This belt symbolizes the agreement and conditions under which the Haudenosaunee welcomed the newcomers to this land.
“You say that you are our father and I am your son.”
We say, ‘We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers’.”
This wampum belt confirms our words. These two rows will symbolize two paths
or two vessels, traveling down the same river together. One, a birch bark canoe,
will be for the Indian People, their laws, their customs and their ways. We shall each
travel the river together, side by side, but in our own boat. Neither of us will make
compulsory laws or interfere in the internal affairs of the other.
Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel.
From a 1614 agreement between the Haudenosaunee and representatives of the Dutch government, declaring peaceful coexistence
The agreement has been kept by the Haudenosaunee to this date.