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We Were At The School – A Traveling Exhibition from the Seneca Nation on the Thomas Indian School

December 4, 2022 @ 8:00 am - January 28, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

Join us Sunday, December 4th, 2022, 5-7 pm for the opening of an exhibition from the Seneca Nation’s Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center. Co-curated by Jocelyn Jones and Hayden Haynes, the exhibition includes historical research on the Thomas Indian School, archival materials, photography by Hayden Haynes, and artwork by Shinnecock artist, Denise Silva-Dennis.
A note from the curators:

Nya:wëh Sgë:nö’,

This exhibition was initiated by a series of photographs that Hayden Haynes (Onöndowa’ga:’- Deer Clan) took of Jocelyn Jones (Onöndowa’ga:’- Wolf Clan). Our plan was to highlight certain buildings and sites on the Cattaraugus Territory that were part of the history of the Thomas Indian School in an effort to raise awareness about the “school”. These places included the Wright Memorial Church, Reverend Asher Wright’s house, the old infirmary of the Thomas Indian School, and the United Missions Cemetery. Out of this series of photographs, an idea was born to create an exhibition about TIS.

Our sole purpose is to create this exhibit for our community. It is a way to honor our ancestors, to provide a space for learning, and to offer a moment for healing for our communities and future generations. We found it necessary that this exhibit be created through our collective Indigenous voice, in an effort to exercise narrative sovereignty.
We are forever grateful for the contributing writers of this exhibit: Dr. Lori Quigley (Onöndowa’ga:’), Dr. Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Skarure Descent), Dr. Rodney Haring (Onöndowa’ga:’), Dr. Meredith Alberta (Skarure), and Dr. Joe Stahlman (Skarure Descent).
We also want to acknowledge the main sponsors for their contributions in making this possible: Mike General & family, SNI President Matthew Pagels, SNI Treasurer Rickey Armstrong Sr., and all of the SNI Councillors.
Special thank you goes to our families for their sacrifices so that we can continue to do this work, Dr. Randy John, Andrea “Emmy” White, Carrie Peterson, Dean Haynes, Jacky Snyder, Clayton Logan, and our Indigenous allies that have been, and continue to be helpful in assisting our efforts.
Jocelyn Jones & Hayden Haynes


December 4, 2022 @ 8:00 am
January 28, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
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Ma’s House
159 Old Point Road
Southampton, NY 11969 United States
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