Chapter 4: The Iroquois Confederacy

What is the best way to make a decision?
The Haudenosaunee feel that they have a message about peace and the environment, just as their ancestors did. Compare the Haudenosaunee ideas about laws and society with those at the beginning of Chapter 1.

Chapter 4 Questions
pg. 77 Inquiring Minds
The Iroquois Confederacy way of making decisions was different from that of the ancient Greeks. As you read this chapter, consider the following questions:

  1. How are democratic ideas about equality, equity, and participation part of the Iroquois Confederacy?
  2. To what extent was the Iroquois Confederacy a representative democracy?

Iroquois Confederacy Links

The Peacemaker
View this short Canadian Heritage Minute and read the synopsis of the legend behind the oldest surviving democratic system in the world.

The Iroquois of the Northeast
published by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Iroquois Powerpoint
Information on their culture, history, and their influence on democracy.

Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Indian Fact Sheet

Native American Facts For Kids was written for young people learning about the Iroquois Confederacy for school or home-schooling reports.

The Song of Hiawatha
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Click on the title to read the book)

"Then a darker, drearier vision
Passed before me, vague and cloud-like;
I beheld our nations scattered,
All forgetful of my counsels,
Weakened, warring with each other;
Saw the remnants of our people
Sweeping westward, wild and woful,
Like the cloud-rack of a tempest,
Like the withered leaves of Autumn."


Create Your Own Wampum Use this online bead program to design your own wampum. What will your work symbolize?

Skill Power: Interpreting Maps