Peacemakers are separate and distinct from the Tribal Council, but like Council officers and members, Peacemakers are elected by the membership of the Brothertown Indian Nation. However, Peacemakers must be at least 55 years of age.
The office of Peacemaker was set into motion by the Act of March 4, 1796, when the land in New York granted to the Brothertown by the Oneida was divided into 149 lots, and a town government was arranged. The Peacemaker System was later established in Article VI of the Brothertown Indian Nation Constitution. Peacemakers serve as a court of appeals for all cases and controversies that arise under the Constitution of the Brothertown Indian Nation, and at present, as a court of original jurisdiction.
Historically, the qualifications for being a Peacemaker were character traits such as honesty, wisdom, and self-discipline, along with being fair minded, caring, and trustworthy. Several of the Peacemakers were Pastors. Today these character traits continue to be important in carrying out the role of Peacemaker. Peacemakers today interpret the Brothertown Constitution to arrive at decisions that are in the best interest of the Tribe. Peacemakers also perform and hold specific offices on a rotating basis.