Among the haudenosunee are groups of people who came together as families called clan. As a matrilinel society, each clan is linked by a common female ancetor with women possessing a leadership role within in the clan. The oldest woman of the clan is called the Clan Mother. The clan mother, whose position is hereditary, is responsible for the welfare of the clan. She names all the people of the clan; she holds a position in nominating, installing and removing the male chief, called Hoyaneh, meaning Caretakers of the Peace.
The Haudenosaunee Grand Council of Chiefs, also know as the Iroquois League Council or Six Nations Confederacy Council, is the central government of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Grand Council of Chiefs is composed of fifty Chiefs representing the Five (and later Six) Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.