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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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Oneida to host Ironworkers Competition
Building on a Proud Tradition

by Oneida Press Release 5/5/2003

Climbing ContestOneida Nation Homelands—The skills, courage and long-standing contributions of ironworkers will be highlighted in the Oneida Indian Nation’s inaugural Ironworkers Skills Competition and Festival, scheduled for Saturday, September 13 on Nation Homelands in Canastota, located adjacent to exit 34 of the New York State Thruway.

The inaugural event is expected to attract hundreds of ironworkers from across the Northeast, and include a variety of activities for the entire family.

Anyone who has walked into an office building or driven across a bridge span has seen first-hand the craftsmanship of ironworkers, including many American Indians, and especially Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people. The workers rightfully take tremendous pride in their trade. Unfortunately, their skills, dedication and courage are often overlooked by those of us who are not directly involved in the profession.

The day-long festival will include several tests of skill among ironworkers, along with a number of other activities for children and families, such as a chicken-wing cook-off featuring area restaurants, heavy equipment displays, and vendors. An opening ceremony will honor the proud heritage of American Indian and other ironworkers. Complete details will be announced at a later date.

The Oneida Indian Nation is working with Utica-based Local Union No. 440, and other locals, of the International Association of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers to ensure an entertaining and successful event.

Competitions in Column Climb, Spud Throw, Rivet Throw, Rod Tying and Knot Tying are planned. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.

  Column Climb Competitors climb a 35-foot vertical steel column, with no equipment assistance other than safety devices. The winner is the person who records the fastest time.
  Spud Throw A spud wrench, an essential tool of the trade, is tossed at a target located at a distance of 25 feet. Points are accumulated by hitting the target.
  Rivet Throw Thrower and catcher are spaced 30 feet apart. The catcher must catch rivet in a can, using one hand. Scores are based on number of rivets caught in the allotted time.
  Rod Tying Timed event. The winner is based on the number of correct ties in the shortest time period.
  Knot Tying Also a timed event. Competitors must tie six knots, and the winner is based on the number of correct ties in shortest time period.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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