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     As Hiawatha came home from a battle against the Onondaga tribe, his home came into sight as a wooden structure burned in an open flame. His wife and three lovely daughters were killed by Chief Athatotarho’s men. He fell to his knees and screamed in agony. As he looked up at the river, he saw the sun searing off the mist of the river revealing a man in a hand-carved white stone canoe. As he paddled closer to the land, his details came clearer. He was wrapped in a white robe with a moon painted on his right eye and a sun painted on the left. He looked just like a normal Chief, but wrapped in white. As he got out of his canoe, Hiawatha asked him “W-who are you?” He answered with only a smile and gave an offering of tobacco to Hiawatha. Then he spoke. “I know of your pain. I know of your loss. I carry a message of peace. We must come together as one body, one mind, and one heart. Peace and righteousness shall be the new way. This is the Great Law.” Hiawatha considered his words for a moment but didn’t believe him. He thought that peace among the tribes will never come to be. Then the man spoke again. “I am the Peacemaker. Travel with me to the five tribes and help me spread the good word. I am quiet and hard to understand. You speak with power and confidence with a voice that goes straight to the heart and the soul. I need your help… I need your help to carry the message of peace. Hiawatha thought about what he said again and his heart opened up and agreed to travel with the Peacemaker.

Hiawatha

Hiawatha got into the Peacemaker’s canoe, stunned by its ability to float. With every single stride of the paddle, Hiawatha became more of a believer in the message of peace. When they arrived at the Mohawk tribe, the Chief and the Elders came to greet them. In a few minutes, most of the tribe was in a circle around Hiawatha and the Peacemaker. The Peacemaker gently put his hand onto Hiawatha’s back. He felt the Peacemaker’s power surge through him. Then he spoke, “Peace and righteousness shall be the new way. We must come together as one body, one mind, and one heart. The people in the circle nodded in agreement, but the Chief said, “Chief Athatotarho is too strong. Even if we do come together, he will crush our tribes with his great army. Our tribes will never even get along anyway.” The Peacemaker said to him, “When I come back, I will be with the other tribes and you will see that my message of peace is true.” Then they left the Mohawk tribe and went to the Seneca tribe. It was noon when they arrived. When they stepped onto the land of the Seneca, all of the warriors came out of their huts and yelled “INTRUDER!” The warriors surrounded them while the Chief came out of his hut. Hiawatha looked at the Peacemaker and he showed some signs of fear. Then the Chief yelled a word that none of them understood and the warriors stabbed their spears into the ground. “Why have you come to our land?” asked the Seneca Chief. The Peacemaker answered with “If we come together, we will be stronger. We will defeat Chief Athatotarho, and all of the damage that he has done will all disappear. Hiawatha, tell of your pain, tell of your loss, tell us all what Chief Athatotarho has done to you.” Hiawatha then told the Seneca Chief what Chief Athatotarho has done to him. The Chief agreed to help him so Hiawatha and the Peacemaker went into their canoe and the Seneca Chief went into another canoe. Together they traveled as one nation.

Then they sailed to the Oneida tribe. When they arrived at the Oneida tribe, it was very dark already so they fell into a hidden hole with a net. A few minutes later, the Chief of the Oneida tribe came out to see what was happening. When he saw Hiawatha, the Peacemaker and the Seneca Chief his eyes got wider and asked, “Why are you here?” The Peacemaker put his hand onto Hiawatha’s back for the second time and he spoke the Peacemaker’s message. “Chief Athatotarho is too strong. We will never defeat him if we do not join forces. Come with me. We will come together as one body, one mind, and one heart.” The Chief considered his words for a while, sweat trickling down Hiawatha’s neck. After a minute or so, he finally agreed to come with them. Together they traveled as two nations. Next, they paddled to the Cayuga tribe. When they got there, they were met with a greeting that was not great but not bad. When they met the Cayuga Chief, the Peacemaker spoke himself. “We are very weak separated. I have here with me two Chiefs. They believe that if we come together, we will defeat Chief Athatotarho. Come with me and we will defeat Chief Athatotarho as one Nation. He immediately agreed and sailed with them back to the Mohawk tribe. Together, they traveled as three nations.

When they arrived back at the Mohawk tribe, the Mohawk Chief was stunned by Hiawatha and the Peacemaker’s ability to unite the tribes. He still did not believe the Peacemaker’s words. All of the other Chiefs got mad and pointed their spear’s at the Mohawk Chief’s throat. When the Peacemaker saw this, he immediately ran to the scene and stopped the violence. Then the Peacemaker told the Chief of the Mohawk tribe “Let your warriors tie me to a tree. Then let them cut down the tree. The river will save me and then you will know that my message of peace is true. The warriors did what the Peacemaker told them to do. When the tree was cut, the Chief realized his mistake and went back to his hut. The Clan mothers got worried that he might not live so they all gathered around in a circle and prayed for a miracle. Hiawatha stared at the river, worried that the Peacemaker had just sacrificed himself at a critical point in the journey. The next day when everyone was awake, they saw a smoke coming from a fire. Everyone rushed to see what was going on, and it was the Peacemaker. Later that day, the Mohawk Chief apologized and agreed to go with the other Chiefs to the Onondaga tribe. Together they traveled as four nations. As they slowly paddled to the Onondaga tribe, they saw the evil Chief Athatotarho.

He had long nails with snakes in his hair. He was hunched over with scales all over his body. When they got out of their canoes, Chief Athatotarho commanded his warriors to attack. Rage filled Hiawatha’s heart when he saw this. He and the other Chiefs started fighting back, but the Peacemaker kept his hands to his side to avoid violence. The fighting raged on and Hiawatha wanted to destroy Athatotarho until something unexpected happened. There was a light melody of purity and truth floating through the air as everyone else stopped the fighting to see what was going on. When he started singing, the moon crossed over the sun darkening the sky stunning the warriors. Chief Athatotarho saw all of this and raised his scepter, cursing at the sky, but showing no signs of fear. After they were done singing and the moon passed, the Peacemaker asked Hiawatha to brew a medicine for Athatotarho. Hiawatha started gathering the plants for the medicine but stopped, asking himself how he could heal a person that did so much damage to him. The Peacemaker told him that forgiveness is the key to everything. Hiawatha put his heart and soul into the medicine and gave it to Athatotarho. Hiawatha told Athatotarho that he had to mix some of the medicine with water each day, and drunk. Athatotarho took the medicine and drank. His strained breath eased and the evil stare in his eye softened. The Peacemaker told Athatotarho that he would come back in a week to check on him. Then they sailed back to the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida and the Mohawk and told the tribes about their encounter in the Onondaga tribe.

When they came back to check on Athatotarho, they sailed with all of the people from all four tribes. Athatotarho was getting better but he was still not fully recovered. His voice returned but he was still hunched over and sickly. The Peacemaker came up to him and started to chant. The people from the other tribes started chanting too, and suddenly, Athatotarho let out a cry and all of the snakes slithered out of his hair onto the grass. Athatotarho said thanks to the Peacemaker for curing him. Next, the Peacemaker told all of the warriors of all five tribes to put their weapons under a tall, white pine. They all agreed with him and followed him, and together they lifted up the tree and put all of their weapons in the hole under it. They put the tree back into place and the Peacemaker called it the tree of Peace. Hiawatha looked over his shoulder to check on Athatotarho. The scales on his skin disappeared and he didn’t hunch over anymore. The Peacemaker came over to Athatotarho. “Atop the tree of peace, there shall be an eagle looking down on the five tribes. It will soar through the sky, protecting all of the tribes too. It will be the protector of our nation, the Iroquois. You, will be that protector,” said the Peacemaker. Athatotarho thanked him for this opportunity as the Mohawk tribe started to stomp their feet in unison. Clapping came from the Cayuga tribe. A chant formed between the Oneida tribe and the Onondaga tribe. Lastly, the Seneca tribe started pounding drums. It all blended together perfectly and started to grow louder, echoing through the forest. Hiawatha looked to Athatotarho, but he wasn’t there. He smiled and looked up at the white pine, and there, was a beautiful eagle perched on the tree, overlooking all of the tribes and people in the Iroquois nation.