Covenant Chain

In the early 1600s, the Haudenosaunee and British agreed to form a Covenant Chain, enshrining respect, trust, and peace between the two nations for the rest of time. The links on the chain were described as silver, a metal which tarnishes if not regularly polished. For over a hundred years, both nations regularly met to retell the story of the Covenant Chain and reaffirm their relationship of interdependence and independence. Those meetings were described as ‘polishing the chain’. The Mississaugas of the Credit and other Indigenous Nations later joined the Covenant Chain. After Britain, in alliance with the Haudenosaunee, defeated its colonial rivals in North America, their relationship dwindled and the chain began to tarnish.

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