I received this update from Hazel Hill on September 16th. As i sometimes do, i have taken the liberty to add a few paragraph breaks in the text for readability:
Sago from Grand River. Today was our 200th day on the Land Reclamation of Kanonhstaton.
Interestingly enough, it was also the day that CBC aired Part 1 of the movie “Indian Summer, the Oka Crisis”. To say the least, it was definitely a good reminder of how things work for our people. It brought to surface all of the feelings we’ve all been having for the last 200 days right up to the forefront again. There is alot of similarities in what happened in 1990 to what’s happening today and it is hard to watch to say the least. Watching this first part leaves me wondering what’s going to happen. There is no question that our people have learned from the past. The question really is, has the government of Canada? I know that our people never forget, and seeing the backdoor meetings of the government officials, watching the treatment of our people by the SQ, and witnessing the racist behaviours of the people in Chatequay are not much different than what’s happening today. It really makes you think about what really is going on. The resolve of the people is no different. The focus of title and jurisdiction and the Sovereignty of the Haudenesaunee is forefront in the minds of all who have made this stance.
We have our delegates meeting with representatives of the Crown and they are meeting in good faith, but it does bring to question whether or not the Crown has a real understanding of the enormity of this reclamation, and the support of the Onkwehonweh around the world. At the last meeting of the main table I requested that each of the parties involved in the negotiation process watch this movie. I asked because from our perspective we knew that the tactics of the government of canada and the similarities of the negotiation process haven’t changed much. I wanted them to understand that to our people, the land is as important as the air we breathe. We are part of the land. There is no separation.
We have gone through the demands of removing the barricades and we have gone through the backpeddling of the government on promises made, and then changed or broken to suit their needs. We are continually being met with demands of disengagement when we ultimately know that when we walk away from the land, they will walk away from the table. It does not take a genious to figure out that our Confederacy representatives are at the table because of our reclamation. It also doesn’t take a genious to figure out that all the while they are negotiating with our Chiefs and delegated representatives of the people, that behind closed doors they are making simulataneous deals with individuals of the illegal entity known as the band council and are strategizing on how to get our people off the land so that they can go back to working with the party they created as an arm of the federal government.
Elected Chief Dave General has made it clear that he does not support the reclamation and ultimately does not support the people. He continually pushes the land exploration process that the government of canada has designed that does nothing to have the land returned to our people, does nothing to recognize or hold accountable the Crown for the theft, nor does it address the underlying title and jurisdiction; but instead offers minimal monetary compensation that secures nothing for the future generations.
Now mind you, not all of the band councillors are party to this deceit. Some of them are working just as hard and have recognized the need to have the Confederacy deal with the long out-standing theft of our land and the misappropriation of our trust because they recognize that they are the only ones who can represent our treaties and our sovereignty. This is something that our people have waited over 80 years to be able to deal with. Not with the interference of the Crown, but within the Six Nations ourselves. It is the governance of Six Nations.
The initial meeting to begin that process will happen tomorrow morning. We will begin the long process of hashing out and undoing the mess that was created by the undeniable interference of the Crown in our internal affairs. From my perspective, there is no doubt that the only true government of the Haudenesaunee lies within the Great Law, and that is with the people. The avenue from which the Confederacy Council takes it’s direction. The band council is and always will be an administrative body. That should be it’s only function. It mimics canada’s parliament and does not truly represent the people. It is the people within Six Nations who have to make that position loud and clear. It is not for Ottawa to decide.
Recently I was given documentation from someone who’s uncle had kept for years. It was a declaration of resistance by the people at Six Nations against the illegal imposition and invasion of the Imperial Government of Great Britain in their attempt to impose foreign made laws upon us. This document and petition was dated in July of 1923 and had the signatures of 100’s of our people. It was definitely a voice stronger and larger than the 9 or so signatures of people who the crown used to bring in their Indian Act council in 1924. It really makes it clear that back then, just as now, the crown will use a minority of people who they can manipulate or buy to suit their needs.
Today, we have to show the crown that their interference in our side of the Two Row will no longer be tolerated. We have international recognition for our Sovereignty as a Nation and must utilize that recognition and demand the Crown uphold it’s responsibilites not only to the treaties but also in its responsibility of having created the situation we are in today.
As far as whats been happening at the site, things have been relatively quiet. There have been a few incidents of individuals from the Caledonia Citizens Alliance trying to create violence by taking down signs along the roadway in front of the site, and trying to come into the site on the pretense of having a picnic and in the spirit of peace, in the meantime being intoxicated and ultimately looking for a fight. Their latest move was a letter written to Premier McGuinty requesting permission to have a 20,000 person rally on the land at Kanonhstaton on October 15th. Their reasoning? “The Indians have had use of the land for 6 months, we’re entitled to 1 day”. They’ve invited Jane Stewart, the lead Provincial negotiator to partake in their plans, but we have been told that she declined because of her involvement in the peaceful negotiation process.
It would be good if the canadian government reminded the CCA that the land at Kanonhstaton is not public land. It is being held in trust by the Province at this time, yes, but it has been reclaimed by the people of Six Nations.
We have remained peaceful, in spite of the gossip and rumours pegging us as terrorists, and we will continue our unarmed reclamation of our land while this process continues. The whole issue of lights and noise, atv’s, fireworks and police buffer zones continues to take precedence over the land at the table, even though we have respected the concerns of our Caledonia neighbours months ago, and even created a buffer zone well in excess of 100′ which our people have respected, but the government fails to recognize. They want it in writing. Well, we all heard how that plan works. Continually demand further encroachments of police lines until they have you boxed in. Wasn’t that Bourassa’s plan in 1990? Whichever government rep it was, we’re not buying into it. The 100′ buffer zone exists. All the Crown has to do is remind the individuals within caledonia who haven’t respected it.
The OPP have told the government that it is a policing issue. They have also re affirmed our position that we have been most respectful of boundaries, there are no incidents of loud noises, atv’s driving around all night, or lights being shone in windows. The only threat of violence is coming from the CCA. It could be just another of those government tactics to justify an invasion, or it could be individuals who don’t have an understanding or respect for the truth. Whatever and whoever it is, the onus is on the crown to deal with it. It is clearly on their side of the wampum and if nothing else has been learned to date, our delegates have been consistent in reminding the crown exactly how that Two Row is suppose to work.
Today CCA representative Jim Smith and a few others held a protest against the OPP and what their terming as a “two-teared” justice system. I don’t know if they meant ‘two-tiered’ but again I have to admit, Jim Smith is absolutely right. That justice system that he refers to is two-tiered and biased. The only people being charged are from Six Nations, inspite of overwhelming evidence and facts clearly indicating that the violence and openly admitted possible use of weapons as a resolve, is coming from within the CCA. I think 1 Caledonian compared to over 50 or more from Six Nations has been charged so I guess Jim’s claim’s that the Onkwehonweh have been receiving ‘special treatment’ are true to a certain degree. It’s just that, that treatment of the Onkwehonweh, is nothing new, special, nor is it surprising. It just is.
It would be good if some of the people who truly believe in justice, who truly want to see racism and violations of human rights be stopped, and who truly believe in a peaceful resolution process; begin calling Jane Stewart, Dalton McGuinty, Stephen Harper, Barbara McDougal and Jim Prentice just to name a few, and demand that the idiotness of the 20,000 person rally be stopped immediately to prevent a possibly volatile situation, and that the Federal Government pull up its briches and begin taking an active role in this resolution process and stop passing everything off over to the Province. As duly representatives of the Crown, and as recently pointed out to me, representatives of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, it is not a choice, it is an obligation.
In Peace, Love and Light,