Leon Shenandoah, leader of the Onondaga Indians, died Monday. He was 81.
Shenandoah was also the spiritual steward of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, once the greatest Indian power on the continent, influencing life from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1969, Shenandoah was chosen as the chief of chiefs, or Tadadaho, of the confederacy, which consists of the Onondagas, Cayugas, Oneidas, Mohawks, Senecas and Tuscaroras.
Shenandoah opposed his people accepting any assistance from the federal government and spoke out against the Iroquois becoming involved in gambling ventures.
The revered position of Tadadaho is traced back to Hiawatha, who helped bring the “Great Peace” that formed the confederacy between 900 and 1350.
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