The Iroquois Nation, also known as the Haudenosaunee, is a confederacy of six Native American tribes originally from the northeastern region of North America: the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The confederacy was formed in the late 1400s or early 1500s and was known for its sophisticated governance system and political unity. The Iroquois were also active participants in the political and military events of colonial America, including the American Revolution, and have maintained a strong cultural identity to this day.
There are several museums and cultural centers in the Finger Lakes region of New York that highlight the history and culture of the Iroquois Nation and other Native American tribes. Some of these museums include:
- The Iroquois Indian Museum, located in Howes Cave, NY, which features exhibits on the history, culture, and art of the Iroquois Confederacy.
- The Ganondagan State Historic Site, located in Victor, NY, which features a replica of a 17th-century Seneca village and offers educational programs about the Seneca Nation and the Iroquois Confederacy.
- The Cayuga Museum of History and Art, located in Auburn, NY, which has a collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of the Cayuga Nation, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
- The Onondaga Historical Association, located in Syracuse, NY, which features exhibits on the history of the Onondaga Nation, including the role of the Onondaga Nation in the Iroquois Confederacy.
- The Native American Studies Program at Cornell University, located in Ithaca, NY, which offers courses and research opportunities in Native American studies, including the history and culture of the Iroquois Confederacy.
The traditional territory of the Mohawk Nation, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, was located in what is now upstate New York, primarily in the Mohawk River Valley and surrounding areas. The Mohawk Nation’s territory extended from the Hudson River in the east to the Mohawk River in the west and from the St. Lawrence River in the north to the present-day border between New York and Pennsylvania in the south.
The traditional territory of the Seneca Nation, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, was located in what is now western and central New York State. The Seneca Nation’s territory extended from the Genesee River in the west to the eastern shores of Seneca Lake and from the southern shores of Lake Ontario in the north to the Pennsylvania border in the south. The Seneca Nation was historically known for its agricultural practices, especially its cultivation of crops such as maize, beans, and squash, and for its political and military power within the Iroquois Confederacy.