Oneidas (Multicultural America:)
The Oneida reservation in northeast Wisconsin is a thriving community today. The economy is fueled by a tobacco industry and a tourist center with lavish hotels and energized casinos. The community's self-sufficiency, however, did not come easy. The Oneida peoples have been inhabitants of North America for approximately 10,000 years. They were the smallest of the five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The other nations were the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, and the Seneca. The Iroquois Confederacy was founded in the sixteenth century and dissolved around the Revolutionary War. The Confederacy divided over the war with the Oneida and Tuscarora (later admitted into the confederacy) fighting on the side the colonists while the remaining nations sided with the British. The Oneidas were alienated from the confederacy because of their participation in the war. The United States, however, vowed to support the nation in exchange for their help during the revolution.
The promise was later sealed in a treaty, the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. However, New York state did not honor the treaty by failing to protect and preserve the Oneida's ancestral lands. The Oneidas saw their six million acres of land disintegrate to a mere 32 acres. It was at this time, around the 1830s, that many members of the Oneida nation began to migrate north and westward, to Canada and Wisconsin. In 1973 and 1985, in...
(The entire section is 2843 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!