The Formation of the Iroquois League


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know what the oldest living participatory democracy on earth is? It is the Iroquois League or Iroquois Confederacy. It was formed in 1142 and some of our Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin actually learned from them and used ideas of their set up when forming the United States. They even have a constitution that was recorded and kept alive on a wampum belt.  (Source) Today I am going to share a new picture book that shares the story of the formation of the Iroquois League. It is written for ages 10-14, so it is not your typical picture book. The author and illustrator are both Native American. The book is A Peacemaker for Warring Nations: The Founding of the Iroquois League by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden. 

From the Publisher: 

The League of the Iroquois was a true representational democracy―so much so that the United States Constitution is said to have been modeled on some of its tenets. But how, perhaps a thousand years before the time of Columbus, did the Five Iroquois Nations (the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca) come to end the bitter eye-for-eye warfare among them? What brought them together in an alliance based on the Great Law of Peace? And how was it that a system of Clan Mothers was instituted in which women are seen as the center of the nation and still today choose the 50 royaners, or peace chiefs, who speak for their respective communities in meetings of the League? In A Peacemaker for Warring Nations, renowned Native author Joseph Bruchac draws from the teachings of both contemporary and past Iroquois tradition bearers in telling the inspiring story of how “the Peacemaker,” a divine messenger sent by the Creator, helped to bring reconciliation to warring nations. The book is beautifully and accurately illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden, a respected Mohawk artist whose work honors his deep indigenous roots.

From Me:
The story itself is well written and so interesting. I am fascinated with Native American stories and ways and found this story so easy to follow. It has some fantasy in it but is a story that is passed on from generations. I found this version extremely interesting. Although I doubt there were intentions as a Christian I saw similarities to Bible stories. This actually fascinated me more. The book uses Ayenwatha for Hiawatha. I love how the book uses many of the actual indigenous names for places and people as well as the well known names. 

The illustrations in this book are amazing! The details are so complete and the artwork is beautiful. I love the representation of the people in the illustrations. The warriors are drawn in details from muscles to the paint/tattoos. 

This book is a wonderful addition for any home library, public library or classroom. It is a must read for Native American study units. I hope you will check it out!!