Early On

Kayak (Canada) - - FEATURE STORY -

When new­com­ers from Europe started ar­riv­ing in what is now North Amer­ica, First Na­tions peo­ple al­ready liv­ing here saw that they would need some kind of agree­ment that set out rules to keep the peace. Guswen­tha, or the Two-Row Wampum Treaty, was one of the first. This wampum belt — some­times called a liv­ing Treaty — has two rows of dark pur­ple shells, one for the Hau­denosaunee and one for the Dutch. They travel on dif­fer­ent but equal paths in peace, nei­ther in­ter­fer­ing with the other. The three rows of white shells stand for re­spect, peace and friend­ship. It was cre­ated in 1645. The Hau­denosaunee used the same con­cepts when mak­ing Treaties with the French and the English in the early 1700s.

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