- Micro Empires
- ☮️ 2.4M Che Jim, The Iroquois & Diplomatic Micro-Empires
☮️ 2.4M Che Jim, The Iroquois & Diplomatic Micro-Empires
Weekly #085 | Lessons from the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee)
Table of Contents
The Iroquois & Their Influence on US Democracy
In the realm of governance and societal organization, few know the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy (1450-1660 CE) on modern American democracy. This confederation of six Native American nations (aka Haudenosaunee), known for their sophisticated system of governance based on the Great Law of Peace, inadvertently became a template for the United States Constitution.
Their principles of federalism, checks and balances, and participatory decision-making were revolutionary and caught the eye of the Founding Fathers, who integrated some of these ideas into the burgeoning framework of a new nation.
The Role of Women
In the Iroquois Confederacy, women played a pivotal and influential role in governance, embodying the matrilineal essence of their society. Known as Clan Mothers, these women held significant power, particularly in political decision-making. They were responsible for selecting and advising the male leaders, known as chiefs, within the Confederacy's Grand Council.
Their role extended beyond mere selection; they also held the authority to remove chiefs who did not perform their duties effectively. This system ensured a balance of power and gender representation, embedding women's voices and perspectives firmly in the political process.
Clan Mothers' responsibilities also reflected the Iroquois' deep respect for the wisdom and leadership capabilities of women, making them integral to maintaining the social and political equilibrium of their communities.
Why the Iroquois Can Be Considered a Micro-Empire
The Iroquois Nation. Source: Wikipedia
The term 'micro-empire' aptly fits the Iroquois Confederacy. They managed to sustain a stable, effective governance structure across multiple tribes (Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), with distinct languages and cultures, under a unified vision.
This was achieved not through conquest or assimilation, but through a diplomatic alliance that respected each member's autonomy while promoting common goals. Their system balanced power, incorporated diverse perspectives, and ensured communal well-being – hallmarks of a successful, albeit small-scale, empire.
The Diplomatic Victory
In the popular strategy game Civilization, as mentioned in Issue #084, one path to victory is through diplomacy. Here, success hinges on building alliances, managing relationships, and working towards collective goals rather than conquest.
This mirrors the approach of the Iroquois, whose strength lay in diplomacy and unity. Their success was not measured by territorial expansion but by the stability and prosperity of their confederation – a 'diplomacy victory' in its own right.
Introducing Che Jim & His 2.4M Followers
Now, to ground the history we’ve just shared, we researched modern Native American “micropreneurs” and found Che Jim. Che is a Diné-Anishinaabe creator who has been charting a unique path to prominence on TikTok.
Managed by Red Hawk Talent Agency, Che has successfully leveraged the platform to showcase his comedic talent and cultural heritage, leading to a significant rise in fame. His content, often infused with insights from his indigenous roots, resonates with a much broader audience, earning him over 2.4 million followers and 117 million likes.
Beyond just entertainment, Che is building his own micro-empire by branching out into acting, with roles in independent films like Dark Ground, and serving as an indigenous cultural consultant in drug and alcohol sobriety programs.
His activism, particularly in indigenous environmental issues, further solidifies his standing as a multifaceted influencer and creator, representing the voice and spirit of his community while navigating the complex landscape of modern digital media and social advocacy.
Applicable Lessons for Micropreneurs
Micropreneurs can draw valuable lessons from the Iroquois model:
Consensus Building: Like the Iroquois, successful micropreneurs should seek consensus among their teams and stakeholders, fostering an environment of cooperation and shared purpose.
Long-Term Vision: The Iroquois were known for considering the impact of decisions on future generations. A similar long-term perspective can guide micropreneurs to make sustainable, ethical business choices.
Inclusive Leadership: The role of women and inclusive decision-making in the Iroquois system highlights the importance of diverse perspectives. Micropreneurs can benefit from encouraging a variety of voices and ideas in their business strategies.
Adaptive Diplomacy: Just as the Iroquois navigated complex inter-tribal relationships, micropreneurs must adeptly manage relationships with clients, partners, and competitors, often prioritizing diplomacy over aggression.
In business, we often expect highly competitive environments and ruthlessness in order to unify others. However, the Iroquois have shown that this isn’t always the way. That there is another, more peaceful path to unity. This can definitely be applied to your own business.
The Iroquois Confederacy, with its rich history and enduring influence, offers more than just a historical case study; it provides a blueprint for successful governance and organization that transcends time. For today's micropreneurs, looking back at this ancient "micro-empire" can shed light on building robust, sustainable, and harmonious business empires.
By embracing the principles of consensus, long-term planning, inclusivity, and diplomatic acumen, modern micropreneurs can create their own legacies, much like the Iroquois did centuries ago. In our quest to build and grow, let us remember that the most enduring empires were those that valued unity, foresight, and the collective good.