The Great Law of Peace

The Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy Great Law of Peace includes:In the 12th Century, five nations in what is now the northeastern U.S. were constantly at war: the Mohawks, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga and Cayugas. The wars were vicious and, according to tribal history, included cannibalism.

One day, a canoe made of white stone carried a man, born of a virgin, across Onondaga Lake to announce The Good News of Peace had come and the killing and violence would end. He traveled from village to village over the course of years, preaching peace because peace was the desire of the Creator. Oral history says it may have taken him 40 years to reach everyone and get agreement from all five nations.This man became known as The Peacemaker. Eventually, the five nations agreed to the Great Law of Peace and became known collectively as the Haudenosaunee, which means People of the Long House.

Outsiders refer to them as Iroquois.[In 1722, the Tuscarora joined the Confederacy so today it’s known as the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy].

The Great Law of Peace was a vehicle for creating harmony, unity and respect among human beings. Its recognition of individual liberty and justice surpasses that of many democracies.​

Freedom of speech,

Freedom of religion,

The right of women to participate in government,

Separation of powers,

Checks and balances within government.

A government “of the people, by the people and for the people”

”Three branches of government: Two houses and a Grand counsel,

A Women’s Council, which is the Iroquois equivalent of our Supreme Court – settling disputes and judging legal violations.

The central idea underlying Iroquois political philosophy is that peace is the will of the Creator, and the ultimate spiritual goal and natural order among humans.