Yukwalihowanahtu Yukwanosaunee Tsiniyukwaliho:t^ As People of the Longhouse, We Honor Our Way of Life Tekal^hsal^ Tsiniyukwaliho:t^ Praise Our Way of Life
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My dissertation is a critical philosophical interpretation of selected constructs of Haudenosaunee culture addressing barriers to liberation from colonialism; the decolonization of the disruption of the original humanistic constructs rooted within Onkwehónweneha; and what transformation means in the 21 st century. I also explore the contemporary realities of Haudenosaunee life from the Seven Spans paradigm of standards established by the Kaianerekowa – The Great Law of Peace; Gaiwiio – the Teachings of Handsome Lake; Indigenous deconstructive methodology framed by cultural transformation; and the construct of "extending the rafters" as a critical analysis of the Haudenosaunee from within. Haudenosaunee culture is growing and flourishing, and in recent years, the young people who are driven by identity are seeking more understanding from life and culture. They are often met with resistance by self-appointed doorkeepers of the culture who are protectionist, and, in their attempts to protect, they discourage people. Their family's lack of activity in the longhouse community is often cited as reasonable cause. This is contrary to the original birthright of every Haudenosaunee person with respect to their culture. To challenge this issue, I advocate for more written cultural knowledge to be produced by Indigenous scholars as one critical step to cultural inclusion. How we think, why we dream, how we solve problems, and what is important to a Haudenosaunee person are accumulating notions of cultural knowledge being forgotten as the Elders, the wisdom-keepers of repository knowledge, make their journey back to the Skyworld. It is vital that we explore these ideas in a process of decolonizing and experiential cultural learning connected to the important stories of the culture. This is an attempt at focusing that challenge with cause for dialogue.