In the earliest part of the American Revolution, the Oneida Indian Nation made a choice. They decided to ally with their neighbors and friends, the colonists. In particular, George Washington. Though the colonists could offer the Oneida Nation neither supplies, great riches nor protection, our Nation chose to be the first to stand for the American cause of freedom. Allying ourselves with the colonists resulted in fighting against some of our fellow Iroquois brothers.
The decision to stay true to the colonists cost the Oneidas dearly. The Oneidas sacrificed much to the cause of freedom, including having their villages burned and being driven from their homelands. Throughout the war, the greatest sacrifice was the loss of lives. It has been said that the greatest sacrifice is laying down one’s life for another. By the end of the war, one-third of the Oneida population had been lost.