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The Great Law of Peace



The Council of the Mohawks shall be divided into three parts: The Bear Clan Chiefs or Statesman: Tehanakarine. Ostawenserentha and Soskoharowane are the first. The Turtle Clan Chiefs or Statesmen: Tekarihoken, Ayonwatha and Satekariwate are the second. The Wolf Clan Chiefs or Statesmen: Sarenkowane, Teyonhekwen and Orenrekowa are the third.

The first party is to listen only to the discussion of the second and third parties and if an error is made, or the proceeding irregular, they are to call attention to it and when the case is right and properly decided by the two parties, they shall confirm the decision of the two parties. The Well Keeper of the Turtle Clan, Chief Tekarihoken announces the subject to be discussed and passes the issue over the Council Fire to the Wolf Clan Chiefs for their decision. No one else but the Chiefs may speak when the Chief's Council is in session. The Wolf Clan Chiefs deliberate in low tones and when a decision is arrived at, their Speaker stands up and passes their decision over the Fire to the Turtle Clan Chiefs. In turn, the Turtle Clan Chiefs deliverate and come to a decision which in this instance is the same as that of the Wolf Clan Chiefs. The Turtle Clan Speaker announces the decision of the Turtle Clan Chiefs to the Wolf Clan Chiefs and passes on their joint decision to the Bear Clan Chiefs who shall then confirm the decision of the two parties and declare the issue passed and asks if the Well Keeper has other issues?

If it is a Grand Council, the case is then referred to the Seneca Chiefs for their decision. When the Seneca statesmen have decided, in accord with the Mohawk statesmen, the case or question shall be referred to the Cayuga and Oneida statesmen on the opposite side of the house.

In the event that the Turtle Clan Chiefs disagree with the decsiion of the Wolf Clan Chiefs, the Fire Keepers (Bear Clan Chiefs) shall invoke the rule that the two sides must deliberate again and because of the new informaiton revealed by the disagreement, the two dies are now likely to agree and in coming to an agreement the issue is confirmed and passed by the Fire Keepers, the Bear Clan Chiefs. Should the Turtle Clan Chiefs and the Wolf Clan Chiefs come up with the same disagreements in their second deliberation, the Fire Keepers shall then render the decision they see fit in case of a disagreement by the two bodies. (See Wampum 10.)

Should the Fire Keepers, the Bear Clan Chiefs, disagree with the decisions of the Wolf Clan Chiefs and the Turtle Clan Chiefs whose decisions are the same, the same rule must again be supplied and the Turtle Clan Chiefs must once again deliberate on the issue and the Wolf Clan Chiefs must do the same. If their decisions are the same as before, the Fire Keepers, Bear Clan Chiefs, have to go along with their decisions and are compelled to confirm their joint decision.

Note:The above is the procedure when the Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy is in session. Iroquois people are urged to read the Law as often as possible in order to know when the law is being violated.