Iroquois Confederacy

The Iroquois Today

Altogether, there were over 50,000 Iroquois in the United States in 1990. Some 17,000 Mohawk and over 11,000 Oneida live in the United States, in addition to around 10,000 people of Seneca or mixed Seneca-Cayuga heritage. Close to 10,000 Mohawk live in Canada, many on the St. Regis and the Six Nations reserves in Ontario and the Caughnawaga Reserve in Quebec. Many Cayuga, who were strong allies of the British, also live on the Six Nations Reserve, which is open to all members of the confederacy. Most of the remaining Iroquois, except for the Oneida of Wisconsin and the Seneca-Cayuga of Oklahoma, are in New York; the Onondoga reservation there is still the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy. Large numbers of Iroquois in the United States live in urban areas rather than on reservations. Many Mohawk and Oneida work as structural steelworkers, and the Oneida opened a large gambling casino near Syracuse, N.Y., in 1993. In recent years the Iroquois nations have pursued land claims in New York in the federal courts, with mixed results. Most Iroquois are either Christians or followers of Handsome Lake, a Seneca prophet of the 18th cent. who was influenced by the Quakers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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