This booklet tells about the social structure of the Iroquois society, the ideas behind the government of the Iroquois Confederacy, also the opportunities and people's participation in decision making.
1. What was the 4 Iroquois Confederacy? h a p te r Fo c u s Qu e s tions C structure of Iroquois • What was the social society? d people have to • What opportunities di making? participate in decision t w er e the id ea s be hind the government • Wha racy? of the Iroquois Confede The last chapter explored the government of ancient Athens. This chapter explores another government with deep roots in history: the Iroquois Confederacy. The Iroquois Confederacy formed hundreds of years ago in North America — long before Europeans first arrived here. The structure and principles of its government influenced the government that the United States eventually established. The Confederacy united five, and later six, separate nations. It had clear rules and procedures for making decisions through representatives and consensus. It reflected respect for diversity and a belief in the equality of people. Pause The image on the side of this page represents the Iroquois Confederacy and its five original member nations. It is a symbol as old as the Confederacy itself. Why do you think this symbol is still honoured in Iroquois society?
2. What are we learning in v e r sus qu s oi saunee this chapter? I r o eno Haud This chapter explores the social structure of Iroquois There are two names for society, which showed particular respect for women and the Iroquois people today: for people of other cultures. Iroquois (ear-o-kwa) and Haudenosaunee It also explores the structure and processes of Iroquois (how-den-o-show-nee). government. Think back to Chapter 3, where you saw how Iroquois is a name that the social structure of ancient Athens determined the way dates from the fur trade during the 1600s. The people participated in its government. In this chapter, you French learned this name will learn about the roles and responsibilities of people in from the Ouendat the Iroquois Confederacy. (wen-dat), an enemy nation of the Iroquois. Why are we learning this? Haudenosaunee is what the people call themselves When you look around your community, what traces of in their own language. It means “people of the the past can you see? For example, what is the oldest longhouse” and comes from building in your community? What road first connected the name for the people’s your community to other parts of your traditional dwelling. region? You need to know both names when you do Just like buildings and roads, ideas have research online or in roots in the past. The ideas that shape the library. Canada’s government today reflect How do the names Iroquois and Haudenosaunee reflect ideas from other, older societies, such the different perspectives as the Iroquois Confederacy. By of peoples? How do they exploring the Confederacy, we are reflect the history of North America? exploring ideas that affect us today — ideas such as equality, consensus and respect for diversity. We can learn more about them and discover how they influenced democracy. Chapter 4 83
3. Chapter 4 Inquiry Task Creating a multi-media presentation about the Iroquois Confederacy Introduction The Past to Present Exhibition is on the move! Directors of the exhibition have just unveiled their plans for a new multi-media presentation which will travel to Grade 6 classrooms. The purpose of the presentation is to share information about the society and government of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Task The Past to Present Exhibition has asked you to research and create a presentation entitled: “Democracy in Action: the Iroquois Confederacy.” To provide background information for Grade 6 students, you will need to explain historical context. Historical context means when and where something existed or happened. Provide information on the following points: • The structure of the Iroquois Confederacy • The role of women in the Iroquois Confederacy • The use of consensus in the Iroquois Confederacy • The importance of wampum belts to Iroquois identity Your presentation must conclude by giving evidence to answer the following question: • How did the Iroquois Confederacy establish the democratic ideas of fairness and equity? Since this presentation will be for Grade 6 students, you must think of an innovative and intriguing way of sharing this information. Remember to create a reference list so that people who attend the exhibition will know where you found your information and where they can find more information themselves.
4. Things to think about before starting the task As you work through the chapter, you will be gathering SKILLaSt Work information that will help you with the task. When you are Plan a system for researching you should cite, or record your references. recording your This means acknowledging the contribution of other references as you people’s ideas. Use the following guidelines to reference go. You could use a your resources. database or a chart. What system will Books work best for you? Author (publication date). Title. Publication Location: • include references Publisher. in an organized Example: manner as part of research Cairo, Mary & Soncin, L (2003). Faces of Government. Edmonton: Duval House Publishing Inc. LS CEN TR S KIL 6 E Title. (publication date). Publication Location: Publisher Research Encyclopedia Britannica. (2002). Chicago: Encyclopedia On-Line Resources Great Lakes Information Network. (2007) Native Peoples of the Region: Settlements and Warfare: Flag of the Five Nations. Retrieved September 20, 2007 from the Great Lakes information network website. Chapter 4 85
5. Getting Started SKILLaSt Work How did the Iroquois Before you begin this section, list Confederacy begin? some questions you have about Iroquois What’s important? society and Understand that the Iroquois Confederacy is made up of government. separate nations, bound by the Great Law of Peace, and Consider whether that it is many centuries old. It still exists today. the information in this section answers Founding the Iroquois Confederacy your questions. Jot down new Five different nations founded the Iroquois Confederacy: questions you have, the Seneca (Sen-e-kuh), Cayuga (Ky-you-guh), based on what you Onondaga (On-on-da-guh), Oneida (O-nee-duh), learn from this Mohawk (Mo-hawk). Each nation kept its own territory, section. language and culture. • formulate new Before the founding of the Confederacy, the nations fought questions as research wars against each other. The history of the Iroquois records progresses that a leader came to the nations with a message of peace • determine the and unity. This leader was named Dekanawidah (da-ga-na- reliability of wee-duh), the Peacemaker. With the help of Hiawatha, he information persuaded each nation to accept the Great Law of Peace. filtering for point The Great Law of Peace established a government — the of view and bias Iroquois Confederacy — that allowed the nations to work CEN together and respect each other. LS TR S KIL 6 Pause E Research The Great Law of Peace established an alliance among the member nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An alliance is an agreement among a group of nations to support each other. The alliance that established the Iroquois Confederacy ended war among its member nations. What other advantages might an alliance have?
6. Where was the Iroquois The Lands of the Iroquois Confederacy before 1500 N Iroquois AREA OF E MAP Confederacy W S The white lines on this map show borders that e R. exist today between Canada and the United nc wre States, and between La Canadian provinces. We . have included them to St help you interpret the Atlantic location of the map. Ocean O Mo h On neida awk o n Sen Cayug daga eca a 0 250 km This map shows the location of the original five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Within the Confederacy, each nation had a role. For Pause example, the Mohawk were the Keepers of the Eastern The map of Iroquois Door. They defended the Confederacy from the east. Based lands on this page on the map, who were the Keepers of the Western Door? dates from before The nations on guard to the east and west were also called contact with the “older brothers” of the Confederacy. Europeans. Compare the map One nation of the Confederacy was charged with keeping with a current map the centre of the Confederacy firm — keeping its principles of the same region. always alive. They were called the Keepers of the Council What changes do Fire. Check the map: which nation was this? you see? What reasons can you The nations between the guards and the centre were called give for the the “younger brothers” of the Confederacy. Which nations changes? were these? Chapter 4 87
7. 1702 Tuscarora join Iroquois Confederacy. When was the Iroquois 1776 United States founded. exploring North America. 1490s Europeans begin 1867 Canada founded: Iroq Con uois fou fede Confederation. nd ra ed cy 42 11 nd ou ar 500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Before the Common Common Era (CE) Era (BCE) The Iroquois Confederacy probably dates from around 1100, and continues to exist today. How many years has the Confederacy SKILLaSt Work existed compared to the United States and to Canada? How can you use the timeline to establish this? How does the The timeline shows that the Confederacy existed before Europeans began to explore North America. What do you already know about timeline establish First Nations societies before contact with Europeans? that the A sixth nation, the Tuscarora (Tuh-skuh-roar-uh) left their southern Confederacy could homelands, in what later became North Carolina, due to European have influenced the settlement. They joined the Iroquois Confederacy in 1702. The founding of the Confederacy then became known as the League of Six Nations. What United States and happened when First Nations and Europeans began to encounter each other? Use your knowledge of history to help you understand Canada, but not the time when the Iroquois Confederacy began. the other way around? • use examples of events in the past to describe cause I remember how the French and effect and and British competed for trading change over time partners during the fur trade. What alliances and conflicts happened because of the fur CEN trade? I wonder how this might have LS TR S KIL 2 affected the Iroquois Confederacy? E Historical Thinking
8. Investigating Time The timeline on page 88 dates the founding of the Iroquois Pause Confederacy at around 1100. This reflects one theory of Oral history how old the Confederacy is. provides a record Oral history records that the Seneca were the last of the of the past. So original five nations to join the Confederacy, and that this does data from happened just after a total eclipse of the sun. astronomy. What are some other Using astronomical data, researchers examined when solar ways to record eclipses occurred in the past. They consulted the oral history? In what record for a list of the Confederacy’s leaders, and estimated ways are they the the span of time the list represented. Then they matched same? In what ways are they data about angles of the earth and sun with descriptions different? from the oral record about the historic eclipse. When they put all the pieces of evidence together, they suggested that the first five nations of the Confederacy completed their alliance shortly after a solar eclipse on August 31, 1142. h a t is tory? W l his ora Different peoples have different ways of recording their past. The Haudenosaunee traditionally recounted their past in spoken, or oral, records. They had memory keepers who carefully learned and maintained these records from generation to generation. This photo shows a solar eclipse. What do you know about solar eclipses? Why can researchers pinpoint when they will happen in the future and when they have happened in the past? Chapter 4 89
9. How did the Iroquois live? What’s important? Understand the role of clans in the Iroquois Confederacy. Clans The Peacemaker established clans within the nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The clan system united the nations and ensured peace among them. They are still an important part of the identity of Iroquois people today. Clans were named for one of nine air, water or land animals. With one exception, each clan formed part of at least two nations, and three clans formed part of every nation. The Peacemaker set up Iroquois society as matrilineal. This meant clan members traced their family history and ancestors through their mothers. Each clan was made up of a group of families that had a common female ancestor. When people married, the husband moved into his wife’s longhouse. When a child was born, he or she became part of the mother’s clan. Members of the same clan were considered family members. So, they always extended hospitality to each other, even if they came from different nations. Also, people of the same clan did not marry each other. Within each nation, members of the same clan lived together in a longhouse. You can read more about longhouses on page 92. Legend About the clan graphic The graphic on the next page comes from Nation information posted by the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cave, New York. Use this legend to help Clan you interpret it. How does this graphic help you understand the way clans wove the nations of the Iroquois Confederacy together?
10. Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Oneida Mohawk Older Younger Keepers of the Younger Older Brothers Brothers Council Fire Brothers Brothers Keepers of the Keepers of the Western Door Eastern Door wolf bear deer eel Chapter 4 91
11. What’s important? Understand the role of the longhouse in the Iroquois Confederacy. The Longhouse Within each member nation, the Iroquois lived in settlements made up of several longhouses. Longhouses This photograph were large, open dwellings where many families of the shows the interior of a same clan lived together: grandparents, parents, aunts, longhouse at the Ganondagon historic uncles, sons, daughters and cousins. site in New York. The The longhouse was an important place in the government site is a reconstruction of a Seneca of the Iroquois. It was where men and women met in settlement. separate groups to discuss issues and events, and to advise In the longhouse, their leaders. People were expected to attend these people lived their daily lives and met in discussions, because the consensus — or agreement — of groups to talk. What the group was crucial. By discussing issues, people came do you think children did when important to understand how different choices would affect the discussions took group, and came to one mind about the best way forward. place? What might they have learned You can read more about what consensus means on from these page 111. discussions?
12. Dutch geographer Herman Moll drew this scene of an Iroquois settlement in 1720. If 30 to 40 people lived in each longhouse, about how many people lived in this settlement? Moll, Herman (1736). A New Map of the North Parts of North America Claimed by France. London, England: T. Bowles. SKILLS at Work Study the illustration carefully. What seems out of place? LS CEN TR S KIL Think about the European point of view of the artist and how this 6 E might have influenced what he included in this scene. To what extent does this illustration represent a reliable source of information about Research the Iroquois? • determine the reliability of information filtering for point of view and bias Longhouses were made with a wooden-pole framework covered in bark. If a clan grew, how do you think the longhouse grew? What conclusions can you draw from this picture? Chapter 4 93
13. What was the social structure of Iroquois society? What’s important? Discover the roles of women and men in Iroquois society. In the story, Kanatiiosh and her brother stumble into a special meeting that was not part of daily life — a meeting of the Grand Council. The Grand Council always met in the Onondaga territory in a special longhouse. You can read more about the Grand Council on page 101. ecision for the Ir oquois Grand AD u t this Council Abory Part 1: An Escape “Come back here!” other This representation -a -te e- os h) w at ch ed in horror as her little br Kanatiiosh (kan house, an of historical events ai gh t in to th e do or way of the council long was written with bolted str lage. tu re th at sat alon g the north side of her vil the advice and imposing struc upted the assistance on ly to retri ev e he r brother before he disr Thinking the of educator Brenda os h fo llo w ed after hi m. The dim interior of Davis, Cayuga First meeting, Kanatii nificent Nation, Six Nations e m om en ta rily blin de d her, but as the mag longhous her. of the Grand River r m at er ialized , sh e forgot all about her brot Territory, Ontario. scene before he Who’s Who in the Iroquois Confederacy: Children were often around and listening when adults held discussions. Discussions were part of daily life in a longhouse. Children grew up hearing about issues and learning how decisions were made. Both women and men had important positions in the Iroquois Confederacy, so girls and boys knew they too would have important roles when they grew up. This berry basket was made by Susan Bearskin of the Oneida Nation. Day-to-day routines — such as making baskets, preserving food, cooking, eating and sleeping — took place in the longhouse. Discussions of events and issues also took place there. Daily life in the longhouse played an important role in the way the Iroquois governed themselves.
14. She remembered her grandmothe r — who was a Clan Mother — tell her the reason for this important ing meeting. The Hoyaneh (hoe-ya-n deciding whether to enter into a eh) were treaty with the British who had bu fort some distance away. ilt a Now she could actually see the Ho yaneh her grandmother spoke of, right before her. She could see all sitting the distinctive headdresses that identified their nations. These we re the men chosen by the Clan Mo to represent each clan in the five thers member nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. And right beside the m were the wise Clan Mothers themselves, sitting with straight spines, observing their Hoyaneh listening intently to make sure the and y represented the needs and intere the people in everything they sai sts of d. Kanatiiosh listened to the words of a tall man who addressed the From the look of his headdress, she Hoyaneh. could tell he was Onondaga, the nation responsible for opening the meetings and lighting the sacred that burned to purify the thoughts fire of everyone present. “I ask you to remember our contin uing conflict with the French,” the said, his voice ringing out over the man crowd. “Remember the sorrow on faces of our people when French the guns killed three of our kinsmen twelve others were taken captive and . We need to think carefully about defend ourselves.” how to Kanatiiosh heard murmurs of ack nowledgment ripple through the She, too, nodded her head in agr crowd. eement, crouching there in her dar corner, remembering the tears her k mother had shed when the new that her uncle was dead. s came Suddenly, Kanatiiosh felt a small hand slip into hers. “There you are exclaimed to her brother, a little !” she too loudly, for she noticed heads her way. “It’s time to leave,” she turning whispered in his ear, and slipped out. In the story, the Iroquois Confederacy is considering a treaty with the British. The story takes place during the fur trade in the 1600s, when the Iroquois came into conflict with the French. The French had become allies with enemies of the Iroquois, including the Ouendat. This illustration shows the Ouendat and the French attacking an Onondaga village in 1615 and was drawn from the French point of view. How accurate do you think the drawing is? Why? Chapter 4 95
15. Women in the Iroquois Confederacy Clan Mothers Women • chose and advised • participated in Women’s the Hoyaneh Councils which advised • had a strong indirect the Clan Mothers influence on decisions • used consensus Who’s Who in the Iroquois Confederacy: Women Women had two ways to make their voices heard: as Clan Mothers and through Women’s Councils. Clan Mothers were usually the oldest and most respected women in their clans. The title was hereditary and passed on to the woman relative that was thought to be best suited for the position. Clan Mothers were responsible for Clan Mothers continue to play an important their clan’s welfare and for maintaining harmony and role in Iroquois society balance within the clans and nations. They selected the today. This photo shows Hoyaneh, the male leaders of the Iroquois Confederacy. Audrey Shenandoah, a Clan Mother of the Eel The Great Law of Peace said the Hoyaneh had to put the Clan of the Onondaga needs of their people first. The Clan Mothers could replace Nation. She participated in a Summit of the Hoyaneh who failed to do this. Elders at the United Within each clan, Women’s Councils and Men’s Councils Nations in 1995, where she provided an Iroquois advised the Clan Mothers. The Clan Mothers in turn perspective on advised their Hoyaneh of the people’s position on issues. environmental issues. How did this process ensure that both men and women had a voice in their government? Women’s Councils developed positions on important issues. Women who were not Clan Mothers took part in councils. Through consensus, they advised the Clan Mothers.
16. Men in the Iroquois Confederacy Hoyaneh Men • made decisions for their • participated in Men’s nation Councils which advised the • represented their nations and Clan Mothers clans in the decision making • participated in decision of the Grand Council making for their nation • used consensus • used consensus • Hoyaneh were chosen from among the men Who’s Who in the Iroquois Confederacy: Men Men had two ways to make their voices heard: as Hoyaneh and through Men’s Councils. Hoyaneh were the male leaders of each nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. Hoyaneh means “Caretakers of the Peace.” Today we call them chiefs. The Hoyaneh were chosen and advised by their Clan Mothers. Each nation had several Hoyaneh. Most of the time, they met to make decisions for their nation — decisions about whether to expand or move a village, for example. They used consensus to arrive at the best way The Hoyaneh also represented their nation at meetings of the Grand Council. You can read more about the Grand Council on page 101. Men’s Councils included all the men in a clan. They met and came to consensus on issues. They, like the women of clans, advised the Clan Mothers. Chapter 4 97
17. ture Leader Part 2: Preparing a Fu ily’s be d on to he r sleep ing platform in her fam h clim That night, as Kanatiios other came to her. longhouse, her grandm ked. in k of th e m ee ting? ” her grandmother as “What did you th t to say. lt he r fa ce go ho t, an d she didn’t know wha Kanatiiosh fe ere you doing there?” long ho us e. W ha t w the council “I saw you slip inside sed. her grandmother pres h an d I w as just ge tting him out,” Kanatiios in “My little brother ran swered . “I di dn ’t th ink anyone saw me.” an t you to t m y gran dd au gh ter, I saw you. And I wan “Hardly anyone did. Bu I se e a lot of thin gs you don’t think I see.” know “Like what?” ake are w he n yo u sh ow the children how to m “Like how patient yo u u are to sh ar e th e be rries you pick in the yo baskets. And how quick sid e of things, you’ll mak e a great sta y on th e go od summertime. If you y.” Clan Mother some da eepishly. m e be ca us e of to da y?” Kanatiiosh asked sh “Are you angry with e ie d. “I actu al ly th in k you should know mor r repl “No,” her grandmothe th e great leader I think yo u can be.” u’re to be co m e about these things if yo At the Grand Council, the Hoyaneh wore distinct headdresses that identified them with their nation. In the Iroquois Confederacy, each nation was represented by its own Hoyaneh. How did this show respect for the diversity of the Confederacy’s member nations? Cayuga Oneida
18. Kanatiiosh lowered he r eyes in respect. “Oh, Grandmother, to day I actually saw the told me about,” Kana sacred fire you’ve alw tiiosh said, her words ays saw how closely the Ho com ing in a rush. “And I yaneh listened to the spoke. Everything seem O no ndaga leader who ed so important. And serious.” “It is,” agreed Skawen nati. “Treaty-making is the Iroquois.” not taken lightly amon g “Are they any closer to making a decision?” “Yes. Just today the G rand Council agreed to the Hoyaneh must wor negotiate a treaty. Now k out the terms and ev them.” eryone must agree to “Grandmother, can yo u tell me everything th an important decision at happens when such is being made?” “I can, Kanatiiosh, bu t not tonight. You have fires early to help feed to be at the cooking the visiting Hoyaneh, tomorrow after the ev so I’ll tell you all abou ening meal, all right?” t it “All right,” Kanatiiosh echoed, barely stifling grandmother tucked he a yawn as her r in. Mohawk Seneca Onondaga Chapter 4 99
19. What opportunities did people have to participate in decision making? What’s important? Understand the rights and responsibilities of men and women in the government of the Iroquois Confederacy. e Iroquois th e ne xt ev en in g Sk awennati described th True to her word, s. decision-making proces ue oh aw k an d th e Se ne ca, must discuss the iss rs, the M “First the elder brothe de cis ion, they pass their co nsensus he n th ey re ac h a among themselves. W ot he rs , the O neida and Cayuga. Th e to the youn ge r br across the sacred fire br ot he rs discuss the matter an d hile th e yo un ge r elder brothers listen w e older brothers and yo unger cons en su s. W he n th arrive at their own ke ep er s of the Council Fire — are no nd ag a — th e brothers agree, the O ement. asked to give their judg ly. ya ne h di sa gr ee ?” Ka natiiosh asked curious a Ho “What if the Onondag r and go es ba ck th ro ug h the process to the elde “Then their decision .” rs, w ho w ou ld ha ve to reconsider the issue younger brothe ” re e on an issue be fo re a decision is made? “So everyone has to ag ten ta ug ht us to go vern ourselves. We must lis emaker “Yes. It is how the Peac gs to the discussion is impo rtant.” ch Ho ya ne h br in to each other. What ea How did the Grand Council make decisions? First Step Second Step The Older Brothers The Younger Brothers Seneca Cayuga & & Mohawk Oneida reach reach consensus consensus until consensus is reached if Onandaga do not confirm the decision
20. The Grand Council The Grand Council met to discuss issues that affected the whole Iroquois Confederacy, such as peace treaties, trade agreements, and decisions to go to war. The order and procedure for a meeting of the The Grand Council was made up of the Hoyaneh from Grand Council was given by the Peacemaker in the each nation — 50 in all. Although they rarely spoke at Great Law of Peace. Grand Council meetings, all Iroquois people — men and women — had ways to make their voices heard in the The Tuscarora, who joined the Confederacy decision making of the Grand Council. Through the in 1702, are considered Women’s Councils and Men’s Councils of their clans, they part of the younger advised the Clan Mothers of their positions on issues. The brothers and speak through the Oneidas in Clan Mothers, in turn, chose and advised the Hoyaneh. If a council. Hoyaneh didn’t carefully consider the advice of his Clan Mother, the Clan Mother warned him. After the third warning, she removed him and chose someone else. To make a decision, the Grand Council discussed issues in a set order. Council decisions had to be unanimous, so the Grand Council always worked towards consensus. This is the way decisions about traditional and cultural matters are made by the Iroquois today. Pause The Grand Council used consensus to make decisions. Decisions depended on building an agreement that included all nations, and discussion continued until the Grand Council had reached agreement. Third Step The Keepers of • What advantages did this process have as a way to the Council Fire make decisions? • What disadvantages might it have? Onondaga give a if all nations agree decision judgement Chapter 4 101
21. The Iroquois Confederacy: f Structure of Government r Within each clan and nation, councils of men and women discussed issues and advised the Clan Mothers. The Clan Mothers chose the e Hoyaneh to represent their people. This graphic shows the Mohawk Nation as an example of the process every nation used. j Within each nation, the Hoyaneh formed a council for that nation. This council made decisions that helped its nation function well, such as sharing resources and locating settlements. Mohawk Council 3 Hoyaneh 3 Hoyaneh 3 Clan Mothers 3 Clan Mothers Women’s Men’s Women’s Men’s Council Council Council Council 3 Hoyaneh Wolf Clan Turtle Clan 3 Clan Mothers Women’s Men’s Council Council Bear Clan Mohawk Legend decisions made choose and advise represent advise by consensus
22. The Hoyaneh from each nation represented their people on the Grand Council. The number of Hoyaneh for each nation was established by the Peacemaker. The Grand Council met when a member nation called for a meeting. The role of the Hoyaneh at Grand Council meetings was to represent the people of their clan and nation. The Clan Mothers advised the Hoyaneh and attended Grand Council meetings to make sure their Hoyaneh fulfilled their role as representatives. The nations had different numbers of Hoyaneh representing them on the Grand Council, but each nation was equal in the decision-making process. How did the use Onondaga of consensus ensure this? Flip back to the 14 Hoyaneh graphic of the process on pages 100 and 101. Mohawk Cayuga 9 Hoyaneh 10 Hoyaneh f Grand Council r 50 Hoyaneh e j Seneca Oneida 8 Hoyaneh 9 Hoyaneh Think About the Task Part of your task in this chapter is to describe the role of consensus in the Iroquois Confederacy. Examine the diagrams on these two pages. How did the consensus of the Women’s Councils and Men’s Councils contribute to the consensus of the Grand Council? Try to summarize the connection between them. Chapter 4 103
23. What’s important? Understand the meaning and importance of wampum. aled Part 3: A Treaty Reve rls her la te r, as Ka na tiios h worked beside other gi Many days d, fires be ne at h th e ke ttles of corn soup stoke age to keep the oak ot he r ca lled he r in to the shade of a huge her grandm tree. show ht er , I ha ve br ou gh t something special to “Granddaug ner she held ” he r gr an dm ot he r said, opening a contai you, rms m . “A fte r th e Ho ya ne h decided upon the te under her ar of it.” e tre aty, th is w as m ade as a lasting record of th laid a ey es gr ew la rg e as her grandmother gently Kanatiiosh’s ith two ficen t w am pu m be lt on the grass, woven w magni w am pu m be ad s ag ainst a background of rows of purp le white wampum beads. m ea n? ” Ka na tiios h as ked, sucking in her “What does it breath. - dm ot he r sa id , “is the Guswentah (gus-wen “This,” her gran the e Tw o Ro w W am pu m Treaty. It describes ta) — th sh. ee n th e Iro qu oi s Co nfederacy and the Briti agreement betw d respect te strip es on it de no te peace, friendship an The whi of o pa rti es of th e ag reement. The two lines between the tw s of our ad s sig nify th e di ffe rent customs and way purple be e pu rp le lin es ar e pa rallel, never touching. two peoples. Th ill make Ro w W am pu m Tr ea ty says ‘neither of us w The Two her.’” s no r inte rfe re w ith the business of the ot la w h said ly w ay w e ca n al l liv e in peace,” Kanatiios “It’s the on by pi ng th e Br iti sh w ou ld understand and live thoughtfully, ho pum belt represented. the agreement the wam This is a photograph of the Two Row Wampum Treaty. On page 105, read about the Treaty. What is the meaning of the stripes?
24. The Guswentah, the Two Row Wampum Treaty When the Iroquois first encountered Europeans, they discovered people with very different ways and values from their own. The Iroquois proposed a peace treaty — the Two Row Wampum Treaty — based on three values: friendship, peace and mutual respect. Each of the white lines in the Two Row Wampum Treaty represents one of these values. The Two Row Wampum Treaty defines the relationship between the sovereign nations who agree to the treaty. The Iroquois concluded the Two Row Wampum Treaty with the British in 1674. They also made this treaty with other people of European descent, including the Dutch, French and the Americans. This is a modern replica of the Two Row Wampum Treaty. Why might the Iroquois today create replicas of this historic treaty? SKILLaSt Work Where does the The following interpretation of the Two Row Wampum information on this comes from an Iroquois website: computer screen The two rows symbolize two vessels, travelling down the come from? What same river together. makes this a good One, a birch bark canoe, will be for the Iroquois People, their source of laws, their customs and their ways. information? How The other, a ship, will be for the European people and their does documenting laws, their customs and their ways. your sources of We shall travel the river together, side by side. information help Neither of us will interfere with the affairs of the other. support your Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel. conclusions? –Adapted from Degiya’göh Resources. (2007) Guswenta • include references (Kaswentha):Two Row Wampum. Retrieved October 18, 2007 from in an organized Degiya’göh Resources website. manner as part of research CEN LS TR S KIL 6 E Research Chapter 4 105
25. Wampum Among the Iroquois, wampum beads made from shells are woven into patterned strings or belts that record important events, ideas, contracts, pledges or treaties among nations. When Europeans began to arrive in North America, the Iroquois negotiated and concluded agreements with the newcomers and presented them with records of the agreements in wampum. Wampum strings and belts were used at councils and in ceremonies of the Iroquois, and still are. The wampum belts in this photograph were held by the Museum of the American Indian in the United States for years. In 1989, the museum returned them to the Iroquois. Jacob E. Thomas of the Cayuga Nation, on the right, is reading the belts for the museum’s The belts are historical records. Why are historical records important to the collective identity of a people – their sense of themselves as a group? Why might the Iroquois have wanted these wampum belts returned?
26. The Hiawatha Wampum Belt This wampum belt records the structure and principles of SKILLaSt Work the Iroquois Confederacy. Each of the figures on the belt What information represents one of the original five nations of the about the Confederacy, in their geographic order. The Tuscarora are foundation, structure not represented by a symbol on the Hiawatha Wampum and processes of the belt because they joined the Iroquois Confederacy many Iroquois Confederacy years after it was founded. do wampum belts provide? Why are primary sources such as wampum belts valuable? • use primary sources to interpret historical events and issues CEN LS TR S KIL 3 E Geographic Thinking Seneca Mohawk Cayuga Oneida Onondaga This figure represents the Tree of Peace and it stands at the centre of the Confederacy. You can read more about the Tree of Peace on page 108. The white line that joins the nations symbolizes the path of peace. It extends out from both sides of the belt. This invites other nations to follow the path of peace, accept the Great Law of Peace, and take shelter under the Tree of Peace. Chapter 4 107
27. What are the ideas behind the Iroquois Confederacy? The Tree of Peace The Iroquois Confederacy united five, and eventually six, separate nations in peace. The Peacemaker used the Tree of Peace, a white The eagle has a place pine, to symbolize the peace at the top of the tree. established by the Confederacy. The eagle can see far and warn the people of the Confederacy of The branches represent the any danger. protection of the nations under the Great Law of Peace. Pause The Tree of Peace is a symbol of the Iroquois Confederacy. Symbols represent ideas. What important ideas about the Iroquois Confederacy does the Tree of Peace The weapon buried beneath the tree shows that the Iroquois will not fight against each other. They have thrown the weapons of war into the depths of the earth.
28. The Great Law of Peace freedoms The Peacemaker established the structure and procedures of the Confederacy, which is the Great Law of Peace. representation Below, you can read an excerpt from the Great Law of Peace that talks about the responsibilities of the Hoyaneh. equity justice e n s sh a ll b e advisors of th atio of the five n their skin sh all be The Hoyaneh ic k n ess o f time. The th they will dis regard people for all to sa y th a t them. – which is done against seven spans n d w ro n g s eir rd s sa id a gainst them a p ea c e a n d goodwill. Th w o wit h shall be filled eir people. T hey Their hearts w e lf are o f th ce, and earn for the ndless patien minds will y u tie s w it h e and shall carry o ut their d u t w ith k in dness. Anger g rm n ess w il l be handed o e ir m in d s, and everythin fi th t find place in lm deliberation. fury shall no c a ey say an d do will show th of o n 2 4 o f th e Great Law ti n B ase d o n v ersions of sec s: S ix N ati o n s Reclamatio – te e following si erature. Peace from th In dig e n o u s People’s Lit and Information Pause 1. What characteristics does the Great Law of Peace say that the Hoyaneh need? 2. Think about the structure of Iroquois government and the role that the Hoyaneh played in it. Why do you think the Great Law of Peace specified these characteristics for the Hoyaneh? The roots represent peace and strength. They spread out in the four directions: north, south, east and west. The roots lead anyone or any nation willing to follow the Great Law of Peace to the shelter under the tree. Chapter 4 109
29. What’s important? The Great Law of Peace defines the roles of men and women in the traditional government of the Iroquois Confederacy. How did these different roles support Iroquois society and government? sponsibilities s Rights and Re Iroquoi ies R ig h ts a n d Responsibilit Women’s ers: As Clan Moth th e G re at L a w of Peace and keeping • Knowing n g th e w e lf are of their cla • Promoti n e W om e n ’s Council and e advice of th • Seeking th uncil of their clan the Men’s Co h a n d a d v is in g the Hoyane • Choosing ouncils: In Women’s C d in g a c o n se nsus on issues • Bu il rs e Clan Mothe • Advising th ies R ig h ts a n d Responsibilit Men’s As Hoyaneh: re at Law of Peac e cil o w in g a n d k eep in g th e G on ie s an d the Grand Coun • Kn th eir role in cere m an d fu lf il li n g • Knowing of the Clan M others to th e a d v ic e d in the future • L is te n in g eople no w a n g o f w h a t’s best for their p • Think in g a c o n se n su s on issues • Buildin earted B e in g h on est and kindh • b le to w it h st and criticism • Being a In Men’s Cou g ncils: a c o nsensus on issu es Pause • B u il d in d v is in g th e C lan Mothers What qualities do effective • A leaders have today?
30. What’s important? Societies have different ways of putting the democratic ideals of equity and fairness into action. What do the statements below show about fairness and equity in the Iroquois Confederacy ? What similarities and differences do you see between the Iroquois Confederacy and ancient Athens? True consensus is built through talking, listening and considering different ideas until a new understanding takes place, and the decision makers come to “one mind” about what to do. Everyone must have a voice. Everyone has their own stories, their own perspectives — gifts they bring to the process that create balance. No one is left out. — From an interview with Norma General, Elder of the Wolf Clan, Cayuga Nation, May 2007. Norma General lives in Ohsweken, Ontario. She is a member of the Cayuga Nation and an Elder, Wolf Clan. Her traditional name, Gaihohwakohn, means “holding the canoe.” She is a cultural educator across Canada and the United States, an instructor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and an instructor at the First Nations Technical Institute in Tyandenaga, Ontario. Pause Consider Elder Norma General’s explanation of consensus. How might what she says apply to you? Think about the personal guideline for participating in groups that you created in Chapter 1. What could you add to your guideline, based on the ideas of consensus? What advantages does consensus have as a way to make choices in groups? Chapter 4 111
31. The Society and Government of the Iroquois Confederacy What is the structure of • There were originally five, and later six, separate the society? Iroquois Nations. Each has its own language and its own council. • Each nation has specific clans which are extended families of the same clan of other nations. • Families are connected through the women’s lines. • Extended families used to live in longhouses. What rights and • All members of society are expected to follow the responsibilities do Great Law of Peace. members of the society • Clan mothers listen to their clan members, give have? advice and choose their Hoyaneh. • The Hoyaneh listen to their Clan Mothers and are responsible for representing their own clan and nation. They are also responsible for helping make Grand Council decisions. • Each member nation of the Confederacy is equally important on the council. This photo shows Haudenosaunee people in a circle dance. In what ways does a circle represent something important about traditional Iroquois society and government?
32. What is the procedure • The Grand Council is composed of 50 for making government Hoyaneh representing their clans decisions? and nations. • The Grand Council makes decisions affecting the entire Confederacy. • The member nations hold discussions in a set order. • The Hoyaneh from each nation must reach consensus. • Decisions are agreed on only after consensus from the entire Council. • Decisions were traditionally recorded with wampum belts. How do members of • Clan Mothers choose the Hoyaneh society influence and ensure they adequately represent government decisions? their people. • Both men’s and and women’s voices are heard through the Men’s Councils and Women’s Councils that advise the Clan Mothers. The Clan Mothers advise the Hoyaneh. Pause The Iroquois planted corn, beans and squash together, calling these “the Three Sisters.” The cornstalks provided support for the growing beans, which provided nitrogen to fertilize the soil. Low lying squash leaves sheltered the plants roots and retained soil moisture. How can the Three Sisters provide a model for the way Iroquois society functioned? Chapter 4 113
33. This sign marks land along the Grand River in Ontario, where some members of the Iroquois Confederacy live today. The Iroquois moved to the Grand River because of the American War of Independence, from 1776 to 1783, in which the United States fought Britain. After the war, members of the Iroquois who had supported Britain during the war left the United States. SKILLS at Work On a map of Canada, locate Brantford, Ontario. Brantford is named after Joseph Brant, the Iroquois leader who established the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Canada. The territory lies southwest of Brantford along the Grand River. How does this location compare with the original location of the Iroquois Confederacy, where many Iroquois continue to live today? Consult the map on page 87 to formulate your conclusion. CEN • construct and interpret maps to broaden understanding of topics LS TR S KIL being studied 3 E • use cardinal and intermediate directions to locate places on maps Geographic and globes Thinking
34. Review! Review! freedoms 1. What was the traditional social structure of the representation Iroquois? Construct a mind map or diagram to show the structure equity of the Iroquois society. justice 2. What opportunities did the people have to participate in decision making? What was the role that different members of Iroquois people had when decisions needed to be made? Use your knowledge to complete the comparison chart. An example is given. A young Iroquois woman She could discuss her ideas with the women’s council or with the Clan Mother. The Clan Mother’s advice and wisdom was sought by the Hoyandeh. A Clan Mother One of the Hoyaneh A young Iroquois man 3. How did the decision making process within the Iroquois Confederacy show equity and fairness? Answer this question orally, backing up your ideas with evidence. Hint: How would Kanatiiosh, the Clan Mother’s granddaughter, have answered this question? Chapter 4 115