Liberty, Compact, and Covenant: the Iroquois League


This conference examined the continuing debate surrounding the level of influence that Native American ideas of federalism and political alliance had on the Founders, while placing focus on broader issues. What do the ideas and political forms of Native American cultures imply for our thinking about liberty and the institutional structures most appropriate for a free society?


Conference Readings

Parker, Arthur Caswell, eds. The Constitution of the Five Nations. New York: University of the State of New York, 1916.

Alfred, Taiaiake. Peace, Power and Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Colden, Cadwallader. The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada. London: Printed for T. Osborne in Gray’s Inn, 1747.

Johansen, Bruce E. Forgotten Founders: Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution. Ipswich, MA: Gambit Inc., Publishers, 1982.

Lutz, Donald S. “The Iroquois Confederation Constitution: An Analysis.” Publius 28, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 99-127.

Miller, J. R. Compact, Contract, and Covenant: Aboriginal Treaty-Making in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

Mohawk, John. “Indian Economic Development: An Evolving Concept of Sovereignty.” Buffalo Law Review (1991): 495-514.

Morgan, Lewis H. League of the Hodenosaunee or Iroquois. Edited by Herbert M. Lloyd. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1922.

Richter, Daniel K. and James H. Merrell. Beyond the Covenant Chain: the Iroquois and their Neighbors in Indian North America, 1600–1800. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

Tooker, Elisabeth. “The United States Constitution and the Iroquois League.” Ethnohistory 35, no. 4 (Autumn 1988): 305–336.

Tully, James. Strange Multiplicity: Constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Wilson-Raybould, Jody (Regional Chief Puglaas). “Relationship Building: Discovering Solutions to Complex Issues [Speech delivered at AFOA Conference in Toronto, February 13, 2013] .” Assembly of First Nations, British Columbia. http://bcafn.ca/files/documents/2013-02-13RCJWRAFOAFINAL.pdf (accessed June 16, 2014).