The Iroquois Confederacy: Model for US Democracy

Digital Wampum Testimony of the Iroquois

Tree Media (2015)

Film Review

This is a series of eight short vignettes about the Haudenosnunee Confederacy formed in North America some time between the 12th and 16th century. Also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, this governance model inspired the Articles of Confederation adopted by European settlers following the US War of Independence.

Narrated by Chief Oren Lyons, this oral history concerns a legendary Peace Maker who induced 49 leaders from four warring nations to gather at Lake Onondago (in central New York state) to iron out a permanent system of peace, equity and “the power of good minds to make good decisions.”

The six nations who made up the Haudenosunee Confederacy at the time of European settlement: the Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora, Seneca and Onondago.

Part 2 of the series concerns lacrosse, now a world sport, a game devised by the Onondago, Parts 3, 5 and 6 concern predictions the Peace Maker made about climate change, Part 4 concerns the tradition of “scalping,” which was devised by Europeans as part of their campaign of extermination against Native Americans, Part 7 concerns the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery” (which denies property rights to all non-Christians in European colonized territories), based on a proclamation issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493.

 

 

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