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Iroquois Tribe

Iroquois Indians, Iroquois People, Iroquois First Nation (Algonkin: Irinakhoiw, ‘real adders’, with the French suffix –ois). The confederation of Iroquoian tribes known in history, among other names, by that of the Five Nations, comprising the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca. Their name for themselves as a political body was Oñgwanonsioñni’, ‘we are of the extended lodge.’ Among the Iroquoian tribes kinship is traced through the blood of the woman only; kinship means membership in a family, and this in turn constitutes citizenship in the tribe, conferring certain social, political, and religious privileges, duties, and rights which are denied to persons of alien blood; but, by a legal fiction embodied in the right of adoption, the blood of the alien may be figuratively changed into one of the strains of the Iroquoian blood, and thus citizenship may be conferred on a person of alien lineage. In an Iroquoian tribe the legislative, judicial, and executive functions are usually exercised by one and the same class of persons, commonly called chiefs in English, who are organized into councils. There are three grades of chiefs. The chiefship is hereditary in certain of the simplest political units in the government of the tribe; a chief is nominated by the suffrages of the matrons of this unit, and the nomination is confirmed by the tribal and the federal councils. The functions of the three grades of chiefs are defined in the rules of procedure. When the five Iroquoian tribes were organized into a confederation, its government was only a development of that of the separate tribes, just as the government of each of the...

The Ogden Land Claim

The New York Indians And The Seneca Leases. We regard the Allegany and Cattaraugus reservations, in their so called “government by their own council for these last years, as a notorious instance of the corruption and misuse of funds by Indians, to which we have referred above. The reports of committees of Congress, of inspectors, and of commissions, as well as facts presented by representatives of the council before the House Committee on Indian Affairs, give unquestionable evidence of such corruption. We last year urgently recommended the passage of a law requiring all lease moneys to be made payable to and recoverable by the United States Indian agent, to be by him paid to individual Indians; the agent being required to account for the same, and that such moneys be no longer payable to the council of the Indians, several of whose members and officers have been proved to have been systematically corrupt and dishonest for a period of years. Such a bill (known as the Ryan Act) was passed at the last session of Congress and became a law. But its passage was delayed until after the beginning of the fiscal year for this lease system, and representatives of the Indian council have collected a part of the lease money for the current year. A recent letter from the New York Indian agent, says: “From what I can learn, I am of the opinion that the Seneca Nation treasurer collected a very large proportion of the rents for the year 1901 before the Ryan Act became operative.” Further efforts have been made by members of the Indian council...

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