New York

Iroquois Culture: Past, Present and Future

Learn the story of the Iroquois People from members of the Seneca Hawk Clan as you visit significant sites, speak with historians and enjoy traditional Iroquois music and storytelling.
Rating (5)
Program No. 13364RSBLOG
5 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Learn firsthand the very much alive and still-evolving story of the Iroquois People from local First Nations peoples. In the 1400s, the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, ¬¬¬united the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Seneca nations of Upstate New York’s forested mountains and fertile valleys. Through storytelling, talking circles, interactive performances and site visits, discover how this vibrant culture celebrates its history while interacting and evolving with the 21st century. You’ll come away from this program with a revelatory understanding of a great people making their way in the modern world.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking during field trips, short hikes. Standing up to one hour at a time.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Start the week as all First Nations Peoples do — with a Thanksgiving Address — then step back in time and learn the Creation Story, the importance of silver trading and the legend of corn husk dolls.
  • Travel to Ganondagan State Historic Site to visit the famous Bark Longhouse and take part in an interactive Hodinohso:ni Dance Performance.
  • Learn about current issues that affect First Nations People, from #MeToo and women’s issues to water, land and animal conservation.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room.
Featured Expert
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Bill Crouse
Bill Crouse is a Seneca Hawk clan member and a Faith keeper of the Coldspring Longhouse on the Allegany Territory. He serves as territorial coordinator for the Seneca Language Department and has led the Allegany River Indian Dancers for over 25 years, a prestigious group that has performed throughout North American and Europe. He also works as a freelance artist and curriculum developer, and he offers unique presentations through stories, drawing, dance and singing that impart an in-depth understanding of his culture.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Bill Crouse
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Suggested Reading List
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