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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Oneida Indian Nation Joins Celebrations Added to float lineup of 82nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
by Indian Country Today

NEW YORK – The Tree of Peace takes root at Herald Square as the Oneida Indian Nation of New York debuts in the 82nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. On Nov 27, the OIN’s True Spirit of Thanksgiving float will ride down Broadway, spreading the message of Thanksgiving to more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million viewers nationwide. Sharing the Oneida creation story, the float will be a beautifully symbolic depiction of the legendary nation’s birth.

Designed and built by the magicians of the Macy’s Parade Studio, The OIN’s “True Spirit of Thanksgiving” float will showcase the nation’s representation of the creation story with vivid characters, symbols and performers. The float will depict the tale of Sky Woman, who one day came to rest on a turtle’s back, depicted on the float by a giant turtle symbolizing Mother Earth. A 30-foot-tall white pine tree, symbolizing the Tree of Peace, grows from the turtle’s back and climbs skyward, while its great white roots of peace spread in four directions – north, south, east and west. On top of the Great Tree is an eagle that keeps watch over the roots, symbolizing the constant watch and protection of peace. Along for the ride will be Iroquois dancers at each root, representing all Indian people from across the country.

“We are honored to have the Oneida Indian Nation participate in this year’s parade with a majestic float that truly captures the spirit of the holiday,” said Amy Kule, producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “This fantastic float is filled with bigger-than-life images that bring the Oneida Indian story to life. From the symbolic giant turtle representing Mother Earth to the truly spectacular Tree of Peace, our Parade audience will not only enjoy the float for its majestic beauty, but also for its universal message of Peace.”

“The Oneida Indian Nation is honored to be included in the 82nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO. “American Indians welcomed the first Europeans who came to our homelands in the spirit of thanksgiving, and showed our new neighbors how to adapt to the challenges of our Mother Earth. As first Americans, we are most thankful to be included in this premier holiday event because it is a wonderful opportunity to once again share the true spirit of Thanksgiving with America and the millions of people watching this wonderful parade.” The 82nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off Nov. 27 and is broadcast live nationally on NBC-TV from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones.

Editor’s note: The OIN owns Four Directions Media, parent company of Indian Country Today.

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