The Historical Association of Lewiston's January program is titled, "Little Known Facts in Tuscarora History." The event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah Fellowship Hall, 915 Oneida St.
Neil Patterson Sr. will offer a presentation on the historical events of the Tuscarora Nation that have been documented in the past through the European viewpoint, with most writings coming from outside of and without input from the Tuscarora. As in any culture, Tuscarora oral traditions run deep and are sometimes reluctantly shared. Patterson will present from the Tuscarora eye a selection of these little-known facts in order to provide the listener with an insider's viewpoint.
Patterson, of the Sand Turtle Clan, is enrolled in the Tuscarora Nation, where he grew up and still resides. He was accepted into the Tuscarora Chiefs' Council 36 years ago, sitting in the seat of the late Chief Elton Greene, Sand Turtle chief. Patterson is a retired millwright, a member of Carpenters Local 276, and worked as a consultant during construction of the Tuscarora Nation House on the Nation territory. Patterson is a member of the Tuscarora Baptist Church, serving as a past trustee and now as deacon. He also volunteers in "Returning Hearts" at the Angola State Prison in Louisiana.
In 2009, Patterson began a four-year journey collaborating with HAL and others to complete the Tuscarora Heroes Monument in Lewiston.
In order to foster Haudenosaunee and New York state judicial system relationships, Patterson attends meetings of the New York Federal-State-Tribal Courts & Indian Nations Justice Forum. For the past 30-plus years, he has been the coordinator of the Tuscarora Nation Picnic & Field Days.
He and his wife, Francene, have three children and five grandchildren.
This HAL event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.