On June 11, 1776 while the question of independence was being debated, the visiting Iroquois chiefs were formally invited into the meeting hall of the Continental Congress. There a speech was delivered, in which they were addressed as "Brothers" and told of the delegates' wish that the "friendship" between them would "continue as long as the sun shall shine" and the "waters run." The speech also expressed the hope that the new Americans and the Iroquois act "as one people, and have but one heart." After this speech, an Onondaga chief requested permission to give Hancock an Indian name. The Congress graciously consented, and so the president was renamed "Karanduawn, or the Great Tree." With the Iroquois chiefs inside the halls of Congress on the eve of American Independence, the impact of Iroquois ideas on the founders is unmistakable. History is indebted to Charles Thomson, an adopted Delaware, whose knowledge of and respect for American Indians is reflected in the attention that he gave to this ceremony in the records of the Continental Congress. Artwork by John Kahionhes Fadden. Source http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/index.html
According to the Iroquois constitution, states were first to solve disputes between them on their own. If resolution efforts failed then the national government would take authority, Hill said.
The Iroquois place the creation of their constitution, which was recorded on belts, at between 1000 and 1400 A.D., according to the Smithsonian magazine. The Great Law said the national government should have a commander-in-chief and that person should present a "state of the union" address to the nation, Hill said.
The Iroquois' also said that when a legislator was presenting an issue to the governing chamber, others should be quiet, a practice adopted by Congress that contrasts with protocol in the British parliament, Hill said.
[Benjamen] Franklin, then Pennsylvania's official printer, became familiar with the Iroquois political system by printing minutes of their meetings, according to the magazine.
"He recognized that the Iroquois constitution contained many features absent in other governments at the time," including the concept that "elected officials were never masters but remained servants of their constituencies," the magazine states.
However, the Iroquois constitution differed from the later U.S. document in one important way -- it specifically mentioned women, said Knapp. Many Indian nations were matriarchal with women nominating legislators, she added.
The early natives set some lasting examples for the America we all live in today. Benjamin Franklin ... became so impressed with the Pennsylvania Iroquois' tribal constitution, which he saw when he was hired as the tribe's printer, that the Pennsylvania colony named him to his first diplomatic job, its "Indian Commissioner."
In 1754 Franklin asked a gathering of American colonial delegates—white men—to use the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy, adopted in a peaceful merger of six combative tribes, as a model for what would eventually, in 1781, be ratified as the U.S. Articles of Confederation. The Iroquois constitution banned the forced entry of private homes by a tribal government, protected freedom of political and religious expression, and imposed the impeachment of corrupt leaders.
Among the long list of other fascinating Indian unknowns, the fact that Articles I, VI and VII of our Constitution are modeled after the Iroquois charter, is a story not widely perceived. Not until 1987 did the U.S. Senate finally pass a resolution stating that the U.S. Constitution had been modeled on American Indian democracy.
Here is information about the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/iroquois.html
Here is another article about Ben Franklin and the Constitution http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/0107/gaz09.html