By Hannah Cronin 7A

The Iroquois Confederacy is part of the Six Nations.

In the year of 2010, 45,000 Six Nations people lived all across Canada.

When Europeans came to North America, the Haudenosaunee were living in what is now the north east USA, mainly in what is now known as upstate New York west of the Hudson River. In 1609, they engaged in a very long series of wars. They called it the Beaver Wars. They were fighting the French. The two sides were trying to control the Lucrative Fur Trade.

Around 1670 they began to gain ownership of their area by right of conquest. In 1672, the Iroquois were defeated by the Susquehannock. MANY other wars and battles happened with the Iroquois involved after that.


Mostly their parents and elders would teach them everything they know. They would also gather information from visions and stories. Now in the modern day students with First Nations or Iroquois backgrounds are attending schools just like you and me.


Women are equal with men in Iroquois society. Women are in charge of property, agricultural land including the house and horses. The women choose to work how ever they want.

Iroquois tribesmen have lots of  jobs like farming, gathering of forest products, fishing and hunting. Gathering forest products is mostly  by women and children.

The Haudenosaunee women were very important to the government. The leaders were usually male the women’s role is being a clan mother. Any decision the men made the clan mother could over power it and change it however she likes. The Haudenosaunee had a Central Council. The council had 50 leaders chosen by clan mothers. The council met once a year to discuss important issues. The Haudenosaunee used a form of government called consensus. This is completely different then democracy that we use in our government. Consensus is when making a decisions everyone has to agree. It has many stages and takes a long time to complete.

FUN FACT: Before the men could go to war the women would make them leather shoes (Moccasins) If the women did not want war they would not make the shoes.

FARMING: They hunted fish and gathered berries and wild fruit. They were Canada’s first farming people. They planted corn stalk, beanstalk, and squash. Those three things they referred to as the three sisters.


They eat corn, squash and beans as the main food of the meal . They also  eat lots of wild roots, berries and greens. Iroquois hunt for their food and are skilled fisherman so, what they catch or kill is also what the eat in there meals.


First Nations often formed alliances with each others clans. The main alliance included: The Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk.

According to oral tradition; before the Europeans arrived on Haudenosaunee land the five nations were at war with one another. a peace maker arrived and united them under the Iroquois Confederacy.

In 1715  the Tuscarora joined the alliance. Then it became known as the Six Nations Confederacy.   

The Haudenosaunee believed they were responsible for their environment. They knew if they did not take care of the earth there would be no recourses left for there future generations. Whenever the Haudenosaunee made a decision the considered the consequences for the future generation.

Haudenosaunee today:

Some members of First Nations don't accept being under government hold by Canada or the USA. They try to govern themselves and consider themselves independent form either country. In that case they even have there own police force. Not all Haudenosaunee believe this. Most of them are a part of society like you and me. They go to the same schools,shop at the same stores and go to work. But we must never forget there historical background in the making of Canada.   



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