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The Handsome Lake grave site at Onondaga
The Handsome Lake grave site at Onondaga

Jake Swamp: the prophet's story

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Mohawk chief and spiritual leader Jake Swamp founded the Tree of Peace Society almost 30 years ago to recover and pass along Mohawk and other tribal culture and philosophy.

On the society's website there's a quote that reads:
"We plant the tree of peace. Under its roots we have buried the weapons of war. Hatred, greed and jealousy will be cast aside to make room for positive teachings."

One of these teachings comes from the Mohawk prophet Kanya-da-LEE-oh, or "handsome lake." Here's his story, as told by Jake Swamp.

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