National Speaker at Seneca Heritage Day

08/12/2019

Dr. Wagner will speak about Influence of Haudenosaunee Women on the Suffrage Movement; attendees also will see traditional Iroquois Social Dancing at Middlesex Heritage Group’s Seneca Heritage Day

To celebrate its 28th annual Seneca Heritage Day, Saturday, August 31, Middlesex Heritage Group is pleased to announce Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner as the guest speaker for this year’s theme, “Sisters in Spirit.” Seneca Heritage Day is free and open to the public, and runs from 2-4 pm at the Overackers Corners Schoolhouse, Route 364 and North Vine Valley Road, in Middlesex.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Wagner as our guest speaker to discuss the influence of this area’s Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women on the American suffrage movement. Suffragist leaders like Matilda Joslyn Gage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony had direct and personal contact with Haudenosaunee women, and this, in turn, had a significant impact on their fight for equality,” said David Charland, Middlesex Heritage Group president. 

 Nationally recognized lecturer, author and women’s rights historian Sally Roesch Wagner was awarded one of the first doctorates in the country for work in women’s studies and a founder of one the first college-level women’s studies programs in the United States (CSU Sacramento). Dr. Wagner has taught women’s studies courses for 50 years. She edited the intersectional Women’s Suffrage Anthology (Penguin Classics, 2019) and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in The Renée Crown University Honors Program, Syracuse University, and the St. John Fisher Executive Leadership Program. She also was founder and executive director of The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Inc. and Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue. Dr. Wagner’s book Sisters in Spirit inspired a section of Ganondagan’s exhibit “Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women: From the Time of Creation” on view at the Seneca Art & Culture Center.

Ganondagan State Historic Site Manager Peter Jemison will be the event emcee. The day also will feature Bill Crouse (Seneca) leading the popular Allegany River Dancers—in full regalia—to share their traditional Haudenosaunee music and dance. Free ice cream sundaes will be served and pies will be available for purchase.

The traditional bonfire on Bare Hill signifying the “Ring of Fire” surrounding Canandaigua Lake will commence at approximately 8 p.m. following the afternoon festivities.


The Middlesex Heritage Group coordinates and partially funds the annual Seneca Heritage Day to honor and remember those people who lived in, and walked the hills and valleys of what is now called Middlesex. The MHG is a small volunteer organization that records and disseminates the history of the area through meetings, a newsletter, and community events.