Covenant Chain Wampum Friendship Belt 

Covenant Chain Wampum Friendship Belt

The Wampum belt on display is a replica, used for education purposes at all levels. Wampum, onekorha (Mohawk), ohtjo’h:’(Cayuga), was much prized by the Iroquois and the Eastern Algonkians. Wampum beads made of white and purple shells were strung into belts and strings. The Iroquois attached great importance to the mystical power of the beads. Strings of wampum were used to sanction council proceedings, to give responsibility to an office, to solemnized a treaty, or assuage sorrow.

This Friendship Belt is a stylized two-row, which shows two parallel paths, one representing the European, his laws and customs, the other the Onkwehon’we (First Peoples). Each agreed that we shall not interfere with one another’s way as long as Mother Earth is still in motion. This agreement shall exist for generation to come and everyone shall remember and never forget the way it shall be. From time to time, the Onkwehon’we will read this belt to his people and that of the European.

This particular wampum belt, The Covenant Chain between the Onkewohon’we and the European, was created by Wendy Hill, Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, to symbolize the lease between the Pine Tree Native Centre of Brant and the City of Brantford for the lands located on Mohawk Street in Brantford for the purpose of establishing Kanata (Gah-nah-da - the Mohawk word for “village”), a 17th Century Ontario Iroquoian Village and Interpretive Centre.

The Covenant Chain was presented to the City of Brantford Mayor Chris Friel and Council on March 26, 1998, and re-read at Kanata Village to Mayor Mike Hancock and Council on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2005.