How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy | Native America

The Iroquois Confederacy, founded by the Great Peacemaker in 1142, is the oldest living participatory democracy on earth

AGR Free Press

How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy | Native America

The Iroquois Confederacy originally consisted of five separate nations – the Mohawks, who call themselves Kanienkehaka, or “people of the flint country,” the Onondaga, “people of the hills,” the Cayuga, “where they land the boats,” the Oneida, “people of the standing stone,” and the Seneca, “thepeople of the big hill” living in the northeast region of North America. The Tuscarora nation, “people of the shirt,” migrated into Iroquois country in 1722.

“The Great Peacemaker4 brought peace to the five nations,” explains Oren Lyons in a 1991 interview with Bill Moyers. Lyons is the faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations, and a member of both the Onondaga and Seneca nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

At that time, the nations of the Iroquois had been enmeshed in continuous inter-tribal conflicts. The cost of war was high…

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