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History

Woven Treaties

by Caleb McNamara, age 20

2-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign and Dakota Unity Riders Unite for Peace and Reconciliation

I

“We ride for healing for every nation... for all living beings” Chief Gus High Eagle. THE DAKOTA NATION UNITY RIDE Page 20 • www.goodlifeyouthjournal.com

Photos by Sage Sigi Mannio

n the midst of the fierce colonization of America dur- ed friendship, peace, and respect between the two nations. I ing the 1600s, a Dutch group of traders settled in what was able to speak with Sally Bernabzohn, of the Ulster Counis now Albany and its surrounding area. The native ty to New York City Outreach for Two Row Wampum. people of the land the Haudenosaunee saw this new culture settling CALEB: So, can you give us a brief in their home and knew they had to history of the Two Row wampum call a meeting to asses the situation. belt? The leaders of the Haudenosaunee SALLY: Sure, the Two Row Wampum meaning “people of the Longhouse” Treaty is a treaty that the  Haudeno(called the Iroquois by the French or saunee people, or the Iroquois as we the 6 Nations by the English Coloknow them, signed with the Dutch nists) sent chosen delegates to speak 400 years ago. The cool thing about with the leaders of the Dutch settlers the belt is that it lasts for a long time, in hopes of conveying the concerns The Hiawatha Wampum belt: 6 nations agree to where as paper can disintegrate or fade of the native people in regards to the away. The  Haudenosaunee still have live under the tree of peace. settlers arrival. The Haudenosaunee and the Dutch lead- these The agreement of the Two Row Wampum Treaty was ers were able to strike an agreement which stated that they to share the land, the forests of what we now know as upstate would both live together in peace, share the earth, and re- New York, with the Dutch. It was also an agreement to refer to each other as brothers. spect each other’s cultures and customs and to both take care While the Dutch went about docuof Mother Earth. This is a treaty that menting the agreement on paper, the the Haudenosaunee people still abide Haudenosaunee had a different methby: they want to live in peace with us od of recording that they had used and they respect the traditions, cussince their founding. The tribe used toms and laws of the United States. At wampum beads made of quahog shells the same time, they want the United to create a wampum belt signifying States to respect their traditions and the agreement.   The designs and the customs. They also want all of us to colors of the beads used in wampum take care of the earth, which is becombelts had meaning so the belts theming a very big problem with pollution selves were devices of carrying inforand the way industries have made the mation from history. The Two Row air and the water in some places very Wampum belt consists of two rows of unhealthy.   purple wampum beads set on a backCALEB: Who began the Two Row Jake Edwards of the Onandaga ground of white wampum beads. The Nation Council of Chiefs holds the Two RowWampum Renewal Campaign? purple beads represented the course SALLY: It is something that has Wampum of two ships, a Haudenosaunee canoe and a non-native ship. been developed through the work of the Onondaga NaEach row of purple beads travelled down the white parallel tion, which is part of the  Haudenosaunee and the neighto one another signifying each ship sailing down the river of bors of the Onondaga Nation, or NOON for short. Those life side by side. The fact that each row of purple beads never two groups have been the leaders of the Two Row Wamintersected represents that both cultures, although different, pum Renewal Campaign. The idea of the campaign is would not interfere with each-others customs, laws, religion, to renew this working relationship between the  Haudeor sovereignty. The additional three white stripes represent- nosaunee people and the people of New York State.

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