In 1794, the U.S. government and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, or Six Nations (comprising the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, and Tuscarora Nations of New York), signed the Treaty of Canandaigua. In exchange for the Confederacy’s allyship after the Revolutionary War, the U.S. returned over a million acres of Iroquois land that had been previously ceded in the Fort Stanwix Treaty. The Canandaigua Treaty also recognized the sovereignty of the Six Nations to govern themselves and set their own laws.
Despite this apparent act of friendship, the land returned to the Six Nations was lost to U.S. expansion, and the tribes were forced to relocate. While the Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, and Oneida stayed on reservations in New York, the Mohawk and Cayuga moved into Canada.