Iroquois women had the power to veto any act of war, select chiefs and had to approve any negotiation involving land. Suffragist Mathilda Gage wrote that the Iroquois provided the modern world’s “first conception of inherent rights, natural equality of condition, and the establishment of a civilized government upon this basis,” Read more here.

Photo: John Mix Stanley, The Trial of Red Jacket, 1869, painting, Smithsonian American Art Museum