HomePublicationsThe Tracker MagazineVol 4, No. 1, 1985

The Tracker Magazine - Vol 4 No. 1, 1985

The Ongwe-Oweh (Iroquois) - Part 1
The Migration

by Ha:oka'

Many years ago the Ongwe-Oweh lived in the Southwest. They lived alongside the Pawnee, who were allies. For a reason not remembered today, the Ongwe-Oweh decided to migrate east, toward the Great Lakes.

One band crossed the Great Lakes into what is now Ontario, Canada. They became known as the Huron Nation and the Tobacco Nation. A band settled along Lake Erie - the Erie nation; the Natural people along the Niagara River; the Susquehanna Nation along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania; and the Wenrue to the Northwest. The Minque settled along the Ohio River, and the Meherrin and Nottoways along the Kanawha River. The Cherokee people moved south into the Virginias and Carolinas along with the Tuscarora.

The rest of the people (the largest of the bands) moved farther down the St. Lawrence River. There they met a people they called the Adirondacks (bark eaters). The Adirondacks, mainly hunters, wanted to fight the OngweOweh, who were mainly farmers. A battle started in which the adirondacks won. For many years the Ongwe-Oweh were forced to pay a tribute to the Adirondacks.

The Ongwe-Oweh prayed many years for their freedom. Finally, secretly they snuck out of their village and up the St. Lawrence by canoe. They were persued by the Adirondacks, which caused a battle. The Ongwe-Oweh, burdened by their families, were starting to lose the battle. But the creator sent a storm which caused the Adirondacks' canoes to overturn and the Ongwe-Oweh to win the battle.

The Ongwe-Oweh settled along the Oswego River's mouth, where they found a good life hunting, fishing and farming.

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