan State Historic Site manager.


Program Details

This year we welcome, two descendants of Colonel Pickering—Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Timothy (Tim) Pickering. Ambassador Thomas Pickering is a Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He served more than four decades as a U.S. diplomat, last serving as under secretary of state for political affairs.


Attendees gather at 1:30 pm outside the Canandaigua Primary School (96 W. Gibson St.) for a public walk to the front lawn of the Ontario County Courthouse. Hodinöhsö:ni’ Chiefs lead the march followed by representatives from their nations and the public. 


At 2:00 pm, G. Peter Jemison (Seneca), Ganondagan State Historic Site Manager, opens the commemoration ceremony with the traditional Thanksgiving Address. Hodinosohni’ leaders and other officials will be present, plus Quaker representatives whose ancestors—as people of peace—were witness to the original signing, ensuring fair negotiations.


From 12-4 pm, attendees are invited to the Ontario County Historical Society (55 N. Main St.) to view one of only two original copies of the treaty, plus pertinent letters. 


Native American vendors will be at the Canandaigua Primary School gym from 11 am-6 pm.


Ar 5:30 pm back at the Primary School auditorium, Peter Jemison will present the keynote speech on the significance of the Canandaigua Treaty. Jemison is the co-editor of Treaty of Canandaigua 1794 (Clear Light Publishing, 2000).


This event is made possible by the generous support of the Haudenosaunee Peace & Trade Committee, Mohawk Nation Council, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Tuscarora Nation of Indians, the Seneca Nation of Indians, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. 

Haudenosaunee White House Meeting

On February 22, 2016, Haudenosaunee leaders met with U.S. officials at the White House in Washington, DC to commemorate and formally acknowledge the Canandaigua Treaty. The treaty was signed on November 11, 1794, and ratified by President George Washington on February 21, 1795, 300 years and one day before this historic meeting. Please open this link to read the text of the treaty:

Filmed and edited by Gwendolen Cates

Film & Text above by Gwendolyn Cates