Now what the heck is going on?! That's what I've been hearing for a couple of days since the incident involving Chief Administrator Dave General and a few community members outside of the negotiations building on Wednesday afternoon. I've heard comments ranging from disappointment, disillusionment and disgust, to that of jubilation and content. The people in this community are tired. Tired of the b.s. Tired of the manipulation. Tired of the interference. And really tired of the Canadian Government's continued use of its Indian Act policies and people in an attempt to undermine the process which was created by the PEOPLE to keep the PEACE.
And while one man's perspective is that he was only trying to attend a meeting which he feels he has every right to attend and was physically assaulted; the other mens interpretation is that they were only advising him that he was not going to attend this meeting because from the people's perspective, he has not been designated to attend, he has made clear he doesn't support it, he doesn't represent the people, and it was HE who tried to physically force his way through them. They only stopped him. So, that is what I've been able to get out of what happened. Most of us were in the meeting room unaware of what was going and it wasn't until it was pretty much over when it was brought to our attention. What gets me is the provincial and federal representatives acted like it was a big conspiracy on our part to keep Dave out. Fact is we had a caucus the night before and community members did voice their concern at Dave's continued attempts to undermine the process and his lack of support for the people; however, the Chiefs advised that they could handle Dave's outbursts in the meeting and that there was no need to prevent him from attending. What everyone needs to remember is that there are many many people who have stood silently back while Mr. General and the Crown whom he represents have been on a media campaign against the People, against the Confederacy Chiefs Council, against this whole process, trying to undermine and downplay the actual support that the Chiefs have. Dave has openly made statements such as the confederacy being on the 'dark side', about how "he's the boss", and how he's still the "legal governing body at Six Nations", how he doesn't support the reclamation, he even had voiced once that the army should be brought in to remove the people. More recently he went on a local radio program (on the 1st anniversary of our reclamation) with Caledonia Mayor Trainer, supporting her position and agreeing with everything she said. And according to Mayor Trainer, we're all criminals, we're terrorizing Caledonia residents, that there is a two tiered justice system, that we should vacate the lands, and that there should only be one government to deal with this situation (meaning the elected council). So basically, anyone who supports the continued mandate of the cultural genocide of our people dictated by the Crown, and the illegally imposed by force Indian Act system which is part of that genocide, is who and what Dave is representing. He certainly isn't representing the people of Six Nations and he has made it very clear in his last statement to the press that he has no intention of attending the community meeting that we called to deal with the concerns of the people. So basically, he's told all of the Six Nations community that he will answer to no one. He more or less said "f-u" to the people, and he has made it very clear in his latest action that he is no different then the opp, that when a community member doesn't agree with him, he will use force to try and push his way around because after all "he's the f-n boss".....which he allegedly said when he tried to come through the men.
And where does the Crown Reps get off with their high horse attitude? You know its almost funny that in the morning during our lands resolution side table meeting we were having discussions about the very same topic. They were being reminded how our Chiefs never accepted the concept of "Indian reserve #40" and how the monies that currently come through the band council are nothing compared to the monies that should be there from the lease agreements that our ancestors created to keep us self reliant, and that the Crown has been holding on to those lease monies. They were further advised not to think they were giving us anything! A federal representative accused the Chiefs of taking the high moral ground when it come to the band council and even lost his cool when challenged by one of the elected band councillors on what he had said. And from my opinion, one of the men should have jumped up and told that federal representative that under no circumstances do we speak to our women that way. In our culture our women are treated with respect. However, he did later apologize for his actions. The real question is, Who the hell took the high moral ground in the first place!?! Why do you think we have this situation called a 'reclamation' and why do you think we have men from this community preventing an arm of the federal government from trying to bring down the axe on this peaceful resolution process?!! We are in this situation because the Crown, through its intention of oppression and genocide, took the high moral ground several decades ago when it used an armed force to bring in its Indian Act Council in an attempt to destroy our culture, our heritage, and our ancestral rights to the land. They took the high moral ground to try and usurp the authority of the Onkwehonweh thousands of years ago when they killed the Peacemaker, and they're taking the high moral ground today by thinking they're going to call the shots on who sits at the negotiations. They had the nerve to give their heavy sighs, tsk tsk our people, and shake their heads in obvious disgust at what they perceived to be the actions of our negotiators, and automatically ASS U ME D that it was our men who took physical action first, not once thinking it was possible for Mr. General to be the aggressor. Why? because of their 'high moral ground' attitude toward the Onkwehonweh!! Afterall, we're only "Indians" according to their legislation and just like women, Indians only recently became humans too.
Not long after they left the meeting, correspondence from federal and provincial negotiators came to our chiefs suggesting that they "expect that Chief General will be free to attend the meetings of the side tables and Main Table, as he has done in the past", and had the nerve to site that the "negotiations can only succeed where there is a sense of security and trust, and where the mututal respect that the parties have worked so hard to establish is restored." First of all, lets be honest. Mr. General has not been attending any of the side table meetings to my knowledge, and has only recently attended about the last three of the main table meetings, quite evidently because of the fact that the Crown was feeling the pressure of the facts presented at the table. The truth and evidence has clearly shown that they (the Crown) were making unilateral decisions with respect to our lands, that all of their actions benefited the Crown and not the Six Nations, and that they truly have no legal basis for the position they have taken, even according to their own laws. Up until then, Dave did not attend the meetings. The last time he showed up for one and the people asked him why he was there, he threw a childish fit and temper tantrum, slammed his books and papers together and as he stormed out he was hollering that he "didn't need to be here because I'll just continue to deal directly with the ministers anyway, because I have that authority to". Where is the security for the people in that statement? Where is the trust?
And as far as being in an environment of trust, peace and mutual respect, at least our men stand behind their beliefs and hold true to our law, and when they speak, they make no qualms about speaking the truth, and they've shown it's far better to be honest then to continually hide behind the skirts of the crown, its more trustworthy to openly stand against our oppressors than to give the pretense of supporting when all along you're working to undermine the interests of the very people you claim to represent, and its far more more respectful to be forthright of your intentions and that in upholding the peace, you have to have the strength to stop anyone whose interest or actions are contrary.
His presence at the table has been that of acting on the direction of the Canadian Government to undermine the process because the crown does not want to deal with the Confederacy. His latest attempt was to undermine the process by which we agreed to funnel monies associated with the costs of negotiations. All parties involved with negotiations agreed. All 12 band councillors sat in a joint council meeting with the Chiefs and the people, and not one opposed when the discussion regarding the process to flow funds came up. Not one voiced any concerns. The whole purpose and intent to utilize an administration other than band council at this point was to force the Crown to recognize the Confederacy Council. The Crown was fully aware of this and worked with us to support it. Everyone agreed that this process would work. At least in open public forum they agreed. It wasn't until they had closed door band council meetings that their true feeling came out. And then we heard the whispers between INAC representatives and Dave at the negotiation table. We heard the rumours within the community. We heard the position of a few of the band councillors that did not approve, based on the fact that the people are continually reminding them that they are only an administrative body and not the government, and therefore we should let them administer these funds as well. I would agree with them if they were willing to only be administrators, but that is not the case today. Long story short is the band council insisted on passing a BCR that indicated all funds with respect to negotiations would be funneled through them. In spite of all that, the negotiation process was still proceeding and their BCR meant nothing. That's when Dave's outburst at the last main table came about and that is when the people voiced their concerns loud and clear to the Chiefs about his presence at the table. The fact is, Canada is not incapable of dealing with the Confederacy as they like to pretend to be. The Crown already agreed that this negotiation process is the avenue by which we will resolve not only the land reclamation at Kanonhstaton, but adding further the Plank Road as well as other lands that they openly admit to misappropriating; and therefore, if they choose now to go against the decisions made at the negotiation table, and try to implement policies and practices that aren't consistent with the Two Row, they have violated the agreement by which we sit at the table and have walked away from the peaceful negotiation process. And it's my opinion that is why they've probably advised Dave to disrupt this process. They knew we had consensus to proceed, and they did not want to set this precedence. Their legislation says we don't exist, but there are thousands of Onkwehonweh who beg to differ and will challenge that legislation. The Crown is in a panic over what is happening because the position of the people through the Chiefs Council is one of taking a strong stand and not putting up with their dictatorship any longer. They recognize that they are losing whatever self imposed power that they've been able to maintain for 80 years, and they are definitely afraid of what this means. They do not want to deal with the people. It is much easier for the Crown to deal with someone who will jump at their command, who will accept money as a pay off against the wishes of the people, and who'll kiss their ass to keep whatever authoritative power they think they have. Well, I've said it before, Dave is only one man. He is not the government of this territory. He represents the Crown and he's made no bones about it. And he made no bones about who he plans to continue to represent when he publically announced that he will not attend a meeting called by the Confederacy on behalf of the people. He would not answer to that 'small segment of the community'. I got news for you Mr. General, that small segment of the community represents over 85% of the total population of Six Nations at Grand River.
The statement that the Crown will 'allow' us the opportunity to resolve our 'internal governance issues'. I agree with elder Chief Pete Sky. There are no 'Internal Governance Issues'. We didn't create the problem so it is in no way internal to our governance. The elected band council was not our creation. It was and still is an arm of the federal government, an entity that has nothing to do with our people and our laws, it has nothing to do with being Onkwehonweh and the only 'internal governance issue' is the mental, spiritual, and emotional conflict going on inside the minds of many individuals who have grown up only knowing that system and supporting that system. And that IS a direct result of OPPRESSION and is PROOF of the attempted Cultural Genocide of our people. Evidence of what we have been saying all along. The Indian Act is the Crowns problem. We have always maintained our Government, and we have retained our culture, language and landbase through leases to prove it.
The only thing the Crown needs to do is acknowledge it! It was put to them at the table months ago. We want an apology and we want compensation to begin the healing in this community that will allow us to over-come the many divisions that were created as a result of this forced government. It didn't take that long for them to compensate the Chinese refugees. Didn't take them long to compensate the gentleman accused of being a terrorist to the tune of $30,000.00 per day. Let's face it, Canada might have legislation that say's "Indians" are now humans, but their laws and their policies reflect differently.
And as far as the crown telling us who will sit at the negotiations on our behalf. It goes like this. We have a signed agreement dated April 21, 2006 between the Federal and Provincial Government delegates representing the Crown, and Confederacy Chief Allen MacNaughton representing the Haudenesonne/Six Nations. In that agreement it clearly states first of all that "The Haudenosaunee, also called the Iroquois Confederacy, have a relationship of mutual respect, trust and friendship with the Crown." It further agrees that "Each party will appoint a principal representative within two weeks of signing this agreement." and that "The parties will seek to ensure that their representatives have sufficient authority to negotiate a draft agreement, subject to ratification by the parties regarding the above issues." There is a framework agreement dated June 22nd 2006 which further stipulates "as we move to the finalization of the development of an effective implementation plan, we do hereby re-commit to guiding ourselves based upon the relationship long ago established between the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations and the Crown. This relationship shall be guided by the principals of Respect, Peace, and Friendship, as per the Silver Covenant Chain and the Two Row Wampum. It is understood and agreed that to have a peaceful relationship, all must adhere to the Principles of Mutual Respect, Trust and Honesty. That is to respect one another's unique history, culture and identify as well as the distinct processes that are embedded in each of our governments." This process was agreed upon by the people. The people said they didn't want the band council representing them. They said that the clanmothers HAD to be part of the process. We indicated that there would be representatives of the men's fire and the women's fire, and that we were going to be at the negotiations according to our Treaties, and not canadian law, and therefore, no lawyer was going to represent us. Consistent with what the people requested, the Confederacy Council appointed five Chiefs to oversee the negotiations process, and the Lead was given to Chief Allen MacNaughton, and Sub-Chief Leroy Hill. All of the other Clanmothers and Chiefs as well as the people designated oversee the process and any concerns whatsoever are brought to the immediate attention of those five. The elected band council in their part, acknowledging the voice of the people, passed a BCR and issued correspondence to Minister Jim Prentice and Minister David Ramsay representatives of the Crown, that indicated "By this letter, the Elected Six Nations Council requests that Indian and Northern Affairs Canada recognize the lead of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council in this matter. The Elected Six Nations Council shall remain in an active supporting role." Key word on the last part is "supportive". I can list on one hand exactly who has supported the Chiefs and this process because they are the same ones who try to work with the people instead of in spite of the people, and they are also the same ones who envision a government of Six Nations that truly represents the people, not one that dictates to the people.. They are the one's who end up in shouting matches with the chief administrator when he refuses to acknowledge them and the motions they try to put forward during their elected council meetings, and they are the same ones who try really hard to voice the concerns of the people instead of ass-kissing to the Canadian Government. Bottom line is this. Canada will not dictate to Six Nations who represents us in the negotiations, Six Nations has directed our representatives to the table as we seen fit. If Canada, in right of the Crown, should make any attempt to further their own agenda by trying to push representatives to the table that do not represent the Six Nations but who may in fact be there to fulfill the hidden agenda of the Crown, if they try to walk away from the negotiations because of it; then they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The people have had enough! And as far as insisting that Dave General be allowed to attend the meetings, then the Crown need only bring him in with them and have him sit on the Crowns side of the Two Row, because lets be HONEST, thats exactly who and what he is supporting, and whose law he is upholding. At least then there would be no problem with the people because it would be representative of the TRUTH.
Throughout this past year the Administrative Chief has often said we'll let the people of Six Nations decide who the governing body of this community is. I think the people of Six Nations made that very clear on April 20th 2006 when we took back our land from another forced invasion initiated by the Crown, and we put the Confederacy Council in the lead to deal with our lands and our treaties. There is nothing that is uncertain. The people have already spoken. To me there is only one question to be answered by the people of this community. Do we want Treaties or the Indian Act to govern us? That's a really easy one to answer. The Indian Act has no authority to represent our Treaties. Don't forget, that system is part of the Crown and for them to think that they can speak for the treaties would be like the Crown dealing with itself to resolve it. They'd be trying to work from only one side of the two row and history has clearly shown where that type of resolution process has gotten us. We need only remember that this tactic isn't knew. Look back at what's happened in other situations where there was any kind of stand made by the people. The Crown uses individuals from within the Indian Act council to do their bidding because they write their paycheck. It's common knowledge in all of the Kanienkehaka Territories to what extent the Canadian Government will go to accomplish their goals. This time they cannot use these tactics because the clanmothers and women have held onto these lands without the use of weapons and have used only our Kaierenekowah, and Kanikonriio (our Good Minds). Our men have supported this. So the Crown must resort to whatever tactics they can muster to stop this. They use people like Dave General, Gary McHale, Mayor Trainer and all the others like the one's who keep pushing this 'flag flap'. They play on the minds of the Caledonia people by trying to demonstrate that there is an unequality in the law, when they know damn well that the only unequality in the Law is their forcing their laws on our people. Caledonians and Canadians need only ask their Canadian Government to provide documented proof of when the Six Nations/Haudenesaunee ever ceded jurisdiction to them over our lands and our people and they will quickly find out that no such documentation exists. Just as they are quickly finding out through this negotiation process that the Crown has not only stolen our lands, but they've sold them to unsuspecting Canadians and continue to tax them on them as well.
So, to answer the question I started out with in this update.............."What the heck is going on!?!". What's going on is the same genocidal tactics of the past. The same interference of the Crown into the internal governance of the Six Nations. The same manipulation of weak minded people who recognize the dollar as the almighty and who would sell their own mother to gain some sort of altered righteousness. What they don't realize is that they are dealing with a higher power much greater than their armies and their governmental policies. They are dealing with a Divine Law that not only allows the people the FREEDOM, but also the OBLIGATION, to uphold the Laws of Peace. They are dealing with not only the Six Nations of Grand River, not only the Six Nations of Turtle Island, not only the Onkwehonweh of Turtle Island, but the Onkwehonweh of the World who all have the responsibility to uphold the Universal Law of Creation, and to protect our Mother Earth for the coming faces. The Onkwehonweh of the World are no longer sitting quiet, we are no longer allowing the desecration of our earth through continued development of our lands and we will no longer allow the interference in our government or the imposition of policies that are contrary to who we are. We will no longer allow big money companies to come in to our homelands with the intent of raping the earth of its resources leading to the destruction of the very mother who sustains us. We are standing united, and we are standing strong in protection of the Land, the Law and the People. What the heck is going on you ask?.............THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!!!!!!!
In Love, Light and Peace,