Sago from Grand River! Sorry to have taken so long to touch base, it has been a quiet couple of weeks since I last updated and things remain very calm and peaceful at the reclamation site.
We worked throughout the weekend cleaning up the front gate, removing the steel structure that blocked the main entrance and opened it up again, the way that it was when the land reclamation first began on February 28th. It was done in a gesture of peace and goodwill. A message to all that we are on the land in peace, we have nothing to hide, and welcome anyone who wishes to come to the site with a good mind, an open mind, and who’s intentions are to gain an understanding of the truth with respect to the history of the our people. It was done in support of our Confederacy Council and for our delegates who have been mandated to deal with the land, to ensure that the Crowns representatives in the Federal and Provincial government understand that we are United, that we are ONE, and that we work and support one and other. It was done to remove any remaining “barriers” that could be used as a tool or excuse to stall the negotiation process because we are at the table ready and willing to provide the Truth and we ask only the same from the Crown.
Our presence on the land is minimal, and yet some of the people within the Caledonia citizens alliance still find it to be too much. They would prefer if we just went home and that they didn’t have to look at us anymore. Apparantly Judge Marshall feels the same way. Even though Henco has been bought out, the injunction is no longer an issue, Mr. Marshall is now insisting that the contempt of court orders be followed through on. It is unfortunate throughout all of this that people are unable to look at the situation as it is…. a political issue that is deserving of attention and respect as it has been ignored and pushed to the side for generations in hopes that it would go away.
It is the same message that is being presented today…… ‘ Just go away, we won’t have to look at you anymore, and we can put all of this behind us’.
Unfortunately, that is the mentality and attitude that has gotten us to the position that we are in today. Our people have been a patient people. We have tolerated generations of abuse and yet we have continued to uphold the Peace. The position of our people is not new, nor is it something that hasn’t been done before. Just yesterday was the 16th anniversay of the day that the army surrounded our people at Kanesetake. Each and every one of us can recall our own feelings of that moment in time and how it impacted us. It is from those times in our life that as unbelieveable and horrible that situation was, we can take that negative and turn it into a positive and learn from it.
So when people ask why, if the government has bought out Henco, don’t we just leave the land and go home; it is that lesson in our history that we look to and remind the world that it is for that very reason why we cannot leave the land. We have committed to remaining on the land until it has been returned to our people according to those original agreements. Until then, it is only a promise, and that history, even as recent as 1990, has proven time and time again that promises mean nothing.
It is an issue of Sovereignty that runs far deeper than a simple issue of a land claim, and one that reaches deep into the hearts and souls of our people. It is the very essence of who we are, and the strength that comes from believing in the Kaienerekowah, and upholding our responsibilities to our Great Law. We would be negligent if we did nothing to ensure that our future generations didn’t have the same strong foundation that our ancestors laid out for us.
And tonight I am thankful to all of those grandfathers and grandmothers who did just that. To our people who have carried forward our languages and ceremonies and have kept the spirit of the Onkwehonweh people alive. Who have lived their lives committed to this so that those of us who are on this earth today can give thanks and enjoy those things that our ancestors fought so hard to keep alive. For our people who have endured the genocidal practices of colonialism and how today, we can still stand here, knowing who we are as a people. How that fills each and every one of us with pride and that inner strength and knowing that in spite of everything, we are still here. We are not just a chapter in the history book, but we are a living breathing Nation of people who’s spirit is as strong today, as it was all of those centuries ago when that message of peace was given as a reminder to our people, and to those original Five Nations who were given that responsibility to uphold that Peace for all the Onkwehonweh Nations of the World.
Tonight is a night for reflection. A time for thanksgiving. A time to honour and respect not only our ancestors who’ve kept our teachings alive, but to all of our people who continue with that today. I am but one small voice in Creation who acknowledges each and every one of you who I admire and appreciate and deeply respect. I say Nya Wah Kowah!, for without you, we would not be here, and we could not stand as strong as we do today.
In the words of one of our supporters from Denmark “They can bind us hands and feet, but our spirit cannot be bound” Isn’t that the TRUTH!!!!
In Love Light & Peace,