Indigenous peoples discuss means for conflict resolution


The Great Peacemaker, sometimes referred to as Deganawida or Dekanawida (note that as a mark of respect, some Iroquois avoid using the personal name except in special circumstances) was, along with Hiawatha, by tradition the founder of the Haudenosaunee, commonly called the Iroquois Confederacy, a political and cultural union of several Native American tribes residing in the present-day state of New York. The union created a powerful alliance of related Iroquoian peoples in Ontario, Quebec, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other places.  References: 
Manual for the Peacemaker: An Iroquois Legend to Heal Self & Society, by Jean Houston 1995, ISBN 0-8356-0709-7.  A thrilling retelling by master storyteller Jean Houston of the legendary exploits of the founder of the Iroquois Confederacy, known as the Peacemaker. Under his leadership they created a peaceful democracy among five tribes of Native peoples in the northeastern woodlands. This story has inspired American leaders from Benjamin Franklin to the present-day occupants of the White House, and is shown by Houston to be a potent guide to personal transformation and to the visioning of a peaceful world. Jean draws from the experiential workshops she leads, with the help of Margaret (Peggy) Rubin, to guide readers through group or individual exercises that "bring the story home." 

Audio Casette: The Great Law is a reading of The Great Law of Peace by Chief Jacob Thomas, Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario. Chief Thomas explains the origin, meaning, and relevance of The Great Law for interested people in June 1994. Chief Jacob Thomas was considered one of the most knowledgeable people from Six Nations regarding The Great Law and the Handsome Lake Code. Chief Thomas was at the forefront of local community efforts to preserve and promote the languages and ceremonies. In 1994 Chief Thomas hosted a Reading of the Great Law in English in an effort to pass on the knowledge of this significant historical event to those who no longer speak their language. This package consists of forty-two 60-minute audiocassettes. The tapes begin at Creation and cover Clans, Ceremonies, Giving Thanks, the importance of the Good Mind, and Language. On the seventh audiotape, Chief Thomas recounts the story of The Peacemaker and the establishment of The Great Law of Peace among five warring nations. Over several days he told the narrative in English and often stopped to explain concepts or relate the ideas to contemporary situations. This unedited opportunity to hear the story of the Journey of the Peacemaker and the Formation of the Six Nations Confederacy will appeal to anyone studying the Great Law and its relevance today. Recommended for senior elementary to adult learners.  For more information, visit 

CD-ROM: The Great Peace...The Gathering of Good Minds.  Explore the history, culture and spirituality of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois) on this unique CD-ROM. Learn how the Great Law of Peace guides and protects the Haudenosaunee. Travel on an educational interactive multimedia journey and see Native history as it has never seen seen before. Produced by Native people, about Iroquois people, for all people. A must have resource for schools, libraries and other educational institutions.  For more information, visit 

The Iroquois Constitution and The Great Law of Peace

Message from the Mohawk Women

Peace 4 Turtle Island - This site is built on the philosophy that Peace can be obtained for all the sacred colors of mankind and harmony restored to Mother Earth when people honor and respect the original instructions that were given to each people by the Creator. This site will attempt to take a step towards providing a path towards Respect, Peace, and Gentle Harmony by providing culturally sensitive and accurate information about the Iroquois, or as we prefer to call ourselves the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse). This site will also attempt to provide thought-provoking essays on a multitude of issues that face the environment, and the First Nation people.  Web site 

Peace, Power, Righteousness: an indigenous manifesto by Taiaiake Alfred is a political manifesto -- a timely and inspiring essay that calls on the indigenous peoples of North America to move beyond their 500 year history of pain, loss, and colonization and make self-determination a reality. Taiaiake Alfred, a leading Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) scholar and activist, urges Native communities to return to their traditional political values to educate a new generation of leaders committed to preserving indigenous nationhood.  Only a solid grounding in traditional values and the principles of consensus-based governance will enable Native communities to heal their present divisions, resist assimilation, and forge new relationships of respect and equality with the mainstream society.  Familiar with Western as well as indigenous traditions of thought, the author presents a powerful critique of the intellectual framework that until now has structured not only relations between indigenous nations and the state, but the internal politics of colonized communities. Yet he does not condemn non-indigenous people; instead, he invites them to transcend historical prejudices and join in the struggle for justice, freedom and peace.  Taiaiake Alfred is Director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria.  ISBN: 0-19-541216-8.  Publication date: 12 April 1999.  200 pages, x 9 inches. Publisher - Oxford University Press Canada.  To order

What is the Great Law of Peace?  There have been several written versions of the Great Law, called Gawyehnehshehgowa. Today, no one version is preferred over the other and many traditional leaders feel that none of the written versions have all of the known oral history included. In examining the written versions the following common elements of the story of the Great Law of Peace become evident.  See

The Work and Words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, S'unkawakan Wicas'a, 19th Generation Keeper of the Original Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nation of the Sioux and 









Sinai tribe of the Malayan Mountains in the nation now called Malaysia. Kilton Stewart who made a study of them in the forties found that this tribe has never had an intra-tribal conflict nor surroundings tribe ever dared to transgress into their territory. Stewart attributes this strength and pacifism of the tribe to their custom of the entire family daily sitting around the breakfast hearth, the eldest member of the family presiding, and each being obliged to narrate the dream he or she had had the previous night, and exploring its meaning and following up the discovery of the meaning with an expiation procedure prescribed the elder. If a man had dreamt of killing his neighbour, he would have traced its origin to the sly glances that neighbour cast on his wife while she had been bathing; he would now go to his neighbour and confess the content and import of the dream and offer him a token of friendship to signal that the hostility has been brought up to the surface and dissolved. Courtesy of Raja Ganesan.

AFRICA - See our African Centers for Peace Education and Training




Some Inspiring Quotations by Indigenous Peoples