1. Was the Museum built on an archeological or site of special significance to the Haudenosaunee? The 48 acres purchased for the Museum campus were surveyed for archeological significance prior to its purchase. While the Museum grounds are located within traditional Mohawk territory, no physical evidence of this occupancy was found or disturbed with its construction. The property was selected solely for the interpretive value of its natural features and its proximity to the popular Howe Caverns tourist destination.
2. Does the Museum conduct appraisals? According to the bylaws of our nonprofit charter, the Museum is not permitted to provide appraisals of art or archaeological materials. For such inquiries, please contact a commercial gallery or auction house.
3. Does the Museum accept donations of artwork or artifacts? With the exception of sacred materials, the Museum does welcome and consider donations of historic and contemporary artwork MADE by Iroquois individuals. Such donations are an important means of building and improving the value of our collection. The Museum does not generally accept artwork made by other native nations, commercially or non-native produced dolls, baskets, dreamcatchers, theatrical costumes, or souvenir items. The Museum does not encourage or condone the non-professional excavation of archaeological sites.
4. Can the Museum help me to research my Native ancestry? The Museum holds no tribal records, nor do we conduct genealogical research. Guidelines for conducting your own investigations can be found here: https://i36466.wixsite.com/learninglonghouse/genealogy-info
5. Why does the Museum have a Bear logo? The Iroquois Museum’s iconic bear logo was inspired by a traditional Iroquois story about how the Bear Clan came to be the keepers of the medicine. The Museum’s vision was to serve as a place of “good medicine” and promote understanding between native and non-native peoples. Today, we continue to be that place. The design is based on this wooden bear carving by artist Eva Fadden, Mohawk, Wolf Clan from Akwesasne.
6. Why is the Museum named Iroquois Museum and not Haudenosaunee Museum? There are two reasons that we have not changed our name from Iroquois to Haudenosaunee. Over the past few years, we discussed changing the Museum's name to
Haudenosaunee rather than Iroquois with our Haudenosaunee board members and staff, and with Haudenosaunee guest artists and scholars. The recommendation from those individuals was strongly that we NOT call ourselves "the Haudenosaunee Museum" because we are not a tribal museum, nor are we part of any Haudenosaunee nation. To refer to ourselves as the Haudenosaunee Museum gives the impression that we represent and speak for the Haudenosaunee,
which we do not. The Museum was founded as, and still is, an anthropology museum. We present Haudenosaunee history, archaeology and art from the multiple and varied perspectives of archaeologists, anthropologists, and Haudenosaunee people themselves. Second, while many New Yorkers and students of Native cultures may be familiar with the term Haudenosaunee, our broad range of visitors come from across the United States as well as from other countries. While at the Museum they quickly learn that Haudenosaunee is the term that Iroquois refer to themselves by, but the term Iroquois is (for now) much more familiar to our audiences.