Oren R. Lyons is a traditional Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, and a member of the Onondoga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (the Haudenosaunee).
Lyons graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Fine Arts and soon moved to New York City, where he worked for Norcross Greeting Cards. He started as a paste-up artist but later became an art and planning director for Norcross. His background in art has helped him become an accomplished illustrator of books and a …painter.
In 1970, Lyons returned to his ancestral homeland in upstate New York to act as Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan. In this capacity, he is entrusted with keeping alive his people’s traditions, values and history.
Oren Lyons is Associate Professor at SUNY (University at Buffalo), in the Center for the Americas. He teaches courses on Native American history and studies, and advises graduate students. Prof. Lyons also appears at many conferences and meetings, speaking on American Indian topics, human rights, interfaith dialogue, and the environment.
Aside from his work at the University and the Turtle Clan, Lyons is the co-founder of the national American Indian quarterly news magazine Daybreak, of which he has been the publisher since 1987. He also edited the book Exiled In The Land Of The Free: Democracy, The Iroquois and The Constitution (1992) , a major study of the Indian’s impact on American democracy and the United States Constitution.
An essay from Oren Lyons, “Our Mother Earth,” is included in Seeing God Everywhere: Essays on Nature and the Sacred .