The Gamagashigowa or Great Law of Peace is a unique document. It brought five nations together who had warred on each other for so long nobody alive knew the cause. That peace which has been added to by the addition of the Tuscarora Nation has held as the oldest democracy on earth. However Deganaweda who brought this about was not a member of any of the nations who belong to the Confederation he brought into being. So how did he build such a lasting peace among war like people.
To begin with he created a common dream among the people. A dream that something could be greater then the individual nations but could include the nations. A idea that a confederation could exist which would bring mutual help from all it’s members but allow each of it’s members to govern themselves as they had before. Then he created a common heritage. He ordained that the members of each clan (family) from each tribe was related to the same clan (family) of the other nations. He provided a symbol of their union, a Great Tree of Peace. That tree was cut down by NY State a few years back, however I have one of its decedents growing at my Refuge.
The idea was that in the two councils and the firekeeper they would be able to decide on things of mutual interest but only if they all agreed. If any idea was proposed that could not be decided on in four rounds of the council it was set aside for at least a year. The firekeeper was responsible for calling the councils and also reporting their decisions to the leaders of each nation. He also was responsible for giving the decision to the women’s council which ruled on it’s being in accord with the Great Law of Peace and good for the next seven generations. The women also appointed the members of the council from the men who best exemplified the Great Law of Peace and held the ability to remove them from office. He also allowed for the adoption of any nation that agreed to live by the Great Law of Peace and of any individual who wished to trace the roots of the tree of peace.
Such then is why I support the Gamagashigowa, it allows every tribe every nation and ever people to work in harmony and at the same time retain their uniqueness. I propose that it be expanded now to include all the native nations and all the groups who would accept it as full members. Each working for them self but each working for the good of all.
It's not my idea but a idea given by one far greater a long time ago. It's time his vision became real. I will help to bring it about to the best of my ability. Who will work with me?