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he nations that make up the Haudenosaunee Confederacy are Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Tuscarora. The speak variations of the Iroquoian language and historically inhabited Eastern woodland areas of northern New York State and southern Quebec and Ontario. Iroquoian was one of the two big language groups in the East (along with the Algonquian language). The Haudenosaunee (called Iroquois by the French and Six Nations by the English) first came into contact with Europeans when Jacques Cartier sailed down the St. Lawrence to the villages of Stadacona (present-day Quebec City) and Hochelaga (present-day Montreal) in the 1500s. These St. Lawrence Haudenosaunee had disappeared by the time French exploration resumed again in the 17th century with Champlain. The Huron-Wendat and Petun of southern Ontario were also related groups (described in another section). The original five nations - Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk - were joined in the 18th century by the Tuscarora to form the Six Nations.

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