Tyendinaga: the birthplace of the Peacemaker

It is said by some we shouldn’t say the Peacemaker’s real name because of a prophecy. The prophecy says that when our people are in a state of desperation, when it has gotten as bad as it gets, someone is to go to the edge of the woods to say his name three times, and he will return to help our people. What his return means is unknown.

The Peacemaker was and continues to be the most influential figure in Haudenosaunee history, so much so that his teachings are still taught and practiced, hundreds of years later. He is ultimately responsible for the strength of our nations and our political, social, economical, and spiritual systems. When he and Hiawatha brought the Kayanerenhsera’ko:wa to our people, it was the end of wars, cannibalism and all around wickedness.

“The Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga) is also the birthplace of the Peacemaker, who brought the original Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy under a constitution of peace in the 12th Century (Great Law of Peace).” Eagle Hill, located in Tyendinaga, is said to be the Peacemaker’s birthplace.

There are others who believe the Peacemaker was born and lived further south. Clint Brant, Tyendinaga member, talks about Point Travers or Indian Point, where the rocks are quite large. In the story of the Peacemaker, it is said that he travelled to Mohawk territory in a stone canoe. Brant observes that to make a stone canoe even the Peacemaker would need the large rocks seen in the more southern area. The Mohawks, at that time, lived along the Finger Lakes area. It would have been quite the sight to see a lone Huron man paddling up in a stone canoe.

Due to the separation of our nations throughout the years, we have lost much knowledge. However, the spirit of the Peacemaker remains strong in Tyendinaga. Anyone who has spent any time on Eagle Hill can feel the power of our history, of our confederacy. Tyendinaga has a great deal to be proud of and remains a strong community rich in history and rich in knowledge.

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