Monday, October 30, 2006

The Two Row Wampum

The Two Row Wampum Belt says:
"This symbolizes the agreement under which the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee
welcomed the white peoples to their lands.
'We will NOT be like father and son, but like brothers.
These TWO ROWS will symbolize vessels,
travelling down the same river together.
One will be for the Original People, their laws, their customs,
and the other for the European people and their laws and customs.
We will each travel the river together,
but each in our own boat.
And neither of us will try to steer the other's vessel.'"
The agreement has been kept by the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee to this date.


Haudenosaunee Six Nations References

Caledonia Hype

"The occupation has turned violent on several occasions after non-aborginal residents confronted police who wouldn't allow them near the site."

"The commissioner said he was concerned that some in Caledonia want to "hype up" the tensions."

It appears to me that even in his first day in office, Julian Fantino has a good grasp of the situation in Caledonia. He is aware that in the last few months, the violence has come from Caledonia, not Six Nations. He is aware that there are people in Caledonia, politicians among them, who prefer to keep the tensions high. I won't speculate on their reasons, but I will say that it is immoral of people to disturb and manipulate the emotions of vulnerable residents in order to create the perception that Caledonia is 'under seige'. People are only under seige in their own minds, and politicians should calm them rather than feeding their misplaced anxieties.

Is Fantino aware that Six Nations supporters are accosted, harassed and assaulted in the street while police look on and refuse to lay charges? That depends whether he has read my email to him yet. The Inspector has not responded to my request for review of the case, so further measures will be necessary.

Caledonia has tried to lay all the blame on Six Nations. Even provincial politicians have been taken in by this. Perhaps Gwen Boniface was reluctant to address the real problem. It is very reassuring to know Fantino seems to see where the problems really lie, and it is reassuring to know that in the future, charges will be laid against Caledonia residents who accost, harass and assault Six Nations supporters.

It is time for residents of Caledonia to learn that they are not above the law.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ultimatums? Deadlines? Use of force?
Federal government gives a clear answer

Quotes from the Sachem:

"the federal government has no intention of ever using force to remove protesters"

When asked by an audience member that if it¹s proven the natives don¹t own the land, at what point will the government step in to remove them, Doering responded by saying,

"never, it's the federal government's position not to use force."

Doering also explained to the crowd that native treaty rights are enshrined in the Canadian Constitution. That's the reason Canada can't eliminate the indian reserve system, cut off their financial support or promote assimilation as one resident inquired.


Othodox Indigenous people of the Confederacy seek proper restitution of lands and monies owing, and to be self-sustaining on their land, without further interference from Canada. Negotiations deserve the support of everyone. It appears they are coming close to establishing the title of Douglas Creek, and that will be a watershed. In the absence of any government proof of valid surrender or sale, Six Nations presents its evidence this week, Nov.3.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lynda Powless: Understanding Caledonia

There isn't a day that goes by that people in our community aren't reminded that they live under rules that Canadians themselves aren't subjected to.


The band chief and councillors are "elected" by less than four per cent of the community, and they don't answer to their meagre electorate, they answer to the Minister of Indian Affairs.

Is it any wonder the people still look to their own Confederacy council for leadership? It's a unique system, designed to give voice and power to its people. It's made of chiefs and clanmothers that represent families -- families whose voices are reflected back to that council through those same clanmothers and chiefs.

And it belongs to us.

It is a difficult system for Canadians to understand. Canadians, in general are used to electing a politician, packing him off and hoping he carries their wishes to Ottawa.

Six Nations people are not only used to being heard, they expect to be. That kind of democracy is directly linked to our history and the Confederacy. Every voice is heard. For those who don't understand its protocol and customs, it can appear chaotic.

The Canadian media hears from spokespeople that decisions will be made by the people, and in their 30-second sound-bite mind, it translates into political rhetoric, when, in fact, the decisions being made do have to go to a meeting of the people, who take those voices to Confederacy chiefs and clanmothers. Discussions are held to come to a decision everyone can agree to.

It's a long, tedious process, but when it's over, everyone walks away with a decision they can all agree to. It creates a strength of spirit, not a dimming of identity.


It's a difficult concept for Canadians to grasp. Six Nations history has never been discussed in the schools, and their contributions to the creation of Canada is forgotten.

Canadians don't understand why Six Nations people consider themselves Haudenosaunee, not Canadians. Canadians don't know that it was Six Nations funds that were taken by government officials and helped create the Upper Canada Law Society, or funded the first government structures of what was then Upper Canada.

Nor do they know that McGill University was built with Six Nations money. And it was Six Nations money that was used to build the infrastructure of a new Canada. It was the foresight of Six Nations leadership that leased Six Nations lands to create that cash flow for the people of Six Nations -- lands that were never surrendered. It was that same cash flow that Canada, in a position of trust, used to create a country.

And it was the question of what happened to Six Nations lands and trust funds valued at more than $800 billion that caused Six Nations to launch a lawsuit against Canada in 1995.

So it is understandable that the misconception exists today that the lands along the Grand were given up simply because successive Canadian governments have failed to live up to their obligations to Six Nations people and created Canadian legislation to legally stop Six Nations from objecting to anything they did.

This is the atmosphere that created the Caledonia Reclamation.

Knowing that there is so little land left, and watching our lands being slowly eaten away and the resources within them used to enrich those who are settling illegally upon those lands, it wasn't any surprise the Caledonia Reclamation happened.

The only surprise to Six Nations was that it took so long.


Related link:

Ecological footprint - Federation of Canadian Municipalities

$$ Haldimand County's Debt to Six Nations $$

Six Nations today retains only 5% of its original Haldimand Tract land grant. The legality of the disposition of those lands is the subject of ongoing negotiations. Regardless of the outcome of those negotiations, it remains true that lands surrendered to the 'Crown' were surrendered in trust for the Six Nations people. Thus, any money arising from leases or sales of those surrendered properties was to accrue to the Six Nations account held in trust by the Federal government. However, some monies were not deposited as required, and other monies deposited were subsequently used to fund other initiatives, without repayment of the principle to Six Nations' account, let alone any interest.

Windspeaker magazine traces the use of some of the Six Nations money. One item of note is $1,000 from Six Nations account given to Haldimand County in 1851 without repayment.

Now, I am not a financial expert, but my spreadsheet tells me that since
Haldimand County owed Six Nations $1,000 from 1851 to the present:

At an annual interest rate of 5% Haldimand County now owes Six Nations $1.5m.
At 10% interest, Haldimand County's present debt would amount to $1.5b.

I don't know how such things are calculated really, so I provide these simple examples just to make a point: Either of these is a lot of money, enough to make local politicians take notice. Perhaps enough to make residents realize that Haldimand County is not an innocent victim of the reclamation, but one of the agencies that defrauded Six Nations, and a contributing cause of the reclamation.

It would be an act of good faith, and a great contribution to community peace and harmony if Haldimand County would step forward and pay its historical and still outstanding debt to Six Nations account.

It would be an act of great leadership and respect and understanding which would go a long way to healing the divisions of the past few months, and setting the stage for a new partnership.
I am sure many residents hope that the current municipal elections will bring forward some leaders with real vision of the future, and the courage to begin healing the divisions created between these two closely entwined communities.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Colonialism and Canada:

republished from

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Colonialism: The control of one nation by “transplanted” people of another nation—often a geographically distant nation that has a different culture and dominant racial or ethnic group. (See ethnicity.)

‡ A classic example of colonialism is the control of India by Britain from the eighteenth century to 1947. (similar to Britain/Canada’s colonization of Indigenous lands.)

‡ Control that is economic and cultural, rather than political, is often called neocolonialism. [similar to US control of Canada.]

Britain colonized India for 200 years, and was finally rejected as the ruling power when Ghandi organized a non-violent peoples’ revolt that shut down manufacturing and shipping
... and the economy.
Now perhaps it’s time for Canada’s 200 year comeuppance?

Six Nations and other Indigenous protests are NOT just local irritants to be quickly stomped out by police. This is ONE powerful movement of indigenous people across Canada and around the world to reclaim their land and their traditional governance which were encroached or assumed (e.g., 'Crown' land) during the colonial era throughout the world.

Canadians would like to think that indigenous people of Canada simply have to accept the situation – “it’s over, it’s history, move on!” However, it is definitely not “over” for them. They continue to suffer the consequences of Canada’s genocidal policies and practices.

Traditional Indigenous people despair of Canada's ability to look after the land sustainably and because of their inherent responsibilities for the land and Canada's unpaid debts and disrespect:

They are asserting aboriginal rights as caretakers of the land.

Canada has unpaid debts in money, land, honour, respect.

I am Canadian and I am appalled by what I see, and I want Canada to step up to the plate honourably.

Canada no longer has the ‘bully’ tools it has traditionally used to ‘keep the natives quiet’. International Laws now prevent that, along with growing Canadian public opinion that sees no need for violence against people asserting their legal rights in the face of government indifference, ignorance, and violence.

x Canada can no longer oppress their traditional spiritual leadership and practices.

x Canada can no longer break up their governing council meetings at gunpoint.

x Canada can no longer steal and hide the treaties they signed but didn’t intend to honour.

x Canada can no longer kidnap Indigenous children and send them to abusive schools in attempts to break their spirit.

x The United Nation’s Permanent Indigenous Forum and Human Rights Committee now give international voice to Indigenous struggles against oppressors throughout the world.

x The internet allows indigenous people to quickly rally anywhere in the world to support each other.

x Canada must be wary of the UN shaming Canada’s behaviour in not settling land claims promptly.

x UN observers can be sent in to embarrass Canada

x International laws can overturn Canada’s decisions on land claims.

x Canada has no traditional means of oppressing the growing strength and solidarity of Indigenous people here in Canada and around the world.

What CAN Canada do now?

Canada is now limited to shady, behind the scenes covert psychological aggression against Indigenous people. Canada can:

Harness the mainstream media to ensure that all instigation and violence is blamed on the Indigenous protestors.

Ö The mainstream media is to be congratulated for their consistency in biased reporting that furthers Canada’s coverup of theft of Indigenous land and property and liberty and life itself.

Encourage liquor and hate-fuelled Canadians to denigrate the Indigenous people without consequence.

Ö The citizens of Caledonia can take heart that racists are free to promote hatred on the streets of Caledonia

Publicize and track EVERY charge laid against any Indigenous person, but DO NOT publish the names of white people arrested and charged, and don’t even mention the violence they instigate.

Ö The racists and anti-police protestors of Caledonia can take heart that they can spew filth and even assault police without consequences!

Allow Canadian school children to racially taunt and denigrate their Indigenous schoolmates.

Ö The citizens of Caledonia and Canada can take heart that their children are free to racially insult and harass Indigenous children on the streets, playgrounds and in the schools, because that’s the example adults have set for them, and no one is taking the adults to task for it!

Compensate businesses who lose Indigenous business due to rampant racism in the streets and in their stores.

Ö The merchants of Caledonia can take heart that they are free of those nasty Indigenous customers. So what if it’s half of their business – the government will pay instead!!

Compensate homeowners who have irrational fears because “We hear the drumming and chanting and it gives us chills.”

Ö The homeowners can take heart because when that nasty “drumming and chanting” starts, they can call their MPP for money to compensate for this horrible abuse (OR they could go to the council fire and enjoy it as many of us do).

Insist on decorum among the Indigenous people even though it can’t be achieved by Canadians – i.e., demand that they be ‘better’ than us, while treating them like criminals, and refuse to give them back their land until they behave.

Ö The government can take heart because, as in the past, the Indigenous people always take the high road and behave better than their abusers. This is not because of fear: It is simply because they have bigger and better goals than Canada has.

Fight against the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights

Ö The government can take heart that they can still partner with the United States to fight human rights! After all (harrumph!) we already give them good government! (harrumph!) They can’t govern themselves! (harrumph!) We are saving them from themselves! (harrumph!) Besides, we have to protect OUR natural resources from their land claims! (harumph!) We’d be the best country in the world if the natives didn’t keep dragging down our ratings! (harrumph!). (Update: The UN passed it anyway!!)

Other strategies include ... let bullies rule the streets ... harass and suppress the Canadian supporters of Six Nations.

Of course, Canada may soon be forced to recognize that our patriarchal notions of what is ‘best’ for them are not consistent with what they know to be best for themselves. Self government is the best single factor in reducing aboriginal youth suicide. Pride and dignity and community stolen, requires pride and dignity and community returned, through return of and compensation for lands, and self determination.

The United Nations knows this. Canada needs to do this ... quickly.