Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Kettler

Second Advisor

Glenn McNair

Third Advisor

Melissah Pawlikowski


According to tradition, the Haudenosaunee people have resided in the region south of Lake Ontario since “time immemorial.” Throughout this time they have engaged with the land in ways that reflect specifically Indigenous and Haudenosaunee epistemologies regarding various plants and especially corn. The worldview engendered by these ecological epistemologies—in which crops like corn occupied a central place in the daily lives of community-members on both a subsistence level and in terms of its many spiritual associations—informed how the Haudenosaunee interacted with their Indigenous and colonial neighbors and thus influenced the development of these complex relationships that in turn shaped the trajectory of early America. This project historicizes those worldviews by examining how they were specifically employed by the Haudenosaunee as the group navigated a changing continent and constantly negotiated their place in this new world of shifting associations and alliances. Throughout this process, the Haudenosaunee developed and maintained a cultural, socio-ecological relationship with their corn and the world around them that fluctuated in character and identity but remained equally important during this period and beyond.

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