New Traditions At Thanksgiving

Peter Jemison is celebrating Thanksgiving this year in a way that is both new and traditional by continuing centuries-old customs of the Iroquois Six Nations. His son manages the Akwe:kon (pronounced uh-gway-go) program house for undergraduate students at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. For the first time, Jemison’s family will host a dinner for students who aren’t able to go home for the holidays. 

The house was established at Cornell in 1991 by Ron LaFrance (Mohawk) to celebrate American Indian culture and heritage. The 35 student residents of the house share an interest in Native issues and the importance of community. In the Mohawk language, Akwe:kon means “all of us,” reflecting the spirit of inclusiveness, and celebration of diverse cultures and backgrounds the house offers to students.

For more information about the house at Cornell, check out