Chief Pontiac's Council

Chief Pontiac defended the Great Lakes Region from the invasion and occupation of the British Troops. Click image above.

The Iroquois nations' political union and democratic government has been credited as one of the influences on the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. Although their influence is hotly debated, it is a historical fact that several founding fathers had direct contact with the Iroquois, and prominent figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were closely involved with the Iroquois, their stronger and larger native neighbor. Whether this was purely politics for protection or true admiration, perhaps can never be fully determined.

In 2004 the U.S. Government acknowledged the influence of the Iroquois Constitution on the U.S. Framers. The Smithsonian Institution also noted the similarities between the two documents, as well as the differences. One significant difference noted was the inclusion of women in the Iroquois Constitution, one group among many that the framers of the U.S. Constitution did not include.

The Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the "League of Peace and Power", the "Five Nations"; the "Six Nations"; or the "People of the Longhouse") is a group of First Nations/Native Americans that originally consisted of five nations: the Mohawk (
"People of the Great Flint"), the Oneida ("People of Standing Stone"), the Onondaga ("People of the Hills"), the Cayuga ("People of the Great Swamp"), and the Seneca ("People of the Great Hill"). A sixth tribe, the Tuscarora ("Shirt-Wearing People"), joined after the original five nations were formed. Although frequently referred to as the Iroquois, the Nations refer to themselves collectively as Haudenosaunee. At the time Europeans first arrived in North America, the Confederacy was based in what is now the northeastern United States and southern Canada, including New England, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Quebec!
The Covenant Chain was an alliance between the Iroquois Confederacy and the British colonies of North America. Their councils and subsequent treaties concerned colonial settlement, trade, and acts of violence between the Iroquois and the colonists. Read more with Wikipedia link at left.

An over shadowing event during the American Revolution has marked our government with dark happings. I have always hoped these long ago events can be put aside. The worst  three events were (1) during the Sullivan Campaign, under orders of George Washington at least 40 Iroquois villages were destroyed. (2) 6,000,000 acres of land in western New York State
in the Phelps and Gorham Purchase and (3) The Treaty of Buffalo Creek where reservations were sold and provisions were made for tribes to relocate to land west of Missouri.

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I believe the Native American's deserve more recognition of their past truditions. Their river namings reflect much of their thoughts. Some of the names, like Mispillon meaning "side saddle" was used for AO-105. This could relate to hose saddle being used over the side to transport oil to another ship. The meanings of all their words need to be brought out. Another item of knowledge that needs to put forth to the public is the importance of the U. S. Navy Oilers. The process of refueling ships at sea is a dangerous procedure which is being carried out every day of every year. Refueling at sea will be necessary for decades to come, until no fuel of any kind is necessary to propel our ships and airplanes (and this is being looked at). Vern Bouwman
Go To:  Oiler Names