View Full Version : Haudenosaunee

03-25-2007, 05:14 PM

"The Iroquois"

The Haudenosaunee or people of the Longhouse, (also known as the Iroquois)
are a Confederacy of six nations who joined together to form a peaceful alliance
under the democratic constitution known as the "Kaianerakowa" or Great Law of
Peace. The members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy include the Seneca,
Cayuga, Tuscarora, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk nations.

"Kahniakehaka" is our name for the Mohawk nation of people who are regarded
as the "Eastern Door Keepers", because we are situated in the eastern portion of
our traditional territories, and hold the position as the guardians and protectors of
those issues that occur in the eastern district.

The tribes consist of : Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Akwesasne, Tyendinaga, Ganienkeh, Kanatsiohareke, the Kahniakehaka of Ohsweken, and Wahtha.

This is the first documented United Demographic Nation.

The Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, is the traditional national government
situated at Akwesasne, which utilizes its Chiefs, Clanmothers, Faithkeepers and
People to provide for the well-being of the Mohawk Nation and to sit with the
other Haudenosaunee nations on issues of national and international importance.
Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is the elected community government that was
forced upon this community in 1899, taking one of our traditional peoples in a
violent altercation to change us from a traditional style of governance to an
elected style of governance. From the late 1800's to around the 1970's, the
elected system was not able to take hold here.

My tribe is Kanesatake/ Oka.


03-25-2007, 05:24 PM
Kahnawake History
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifThe Mohawks of Kahnawake (Kahnawįkeró:non) are an ancient people with a vibrant culture and rich history. We are one of the eight communities that make up the Mohawk (Kanien:keha'ka) Nation and have historic, political and cultural ties to the Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga and Tuscarora Nations of the Northeastern part of North America.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifIn ancient times, these nations achieved a major and innovative development by forming a Confederacy and devising a system of governance known as the Great Law of Peace. In all of the world's history, there are very few examples of such a coming together of nations for the purpose of peace; the formation of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy is one of them.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifThe Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace, along with our Creation Story, the Two Row Wampum Treaty and the concept of the Seventh Generation, form the basis of our beliefs, values, traditions, philosophies and unique world view. The founding of the Confederacy demonstrates to us the value of working together in a respectful and peaceful manner; the Great Law provides a democratic model for governing ourselves; our Creation Story explains how we came to be on this earth and what our duties are as human beings; the Two Row Wampum instructs us on how to interrelate with other governments and nations; and the concept of the Seventh Generation reminds us to be respectful of future generations. The contemporary community of Kahnawake has sustained itself and built on its rich cultural background.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifMany significant events and poignant moments mark our history. During the 17th and 18th centuries, when the British and French were establishing themselves and fighting each other for control of North America, the Kanien'keha'ka found themselves wedged between these two colonial rivals. Their traditional territory was situated between the fur trading posts established at Quebec City by the French and at Albany by the British. Independent and military strong, the Kanien'keha'ka used the colonial rivalry, their geographic location and their exceptional diplomatic skills to their political and economic advantage.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifDuring that same period of time, the present day site of Kahnawake, located approximately 10 kilometers from the city of Montreal, proved to be another strategic location politically, economically and militarily. A group of Kanien'keha had migrated north in the latter part of the 1600's from the Mohawk River valley near Albany to re-establish themselves in the Northern part of their ancestral homelands where a Jesuit mission was established under the authority of the French Regime. Politically, they organized the community in accordance with the Great Law and maintained kinship ties to the community near Albany. The resettlement proved to be advantageous economically as the Kahnawįkeró:non opened up the trade route for furs and other goods to Albany.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifDuring the War of 1812, Kahnawįkeró:non were recognized for distinguishing themselves during two attempts by the Americans to invade Canada. In 1813, the American army was moving towards Montreal by the Chateauguay River. To protect their territory, a force was organized and together with the British and French, they pushed back the Americans. In 1814, the Mohawks of Kahnawį:ke joined Akwesasne, Kanesatake and Six Nations in the Battle of Beaver Dam. Lieutenant Fitzgibbon, Commander of the troops, acknowledged that 'not a shot was fired on our side by any but the Indians. They beat the American detachment into a state of terror.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifAfter the War of 1812, our independent and self-sustaining life would change dramatically. Within less than a hundred years, repressive government legislation, such as the 1876 Indian Act, would ravage a thousand years of our political growth, social development and economic prosperity. The Indian Act and subsequent government policies suppressed our Traditional government, attempted to "civilize" and assimilate us into mainstream society, prohibited the use of our language and the practice of our culture, diminished our land base, determined who is eligible to be an "Indian" based on a legal definition, and removed our authority to determine our own affairs and placed it in the hands of the Minister of the Department of Indian Affairs.
http://www.kahnawake.com/images/blank.gifThroughout our lives we have shown our resiliency and our ability to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances which form so much a part of our history. From the time of our Creation to the imposition of the Indian Act, we have responded to these challenges with the same tenacity, dignity, resourcefulness and hope, which have guided us throughout time. As the century comes to a close, we are shredding the last remnants of the Indian Act. We have directed our attention to our internal affairs and are in the process of strengthening our links to our proud heritage and rebuilding on the philosophies and principles contained within the Great Law, the Two Row Wampum Treaty, our Creation Story and the Seventh Generation.