Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation statement on Mayor Walsh’s Columbus monument decision

The members of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) express our thankful appreciation to Mayor Ben Walsh for his decision made Friday, October 9, 2020, to remove the Columbus statue from the center of our city; and reimagine the circle as an educational space to honor Italian-American neighbors and other peoples who call Syracuse and Central New York home. Our city leader’s recognition that we must not continue to celebrate people and events which cause suffering to so many helps our community move towards healing. NOON respects that there are groups who are upset or confused by the decision to remove a figure of a historical figure from our public space. We believe that the continuing educational changes will benefit all people in CNY, especially our youth and future generations of Syracusans.

We thank the following people and groups who played essential leadership roles in creating this change locally:

-Onondaga people who have sacrificed time and energy to work with their neighbors over many decades to increase education about the real history and experience of colonization against their people and others around the world.

Henninger High School Public Policy students who called on the Syracuse City School Board to recognize the celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day back in 2017.