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Biography

Chief Jacob E. Thomas

 

Chief Jake Thomas (Ha-da-jib-ghen-ta), Descending Cloud, Sandpiper Clan, shortly before his death.  Photographed by Paul Crosby at the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario, Canada.  Photograph copyright of Paul Crosby.

Chief Jacob E. Thomas was a unique man who helped start a contemporary Iroquoian cultural revolution.  For more than fifteen years, Jake actively worked at preserving culture, traditions and ceremonies of the Iroquois people by using his skills as an artist, craftsman, and traditional orator.

Mr. Thomas was the original Museum Curator for the Woodland Indian Cultural Educational Centre in 1972.  In 1975, Mr. Thomas was employed by Trent University in Ontario, where he was an Associate Professor within the Native Studies Department.

Mr. Thomas' work has been featured in numerous books and periodicals.  He has done translations of several Mohawk manuscripts and selected wampum belts.

Jake did his job well as a Faithkeeper in the Longhouse.  He was also a Confederacy Chief, condoled in 1973.  He served his people with knowledge and pride, and many Six Nations people are richer for his efforts.  He will be missed by many.

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