Skip to main content

In the early 1600s, a remarkable chapter of cultural exchange unfolded as the Haudenosaunee extended a warm invitation to Dutch settlers to live together under the Two-Row Wampum covenant/treaty. This historic gesture laid the foundation for a unique relationship marked by mutual respect and cooperation.

One tradition that emerged from this harmonious coexistence was the celebration of Nieuwjaar, a Dutch holiday where the first person awake on New Year's Day would serve ale and round deep-fried doughnuts called oliebollen to their household members. This festive occasion soon caught the attention of the Haudenosaunee, who were captivated by the spirit of joy and camaraderie that accompanied the festivities.

Over time, the Haudenosaunee integrated elements of Nieuwjaar into their own culture, creating a beautiful blend of traditions. Haudenosaunee children would joyfully run door to door in their community on January 1st, exclaiming "New Yah! New Yah!" and receiving homemade donuts and other treats in return—a practice that continues to this day in the Six Nations community.

Reflecting on this cultural exchange, Adrian Jacobs, the CRC’s Senior Leader for Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation, remarks, "What a beautiful picture of community and shalom. What a great example of how to live in a treaty relationship! Who knew that doughnuts could be an example for the church today on how to listen and learn from one another? Who knew that doughnuts are a gift from God that can be shared cross-culturally just like our faith."

This year, in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day coming up on June 21, 2024, readers can join in the festivities by making a donation to support the work of Indigenous Ministries. With your contribution, you will receive a free download of five Indigenous recipes. These recipes not only offer a taste of Indigenous culture but also serve as a symbol of unity and shared heritage.

As Indigenous peoples and settlers continue to navigate the journey of reconciliation, the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee stands ready with a wealth of resources to support communities in forging revived relationships based on respect, empathy, and mutual learning.

This story of Nó :ya serves as a powerful testament to the transformative potential of cultural exchange and the enduring bonds that can be formed when we embrace diversity with open hearts and minds.

Let's Discuss

We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Login or Register to Comment

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post