Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center is moving | News, Sports, Jobs


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On Wednesday, Dave Fadden stands next to one of his most recent paintings, which depicts the assimilation of Native Americans, at the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota. (Business photo – Quinlan Peer)

ONCHIOTA – As the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center reopens for its 67th summer season, the Fadden family are eager to move forward.

“The next step is a big one” said co-owner Dave Fadden, who runs the center with his brother Don and father John. “We will soon be expanding the center.

Last year, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center, formerly known as the Six Nations Indian Museum, learned that more artifacts would be donated by someone’s estate. Hearing this, the Faddens have applied to become a non-profit organization and will expand their cultural center. The center currently has four rooms, one being the gift shop and the other three containing over 3,000 artifacts. This is not the first expansion; in 1954, when John’s father Ray Fadden opened the museum, the building only had two rooms. Over the years it has grown to four while including outdoor exhibits.

The center will be moved along County Highway 60 to the entrance to the Buck Pond State Campground where a larger structure can be built and the current building will move like an artifact in itself.

“The old building will be the heart of the new building” Dave said in the room used for the storytelling. “We would like to have a building around with that in the center. “

Outdoor sign at the Six Nations Iroqouis Cultural Center in Onchiota (Corporate photo – Andy Flynn)

Not only will the new building add more space for new artifacts, it will also be air conditioned to preserve the items.

The new Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center will contain an art gallery of family paintings. John, a retired art teacher, created over 700 paintings while Dave painted over 400.

The Faddens don’t know when the new center will be built, but they have said it will cost nearly $ 5 million.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in July and August. The Faddens will continue to work alongside the Tupper Lake Wild Center to host a few campfire sessions this year, as they did in 2019.

In addition to running the cultural center, Dave worked for the North American Travel College before the pandemic. There he wrote a few children’s books written in English and Mohawk as he tried to promote the dying language. They are available in the gift shop.

Exterior monument at the Six Nations Iroqouis Cultural Center in Onchiota (Company photo – Andy Flynn)

Asked about their fondest memories of working at the center, Don said: “We once had a group from Siberia, Russia.”

“The group was set to explore how Adirondack Park worked with the state government to examine whether this would be possible with Siberia and their government,” Dave added.

The Russians made a connection by exchanging cultural aspects and stories through a translator.

“After the visit, we became friends” Dave continued. “They came back once more before going home too. “

The Faddens have become friends with many visitors over the years.

The Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota displays over 3,000 artefacts in four small rooms. It is operated by the Fadden family and is now open for the season. (Business photo – Andy Flynn)

“Our first visitors this year were a couple from Baltimore who have been here before”, said Jean. “We know them quite well.

The Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota displays over 3,000 artefacts in four small rooms. It is operated by the Fadden family and is now open for the season. (Business photo – Andy Flynn)

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