Landscape Architecture

Haudenosaunee Acknowledgement Site

Project Profile


Syracuse University


Syracuse University Campus, Syracuse, NY

Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt served as the landscape architect in a new and permanent Haudenosaunee Art Installation on the campus of Syracuse University. Our firm is proud of our fortunate experience and involvement with designing the site area surrounding the artwork of artist Brandon Lazore, of the Onondaga Nation.

This initiative, which was first requested by Indigenous students, was led by the Indigenous Students at Syracuse (ISAS), Native Student Program, Ohgwehonwe Alumni Association, and Haudenosaunee/Indigenous alumni representatives. The Installation serves to acknowledge the relationship between the University and the Onondaga Nation as SU, founded in 1870, was established on ancestral land.

The landscape was designed to reflect the people and the culture of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Each element was selectively chosen for its symbolic significance. Six granite bollards placed in a circle around a white pine tree signify each of the nations within the Confederacy. The white pine, known as the Great Tree of Peace, is of great significance to the culture as it represents unity of the six nations.  Realistic synthetic white pine branches encircle the granite bollards, reinforcing the symbol of unity, strength, and the cycles of life.

The landing to the exhibit is a stone-textured stamped concrete pavement that leads guests to Brandon Lazore’s artwork which is framed on either side by synthetic replicated white pine tree trunks. Signage on the opposite side of the artwork displays the Haudenosaunee symbol of their Confederacy. An informational plaque rests immediately below the display to include a braille translation and space for a QR code so people can download information about the site. Placed in an organic arrangement, granite boulders are incorporated beneath and around the artwork exhibit. The boulders are of modest height to encourage sitting and gathering while capturing the essence of an indigenous setting. Plantings were strategic to accompany the change in seasons, with purple and white being the predominate choice for blooms.

This area serves as a welcoming point to the Quad and attracts many visitors to recognize and learn about the Haudenosaunee. On Indigenous Peoples Day in October of 2022 a formal dedication invited guests to visit the site and witness the official unveiling of the artwork.



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