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IntroductionUncle Louis was very concerned with the future of the Iroquois Confederacy. He wrote this 51-page booklet offering his thoughts and ideas on how to help the Iroquois Confederacy once again be the strong and cohesive democratic body it once was. Attached here are a few pages from the booklet.
R E B U I L D I N G T H E
I R O Q U O I S C O N F E D E R A C Y
The seeds of decay were planted before the Iroquois Confederacy became great and famous. The Five Nations had joined in an alliance under the guidance of the great Founder Deganawida who wanted all native nations in America to be members of the alliance which became known as the Iroquois Confederacy. He wanted all nations to be equal in power, influence and legal authority. He had no plans for a super nation or nations to lord over other nations. Deganawida wanted all the Rotiyaner (Chiefs) to be equal in power and had no wish to see a single individual elected as a grand or supreme Chief because such a position only leads to error and corruption. He got the original Five Nations of the Confederacy to offer up the position of "grand Chief" to the Creator who does not err, cannot be corrupted and does not die.
Gayanerekowa, the Great Law, began with 30 articles, or wampum, formulated by Deganawida himself. Eighty-seven other laws were added "to the rafters" by the Grand Councils in following centuries. It took five years for Deganawida and Ayonwatha (a transplanted Onondaga who left his nation because of persecutions suffered by his family and joined the Mohawks who recognized his special abilities and made him one of the Turtle Clan Chiefs) to gather and join into alliance, the first Five Nations. Convinced they'd do fine, Deganawida set out to gather more nations to join his great alliance. He was never seen again. It is believed that he came upon evil people and got killed. Deprived of his counsel and sound guidance, the people of the original Five Nations were not ready to act with good judgment when outside nations came to join the Alliance. Instead of making them equals, they put them in a subordinate state without a voice in the Grand Council. They came in "on the cradleboard", meaning they were treated like children and not allowed to develop their potential. In time, there were 29 dependent nations in the Iroquois Protectorate. The Five Nations became overlords of the subordinate nations, not what Deganawida had in mind at all.
The Five Nations Grand Council even added "a law to the rafters" that any adoption of nation or nations shall be temporary only, subject to certain conditions and they shall have no voice in Grand Councils or have any authority. When Deganawida left to gather in more nations, he certainly did not want to bring them in "on the cradleboard", but as equals. Consequently, when the European invaders arrived, they had only a Five Nation Confederacy to face instead of thirty-three which would have been the case had they given the 29 protectorate nations equality. The French invaders saw the protectorate situation and used the 29 protectorate nations as a tool to overcome the Iroquois. For twenty five years, the French, with the help of their missionaries, coaxed and incited the dependent Indian nations, telling them: "They treat you like children...you have no voice in their council" until the protectorate Nations agreed to attack their protectors.
Fortunately for the Iroquois, their own agents warned them in time. Conspirators can't keep anything secret for 25 years. Weeks before the expected attack and while still in wintertime, the Iroquois turned on their lightening war, a strategy which found its way into all books of war in military academies. In 1940, Hitler admitted he got his idea of the Blitzkrieg (which means, "lightening war") from the Iroquois. More than a century of warfare followed, at the end of which time the French had lost all their land holdings in North America. The protectorates all gone, the Iroquois bleeding and staggering were still roaring and defiant. All this happened because some elitist Grand Council Chiefs wanted equality for only five nations. It's not inconceivable that one hundred or even two hundred nations of Indians would now be members of the Iroquois Confederacy, a mighty alliance of Indians in America.
Lording it over other Indian nations did the Iroquois no good. Not having the Peace Maker, Deganawida, around to help make great decisions, the elitist chiefs could only see themselves as masters over all. Even at this late stage of the game, they still have this superiority complex. At a Grand Council in Onondaga in 1976, representatives of two outside Indian nations made an appearance on a mission of joining in some kind of alliance with the Six Nations (one of those Six Nations, the Tuscarora, not having equality). The two visiting groups are the leading Indian nations in their areas. One was representing the Sioux Nation from the west and the others were Chippewas from Ontario. When word got around about their mission, the Onondaga Handsome Lake preacher Huron Miller, sitting against the wall became very enthusiastic: "Great! We'll put them under our wings," he said. Larry Red Shirt of the Sioux said: "But we don't want to come in on the cradleboard." The elitist Grand Council Chiefs will have it no other way. The Sioux and Chippewa delegates didn't return. "Putting them under our wings" implies the protectorate nonsense once again. How can the elitist Grand Council protect anyone when it can't even protect itself? They can only pretend to protect or defend for they have buried their weapons, their fighting spirit and can only dream of the glories of the past. At this late date, Indians all over America can do wonders by following the Great Plan of Deganawida by joining all American Indian nations in one big Alliance or Confederacy, all the nations to be equal in power, influence and legal authority. Had the original Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy followed Deganawida's Great Plan, there would now be a 200 or more Nations Confederacy. What kept the Iroquois down was their elitist chiefs who wanted equality for only five nations and subjection for all the others. It's up to the Iroquois people of the present who see and understand the problem to do something about it while there is still time.
To understand the problem, it is necessary to dredge up some of the events of the past and expose them for the people to see and understand so they can see what to do about it. At the end of the American Revolution, the Iroquois still had enough military power to force the new United State Republic to sue for peace in 1784. After the famous hit and run Sullivan raid of 1779 which killed 33 Senecas, the enthusiastic reports said the Seneca population was decimated which means a tenth of the population were killed. Since 33 Senecas were killed, the Seneca total population couldn't have been only 330. Sullivan reported destroying certain towns he never even went near. The following year, 1780, the Iroquois went on a rampage of their own, cleaning out three huge areas, Ohio being one of them. This was the last military action by the Iroquois in the United States which would have split the new United States in half if the United States had not been able to get the Indians to agree to the 1784 Treaty of Peace.