Neutral Nation, group of Native North American tribes of the Iroquoian branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the early 17th cent. they occupied the territory along the northern shore of Lake Erie. They then numbered some 12,000. Their culture was substantially that of the Eastern Woodlands area (see under Natives, North American). Father Joseph Daillon visited them in 1626 and reported that their customs were very similar to those of the Huron. The French gave the Neutral Nation its name because of its neutrality in the Iroquois-Huron wars. This neutrality, however, was short-lived, for when the remnants of the Huron joined (1649) them, the Iroquois Confederacy practically destroyed the Neutral Nation. A few survivors assimilated with the Seneca.
See G. K. Wright, The Neutral Indians (1963).
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