Opinion

Mike Myers: Historic ties between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Sioux Nation






The flag of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy flies at the #NoDAPL rally in Washington, D.C., on August 24, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

In light of the #NoDAPL resistance movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures explores the historic, treaty relationship between the Haudenosaunee people and the Sioux Nation:
As best as I can ascertain, our relationship with the Sioux nations and peoples is at least 600 years old, pre-dating European arrival. This is not a historic event that I grew up learning about but is something I had never heard of until 1973 during the Second Battle at Wounded Knee. The rekindling of this relationship began in 1972 during the “Trail of Broken Treaties”.

The “Trail of Broken Treaties” was organized by the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the Fall of 1972 in an effort to bring national and international attention to the issues and concerns of Indigenous nations and people during the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign. This is a whole other historic event I’ll write about in more detail later.

In October 1972, runners from the Sioux Nations came to the Onondaga Nation requesting a meeting with the Grand Council to elicit their support for the “Trail” and its goals. That request was granted and a Grand Council was convened to which came traditional Sioux, Hopi, Creek, Seminole, Cheyenne leaders along with representatives of AIM and our Grand Council of 50 representatives, known commonly as Chiefs.

People all across the Confederacy had been following the progress of the “Trail” and a few individuals had gone out to join it and were reporting back on this amazing effort. But we (The Haudenosaunee had not taken an official position until the meeting with the traditional leaders and representatives.

I remember the presentations that were made to the Grand Council by these leaders and was struck by how often they referred to “our longstanding relations” as nations. No one elaborated on these statements and it seemed that all of the older folks understood what was being referred to. So us younger folks listened and figured at some point we would be told about these matters.

Read More:
Mike Myers: The Ties That Bind: Part 1 (Indian Country Today 8/30)

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