Did Our Modern Democracy Come From an Ancient Indigenous Culture?


In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Medaille College will host a presentation by Rick Hill exploring how the Great Law of Peace of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) influenced the Founding Fathers, Karl Marx and the Women’s Suffragette Movement. This presentation, sponsored by the Medaille College Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will examine how Indigenous thought and philosophy impacted the minds of these leaders of social change. It is free and open to the public.
The Great Law was a way of governing with the use of coercive force, without police, judges or jails. It was the founding philosophy behind the formation of the Iroquois Confederacy that united the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora Nations together under one law that was based upon the rational use of positive thinking. Historical evidence suggests that the Founding Fathers not only understood the foundations of the Great Law, but were actively engaged on an intellectual level with the Haudenosaunee prior to the American Revolutionary War. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels also studied Haudenosaunee society in their search for a different economic and political strategy based upon sharing and equality. When the white women began to assert their right to their own minds, bodies and voices the Founding Mothers of the Women’s Rights Movement actively engaged with Haudenosaunee women who held a significant position within the political, social, and cultural fabric of their Indigenous society.
Rick Hill is a member of the Beaver Clan of the Tuscarora Nation, residing on the Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, in Ohsweken, ON. Hill taught in American Studies at SUNY Buffalo and Indigenous Studies at McMaster University. He also served as Deputy Director for Public Programs at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. He has been featured in several documentaries on the role of the Haudenosaunee in the War of 1812, and curated dozens of exhibitions on art, culture and history. Currently, he is developing interpretive exhibitions for the renovated Mohawk Institute residential school in Brantford, ON.
For questions or more information, contact Medaille Director of Diversity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs at kenya.k.hobbs@medaille.edu or (716) 880-2203.


Medaille College Lecture Hall
18 Agassiz Circle
Buffalo, NY 14214


Monday, November 19, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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