Iroquois on Fire


Iroquois on Fire

A Voice from the Mohawk Nation

Douglas M. George-Kanentiio
Foreword by Vine Deloria Jr.

168 pages


November 2008


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In their homelands in what is now New York state, the Iroquois have assumed a prominent role in public debate as residents of the region seek ways to resolve multibillion-dollar land claims. The initial dispute over territorial title has grown to encompass gambling, treaties, taxation, and what it means to claim Native sovereignty.

Written from an Iroquois perspective, Iroquois on Fire is an in-depth study of the historical and social issues raised during the Iroquois’ long struggle over disputed territorial titles. Douglas M. George-Kanentiio, a member of the Mohawk Nation and an activist for Native American claims, details the history of his nation from initial contact with the Europeans through the casino crises. As a key figure in the events of the last two decades, he uses his personal story to highlight issues of public interest: the land, family and community, geography, federal interference in tribal affairs, religion, political activism, land use/claims, and connections to organized crime. Though the story he tells is important in and of itself, it is rendered even more so because the interaction between New York and the Iroquois will surely affect the ways in which other states and the Natives who live in them address similar issues.

Author Bio

Douglas M. George-Kanentiio was born and raised in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. An award-winning writer and journalist, he has served the Mohawk Nation in numerous capacities, including as a land-claims negotiator, a cofounder of Radio CKON, and the editor of the news journal Akwesasne Notes. He is the author of the books Iroquois Culture and Commentary and the coauthor of Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois.

Vine Deloria Jr. (1933–2005) is the author of more than twenty books, including Custer Died for Your Sins, God Is Red, and We Talk, You Listen: New Tribes, New Turf, available in a Bison Books edition.


“George-Kanentiio, a Mohawk journalist, tells from firsthand experience what forces have conspired to pull the Iroquois apart as a culture, a confederacy, and within each component nation. Christianity and the hegemonic policies of the US and Canada are to blame, but also the greed of Iroquois individuals. . . . The book's warning is heartfelt and compelling. Highly recommended.”—Choice

“Former Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller calls Iroquois on Fire ‘an extraordinary description of the struggles, conflict and determination of traditional people.’ . . . If you are interested in contemporary issues among Native Americans, this book gives them to you, intimately and with passion.”—Connecticut Post Online

Iroquois on Fire is a profound and courageous work.... In this book, the author has set the stage for those with the courage and honor to no longer be passive observers or victims, but instead to take the stage and write the future. I recommend this book to all who can read.”—Leslie Lo Baugh

Table of Contents

Foreword - Vine Deloria Jr.
1. Origins
2. Akwesasne
3. Ray Fadden-Tehanetorens
4. Land Claims
5. Trade and Commerce
6. The Cayuga Decisions: A Call to Action
7. Oneida
8. Akwesasne Collapse
9. The Warriors
10. The Fight
11. The Aftermath
12. Out of the Ashes
Appendix Statement of Doug George-Kanentiio

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