Because of the threat on the New York frontier, the American commander in chief, General George Washington, who would later become the first president of the United States, sent an invading army into Iroquoia in 1779 under Generals John Sullivan and James Clinton. The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign defeated the Haudenosaunee, not so much through direct warfare, but by burning their houses and detroying crops. The Haudenosaunee called Washington "Town Detroyer." In the years following the Revolution and birth of the United States, the Haudenosaunee had to give up most of their vast land holdings. Some tribes were granted small tracts of state reservation lands. Other Haudenosaunee, like Joseph Brant, moved to Canada. CONTEMPORARY IROQUOIS: Haudenosaunee live on reservations in New York, Ontario, and Quebec as well as large cities of the Northeast, such as New York City, Buffalo, Albany, and Toronto. Others live in Wisconsin and Oklahoma. Representatives of the Six Nations still meet in council and recite the Great Law. There currently are two Grand Councils with two Council Fires--one at the traditional site of Onondaga in central New York State and the other at Grand River in Ontario, the location of the Six Nations Reserve. The former council negotiates with the U.S. federal government and the New York state government concerning Haudenosaunee affairs; the latter negotiates Canada's federal and
provincial governments. The two coucils meet to discuss matters affecting all Haudenosaunee. Tribal members have intermarried, leading to familial ties among the Six Nations. Individuals of different nations also meet regularly at powwows, such as at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howe's Cave, New York, where they sell their traditional and modern art--paintings; stone, wood, bone, and antler sculptures; baskets; leather goods; featherwork; beadwork; and lacrosse sticks. They give demonstrations of their work. They speak of their history, legends, and traditions. They perform songs and dances. The Six Nations--Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora--have much in common: political unity through their confederacy, similar histories, and similar lifeways. But as contemporary Haudenosaunee will point out, although the ties among the nations are strong, they have unique identities.
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- Fall '15