The Two Row Wampum

The Two Row Wampum was the first treaty that was made with Europeans, specifically the Dutch when they landed on the shores of Turtle Island and were not leaving. The Five Nations (at that time) created an agreement that would outline the terms of the relationship that we would have with the Dutch settlers. Initially, it was proposed by the Dutch that it would be a patriarchal relationship with themselves as the fathers and Indigenous people as children. The Haudenosaunee rejected this idea and said, “We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. [Our treaties] symbolize two paths or two vessels, travelling down the same river together. One, a birchbark canoe, will be for our People, our laws, our customs, and our ways. The other, a ship, will be for the white people and their laws, their customs, and their ways. We shall each travel the river together, side by side, but in our own boat. Neither of us will make compulsory laws nor interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.”

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.