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Caughnawaga – Oka St. Regis Belt

 

Andrea Boots holding Seven Nations Belt.

Reprinted from Wampum Belts of the Iroquois by Tehanetorens

This belt is sometimes called the Seven Nations Belt. It is a record belt, that is, it records a happening.

It means this:

Their path is not straight. They have forsaken the Great Law and gone to the land of the cross, Canada. This belt represents the union of the Seven Nations, and the crooked line at the bottom represents that they were crooked (Roman Catholic). This particular belt embodies the pledge of the seven Canadian Christianized nations to abandon their crooked ways and to keep an honest peace. It was given to the Five Nations by the Seven Nations to mark their submission to the power of the Iroquois Confederacy, with a promise of peace. The Seven Nations, organized and encouraged by French Catholic priests, was a political union of parts of certain settlements of Iroquois and Algonquins whom the Catholic missionaries had Christianized and influenced. The settlements that made up the so-called Seven Nations were as follows: Mohawk Band at Lake of Two Mountains, Algonquin Band at Lake of Two Mountains, Nipissing Band at Lake of Two Mountains, part of Caughnawaga Band, Oswegatchie Band (near Ogdensburg, N.Y.), Hurons of Lorette, and Abenakis of St. Francis. When the Oswegatchies were scattered by the whites, the priests said that St. Regis would take their place.

 

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