The F.K. Bemis International Center is the hub of all international activity on campus, and is home to Language Services & Community Outreach.

Oneida: The Great Law

One of the most important events that shaped The Five Nations‘ [Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca tribes] Confederacy was the creation of The Great Law. A full rendition of this epic story, which takes several days to tell, reveals the ways in which the Peacemaker, a messenger born among the people sent here by the Creator, emphasized the power of reason, not force, to assure the three principles of the Great Law: Peace, Power and Righteousness.

The Great Law provides the Iroquois with instructions on how to treat others – make things right with yourself, others and creation; directs them on how to maintain a true democratic society; and expresses how reason must prevail in order to preserve peace. The Great Law of Peace is one of the earliest examples of a formal democratic governance structure.

The Five Nations‘ Grand Council is the oldest governmental institution in North America still maintaining its original form. It was known to some of the Founding Fathers and has been compared — in terms of designated authorities and balances of power — to the U.S. Constitution. This class will give the participant an overview of the epic story of The Great Law of Peace and how it still functions today on a clan, national and international level.

If this workshop is of interest to you, we are also offering workshops on Oneida The Creation Story on Jan. 25, 2014 and/or Oneida: Ceremonies on Feb. 22, 2014.


Register now!