« The constituent members of the State of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, that is to say, the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, the Seneca and the Tuscarora, now are, and have been for many centuries, organised and self-governing peoples, respectively, within domains of their own, and united in the oldest League of Nations, the League of the Iroquois... ».
Deskaheh, Letter to à Sir J.E. Drummond, Secretary-General of the League of Nations, August 6, 1923 (document released also known as « The Red Man's Appeal For Justice »)
Since December 1922 Deskaheh (Levi General), Cayuga Chief, representing the Six Nations Council, was active in bringing the cause of his people (Haudenosaunee) before the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. His struggle continued after his death and remains an example.
This database provides access to a selection of original documents relating to these events, and essentially covers the period since 1923 (December 1922 for the first document) until 1933. This work was possible thanks to collaboration between the Archives of the League of Nations and the Centre for Documentation, Research and Information of Indigenous Peoples (Docip).The original paper documents remain in the archives of the League of Nations in Geneva.
The St. John Fisher College provides the database George P. Decker Collection.
George P. Decker (1861-1936) was a Rochester attorney active in Native American land claim cases. During the three-decade span of his professional career, Decker represented the Onondaga, Tonawanda, Cattaraugus, and the Allegany Reservations. He was also involved in representing land claims by the Six Nations of the Iroquois, namely the Oneida, Seneca and Cayuga. Decker worked with Chief Deskaheh, Speaker of the Six Nations Council, as he prepared to petition the League of Nations for recognition of the sovereign rights of indigenous peoples.
The George Palmer Decker Collection contains legal documents, letters, Decker’s handwritten legal research notes, photographs, maps, and other materials in relation to Chief Deskaheh’s mission.
There are 4 ways to find information in this collection: