The epic canoe trip commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first treaty between Native Americans and Europeans will pass through our part of the river today. The canoers, both Native Americans and their non-Native American allies, started their journey from Albany to New York City on Sunday. Today they are expected to stop in Athens for lunch and then continue on to Catskill, where they will camp overnight at Dutchman's Landing.
The canoes are traveling down the river in two rows to symbolize the Two Row Wampum, the record of the treaty between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Confederacy. The parallel strips in the original belt of shell beads represented the Dutch ships and the Native American canoes traveling the same path.
The canoe trip is part of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign which a press release explains is meant to "offer New Yorkers the opportunity to hear directly from the Native American Nations in their midst about the history of treaties made between our governments, agreements that shape relations between New York State, the Federal government, and Native Nations today. At the core of those agreements is a shared responsibility to protect the Earth on which all life depends. The need to stem global climate change and prevent hydrofracking in New York State are key to the project."
This photo, submitted by a reader, shows the canoes on their way from Athens to Catskill. The replica Dutch ship accompanying the canoes is the Onrust.