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Environmental Activist

Professor of American Studies



Oren Lyons is a member of the Onondaga and Seneca nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, and a Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation.  As Faithkeeper, Chief Oren is responsible for maintaining the customs and traditions of his people, while representing their message to the world community.


A world-renowned leader and visionary for peace, justice, and sovereignty, Chief Oren Lyons has worked with Indigenous Peoples around the world as well as the United Nations for recognition of Indigenous rights.  He has addressed the UN General Assembly and other gatherings of world leaders, is a member of the advisory committee for the UN Environment Program, and continues to share the wisdom of the Haudenosaunee as a speaker, author, publisher, and board member of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth as well as the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development.


He is also a prominent member of the UN Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders, and retired Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies, SUNY Buffalo.  Lyons is the author of several books, and a much in demand global lecturer.  He is the subject of many documentaries and films.


Along with several other awards, he is recipient of the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the United Nations NGO World Peace Prize, the Smithsonian’s award for Art and Cultural Achievement, and Sweden’s Prestigious Friend of the Children Award along with colleague, Nelson Mandela.


Lyons is a celebrated artist and painter, a member of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame and a tireless activist for American Indian causes and humanity’s responsibilities to the earth and future generations.

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