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."
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
Grace Lix-xiu Woo, Aunt & Sister