History of the Iroquois: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Hopi Tribe Facts: Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 United American Tribes
  • 1:22 The Long Houses
  • 1:48 New Neighbors
  • 2:34 Relations With Others
  • 3:24 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wilson

David has taught college history and holds an MA in history.

Did you know the first official government formed in North America wasn't the United States? Learn about how the Iroquois Native Americans built their complex society in this lesson.

United American Tribes

You've heard that the Declaration of Independence united the Thirteen Colonies in 1776, but did you know that there was already a united group that existed in America before the first Europeans ever arrived? A collection of five different Native American tribes banded together several centuries ago to become known as the Iroquois Confederacy, meaning a league or group of states or nations. You see, the Iroquois weren't just one Native American tribe, but the result of the Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, and Onondaga tribes coming together.

Just as we have legends about our Founding Fathers (like George Washington's wooden teeth), the Iroquois have legends about their own nation's creation. They believed that long ago, a period of great violence and unrest made life difficult, and that evil ones would even go so far to become cannibals! A woman had a dream that her daughter would give birth to a peacemaker called Deganawidah. When Deganawidah grew into a man, he built a canoe from stone, and traveled around the land, promising peace and justice. He convinced the five tribes to give up war, defeated an evil sorcerer, and buried the tribes' weapons to prevent more fighting.

The Long Houses

We know the tribe as the Iroquois, but they called themselves ''Haudenosaunee,'' which means ''people of the longhouses.'' They weren't exaggerating: some longhouses were as big as football fields! The Iroquois controlled a large region of modern-day New York state. They gave significant power to the women in their tribes: Iroquois women had the major responsibility of determining who got food and how much.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account