Eels at the Edge: Science, Status, and Conservation Concerns

Traditional Haudenosaunee Closing and Blessing

Henry Lickers


I’m very proud to stand in front of you all here. I was thinking about, we were talking about organizations and similar things. Well, I think we’ve formed our organization already from the faces I see around us. And I think we can call ourselves the Excellent Eels League (EEL) and I think those excellent EELs will go out from here to their homes and talk about these issues and make sure that everyone around you understands and knows your positions and that we will work and see each other again. I was thinking maybe Sean Connery could be the person for us.

We say that whenever we are gathered one of us is chosen to give a greeting and thanksgiving and so now I’m going to ask you and lay a heavy responsibility upon all of you. And the responsibility is this—that you’ve come a long way to be here and you’ve left people behind. I know that it is the custom among your people to thank each other for being here. But it is the custom of the Haudenosaunee for you to send back our thank yous. I want you to go back to your communities and tell your spouses that we are very very appreciative of the sacrifice that they have made. We want you to go back to your elders in your communities and say to them of the things that we’ve talked about here but tell them also that we know that you are active people in your community and that you are needed by them. Tell them that we appreciate that sacrifice. Look to your children, because you have been away from them for a long time and they look for you every day and we know how important they are to you. So, please, go back to them from the assembled people here and tell them just how much we understand that sacrifice that they have made. Tell the men and women in your community that this group of people here appreciates them and they understand how much you are needed in your communities because you wouldn’t be here unless you were active and one of the most active people in your communities. So go back to them and tell them that we appreciate this. The Haudenosaunee say go back and look unto the land that you stand upon because out of that land comes the seven generations into the future and those generations are the generations that we’re working for. For it is not us that will benefit from the work that we do here today it will be our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. So go back to them also and tell them that the sacrifices that they have made we appreciate them. I ask you to turn your minds to all of the other people upon this world because they also are important to us and their opinions will help us. So I ask you now to bring together your minds and think about the people of this world and can we agree that they are important to us.