Preserving the original agreement between the Rotinonhsión:ni (Iroquois) and the first settlers, the Two Row Wampum belt (Teiohá:te) displays two parallel lines, where the original peoples’ canoe and the settlers’ ship are said to sail side by side, suggesting that allied parties to move in the same direction they must respect their mutual autonomy. Drawing on the transcripts of negotiations between Canadian officials and Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) warriors in Tyendinaga, this article examines how the Two Row Wampum's notion of alliance through separation played out in the 2020 rail blockade movement in support of the Wet'suwet'en people's fight against the Coastal GasLink pipelines. Central to the text is Kanien'kehá:ka warriors’ suggestion that, beyond relations with settlers, the Two Row Wampum applies to relations between and among Indigenous nations, clans, genders, and even nonhumans. The intricate consensus‐based decision‐making protocols that compose the Rotinonhsión:ni Confederacy's precolonial governance system likewise attest to the respect for separation that pervades all relations, as if the potential of Rotinonhsión:ni diplomacy to render sovereign power destitute had reached a constitutional stature.
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Research Article| January 01 2023
Self-Destituent Power in Iroquois Diplomacy: Interpreting the 2020 Talks on the Tyendinaga Tracks
South Atlantic Quarterly (2023) 122 (1): 87–101.
Philippe Blouin; Self-Destituent Power in Iroquois Diplomacy: Interpreting the 2020 Talks on the Tyendinaga Tracks. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2023; 122 (1): 87–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-10242672
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