Syracuse University is located in Onondaga Nation territory, the heartland of the Haudenosaunee ("People of the Longhouse"). Onondaga is among the last few remaining indigenous communities in the world that continue to govern themselves with their ancient ceremonial process. When Chancellor Nancy Cantor arrived here in 2004, she immediately realized the importance of this community. She set in place the Haudenosaunee Scholarship Program for students who have grown up in Haudenosaunee territories throughout New York and Canada. She supported events such as the Onondaga Land Rights and Our Common Future series (2006 and 2010) and the Roots of Peacemaking: Indigenous Values, Global Crisis (2006–2009). In innumerable other ways, Chancellor Cantor has supported a close relationship between SU and the Onondaga Nation—something that has been unique in SU's history.
There is a natural affinity between the work of Imagining America, hosted these last six years at Syracuse University, and the interdisciplinary work of promoting indigenous communities. An immediate relationship was established between us. Under the directorship of Jan Cohen-Cruz, IA supported many of the events mentioned above. This has continued with IA's involvement of the Nation in its annual conferences. The Haudenosaunee have been formally credited by the US Congress as having inspired the founding fathers in the development of democracy and as having influenced the women's movement in the United States. In spite of the rhetoric of Native Americans having disappeared from the culture of the United States, in fact we have always had a deep, ongoing relationship with the Haudenosaunee. The work of Imagining America is just as much a look back into our shared past as it is a step forward into the future.
Our hope is to bring the cultural brilliance of the Haudenosaunee into authentic and appropriate conversations with contemporary artists, academics, activists, and others who are working toward cultural transformation. The e-journal format is a dynamic and brilliant way to promote this dialogue. The Skä-noñh–Great Law of Peace Center–at Onondaga Lake (http://www.skanonhcenter.org), the site of the founding of the "Great Law of Peace," is looking forward to promoting an intercultural dialogue on social change through this important new medium. What took place at Onondaga Lake thousands of years ago in the formation of the Great Law of Peace has just as much importance today as it ever has. We recognize alignment between our deep values and those articulated by this new undertaking and we welcome the journal as a new friend of the Nation.