“Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation. Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.”

-U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

Potsdam Campus Street Signage

Clarkson University is committed to honoring and recognizing the Indigenous Peoples’ that make up our community students, staff, faculty and partnerships. The Haudenosaunee, Algonquin, Huron-Wendat, Mahican and Abenaki Peoples all have an impact on all of our local campuses. 

As part of that commitment Clarkson University Potsdam Hill Campus has recently added street names that come with Indigenous meaning and pronunciation.

Onàke Drive
Oná:ke Drive


Kanien’kehá (Mohawk) language word for Canoe. Referring to the traditional canoe made from birch bark and sealed with pine pitch the canoe would be light weight and easy transportation along the regions many streams, rivers and lakes for the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands.

Wáh:ta Drive
Wáh:ta Drive


Kanien’kehá (Mohawk) language word for Maple. Referring to the maple trees in the region that act as leaders by turning colors to signal the change of seasons. In the spring thaw the trees would be tapped for their maple sap which would then be boiled down into maple syrup by the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands.




Kanien’kehá (Mohawk) language word for ‘bark eaters’. Referring to the group of Algonquin people that lived in the high mountains and would sustain themselves by gathering food from the environment including select barks and herbs. Later this term would be affixed to maps of the region and would become known as the Adirondacks today.

During the Revolutionary War, the Iroquois initially hoped to stay neutral, though most of the Six Nations ended up supporting the British. After the British were defeated, tribes were forced to sign away most of their New York ancestral lands. Many Mohawks moved to Canada, setting up communities there, while others settled at tribal communities, including Akwesasne.

-SUNY Potsdam Native Heritage Page


Coordinator of Indigenous Community Outreach and Support
Phillip White-Cree

Clarkson University's Coordinator or Indigenous Community Outreach and Support is Phillip White-Cree, and is an instructor of history in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

White-Cree was born and raised in the traditional Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) territory of Akwesasne and is a member of the Turtle Clan. Growing up in Akwesasne, he received his education in both New York and Ontario, graduating from Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School in 2006. 

He attended Carleton University and then transferred to the Syracuse University School of Architecture where he was awarded his bachelor of architecture degree cum laude in 2012 with a thesis focused on Haudenosaunee sovereignty and architecture.

Since then, White-Cree had worked serving his home community at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in numerous departments, like health, education and technical services. For the last eight years, he has worked within the Aboriginal Rights and Research Office as a senior researcher, focusing on land claims, historical research, cultural training, and archeology. Currently, he has been hired to be the Coordinator of Indigenous Support and Outreach under the Chief Inclusion Office while still being an Instructor of History within the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences."

You can reach Philip at or by phone at  315/268-3984