Non-Onondaga People in "Leadership" Positions at Onondaga Nation

For decades Onondaga People have maintained that certain chiefs and others in "leadership" positions have been falsely appointed; meaning that their rise to leadership directly violates the The Great Law of the Haudenosaunee and undermines and destabilizes Onondaga and further Haudenosaunee Confederacy governance.


June 3, 1997

February 25, 1994

These documents from 1994 and 1997 issued out of the Department of Social Services in Buffalo, NY repeat the information that the following are not enrolled Onondaga Indians on the New York State census: Oren Lyons, Kingsley Lyons, Irving Powless Jr., Paul Waterman.


Oren Lyons |  "Onondaga Faith keeper"

Oren Lyons is NOT Onondaga; his mother was Seneca not Onondaga. Haudenosaunee are matrilineal meaning nationhood is determined by the nationhood of the mother.

Oren Lyons is NOT a chief. The role of Faith Keeper involves determining when ceremonies will be held but does not include authority over Onondaga peoples or relations. Only Onondaga people are supposed to hold title roles.

Request to remove name from Seneca Nation

August 13, 1971 document from the Seneca Nation of Indians in which Oren Lyons requests that his name be taken from the Seneca Nation of Indians tribal roll.

"...we don't have this type of request very often."
"Needless to say, we were curious about your request–"

Signed witness: Irving Powless Jr.  

See documents above from 1994 and 1997 which prove Irving Powless Jr. is NOT an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation.



oren lyons wrongfully claiming the role of chief in court testimony from


The official website of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy lists all current clan mothers and chiefs.
 Oren Lyons is not listed as possessing any chief role or title.

November 11, 1997: Statement from Onondaga people to then-sheriff Kevin walsh rejecting the following:

  • oren lyons

  • irving powless jr.

  • Alson Gibson

  • virgil thomas

  • paul waterman

  • vince johnson

The statement goes on to say that the listed men have broken the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee through acts of TREASON, ARSON, MURDER, EMBEZZLEMENT of Onondaga money from the Nation, and ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF MINORS on the Nation.