On The Meaning of Renewing the Relationship Between the Dutch and Haudenosaunee Peoples: The Two Row Wampum Treaty After 400 Years

Marc Woons

Abstract


In September 2013, a group of three Haudenosaunee leaders made the long voyage from Turtle Island(North America) to The Hague in the Netherlands to mark not only the annual celebration of the UN Declaration on the Rights ofIndigenous Peoples, but extraordinarily the four-hundredth anniversary of the Two Row Wampum Treaty between the Dutch andHaudenosaunee peoples. On the occasion, the Haudenosaunee leaders and the Dutch Human Rights Ambassador exchanged gifts and shookhands to symbolize the renewal of the Treatys principles of peace and friendship. This paper looks beyond that importantoccasion by analyzing the likelihood of the Dutch taking the steps necessary to renew such principles and ultimately to honor theTreaty four centuries later. Based on the evidence, the Dutch are doing less than ever before to honor the Two Row Wampum Treaty.The main claim, therefore, is that if the Dutch truly wish to live up the Treaty, they will have to begin by recognizing theproper place of Haudenosaunee sovereignty on Turtle Island even if that involves taking steps that might strain relations withthe United States and Canada.


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