Steven Newcomb: Model of liberty from the Indian nations

"In 1988, the United States Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 331, expressly acknowledging that the Haudenosaunee had some degree of influence on the formation of the Constitution of the United States. The model of the Haudenosaunee (‘Builders of the Longhouse’) had influence on the events that led to the work in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to create a centralized government structure as a way of transitioning away from the Articles of Confederation.

The concept of a confederation, or an alliance between many different nations, was adopted by the men of influence, British colonists, who had gradually come to think of themselves as “Americans,” and as therefore distinct from their British counterparts across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Delaware were also organized in a free and independent Confederacy. It was the free existence or liberty of Indian nations that resulted in the Indian treaties. Our North American Indian ancestors served as a model of liberty by demonstrating to the British colonists what it meant to be truly free, and this model became a value that many of the founders of the United States such as Benjamin Franklin greatly admired. No people on earth were more free than our ancestors."

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: The Indian Model of Liberty (Indian Country Today 10/19)

Related Stories:
Steven Newcomb: A tribal perspective for Occupy Wall Street (10/13)
Steven Newcomb: US, Canada continue to occupy Native lands (9/30)
Steven Newcomb: Dominance at core of federal Indian laws (9/12)
Steven Newcomb: Greed motivated taking of indigenous lands (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: University holding onto Kumeyaay ancestors (8/22)

Join the Conversation