My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Love it or leave it! Peace.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts for Canada Day 2008

Time to settle claims


Posted June 30 2008

Friction between aboriginals and the mining industry is bad for North Bay and Canada. The apology for the residential schools tragedy made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be a new beginning. The First Nations are equal and proud Canadians.

But hundreds of outstanding land claims must be settled.

Of late, there have been very serious confrontations between mineral exploration crews and natives opposed to their presence.

The right to prospect, or search for minerals on Crown land is embedded in tradition and law. Anyone in Ontario can purchase a prospector's license. The lonely prospector who takes great risks, and the people who grub-staked" him, or put up the money for essential supplies, are part of Canadian mythology.

Grub-staked by New Liskeard businessmen, Ed Horne paddled from Lake Temiskaming to Lake Osisko in Northwestern Quebec and found what was to be the Noranda mine and the start of a huge mining empire.

Recently prospectors looking for diamonds discovered the nickel deposits at Voisey's Bay in Newfoundland.

Mining pumps billions into federal and provincial coffers every year and creates thousands of well-paid jobs. That Canada is in better economic shape than the recession- hit United States is largely due to its diverse mineral riches.

Yet native groups are often resisting exploration crews and have had some leaders jailed for blocking them. They have garnered considerable public sympathy. In response, the McGuinty government is expected to change the Ontario Mining Act.

North Bay has no mines, but it has a large mining supply segment which employs close to 2,000 people. Recent news from Sturgeon Falls indicates this community will also get many jobs thanks to a new mining-related enterprise.

It must be stated that North Bay is fortunate in having many First Nation communities close by. Hardly a week passes without The Nugget reporting positive news from an aboriginal group. Saturday's paper told of happy customers at the new Old Chief Fish Market. This is the first time the native community has sold fish through a co-operative business model regulated by its own laws and conservation plan and endorsed by the MNR.

If anything or anyone threatens Lake Nipissing's fish stocks the non-natives of North Bay will stand united with the First Nations to block them.

But without exploration, mining will die. The Mining Act must not be replaced with another bureaucratic nightmare. What is needed is a fast and effective dispute settlement mechanism. And the mining industry must move to improve its relations with First Nations, and make them part of the industry that can offer real economic opportunity and equality.

And the feds must move to settle land claims. Apologizing is not enough.

Article ID# 1094534 ----

Apologies aren't enough

Group calls for justice, land claim settlements


Posted 4 hours ago

Indigenous and non-indigenous people gathered at Victoria Park to assert their support for the struggles of aboriginals in Canada on Saturday.

Heavy rain did not prevent more than a dozen people from attending the day-long event, which included a drumming workshop, personal stories and musical performances.

The event was organized by Sudbury Against War and Occupation and was designed to raise awareness of aboriginal issues.

Gary Kinsman is a member of Sudbury Against War and Occupation and said the inaugural event displays solidarity between both indigenous and non-indigenous people.

"I think it's important

because what we're showing is that the government's apology around residential schools was not enough," he said while standing beneath a tarp protecting a barbeque and food from the rain.

"The government policies around indigenous people are, in general, pretty bad."

Many of the day's events highlighted the group's concern surrounding First Nations land claims. Kinsman, who is not an aboriginal, said there needs to be justice for the community.

"There has been attempts to criminalize, to throw in jail the various leaders of indigenous struggles," he said. "We're here to say that's not going to be tolerated, that people in Sudbury are going to join together and oppose those policies until there is justice for First Nations people."

The smell of burning tobacco wafted through the small room as traditional aboriginal drumming group, Sha Daa Kim opened the day's workshops.

Aboriginal elder Barb Riley addressed the gathering and said it is time for the Canadian government to settle land claims.

She said the day of solidarity signifies that settlers (Caucasians) are learning the value of land.

"I hold a mortgage to my residence here in Sudbury. If I didn't pay that mortgage, the bank would come after me and foreclose," she said. "I think that is what the First Nations should start doing. Foreclosing on the land. Not take the land back, but make them pay through royalties."

Riley said the government needs to reassess its "paternalistic" attitude toward First Nations.

"We are smart people, we don't need people making decisions for us," she said. "Maybe we did at one time when they put the residential schools in place, but many of our people now have law degrees and PhD's to run their own businesses and affairs."

Riley was a student at a residential school and said the recent apology made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is meaningless if they don't settle land claims.

"It's just words," she said. In soft, even tones, she

described what she believes is a genocide being committed against First Nations people. She said the residential schools was part of it. Now, she said, the removal of children from aboriginal homes and placement with the Children's Aid Society is another version of it.

"It isn't helping our children," she said.

Article ID# 1094934 ___
Aboriginals await action after apology
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Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy in 2007. (Eric Wynne / Staff)

One apology, no matter how heartfelt, doesn’t erase a century of estrangement.

Even if most aboriginal people believe the federal government is sincerely sorry about residential schools, that doesn’t mean they’ll be waving flags and singing O Canada on Tuesday with reborn patriotism.

Many say it will take time and meaningful action before they see Canada Day fireworks as anything more than pretty lights that fade away almost as quickly as they burn.

"Call me up in a year’s time," said Mi’kmaq Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy of Cape Breton, who was forced into a residential school at age six with his two sisters. "They make it sound good, but they don’t follow up on what they’re saying."

Many aboriginals, including leaders such as Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, had warm praise for both the words and the emotion behind the June 11 apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In that apology, Harper said the government was sorry for taking native children from their families and sending them to church-run schools far from their parents and their culture.

The words may have been a good start. But it’ll be a while before many aboriginals feel truly reconciled with their country.

"(Canada Day) will be pretty much the same for me," said residential school survivor Harvey Tootoosis of Saskatoon. For him, the real work will begin with the five-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"With the apology, we can move forward with the reconciliation part and live together as equals."

Patricia Nadeau of Winnipeg, who calls her year of residential school at the age of five "the most horrible, horrible time," says she still can’t trust the government that inflicted it on her.

"The apology helped a little bit, but it can’t erase a lifetime of distrust. My experience at residential school always made me feel distrust of government and official authority."

Proof of Canada’s sincerity will come when it supports the cultures it once tried to destroy, she suggested. "I’m very frustrated with the (amount of) money that’s given out to save (aboriginal) languages."

Everyone shares the responsibility of turning words into action that will bring together aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, added Chief Ed John of North Vancouver.

"(Moving) that apology to action doesn’t mean it’s just government or aboriginal peoples, it means broader Canadians as well."

Too many people still don’t understand the damage that was done to roughly 150,000 students who attended the 132 schools for much of the last century, said Keni Jackson of Watson Lake, Yukon. He says he can’t even walk over the ground where the Carcross residential school once stood.

"All my troubles are in that building. I just want people to understand. That’s the frustrating part of it for me — having people who don’t understand."

Still, some say the apology has given Canada Day new meaning.

"I feel good about the country again," said Charlie Gaudet of Yellowknife, who spent seven years in Inuvik’s notorious Grolier Hall.

"I feel there are a lot of Canadians who are sympathetic to us. I would have liked to have seen this happen years ago, but I just feel a weight’s off my shoulders, and I think Canadians across the country have a better sense of just how damaging this residential school stuff was."

And just like millions of his fellow Canadians, Tootoosis will crane his neck Tuesday night to ooh and aah.

"I still celebrate Canada Day. I’m Canadian. We’re celebrating Canada together."

Pretty lights are worth something after all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Creative thinking is required


Posted June 28 2008

First, let me applaud the efforts of those developers in Brantford who have stepped forward to find remedy to the current land dilemma facing all those who call the Haldimand Tract home. They have drafted and presented a plan that would permit a level of development and acknowledge that there are serious questions about "clear ownership" that need to be addressed immediately. Apparently they, as we, don't want to wait another 160 years for clarity in proceeding.

Their efforts are not without risk, but like all developers, risk is a part of their genre. However, nothing like a pervasive land claim could ever have been included in their risk assessment.

It is important that we look elsewhere, to developments in the far north and west, to look at revenue and resource-sharing agreements that have been successfully negotiated in oil industry efforts and, more recently, diamond mines. Many communities now situated on reserves near these development areas are beneficiaries of royalties, both in the form of actual cash payments, but also improved access to services and sustainable development opportunities which those communities deem appropriate.

Needless to say, the way out of the current land situation requires creative and innovative thinking and planning -- the status quo no longer applies. Old laws are simply that -- old laws.

By their nature, governments are conservative; restricting change and challenging innovation, it is their job and they are elected to maintain a sort of order and balance, albeit there are times when there seems to be precious little logic in decisions made by those who purport to represent "the people."

A law passed in the 1840s, such as the land registry system in Ontario may have suited a particular purpose then, but has come under severe and serious scrutiny in 2008 -- rightfully so, I think, as clearly it was meant to appropriate lands not legally transacted and registered and to hide dubious transactions by the very officials appointed to enforce the law and subsequently pass on the consequences of such actions to their progeny.

While those of the various levels of legislatures debate and argue about minute details, usually fairly inconsequential to those of us who must labour under them, the reality is that we must continue to live together, regardless of the law.

It is very important, I think, for the people of Brantford and all those who live and prosper from the bounty which is the Haldimand Tract that we must share that bounty equitably with the rightful owners and those who have taken measured risk to develop our places to grow. The Six Nations, Haudenosaunee took many risks in ensuring that we would be here today. Each generation stepped forward and were counted in defence of Canada, its development and prosperity -- always alongside our allies.

Perhaps we have a really great opportunity to initiate a renewed alliance -- one which recognizes a unique standing in Canadian history but also steers us into the future that we can all respect and count on. Perhaps we could write/right a Haudenosaunee-Canada law predicated on respect, trust and friendship for our future dealings.

Maybe we can't change old, archaic laws, but there is nothing that says we can't create new ones.

Keith Jamieson Ohsweken

Article ID# 1092850

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Aboriginal protests watched by CSIS

Stewart Bell, National Post Published: Thursday, June 26,

Article linked at:

TORONTO -- Canadian security officials kept a close watch on aboriginal rights protests across the country last summer, fearing violence and disruption, according to newly declassified government documents.

Intelligence reports obtained by National Post reveal for the first time how the Canadian government tracked "ongoing and planned protests" by First Nations and their supporters from British Columbia to the Maritimes.

The Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, based at CSIS headquarters and made up of representatives of CSIS, the RCMP, Canadian Forces and other departments, circulated lists of protestors' plans in a series of intelligence reports.

The Government Operations Centre was also involved. It coordinates the national response to terrorist attacks, natural disasters and anything else that threatens the safety and security of Canadians or the integrity of Canada's critical infrastructure.

"A number of ongoing aboriginal protests and planned actions [are] set to take place over the summer of 2007," ITAC says in a report marked "secret," one of several released to the Post under the Access to Information Act.

"While the intention of these actions is to highlight grievances through peaceful protest, past protests have demonstrated that acts of violence or disruptions of critical infrastructure are possible."

The close government scrutiny of the events suggests that, following fatal stand-offs at Oka and Ipperwash, federal security agencies remained concerned about the potential for violence.

The intelligence reports show officials were particularly concerned about the National Day of Action held last June 29 to pressure Ottawa to address the grievances of Canada's aboriginal peoples. Some chiefs had called for road and rail blockades on that day.

Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said he was "disappointed but not surprised" to learn the federal government was monitoring the National Day of Action, and he wondered how much the surveillance and policing had cost.

"Whatever the cost, our view is that money would have been far better spent on providing the more than 100 First Nations communities with boil-water advisories with clean drinking water, alleviating poverty and settling our legitimate land claims," Chief Fontaine said. "Perhaps if that was the case, then there wouldn't be a need to hold a National Day of Action in the first place."

According to the documents, security officials were concerned "a small minority" of demonstrators could escalate the protests "as a means of attracting attention to their cause." Sympathetic environmentalists, "social issues extremists" and criminal groups could also exploit the protests, the reports say.

The reports identify planned protests in Toronto by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, in Montreal by No One is Illegal and Block the Empire, and by anti-Olympic activists in Vancouver.

"In addition to these, there are also non-aboriginals who may oppose the aspirations of the aboriginals (local residents, cottagers, fishermen, etc. and also white supremacists and other extremists)," it adds. "These factors may cause instability and drive an individual protest in unpredictable ways."

ITAC began producing weekly threat assessments on the demonstrations last May. It began distributing daily intelligence updates the week of the National Day of Action. In total, 22 reports were produced.

In addition to the events tied to the day of action, the threat assessment reports tracked four on-going aboriginal land protests in Caledonia, Deseronto, Grassy Narrows, and Cross Lake, Man.

"There are also a series of other potential causes for aboriginal protests over the summer of 2007. These include fishing and logging disputes, especially in the Maritimes; various development projects affecting aboriginal communities; and the preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics."

The reports say the right to protest "is a cornerstone of Canada's democratic society. ITAC is concerned only where there is a threat of politically motivated violence, or where protests threaten the functioning of critical infrastructure."

National Post

Shawn Brant finally released from jail! Pleads guilty to minor charges, major charges stayed
Editorial Note: read the story below with caution! this is an account by a news organization, Osprey News, which has repeatedly attacked Shawn Brant and failed to give thoughtful consideration to the historical and political context surrounding these events. Take for example, their emphasis in this story on Shawn being found "guilty"... he was found 'guilty' of two charges he plead guilty to... whereas the more serious charges were all stayed... so headlining this story as a 'guilty' verdict is somewhat disingenuous. -e *** Judge finds native protester guilty Brant sentenced to time served and placed on one-year probation The Belleville Intelligencer Mohawk protest leader Shawn Brant was found guilty on two criminal charges yesterday at the close of a trial that heard details of an intense roadside confrontation between a Napanee family and native protesters near Deseronto. After two days of evidence into the matter - which centred around an April 21 incident near the corner of Bells and Lower Slash roads - Justice Stephen Hunter said he found "sufficient evidence" to convict Brant, 44, of carrying a dangerous weapon and breaching court-imposed conditions. Charges of assault with a weapon, mischief and possession of a controlled substance were stayed at the request of Crown prosecutor Robert Morrison. Brant spent 62 days in custody awaiting the trial, noted the judge, which is considered the equivalent of a four-month sentence by the courts. "My view is that [sentence] is appropriate, given the charges before the courts," Hunter said before ordering the protest leader be released from custody. Brant was also given a year of probation with strict terms, including conditions that he is not to participate or plan protests with the exception of those at meetings of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte band council or activities "initiated by police services." In addition, Brant was given a five-year weapons prohibition, but "will be permitted to have traditional native fishing [equipment] and will be allowed to hunt" using firearms while on the reserve, said Hunter. During the trial, court heard that on April 21 Deseronto resident Jamie Lalonde pulled up to the scene of a road blockade manned by native protesters at the corner of Lower Slash and Bells roads. When he attempted to turn onto Lower Slash Road to take his daughter to a relative's home, he was ordered to turn around by protesters. What began as a verbal confrontation soon turned to a heated stand-off involving native protesters including Shawn Brant, who arrived at the scene carrying a fishing spear. "His eyes were crazy-looking ... he was in a rage," Lalonde testified last week, adding Brant ran up to the scene yelling, "Is it on? Is it on?" Brant, he said, held the six-foot spear only a few feet away from his face, "and at that point, I knew it was time for us to get out of there. "There was no doubt in my mind he would have stabbed me with it ... he had a crazy look in his eye." As he retreated to his truck and left the scene, Lalonde said other protesters from up the road were arriving. The incident ended with no injuries to anyone on either side of the standoff. Defence counsel Howard Morton, who early in the proceedings leveled accusations that provincial police were looking for any way to pin charges on his client, called no evidence or witnesses to bolster his case during the trial. Please do not reply to the listserve. Reply to
The Intelligencer's report is truly biased. It doesn't even mention the women and children who had flying stones embedded in their skin from the Lalondes' intentionally spinning their tires, nor the racial slurs the Lalondes hurled as weapons. The truly sad thing here is that a sixteen year old girl, who tried to stop her Dad, instead had to listen to that ignorance and be part of that racist attack.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wondering how you can help resolve Indigenous land rights issues? Tell your elected representatives that you want them to resolve Indigenous land rights and land titles issues ... - fairly - in good faith - without even a hint of "sharp dealing" - promptly providing all relevant research and documents - promptly make decisions on the Crown's culpability - promptly acknowledge successful land claims publicly - promptly arrange land transfers/payment Label it 'Open letter to ...' (This allows the media to print it.) Email your MP, MPP, city councillor. cc the Prime Minister, Premier, Mayor, and the executives of each political party cc local and national media cc the appropriate 'critics' from the other parties Post your letter(s) on a blog Email them the blog link a few days later, to let them know it is public and you are persistent. Email your letter to everyone you know, and more, and ask them to forward it again to the people listed above, with their own comments. You may receive nothing but an automatic acknowledgment. Do not be discourage by this. All mail is read and summarized for the 'boss'. A policy analyst is assigned to particular issues and will brief the 'boss' on what has been received. The policy analyst who reads your letters is the real expert, and is the one who advises the 'boss' on policy decisions for that issue. YOUR LETTERS COUNT! Every letter is estimated to reflect 100 votes. Politicians only care about votes. -->Politicians care about your letters. Don't overdo it, but sending follow-up letters is a good idea too. Let them know that you are still following what they do on the issue, and are still concerned. It is good for them to get to know your name and what you stand for. They may well pay more attention to future letters, especially if you continue to email them to the media as well. It doesn't really matter if the media print them, only that the politicians think they might. REMEMBER! Politicians do not care about 'doing the right thing'. They only care about votes. Appeal to what they care about. Humane pleas for them to 'do the right thing' are useless with Canadian politicians. Tell them how it will gain or lose them votes. That is the only language that Canadian politicians understand. NOTE TO SELF: Some day we must investigate how we allowed all of our politicians to become such useless, fatuous airheads, and how we can replace them with some leaders who are intelligent, well-intentioned and competent instead. Presently the system eats real people for breakfast, so they seldom stand for election. However, for the moment ... address your letter to flatter and cajole them with votes, and don't forget to tell them how dashing they look! (I guarantee that message will get through!) PS ... Some women politicians may not fall for flattery and cajoling, unless they are Tories. Women are more likely to retain some bullshit detectors. Be judicious and don't overdo the goo! Now get writing... g
Sound bites from here and there ... RIP, George! Your light shines on! George Carlin on "Religion"



Genocide is the deliberate, systematic and violent destruction of a group (an ethnic, racial, religious, national or political group). This destruction can take many forms:

  • the outright murder of (the majority of) the members of the group
  • inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about destruction
  • measures intended to prevent births
  • systematic rape as a means of terror and a means to “dilute” the identity of the group
  • forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
  • destroying the (cultural) identity of the group (forceful assimilation; imposition of a language, religion etc.)

Systematic” is important here. Short-term outburst or pogrom type actions will probably not amount to genocide.

The “intent to destroy” is also crucial when labelling actions or campaigns as genocidal. The destruction, however, doesn’t have to be physical (i.e. large-scale murder). As is obvious from the list above, cultural destruction or destruction of the groups’ separate identity is also genocide.

Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states that genocide is

“any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group…”

The “in part” bit has led to some confusion. When is the part of the group that is being destroyed big enough to warrant the label of genocide? There is still some discussion about absolute numbers of victims, percentages of the total population of the group, degree of killing in the territory controlled by the killers etc.

Stages of genocide:

  • dehumanization of a group (vermin, insects or diseases…)
  • promotion of narratives of “us and them
  • hate propaganda, polarization
  • criminalization of a group (group has to be eliminated “in order that we may live”; them or us)
  • identification of victims (”yellow star”)
  • concentration of victims (ghettos)
  • mobilization of large numbers of perpetrators
  • state support and logistical organization (arms, transport, training of militias etc.)

****************************** Tasers

Some 21 people have now died in Canada after being shocked (tasered) by police.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Emergency Action Update ALGONQUIN YOUTH AND SUPPORTERS REFUSING TO LEAVE CONSERVATIVE MP LAWRENCE CANNON'S OFFICE Support Urgently Needed for Algonquins of Barriere Lake Today a group of Algonquin youth and supporters entered MP Lawrence Canon's office to demand a meeting with him. They are refusing to leave until this happens. Anyone able to come to the Buckingham constituency office to lend support is invited to attend. They've been told they will be arrested unless they leave. Instead of fulfilling their obligations, the Federal Department of Indian Affairs has ousted the Customary Chief and Council and illegally appointed a minority faction as the leadership, in an attempt to scrap the agreement. ==============================
================== CONTENTS 1) UPDATE FROM INSIDE MINISTER CANNON'S OFFICE 2) THE DEMANDS 3) BACKGROUND INFORMATION 4) MINISTER CANNON'S OFFICE LOCATION AND CONTACT INFO ================================================ 1) UPDATE FROM INSIDE MINISTER CANNON'S OFFICE: "Our group, composed of Algonquin youth and supporters, successfully entered Minister Cannon's Buckingham riding office, 25 minutes from Ottawa, at 11:30am today, Thursday, June 26th. Minister Cannon is not around and his staff have been mum about his whereabouts. But spirits are high and people are settling in and getting comfortable, despite the fact the Minister Cannon's staff have turned off the air conditioning in an attempt to force people to leave the office. At first Minister Cannon's staff offered to arrange meetings with low level bureaucrats instead of a meeting with Minister Cannon, but we are refused to take the bait. Now we've been told that Minister Cannon has no involvement or responsibility for Barriere Lake, and that if we do not leave we will be arrested. We intend to stick it out until our demands are met. We would love to have supporters form the surrounding region come to Minister Cannon's office to join us. The more the merrier, and supporters may help deter any police action. Alternately, if you can't come to Minister Cannon's office, we encourage people to call or fax his various offices and request that he meet with us." 2) DEMANDS We are members of the community of Barriere Lake and their supporters. We are peacefully occupying Minister Lawrence Cannon's office. We demand: i) A meeting with Lawrence Cannon, MP for the Barriere Lake community. ii) That the government oversee a leadership re-selection process, with outside observers, recognize the resultant Customary Chiefs and Council, and end all interference in the internal governance of Barriere Lake. 3) BACKGROUND INFORMATION [ ] NO COUPS D'ETAT ON ALGONQUIN LAND [ ] END INDIAN AFFAIRS' MANIPULATION OF TRADITIONAL GOVERNMENT [ ] HANDS OFF BARRIERE LAKE For twenty difficult years, the small Algonquin community of Barriere Lake, 3 hours north of Ottawa, has been struggling to hold the government to their word. In 1991, they signed a landmark resource co-management and sustainable development agreement with Canada and Quebec to protect Algonquin land uses, to conserve the forest and wildlife, and to give them a share in the resource revenue from the logging and hydro projects on their traditional territories. Corporations extract $100 million a year -- Barriere Lake receives nary a penny. The Canadian government walked away from the agreement in 2001. Instead of fulfilling their obligations, the Federal Department of Indian Affairs has ousted the Customary Chief and Council and illegally appointed a minority faction as the leadership, in an attempt to scrap the agreement. * Despite several Quebec Hydro dams on their territory, the community is forced to use aging diesel generators to provide power. * The housing crisis in the community has reached tragic proportions, with most living in moldy, often condemned houses. As many as 18 people live in one house. * The Surete du Quebec has been used to forcibly impose and maintain the authority of the government-backed minority faction. * Children have been prevented from speaking Algonquin in school by teachers hired by outsiders—a grim throwback to residential schools. Join us in Gatineau, and support the community as it demands that the government respect the law and uphold their agreements. MORE INFO: CONTACT: 4) MINISTER CANNON'S OFFICE LOCATION It's about a 25 minute drive from Ottawa. The address is: 127 Joseph Street Buckingham, Qc J8L 1G1 Map link: All of his contact info is described here: ***UPDATE***
From the Dominion (See for a short video and more info) After a six hour occupation of MP Lawrence Cannon's Office in Buckingham, QC, yesterday, six Algonquin activists and allies were arrested by Sûreté du Québec police officers. The arrestees were detained for four hours and were finally released at 9:30 p.m. into the arms of cheering family and friends outside the Gatineau Police Department building. Among the awaiting crowd was Customary Chief Benjamin Nottaway (seen in video) whom the government attempted to revoke from power in the Barriere Lake reserve by imposing a minority appointed government. The so called Coup D'etat was the latest in a long series of governmental interventions in the impoverished reserve and led to the office occupation which took place yesterday. Previously, the indigenous representatives attempted to raise awareness of neo-Colonial intervention in their community by camping on Parliament Hill one year ago. Please do not reply to the listserve. Reply to

Human rights advocates call on Canada to return to leadership role on international justice
    OTTAWA, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada is not living up to its reputation
as a defender of human rights and a leader in international justice. This
according to a panel of human rights advocates - including torture survivor
Maher Arar, former Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy, and Aboriginal
rights activist Ellen Gabriel - convened by the newly-created Canadian Centre
for International Justice (CCIJ). CCIJ is calling on the Canadian government
not to back away from its previous role as a strong supporter of the
International Criminal Court, and to prosecute war criminals living in Canada.

  "Canada cannot have it both ways: it can either choose to be complacent
about the rolling back of human rights, or it can choose the path that most
Canadians are proud of -- an emphasis on the prevention of war crimes and
torture through justice, and respect for human rights," said Maher Arar, a
Syrian-born Canadian who was tortured in Syria after being falsely accused of
having ties to terrorism. "The world needs leadership from Canada."

  "Canada was a leader in the development of international justice
mechanisms like the International Criminal Court," said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy,
President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg and one of the
architects of the 'human security' approach to global issues. "We need strong
continued support for these mechanisms, and we also now need investigations
and prosecutions in countries like Canada for torture and other crimes. We
look at Sudan, Colombia, Myanmar-and many other countries-and we know that
human rights abuses have not gone away. Justice can help to break the cycle."

  The Government of Canada estimates that hundreds of war criminals and
major human rights abusers live in Canada. While Canada passed new war crimes
legislation in 2000, this law has been used only once in the eight years
since, in a case involving a former Rwandan militia who allegedly carried out
torture, sexual violence and other atrocities in the genocide of 1994.

  According to Jayne Stoyles, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for
International Justice, "Justice is also critical in the healing processes of
survivors. It is estimated that up to one in three refugees to Canada has
experienced torture or war trauma, and the psychological impact makes it very
difficult to get on with their lives, support their families and participate
in their communities."

  "Torture and other atrocities are not some distant reality of no
relevance to Canada," added Ellen Gabriel, President of Quebec Native Women
and Member of the Board of Directors of the Native Women's Association of
Canada. "In addition to the experiences of newcomers to Canada, Prime Minister
Harper's recent apology to indigenous Canadians acknowledged the
inter-generational damage that resulted from the torture and other abuses in
residential schools, and from the general policy of assimilation. The apology
and other forms of justice are critical to the healing processes of survivors
in this context as well."

  The panel was convened today to mark the United Nations International Day
in Support of Survivors of Torture. The Canadian Centre for International
Justice works with survivors of genocide, torture and other atrocities to seek
redress and bring perpetrators to justice. Please visit our web site at:

For further information: Jayne Stoyles, (613) 614-4292,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 21, 2008

Gravel and Gold

In the Quinte Detention Centre, Indigenous spokespeople compare stories of resistance

by Sandra Cuffe

The gravel quarry recently reclaimed by Tyendinega Mohawks. Photo: Dru Oja Jay

At noon on Monday, May 19, I walked through several doors of State security into the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, Ontario, to visit Shawn Brant, a spokesperson for the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga. I was accompanied by Sergio Campusano, chief of the indigenous Diaguita of the Huasco Valley in northern Chile.

Sergio had spent the last month in Turtle Island ("North America") along with Wiradjuri ("Australian"), Ipili ("Papua New Guinean") and Western Shoshone ("American") indigenous leaders, all speaking out against the destructive and repressive operations of Toronto-based Barrick Gold , the biggest gold mining company in the world.

Shawn Brant, on the other hand, had spent the last month in the Quinte Detention Centre. Shawn was arrested on April 25, 2008 for charges tied to his involvement in resistance to a gravel quarry on Native land. Government prosecutors are seeking a minimum sentence of 12 years in federal prison.

Shawn's current circumstance and recent incidents at Tyendinaga cannot be properly understood without knowing some of the history. In 1832, the Culberston Tract was stolen from Tyendinaga. In 2003, the federal government acknowledged that the Tract belongs to the Mohawk community, but has yet to give it back. While land negotiations were ongoing, the government granted a mining license to Thurlow Aggregates, a non-native business that developed a gravel quarry within the Culberston Tract.

Both before and after Tyendinaga physically reclaimed the gravel quarry in March 2007, the Mohawk community and others have led a series of actions including economic disruption in order to raise awareness about the situation and pressure the provincial and federal governments to act. Shawn Brant has been repeatedly targeted and arrested for a series of charges.

In late April 2008, after a series of road blockades against Kingston realtor Emile Nibourg in response to plans for construction within the Culberston Tract, Shawn was once again arrested on April 25. The charges included various counts of uttering death threats and possession of a dangerous weapon (a fishing spear during fishing season) related to his peaceful intervention to protect the women and children of his community from a racist attack on April 21.

Sergio and I approached the prison with some caution, apprehensive of the high fences surrounding the detention centre in the small Ontario city of Napanee, only one highway exit away from Tyendinaga. Never having visited any prisons except for in Central America, I had no idea what to expect, especially since we were visiting Shawn.

After we identified ourselves over the intercom as visitors, the large fenced gate slowly opened, reminding me of a cattle entrance. The old building and indirect interactions through intercoms, glass and metal reminded me, as do most bureaucratic institutions, of something straight out of Kafka's stories. We filled out a registration form and left behind our passports and belongings, and Sergio and I were instructed to enter the visitors' side of the visiting room, separated from the detainees by thick plastic, with booths on either side.

Shawn had already been escorted into the detainees' side of the visiting room and was calmly waiting for us in his florescent orange jumpsuit. Since we were the first visitors to arrive at noon sharp, we had no trouble hearing each other for the first little while. When others piled into the booths beside us, however, the telephones generally depicted in prison visit scenes in Hollywood movies would have been extremely helpful: we had to lean down and press our ears against the metal grating below the plastic windows in order to hear each other.

"We're not prepared to simply stand by," Shawn told Sergio through the metal grating, "We feel that our very existence is depending on it."

Before Tyendinaga blockaded and reclaimed what everyone acknowledges is unceded territory, trucks were carrying 10,000 loads of newly crushed gravel out of the pit every year - an estimated 100,000 tonnes.

The Huasco Valley, in Chile. [cc2.0] Photo: Carolina Velis

Sergio's community is facing something similar in Chile, where Barrick has fenced off some 50,000 hectares of traditional Diaguita territory and claims it as company private property, off limits to the indigenous people who have lived there for centuries, herding animals, and gathering medicinal plants and firewood in the mountains.

"They put up a gate..." Sergio began saying a few days before, as he showed slides from his home community of 1500 Diaguita at an event held at the Ottawa Public Library. He broke down in tears and had to take a moment to collect himself before he could continue.

"They don't let us go onto our land," he explained. "This hurts me very much."

The Diaguita community erected their own brightly painted sign at the entrance to Barrick Gold's installations: "Home of the Huasco Altinos since 1903. Private."

"We won't trade this for anything. There is no money in the world to buy this." As Sergio spoke, he showed the audience a series of slides: a mural painted on the church belltower in the town of Alto de Carmen, messages of resistance painted on banners carried in marches and protests, and the faces of some of the 260 Diaguita elders. Most of the Diaguita elders proposed Sergio as a candidate for Chief of the Diaguita community of the Huasco Valley. He has been elected twice with their blessing.

"Why don't they let us be what we want to be?" he asked the Ottawa audience.

At the detention centre, Shawn said: "It is about more than mining." "Mining is just a symptom," Shawn explained. "Until we're gone," he continued, the miners, developers, governments, and others cannot come into indigenous territory and do what they please. Shawn's ancestors fought the same struggle for the chance to exist as Peoples and he believes the current generation must make the same sacrifice for the future generations.

A few years ago, faced with the onslaught of mining in their territory, the Huasco Valley Diaguita community put out a call for international solidarity and especially for global indigenous solidarity. They received a response from the Manitoba Assembly of First Nations. Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the MAFN, flew down to Chile and was welcomed in a ceremony in which the Diaguita and MAFN signed an International Agreement of Mutual Aid.

Later, however, the Diaguita learned that the MAFN had used their agreement to propose a multi-million dollar project to Barrick Gold. The Diaguita community sent word to the MAFN that they were to come immediately to the Huasco Valley to explain themselves to the Diaguita community. When Ron Evans did not return to Chile to clarify the situation, the Diaguita informed all involved that the agreement was null and void.

The visit of the MAFN to Diaguita territory for this pro-mining purpose is not an isolated incident. Ron Evans has reportedly traveled to several Latin American countries on similar missions. The use of First Nations Band Council leaders by Canadian mining corporations and the Canadian government to convince indigenous communities in other countries to accept mining is not uncommon.

"We consider them traitors in our midst," said Shawn, with regards to Evans and the Assembly of First Nations in general, explaining that the Mohawk traditional system of governance - founded on values of sovereignty, honesty and integrity - has existed for thousands of years and still exists alongside the Band Council system that was imposed by the Canadian government.

"The Assembly of First Nations is a Government of Canada Indian organization that supports the government of Canada and does nothing to support the Mohawk and other nations," Shawn explained to Sergio.

Mohawk communities and leaders have long been singled out and targeted by government and mainstream media for their militant resistance and defense of their territory. While many remember the images of armed Mohawks in fatigues and balaclavas defending their territory during the Oka stand-off in 1990, fewer remember the images of heavily armed Canadian soldiers and police forcibly trying to remove blockades and enter sovereign First Nations territory at Oka, Ipperwash, Gustafsen Lake, Grassy Narrows, Six Nations, Tyendinaga, and many others.

The Mohawk Warrior Society was the only domestic organization singled out in a 2005 draft version of the Canadian Armed Forces' Counterinsurgency Field Manual, identified along with the Tamil Tigers, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Taliban.

After Shawn's arrest on April 25, the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga responded with blockades and actions. The police crackdown in response to these actions was severe.

"We were at gunpoint for four days. We were not allowed to leave the quarry," said community member Arosen. He explained that for those four days, from April 26-29, the Mohawk occupation of the gravel quarry was effectively under siege by over 300 police officers and no one was allowed to leave or enter for food, water, or any other reason. "It was terrifying," he said.

Another Mohawk community member recalled the siege: "There were rifles, machine guns, snipers, helicopters, undercover police agents sneaking around at night."

A SWAT team even detained a school bus full of Tyendinaga high school students who must travel off the reservation in order to continue their studies after elementary school.

"They were pulled over by a SWAT team and searched," said Mohawk community activist Niki Storms. When a Mohawk youth at the back of the bus asked what they were looking for, a police officer responded: "Terrorists."

"All we ever wanted was a safe and healthy community to raise our babies, and clean drinking water," remarked Shawn during our visit. "Sadly, we share the same issues and the same efforts to wipe us out," he told Sergio Campusano through the prison glass back at the Quinte Detention Centre.

"I came from very far away," said Sergio. "My eyes have been opened here."

In South America, he said, even indigenous leaders have the idea that indigenous peoples are treated very well in Canada. One of his missions upon his return to Chile, said Sergio, would be to spread the word about Shawn Brant's case and more generally about repression against First Nations in Canada.

For more information, or to get involved, contact the Tyendinaga Support Committee

Stephen Harper government and native chiefs collude in neo-colonial sham apology

by Peter Tremblay

The affirmation of inviolable rights and the quality-of-living of aboriginal peoples from conditions of on-going oppression, exploitation, and disenfranchisement, could very well rely on aboriginal peoples, with other Canadians, uniting against apparent mischievous neo-colonialism and neo-fascism.
Native Homelesness and Poverty in Canada

The Stephen Harper government recorded a $10.2 Billion surplus. The federal government that made an "apology" to Residential School victims has money for new weaponry for U.S. neo-colonial expeditions in Afghanistan; corporate welfare "incentives" for Big Business elites; federal prisons; but no money for First Nations elementary school students in Attawappiskat in Ontario, and other parts of Canada, and also no money to fight overall healthcare problems and poverty, including homelessness effecting aboriginal peoples across Canada.

Here's a question for consideration that Prime Minister Stephen Harper government's apology brings to mind. Would you accept an apology and money from the group, that continued to rape your son, daughter, some other relative, or close friend? Most people might be expected to answer a resounding 'no' to such a question. But, to contemplate the ethical implications of 'yes' to such a question, is to begin to understand the mentality of two groups. The first group is the perpetrators of the apparent Crimes Against Humanity, who continue to rape aboriginal peoples of their vital cultural memories, their land, their health, and their basic rights as human beings. The second group consists of the so-called "representatives" of aboriginal peoples, who have endorsed an apology from the continued apparent perpetrators of the Crimes Against Humanity.

In the last several years, there has been a growing pan-aboriginal consciousness in Canada, united against the elite-driven agenda in opposition to aboriginal peoples. In order to apparently weaken an evolving grassroots political consciousness, that the majority of Canadians, have empathized with, the elites came-up with a brilliant strategy, which was cut from their on-going "game plan" against aboriginal peoples. That strategy, consistent with the first arrivals of European empires in Canada, has been to "divide, rule, and conquer". In order to accomplish this, the Stephen Harper government relied on getting strategic support from the very neo-colonial impostor aboriginal governments, which were set-up under the Indian Act. This is the same Indian Act, that the South African apartheid system was based upon.

Native poverty

Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice has been the target of a campaign against Native poverty.

In the view of many aboriginal people, the apparent operational intent of the so-called apology, is to create a political divide between the aboriginal people who continue to face worsening exploitation and oppression, and others who have been financially persuaded to support respective co-opted native chiefs, who derive their power from the Eurocentrcized Indian Act. Consider the following quote in the Montreal Gazette on 16 June 2008, LINK

I met my cousins Mariah and Maryanne for supper. They asked me if I'd applied for any of the residential-school settlement money. They said they were getting $35,000. "I'm going to get a new car," Maryanne said. "I already got one," said Mariah.

"Do you feel healed?" I asked.

They both laughed.

It is apparent that most aboriginal peoples are not laughing at an apparent strategy of divide, rule on conquer being executed against aboriginal peoples once more.

Thohahoken Michael Doxtater who is director of the Indigenous Education Project at McGill University, remarked in his same Gazette editorial submission:

[W]e expect the apology to create more divisions among indigenous peoples. Longstanding schisms already exist between traditional confederacies like the Iroquois-Blackfeet-Innu peoples, and organizations and band councils created under Canadian law. We already saw the positioning of those "favoured nations" in the House of Commons Wednesday -- "aboriginal" incorporated bodies invited to the apology.

These incorporated bodies are the apparent impostor governments created through Indian Acts to replace traditional and representative aboriginal governments.

The corporate owned mass-media has sought to mostly support, and to spread public relations, on behalf of the Stephen Harper government, so as to repress the very issues that the Stephen Harper government seeks to drown out, in an apology inspired by neo-colonialism.

Professor Doxtater cites the following ignored issues:

There's the uninformed sterilization of native girls up into the 1980s. And the sorry inventory of conditions on reserves where disease, drinking water, housing and intergenerational transmission of trauma, create enormous social problems. In the 1980s, an Indian Affairs treaty implementation report said Canada owed indigenous people for land, resource, and treaty obligations that amounted to $11.5 trillion. Across the continent, vast tracts like the Great Lakes watershed have underlying title retained by indigenous people whose communities are treaty-based.

Lack for proper school infrastructure in aboriginal communities across Canada

The continued lack for proper school infrastructure in aboriginal communities across Canada demonstrates the lack of sincerity of Stephen Harper government's apology. The conditions of these rudimentary schools is another fact of on-going abuses against aboriginal peoples including children in First Nations communities.

The $2 billion dollars that the Stephen Harper government has boasted to spend on "redressing" Residential Schools compensation is therefore in no way nearly enough to redress on-going atrocities against aboriginal peoples. However, it is enough to pay off certain elites and other people in "Indian Country" to "deal with their own". The co-opting of already weak impostor aboriginal governments, further denies the kind of vigorous representation that aboriginal communities had been seeking, in their evolving cross-Canada aboriginal consciousness with other Canadians, in opposition neo-fascistic elites.

Mass media as a tool of the Stephen Harper government, is poignantly revealed by their attempts to systematically repress such voices as critically acclaimed author and learned activist Rev Kevin Annett. The Canadian published articles critical of Stephen Harper's apparent hypocritical apology, but those issues have been ignored by Canada's daily newspapers.

Professor Doxtater further remarks that, "Harper's apology appears to continue the tradition of word games in Canadian-Indian politics. Apologizing to "aboriginals" kills the "Indian" diplomatically anyway." The affirmation of inviolable rights and the quality-of-living of aboriginal peoples from conditions of on-going oppression, exploitation, and disenfranchisement, could very well rely on aboriginal peoples, with other Canadians, uniting against apparent mischievous neo-colonialism and neo-fascism.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Haudenosaunee Confederacy Land Rights Statement The Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee, Grand River Territory, wish to affirm and clarify our land rights in the tract confirmed by Governor Frederick Haldimand on October 25, 1784. In making this statement, the Council of Chiefs wants to make it clear that we hold certain land ethics and principles that must be respected in any agreements on land use or occupation. The Haudenosaunee, and its governing authority, have inherited the rights to land from time immemorial. Land is a birthright, essential to the expression of our culture. With these land rights come specific responsibilities that have been defined by our law, from our Creation Story, the Original Instructions, the Kaianeren:kowa (Great Law of Peace) and Kariwiio (Good Message). Land is envisioned as Sewatokwa’tshera’t, (the Dish with One Spoon); this means that we can all take from the land what we need to feed, house and care for our families, but we also must assure that the land remains healthy enough to provide for the coming generations. Land is meant to be shared among and by the people and with the other parts of the web of life. It is not for personal empire building. First and foremost is the concept that we are connected to the land in a spiritual way. The earth is our mother and she provides for our long-term well-being, provided that we continue to honour her and give thanks for what she has provided. We Haudenosaunee have upheld our tradition of giving thanks through ceremony, and in the cultural practices that manifest our beliefs, values, traditions and laws. Planting, cultivating, harvesting, gathering, hunting, and fishing also have spiritual aspects that must be respected and perpetuated if the land is to provide for our future generations, and the future generations of our neighbours. We are stewards. Our spiritual obligation is part of that stewardship. Second, according to our law, the land is not private property that can be owned by any individual. In our worldview, land is a collective right. It is held in common, for the benefit of all. The land is actually a sacred trust, placed in our care, for the sake of the coming generations. We must protect the land. We must draw strength and healing from the land. If an individual, family or clan has the exclusive right to use and occupy land, they also have a stewardship responsibility to respect and join in the community’s right to protect the land from abuse. We have a duty to utilize the land in certain ways that advance our Original Instructions. All must take responsibility for the health of our Mother. Our ancestors faced overwhelming odds and relentless pressure to give up our lands. We all know that unscrupulous measures were employed to seduce our ancestors into “selling” the land. At other times, outright fraud took place, as was acknowledged in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The agreements we recognize reflect an intention to share land, and to lease land, within the context of the Covenant Chain relationship that our nations maintain with the Crown. Our wampum belts, treaty council documents and oral history inform us that we always retained the right to hunt, fish, and gather upon all of our lands. This reflects the spirit of sharing that we expect to continue, and is another example of the Dish with One Spoon. We seek justice in our long-standing land rights issues. We seek an accurate accounting of the use and investment of the funds held by the Crown on our behalf, and land transactions conducted by the Crown involving our lands. For nearly two hundred years our Chiefs have been asking for such accounting and justice. Generations of our elders have passed away with these matters unresolved. It is time to end the injustice. Our faith in the Canadian people is strong, as we feel that the majority of Canadians also want to see justice on these matters. However, their elected representatives and public servants have failed to act effectively to address and resolve these matters. It is time to lift the cloud of denial and to wipe away the politics that darken the vision of the future. It is time we are heard clearly, and our cases should be addressed with utmost good faith and respect. We firmly believe that if we have respect and trust, we will find mutually agreeable solutions that will reflect our long-standing friendship We want the land that is ours. We are not interested in approving fraudulent dispossessions of the past. We are not interested in selling land. We want the Crown to keep its obligations to treaties, and ensure all Crown governments – federal, provincial and municipal – are partners in those obligations. We want an honourable relationship with Canada. That relationship, however, must be based on the principles that were set in place when our original relationship with the Crown was created. That is the rule of law that we seek. It involves the first law of Canada - the law that Canada inherited from both France and Britain. It is the law of nations to respect the treaties, to not steal land, or take advantage of indigenous peoples by legal trickery. As the Supreme Court of Canada has frequently stated, where treaties are involved, the honour of the Crown is always at stake. We seek to renew the existing relationship that we had with Crown prior to 1924. That relationship is symbolized by the Tehontatenentsonterontahkwa (“The thing by which they link arms”) also known as the Silver Covenant Chain of Peace and Friendship. Our ancestors met repeatedly to repolish that chain, to renew its commitments, to reaffirm our friendship and to make sure that the future generations could live in peace, and allow the land to provide its bounty for the well-being of all of the people. The Covenant Chain symbolizes our treaty relationship, also symbolized by Tekani Teyothata’tye Kaswénta (Two Row Wampum) which affirms the inherent sovereignty and distinctness of our governments. An essential part of the relationship is our commitment to resolve matters through good-faith negotiation between our governments, including consultation on any plans which might affect the other government or its people. In any land issues, we want it understood that the following principles will govern any actions taken by the Haudenosaunee Council of Chiefs of the Grand River Territory: 1) The land is sacred to us. It defines our identities, belief system, languages and way of life. 2) We hold the aboriginal and treaty title to our lands collectively. 3) Our treaty relationship with the Crown is still alive and in force and directs our conduct in our relationship to Canada. Within this relationship, the terms of the treaties continue to bind both our government and the Crown. 4) We require a careful accounting for the Crown’s dealing with our lands, and the return of any lands that were improperly or illegally taken from our ancestors. 5) We require an accounting for the funds administered or held by the Crown for the Six Nations people, and restitution of any funds unaccounted for. 6) It is not only within the context of our treaty relationship with the Crown that we see justification for such accounting and restitution. Canadian and international law is clear on the right of the Haudenosaunee to seek justice on these matters. 7) In any agreements with the Crown concerning land our goal is to promote and protect a viable economy for our people on our land – an economy that will be culturally appropriate, environmentally sustainable, and not injurious to our people and our neighbours. Our fundamental approach is that Six Nations lands will come under the jurisdiction, management and control of Six Nations people. The federal and provincial governments must not impose jurisdictional, policing, taxation, and/or economic activities as part of the land rights settlement. Our people, our laws, and our government have survived by being thoughtful, respectful, diligent and practical. In our relations with the Crown, and in any negotiations concerning land and the resolution of land-related issues, we will continue to apply those principles. Archived on day 381 of the reclamation
Canada: A consistent pattern of violence directed against First Nations
Global Research, June 22, 2008


Elder Abuse? Yes!

Anti-Indigenous violence? Yes!

Anti Free Speech? Yes!


A consistent pattern of violence? Definitely.

Exclusive to MNN by Ieriwa’on:ni [“Her thoughts become the way”]

This report has been written in consultation with family members and with direct witnesses to the events described.

The rumours circulating on the internet are true. MNN has been forced to suspend its reporting and investigative work because of a vicious and unprovoked attack on some of its principal writers, investigators and managers. MNN’s website was also attacked and was reportedly down for three days.


On June 14, 2008 Sakowaiaks and Kahentinetha went to Akwesasne to pick up Katenies. Canadian border control officers brutally attacked Katenies and Kahentinetha, two Mohawk grandmothers. Both are part of the MNN network and known for their outspoken criticism of U.S. , Canadian and international power cartels. The Canadian-U.S. border runs through the middle of Akwesasne.

There are said to be 3 outstanding warrants against Katenies, one from September 2004, another dated December 18th 2006 and a third dated November 4, 2006 that was kept under wraps until January 18th, 2007. This mess began when Katenies was accused of “running the border”. At the time, she thought she had been waved through. Her daughter heard her name on the scanner. Katenies returned to the border a few minutes later to see what was up. She was arrested and charged. When the case got to court, Katenies had already filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds the court did not have jurisdiction and violated the Two Row Wampum Agreement that founds international relations with the Haudenosaunee.

Katenies is a staunch defender of Mohawk rights. The Canada-U.S. border continuously places her family in danger. Her daughter Teiohontateh lives a few minutes away on the portion claimed by Ontario . Katenies lives on the portion claimed by Quebec . They have to pass through the part claimed by the U.S. to visit each other.

One day in November 2005, Teiohontateh appears to have become a pawn in the Canadian border guards’ campaign to carry guns. The U.S. guards already carry guns. She was still in pajamas, returning home from driving her daughter to school when she was pulled over for “a random vehicle search”. Though she was obviously of child-bearing age she was forced to pass under x-ray machines. Because of this she had to abort the child she was carrying. She filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. To date nothing has been done.

The Supreme Court of Canada has always dodged the question Katenies asked: How can Canada claim jurisdiction over the Onkwehonwe? Canada knows that it was founded in violation of international law. One party to a treaty cannot make laws for the other. One people cannot absorb another without their free and informed consent. None of the Onkwehonwe agreed to become part of Canada or the United States . None of the laws of these colonies can be legally applied to the Onowaregeh of Turtle Island . Katenies states, “I do not understand the nature and cause of their actions.”

It seems that Canadians do not want to admit that their state was founded on lies and deceit. Their ancestors bought stolen goods when they immigrated. They were the pawns of mercenaries and greedy crooks. They still are, but they don’t want to face it. They are not ready to sit down and settle these problems on a peaceful nation-to-nation basis with Indigenous people. They prefer to attack people like Katenies and her daughter individually.

Things seem to have gotten worse since the Supreme Court of Canada refused to recognize the integrity of the Mohawk Nation in Mitchell v. MNR.[2001]

Two weeks before she was to appear in court, Katenies filed a motion asking the court to prove how it got authority and stating that if they refused to answer in 30 days she would take it as an admission that it had no jurisdiction. She tried to make sure that she followed procedures correctly. She recalls that that when she went to court on September 18th 2004, a judge told her that if she didn’t believe the court had jurisdiction she did not have to come back. He said it was her choice.

After that, things were quiet for about a year. That’s when her daughter was attacked. While she was handling her daughter’s problems she was arrested again. She filed another motion questioning the court’s jurisdiction. Her motion was ignored and they tried to go straight to trial. When she tried to read the questions she raised into the record, they interrupted her with a lot of noise and closed the court down. Katenies left. Then they issued another warrant. Katenies was sent a letter asking her to turn herself in so she could spend several months in jail. She responded by filing a motion to dismiss. She continued to live her life normally, crossing the border frequently without interference.

On June 14th Katenies, Kahentinetha and Sakowaiaks went through the border and were told to wait under the canopy. They sat there peacefully for an hour surrounded by guards. Some Mohawk elders showed up to watch. Several other vehicles were searched and released. Only Indigenous people were stopped. Eventually a platoon of guards marched towards the car, all wearing leather gloves. Something was up. A chief later told them that the gloves were for protection from blood. It was a sign they planned an attack.

Katenies was dragged violently from the car by a gang of hefty young men. They knocked her down, pinned her to the ground, and forced their knees into her back. They handcuffed her and smashed and rubbed her face into the pavement. Sakowaiaks still remembers the sound of flesh hitting the pavement.

The violence against her did not stop with the cuts and bruises administered at the time of her arrest. She was imprisoned and held incommunicado. They would not let her mother see her or talk to her. She had heard her daughter was injured. She asked several times and was refused. Katenies asked to see her mother. The guards said she didn’t ask for her. She was strip searched in a very vulgar and indecent way.

There were no warrants or charges out for Kahentinetha. Her ID had already been taken. Neither hers nor Katenies’ have been returned. Also missing are documents that were in the trunk and the shoes taken from her feet.

It was only after the assault on Katenies began that Kahentinetha was ordered to get out of the car. She saw with her own eyes what they were planning to do to her. Kahntinetha had been beaten by police in the past. This was the third serious attempt on her life. She has been told that she was targeted by the Canadian army during the 1990 Mohawk Oka Crisis. In 1995, on her way to the grocery store, she was pulled over by the Quebec Police [Constables Dube and Ouellette]. She was beaten so bad she was hospitalized. The court later found the cops guilty. They appealed and were found guilty again. On June 14th she was afraid her life would be in danger again if she got out of the car. She was right.

She was handcuffed and imprisoned. Once in the cell, the attack continued. Some of the officers deliberately tighten the handcuffs several times. This cut the circulation to her hands. They ignored her cries as pain shot up her arms. Flashes of light went off in her head and sharp pains shot into her chest. They yelled racial taunts and threats at her and kept ordering her to bend down. A man stood behind her and had his hands on her pants. What for? Frank Horn, a Cornwall lawyer, and his son Kanatase, happened to be waiting at the border. [613-935-8882] They wouldn’t let him see Kahentinetha until they took off the cuffs and gave her a chair to sit on. When he saw her, he immediately insisted on calling an ambulance. The Akwesasne Police looked so shocked that they stood there frozen in stunned silence.

The medical record confirms that despite excellent physical condition Kahentinetha had a trauma induced heart attack.

Her recovery will take several months. Part of her heart was killed. Her health will never be the same. Both women are now recuperating in the company of their children and grandchildren. Legal action is planned.


this outrageous violence.

The Canadian state seems to think it is O.K. to continue to abuse Indigenous people so long as it apologizes later! This attack took place just a couple of days after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology for the abuses that took place at the residential schools. These were designed to commit genocide and to eradicate all Indigenous cultures.

There has been a lot of discussion in Canada recently about both elder abuse and the excessive use of police force. These two grandmothers were assaulted by a troop of muscular young men wearing Canadian government uniforms, directed by an officer on a cell phone. The procedure appears to have been planned. It came close to achieving the same results as the much maligned tasers.

Neither of these women is associated with any kind of criminal activity. They appear to have been targeted for their opinions.

This is part of an established pattern of colonial behavior. In the mid 1800’s when British settlers were colonizing British Columbia , Governor Douglas instructed ships to fire their canon outside Indigenous villages to scare them and stop their protests against invasion and resource theft. (See Cole Harris, Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia UBC Press, 2002.p.22)

The people of Akwesasne have always objected to the imposition of foreign boundaries through their community. The Mohawks never agreed to join either Canada or the United States . Their ancestors have occupied the same territory since time immemorial. That particular community has been there since the 1740’s or 1750’s long before anyone dreamed there would be a “ Canada ” or a “ United States ”

Katenies and Kahentinetha are not the only people who have been harassed. There are problems with both U.S. and Canadian officials. Young people especially have been targeted. Babies and very young children are often left outside or unattended in cars for long periods of time. People have been sent on wild goose chases trying to find family members imprisoned because of border problems. Katenies’ was taken to Ottawa and her mother was not permitted to see her or speak to her until she appeared in court two days later. Apparently hundreds of complaints have been filed but harassment continues.

The corporate media failed to report this attack. This suggests that violence against Indigenous elders is not news.

It’s still open season on “Indians”, just like it was when the Spaniards stumbled ashore in 1492. Just like it was when Benjamin Franklin reported on the unprovoked massacre of the last survivors in New England . Just like it was at Wounded Knee . Jut like it was in the residential schools. Just like it was at Oka-Kanehsatake, Just like it was when Betty Osbourne walked along the road near The Pas. Just like it was when over 500 more women went missing. Just like it was when the Saskatoon police nabbed native youth on the street and took them to die of exposure on their “Starlight tours”. Just like it was when the Mayor of Brantford was told he could call in the Canadian army to intimidate people at Six Nations who object to illegal development on their land. The beating of elders by border guards is part of an established pattern of bullying.

People objected to the Nazis. Why don’t they object to this? Why are these customs officers targeting women?

According to international law, all differences MUST be solved by PEACEFUL DISCUSSION. EVERYONE IS EQUAL. EVERYONE HAS A VOICE.

These principles are all part of the Great Law of Peace of the Haudenosaunee People. The League of Nations was founded on the same principles. So was the United Nations.

Most people are alarmed by the current rise in corporate, military and government corruption and violence. Fascism has hijacked Canada , the U.S. and the U.N. The diversion of tax payer’s money to fund armies and weapons has to stop.

We must all defend all our rights, including the right to PHYSICAL INTEGRITY, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and the right of all nations not to be absorbed by large states without the FREE AND INFORMED CONSENT of the majority of the population.

BEWARE all readers! Especially if you are Indigenous. Especially if you are Mohawk. Who’s next?

Canada’s spin-doctors are already working overtime to defame Indigenous people and all honest people who want a free and peaceful world. They are doing this to scare Canadians. They’ re doing this to scare us all. They want to trick us into believing that their violence against Mohawk elders is justified.

Akwesasne is a small community. The people have to cross the border many times a day. The badge numbers of the men who committed the assaults are known. Canadian government officials will probably try to blame what they are doing on these low-ranking foot-soldiers. Whoever was hiding behind the cell phone will probably get off scott free even though Kahntinetha heard him say “Take her out”. The attacks on Katenies and Kahentinetha, the continuous attacks on Indigenous youths and elders will not stop the fight to defend Indigenous rights.


This state-sanctioned violence has to stop!!! Those who sit silently and allow bullying to continue are part of the problem. This is not the kind of world any of us want to leave to our children and grandchildren.

Ieriwa’on:ni Posted by MNN Mohawk Nation News

Global Research Articles by Ieriwa’on:ni
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Two Row Wampum Treaty

Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.