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The Cherokee and Iroqouis Indians and their Contributions to the Founding of America

Abstract: Native Americans contributed a great deal to the founding of America. Specifically, the Cherokee and Iroquois tribes contributed in ways we cannot measure. The Cherokee had developed a formal education system and created a written language, while the Iroquois had an intricate government. Both of these tribes gave ideas to our founding fathers in creating the United States.********** The Cherokee Indians system of education helped the United States develop a system a formal education, and the Iroquois Indians had a system of government which the founding fathers modeled our own government after. My hypothesis is that our nation is modeled after the success of these two tribes.********** Cherokee Education: After Sequoyah created the Cherokee Syllabary, almost all tribal members were literate. Their educational system was fully established by late 19th century. The Cherokee had longhouses in which children would go to learn the syllabary, as well as important things for Indians to know such as hunting and building. They developed a printed newspaper in early 19th century (no longer in print). Early childhood and adult education was also focused upon(McLoughlin).********** Cherokee Government: The Cherokee had a formal government comprised of 34 members. There was a Chief, a Vice Chief, and 32 elected council members. Their system was based on the Iroquois democracy (www.cherokee.org).********** Iroquois Government: The Iroquois had divided their government into four sections, similar to our system of branches. The four, in order of importance were League, Nation, Clan, and Village. Each had to approve and agree on issues in order for policies to take effect. The five nations were: Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and Cayuga. Each had a policy of examining the impacts of their decisions for the 7 future generations. Their representative democracy was praised by Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (Asimov).********** In my research, I concluded that our America had a lot of input from the Cherokee and Iroquois Indians. There are many, many similarities within our Constitution, governmental structure, and educational system. Therefore, I have concluded the Indians did contribute to the founding our our society.********** Enjoy! Page by Elizabeth Carbone

Native American Documents and Links

Official Cherokee Indian Website
Cherokee and Iroquois Additional Information
Cherokee Syllabary
Bibliography