The revisionists believe that the Iroquois Indians, the “forgotten Founders” as Bruce E. Johansen terms them, significantly influenced the joining together of the thirteen colonies in I776, the writing of the Articles of Confederation, and the construction of a federal system of government in I787-I788.
The Articles of Confederation stated that Congress possessed the right for “regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states,” and this stipulation caused many states to be unwilling to adhere to the treaties between the Indian Nations and the United States.
The most democratic forms of government that any of the convention members had personally encountered were those of Native American nations. Of particular interest was the Iroquois Confederacy, which historians have argued wielded a significant influence on the U.S. Constitution.
Article one, Section 8 of the United States Constitution refers to the power of Congress to regulate commerce with Indian tribes: Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” That Section was later interpreted by the United States
A council meeting was called, and Hiawatha presented the Great Law of Peace. It united the ﬁve nations into a League of Nations, or the Iroquois Confederacy, and became the basis for the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution5.
The ancestors of living Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed.
During the colonial period Native Americans would often lease land to settlers but retain the right to hunt on it or ask for food from the settlers. After the Revolution American leaders ended this practice and claimed the right to purchase Indian land.
List of unrecognized groups claiming to be American Indian tribes
Franklin viewed the Indians’ “ mœurs ” as superior to “les nôtres” in several ways, wrote Cabanis; living under the freedom they enjoyed had brought them greater happiness than that of “nations civilisées.”4 These reactions reflected two common stereotypes of America.
Thomas Jefferson believed Native American peoples to be a noble race who were “in body and mind equal to the whiteman ” and were endowed with an innate moral sense and a marked capacity for reason. Nevertheless, he believed that Native Americans were culturally and technologically inferior.
The US Constitution recognizes that tribal nations are sovereign governments, just like Canada or California. Hundreds of treaties, along with the Supreme Court, the President, and Congress, have repeatedly affirmed that tribal nations retain their inherent powers of self-government.
Modern Indian reservations still exist across the United States and fall under the umbrella of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The tribes on each reservation are sovereign and not subject to most federal laws.
Yes. As U.S. citizens, American Indians and Alaska Natives are generally subject to federal, state, and local laws. On federal Indian reservations, however, only federal and tribal laws apply to members of the tribe, unless Congress provides otherwise.
Mohawks are the “People of the Flint” within the Rotinonhsyonni / Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Mohawks are considered the easternmost Nation within the Iroquois/Six Nation Confederacy and as such are referred to as the Keepers of Eastern Door.
Most of the remaining Iroquois, except for the Oneida of Wisconsin and the Seneca-Cayuga of Oklahoma, are in New York; the Onondoga reservation there is still the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy. Large numbers of Iroquois in the United States live in urban areas rather than on reservations.
The resulting confederacy, whose governing Great Council of 50 peace chiefs, or sachems (hodiyahnehsonh), still meets in a longhouse, is made up of six nations: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.