Some perspective needs to be thought of first when we are thinking of this era. The Americans just signed a treaty with England in 1783 ending the American Revolution and the United States was born. Even though the war was over, there were continued skirmishes between natives and the United States for land.
In 1776, the colonists wrote The Declaration of Independence. In that document it provides reasons why they feel the crown no longer represents them. One reason stated in the Declaration of Independence is the inability to acquire lands to the west. After the French and Indian war, England’s King George drew a Proclamation line stating anything west of Ft. Stanwix (present day Rome NY) was considered “Indian Country”. This provided a boundary line for settlers and natives to live peaceably. But with the defeat of England, the United States used the premise of the Right of Conquest to expand their territory westward. Understandably, many of the native nations did not agree.
Nations such as the Miami led by Little Turtle began to fight the United States to stop expansion into the Ohio River valley. As the fighting began, Little Turtle began to accumulate victories over the US Army against General Harmer and General St. Claire. In fact suffered the worst defeat of the US Army ever had against native forces (that includes General Custer). President George Washington fearing all out warfare along the frontier decided to use diplomacy with the Haudenosaunee.
After many months of negotiations, the United States and the Haudenosaunee secured perpetual “Peace and Friendship” on November 11, 1794. This historic treaty recognized the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee, allowed for safe passage of Americans through our territory, established land boundaries, and created a way for our two nations to peacefully resolve any conflicts.
So in the 215 years since, both the Haudenosaunee and the United States recognize this treaty in Canandaigua with a parade, speeches, and a great dinner. As our ancestors demonstrated to us, Peace and Friendship is a worthy goal.