Message from the Mohawk Women

Moccasin Makers and War Breakers: A call to action by the women of the world. We have  the power to stop the war!

"Before the men can go to war, the women must  make their moccasins."

In the tradition of our ancestors, it was customary for  the women to make the moccasins worn by the men who were going to war. If the  women did not want war, they did not make the moccasins.

Our ancestors  belonged to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Europeans called them Iroquois.  We overcame a horrible legacy of war and violence when Deganawida, the Peace  Maker, gave us our Great Law of Peace. The United States Senate has acknowledged  that our law served as a model for the Constitution of the United States (U.S.  S. Con. Res. 76, 2 Dec. 1987). The U.S. Constitution was, in turn, a model for  the Charter of the United Nations. Our law is the basis of modern international  law.

The Americans copied our laws and customs, but they did not  understand them.

Our ancestors recognized the sovereignty of all men and  women by solving community conflicts through discussion in a People's Council.  In our tradition, three criteria must be kept in mind through all deliberations:

1) Peace: meaning peace must be kept at all costs.

2)  Righteousness: meaning decisions must be morally right, taking into consideration the needs of seven generations to come.

3) Power: meaning  the power of the people must be maintained including the equal sovereignty of  all men and all women. Conflicts between nations were also resolved  through diplomacy and consensus. War-or the use of violence-was only a  last resort. Even then, the women and children of the opponents were spared.

Throughout, our ancestors always respected the other nation's different customs, laws and ways of life, whether they approved of them or not. They would  work out agreements on how to live side by side. Therefore, we have stood by and  not become involved in this current conflict. But we see now that it has gone  too far. Innocent lives and mother earth are at stake. As women and caretakers  of this earth, we have decided to speak up.

According to the law of our  ancestors, the soil of North America is vested in the women. Serious decisions  about warfare had to involve the other half of the people -- the women -- the  bearers of life, the nurturers of the earth.

We are now facing an  unnecessary war. We have a duty to use our power to do good. We have decided to  remind all humanity of this important truth. War cannot happen without the  support of women. We ask the women of the world to come forward and play their  rightful role as the progenitors, the creators of all men, of all humanity, the  caretakers of the earth and of all that lives upon it.

As women, we know  the pain and suffering of childbirth. We feel a deep loss when our children die.  This understanding compels us to act to stop the destruction of lives. The  children must not suffer. Not our children. Not the children of anyone we  disagree with. We respect the sovereign and sacred right of each individual to  live on this earth.

We ask you, the women of the world, and the men who  support us, to come forward and stop this madness. This decision to go  to war will cause the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children.  It is a decision that has been made primarily by men without the input of the  people of the nation, without the input of the women. Most of these men  have grandmothers, mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, aunts, daughters,  nieces, granddaughters, nannies, etc. We are asking all of these women to put  pressure on these men -- men like President George Bush, Colin Powell, Senator  Rumsfeld, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein, Prime Minister Jean  Chretien, Ariel Sharon, the Palestinians, the North Koreans and anyone else who  is involved in causing the current threat to destroy the world.

Women, bring your men to their senses. Women, remember your power. Remember your  responsibility. Every person has personal power. We must all use our power to do  good. We must stop the war. We must maintain the Peace. We must hold back the  moccasins.

Kahn-Tineta Horn, Mohawk mother & grandmother
Kahente Horn-Miller, Mohawk mother
Karonhioko'he, Daughter
Kokowa, Daughter
Grace Lix-xiu Woo, Aunt & Sister