Seven Generations

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"Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people, and have always in view not only the present, but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground — the unborn of the future Nation." - from Line 28 of the Gayanashagowa or Great Binding Law, the original oral constitution of Aquanishuonigy([1])

"In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations" - modern motto of Aquanishuonigy


The Seven Generations concept is an old and enduring one in the NAL-SLC, and has served as a guide for individual and public action since the League's founding. The concept comes directly from the Iroquois people, founding members of the League. The Iroquois ideal was to look at every action in terms of its impact on many future generations, traditionally numbered seven.

The Seven Generations concept came directly into conflict with the Newcomers' ideal of the Pioneering Spirit, which emphasized bold action and rapid growth. Most leaders of the NAL's European provinces in the early 19th century would have preferred, for example, to pursue policies that would lead to a rapid transfer of population to the western territories in order to stimulate the economy and increase the population. With the Natives forming an important bloc in Parliament, however, these policies had to be mitigated somewhat. Under the Seven Generations principle, such rapid growth would have resulted in unconscionable depletion of forests and other resources, depriving future generations of their use.

Seven Generations has had a deep, often conservative, influence on the NAL's history and culture. It has led Americans to approach change cautiously, dutifully considering its long-term impact. This cautious attitude informs economic and military policy as well as the environment, not to mention the way one invests one's own money, cultivates friendships, and so forth. The concept meshes well with that other American ideal, Less Is More, which emphasizes subtlety over ostentation. The concept of Seven Generations is central in NALien Ecotopic circles.

As a result of this principle, the number seven has become an important symbol especially for Natives, but also for Newcomers. It appears on the flag of Aquanishuonigy and the flag of the Native Viceroy, among others. Even the seven stars of the Old Blue Sheet itself have been linked to Seven Generations, but it is not clear that this was ever part of the flag's original symbolism.

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