Welcome! The History Center is requiring that all visitors continue to wear masks inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Our visitors include young audiences and others who are unable to be vaccinated. We appreciate your respect and awareness in following our Health & Safety Protocols.
The logo for Traversing Tompkins 2021 draws inspiration from the seal of Tompkins County, which in turns mirrors important symbols of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We collectively acknowledge that Tompkins County is located on the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation (generally known as the Cayuga Nation) one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (formerly referred to as the Iroquois Confederacy). Tompkins County was also home to the native nations adopted by the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’; the Saponinis and the Tutelos, who fled to this region in the mid 1700's, escaping colonization by European immigrants farther South. The History Center and all our programs occur on land that was cared for and called home by the Haudenosaunee for over 1,000 years, and the Indigenous cultures ancestral to the Confederacy for time immemorial.
For the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Eagle is a protector of peace and a messenger to the Creator. The Eagle is placed on top of the Tree of Peace and serves as a warning when danger approaches.
The cluster of arrows is also recognized from the creation story. Together, they are a symbol of unity. The Peacemaker used this symbol to illustrate that if the nations joined together they could not be broken. This symbol represents the strength that results from the joining of the nations.
The Seal of Tompkins County repeats both of these images, using an eagle in the center, with a clutch of arrows in its talons. It resembles the Seal of the President of the United States.
Our Finding Fires logo brings forth the Eagle and Arrows motifs, and brings forth the thematic focus of this years historical exploration with wings that become flames.
If this is your first time checking out The History Center in Tompkins County, a great place to start is our land acknowledgement page. You can find our organization's land acknowledgement statement, some of work to elevate the history of the Haudenosaunee people, and additional learning resources.