The Iroquois (/ˈɪrəkwɔɪ/ or /ˈɪrəkwɑː/) or Haudenosaunee (/ˈhoʊdənoʊˈʃoʊni/; "People of the Longhouse") are a historically powerful northeast Native American confederacy. They were known during the colonial years to the French as the Iroquois League, and later as the Iroquois Confederacy, and to the English as the Five Nations, comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca. After 1722, they accepted the Tuscarora people from the Southeast into their confederacy and became known as the Six Nations. The Iroquois have absorbed many other peoples into their tribes as a result of warfare, adoption of captives, and by offering shelter to displaced peoples. Culturally, all are considered members of the clans and tribes into which they are adopted by families. The historic St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Wyandot (Huron), Erie, and Susquehannock, all independent peoples, also spoke Iroquoian languages. In the larger sense of linguistic families, they are often considered Iroquoian peoples because of their similar languages and cultures, all descended from the Proto-Iroquoian people and language; politically, however, they were traditional enemies of the Iroquois League. In addition, Cherokee is an Iroquoian language: the Cherokee people are believed to have migrated south from the Great Lakes in ancient times, settling in the backcountry of the Southeast United States, including what is now Tennessee. In 2010, more than 45,000 enrolled Six Nations people lived in Canada, and about 80,000 in the United States.[citation needed]


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