My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vatican told bishops to cover up sex abuse

Expulsion threat in secret documents

[url=]Read the 1962 Vatican document (PDF file)[/url]

'These instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment.'

* Antony Barnett, public affairs editor
* The Observer, Sunday 17 August 2003 01.27 BST

The Vatican instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the Church. The Observer has obtained a 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive which lawyers are calling a 'blueprint for deception and concealment'. One British lawyer acting for Church child abuse victims has described it as 'explosive'.

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to 'be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.'

The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called 'Crimine solicitationies', which translates as 'instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation'.

It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the 'worst crime', described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with 'youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)'.

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases 'in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication'.

Texan lawyer Daniel Shea uncovered the document as part of his work for victims of abuse from Catholic priests in the US. He has handed it over to US authorities, urging them to launch a federal investigation into the clergy's alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.

He said: 'These instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment.'

British lawyer Richard Scorer, who acts for children abused by Catholic priests in the UK, echoes this view and has described the document as 'explosive'.

He said: 'We always suspected that the Catholic Church systematically covered up abuse and tried to silence victims. This document appears to prove it. Threatening excommunication to anybody who speaks out shows the lengths the most senior figures in the Vatican were prepared to go to prevent the information getting out to the public domain.'

Scorer pointed out that as the documents dates back to 1962 it rides roughshod over the Catholic Church's claim that the issue of sexual abuse was a modern phenomenon.

He claims the discovery of the document will raise fresh questions about the actions of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Murphy-O'Connor has been accused of covering up allegations of child abuse when he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. Instead of reporting to the police allegations of abuse against Michael Hill, a priest in his charge, he moved him to another position where he was later convicted for abusing nine children.

Although Murphy-O'Connor has apologised publicly for his mistake, Scorer claims the secret Vatican document raises the question about whether his failure to report Hill was due to him following this instruction from Rome.

Scorer, who acts for some of Hill's victims, said: 'I want to know whether Murphy-O'Connor knew of these Vatican instructions and, if so, did he apply it. If not, can he tell us why not?'

A spokesman for the Catholic Church denied that the secret Vatican orders were part of any organised cover-up and claims lawyers are taking the document 'out of context' and 'distorting it'.

He said: 'This document is about the Church's internal disciplinary procedures should a priest be accused of using confession to solicit sex. It does not forbid victims to report civil crimes. The confidentiality talked about is aimed to protect the accused as applies in court procedures today. It also takes into consideration the special nature of the secrecy involved in the act of confession.' He also said that in 1983 the Catholic Church in England and Wales introduced its own code dealing with sexual abuse, which would have superseded the 1962 instructions. Asked whether Murphy-O'Connor was aware of the Vatican edict, he replied: 'He's never mentioned it to me.'

Lawyers point to a letter the Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, the most powerful man in Rome beside the Pope and who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the office which ran the Inquisition in the Middle Ages.

Rev Thomas Doyle, a US Air Force chaplain in Germany and a specialist in Church law, has studied the document. He told The Observer: 'It is certainly an indication of the pathological obsession with secrecy in the Catholic Church, but in itself it is not a smoking gun.

'If, however, this document actually has been the foundation of a continuous policy to cover clergy crimes at all costs, then we have quite another issue. There are too many authenticated reports of victims having been seriously intimidated into silence by Church authorities to assert that such intimidation is the exception and not the norm.

'If this document has been used as a justification for this intimidation then we possibly have what some commentators have alleged, namely, a blueprint for a cover-up. This is obviously a big "if" which requires concrete proof.'

Additional research by Jason Rodrigues

more ...
Feds not responding to meeting requests

By Erin Tully-Musser


The Six Nations Confederacy is ready to get back to the negotiating table but the Feds are nowhere to be found.

Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton gave a brief update on the state of negotiations to the Confederacy Council on Saturday.

“Unfortunately there is not much to report since our last negotiation meeting when the Crown walked out,” said MacNaughton.

He said that he had sent letters to the Crown requesting that they meet and discuss finance last week but he has received no response. MacNaughton said that the land rights department is in need of money before Christmas.

“Those people (working for land rights) haven’t gotten paid since August 14,” said MacNaughton. “They are asking that we pay and get reimbursed with funding from negotiations.”

The Chiefs also talked about the need for restructuring the current negotiations process.

“The framework needs to be upgraded,” said Blake Bomberry, Cayuga Chief. “The way we are proceeding is like banging heads against the wall. You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome, it’s not going to happen.”

Ron Thomas shared Chief Bomberry’s position.

“We have been sitting for the government for three years and we’re really not getting anywhere,” said Thomas. “The community is growing impatient and there’s a declining confidence in the Confederacy.”

Thomas also said that he thought there might be a lack of vision and strategy when they sit at the negotiating table and that there had been some missed opportunities. Thomas said that the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) was asked to offer suggestions to improve the negotiations process and they did offer a 21 page document. He said that the Confederacy was supposed to have met to discuss the HDI recommendations but that has not happened yet. The Confederacy council also talked about accepting the HDI policy submitted to council six months ago. It was decided that because some Chiefs didn’t get a chance to review or didn’t receive the policy the decision would be put over until the next council meeting.

The Chiefs also have to decide if they want to sign a MOE (memorandum of understanding) concerning the proposed project and working agreement with Competitive Power Ventures. The power company has suggested operating a gas line that would run through or close to the Six Nations territory. The MOE would be the first step towards exploring what the relationship between the company and Six Nations would look like.

By agreeing to the MOE the Chiefs would not be saying yes to the project, they would be saying yes to looking at what the project could/would do for the community. Those items were put aside until the next council meeting to allow time for more research.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

When they hell did we ask to be Canadians? -

Haldimand County Mayor's suggestions draw ire from Six Nations

By Jessica Smith

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer wants reserves abolished and First Nations people paid off to the tune of $2,000 for their rights. At least that’s the message she took to Ottawa last week in a meeting with Indian and Northern Affairs minister Chuck Strahl.

Trainer said “every native would love him for doing that." However, Trainer's ideas drew ire, not love, from Elected Chief Bill Montour and Haudenosaunee Development Institute spokesperson Hazel Hill while Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton said Trainer is turning Caledonia into an economic desert.

Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton said “it is unfortunate that she is concentrating on finding conflict with Six Nations instead of trying to get business back into Caledonia.”

Mohawk Chief McNaughton said “it is that kind of attitude from the county’s leadership that is causing the economic woes of Caledonia.”

Montour said Trainer loves the media. "Marie Trainer, in my estimation, is a media darling," Montour said. "She dearly loves to get in front of a microphone and start spouting off about a bunch of stuff that she's not researched, doesn't understand, or maybe doesn't want to understand."

Montour said abolishing reserves and giving native people money in return is "the most ludicrous statement [he] ever heard." Instead he suggested Trainer "crack open a history book." He offered a lengthy history lesson about Six Nations that began with the Royal Proclamation, covered Six Nations military service, residential schooling, gaining the right to vote, treaty rights protected by the constitution and the events surrounding the reclamation of the Douglas Creek Estates.

Montour said what bugs him is "we have people, that like her, who are ignorant of the history of the area that they live in. It's just unbelievable for me to fathom that there's that much ignorance still in this area, in 2009, 2010. And that begets racism." Trainer knew her ideas might not be immediately popular.

"I said, if they could finalize the land claims-and you might not like this-and then maybe, at that time, they could dissolve the Indian Status and treat everyone who lives in Canada equally," she said.

"We were just giving different ideas around, like divide the value of the land claims and the land of the reserves among the members of the band, giving each member personal ownership of their own homes, because right now they don't, have that."

Trainer wants to see the former reserves become municipalities and "a massive one-time payout" to First Nations. And, if that is deemed insufficient, she suggested paying all living native people $2000 a week for the rest of their lives. She admitted not knowing how many native people there are in Canada.

The 2006 census counted 698,025 First Nations people in Canada, which means the $2,000-a-week plan Trainer suggested would cost Canada at least $72.5 billion in the first year alone.

Montour was not impressed with Trainer's $2000-per-week plan. Montour asked: "Does she think that's going to satisfy us?" He said that money is too liquid to compensate for lost land. He talked about giving a presentation to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs in Canada in 1991, in which he told parliamentarians Six Nations had valued the total worth of the 28 claims submitted at that time at $84 billion.

"When they picked their jaws up off the table, they said, 'We can't pay that,'" Montour said. "I said, 'We don't want money. We want perpetual care and maintenance.

We have to have our kids educated, we have to have the health of our people taken care of, we have to have social recreation.'" "For instance, if we'd have took the $26 million for the Welland Canal, how much do you think would be left now with this downturn in the economy?" he said, referring to a recent settlement offer from the federal government.

"I suggest very, very little. So money is not the issue here. We want to sustain ourselves from the good grace of land the Creator put us on." Trainer's plan requires the federal government to complete all the ongoing land claim negotiations. with a good kid bad kid approach.

"I did say to the federal government that they need to start negotiating with the less militant bands, like the Mississaugas of the New Credit, for example, to show that bad behavior gets slower results than good behaviour," Trainer said. Asked for an example of a militant band, Trained said Six Nations qualifies.

"Well the Six Nations for instance are occupying land, tearing up highways, burning tires, throwing vehicles over bridges, stopping developments from going forward," she said. "If that gets attention so that claims can go forward, I think that's the wrong message to send out."

Montour said "We're not militant just because we want to be, we're militant because of frustration." "How else would this have come to fruition, come to a point?" he asked. "They tried to have information blockades, give people understanding, it didn't work. The only thing that seems to get the attention of the federal and provincial government is direct action." "But that's what the people do," he added. "Leadership should be sitting down with leadership discussing rights, aboriginal rights, treaty rights, not making an assumption that those things are old, long gone, they should be done away with."

Confederacy technician Hazel Hill, said that Trainer needed to look at Caledonia's history. "They need to look at their own history, because a lot of how they got the land that they're currently residing on was done through violence, through force, through murder, rape and theft," Hill said. "That's the legacy of how they got it, and they continue with that legacy because it's all they know how to do. They call in armed forces. Caledonia wanted the army." Hill said that it's Caledonia that has been rewarded for its ongoing history of militant behaviour and Caledonia that has benefited the most from government funds since 2006.

"Talk about hand outs, talk about living off the coffers of the Canadian taxpayer," she said. "They talk about our people being nothing welfare people, who the hell's the welfare recipients?" Trainer compared how she believes the government should act with First Nations to how parents shouldn't reward the bad behaviour of their children.

"Often there's one in the family that's a little bit of a brat or whatever, and if he keeps being rewarded, 'Oh here's another toy,' and 'I'll buy you something,' and 'Here's another chocolate bar,' and blah blah blah blah, well then I'll be bad all the time when I'm in the store," Trainer said.

"But if you say, 'no, you be good, then you can have a new bicycle' or if you reward the good behaviour, or 'Do good in school, for every A you get I'll give you $10.' Everyone has different ways of rewarding, you know," she continued.

For Montour, that explanation called up the history of Indian Agents and residential schools. "For her to suggest that we're nothing but children is going back to the Indian Agent days," Montour said.

"You have to have my permission to go off the reserve, you have to have my permission to sell your produce from your farms, you have to have my permission for your kids to stay home because I'm going to put them in residential school." "We weren't even adults," he added.

"We weren't even humans at one time. And in 1960 somebody decreed: You can vote, now you're a Canadian. When they hell did we ask to be Canadians?" One area where Montour agreed with Trainer was the suggestion that the two communities work together to build a series of walking paths that link Six Nations and Haldimand County. He called it an "excellent idea," but acknowledged that ideology has gotten in the way when the two communities have tried to work together in the past.

Trainer also spoke to the Minister of Public Safety and senior staff in that department to discuss tobacco regulations. She said she learned of a plan to install highways signs that advertize that consumers of illegal cigarettes support organized crime and that she supports the idea.

Montour disagrees with Trainer, and said that legitimizing the tobacco industry within Six Nations' jurisdiction would benefit the community.

"If Marie Trainer and her people want to say it's illegal, it's her business, it doesn't concern me at all," he said.

A spokesperson for Minister Strahl said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on what was said in the meeting.
Olympic organizers reach deal with Mohawks
to drop RCMP escort for torch relay

December 08, 2009
Peter Rakobowchuk, THE CANADIAN PRESS

KAHNAWAKE, Que. - The Vancouver Olympic organizing committee agreed to drop the usual RCMP escort for the Olympic flame as it passed through a Mohawk reserve Tuesday in what turned out to be a joyous celebration.

Games organizers made the concession after a flurry of negotiations with community members who were upset by the prospect of a non-aboriginal police force patrolling their territory.

The agreement allowed the flame to pass through a community that played a role in the Oka crisis, a tense summer-long standoff between aboriginals and police in 1990.

Schoolchildren waved paper torches and 500 people cheered from the sidelines Tuesday during the celebration in Kahnawake, a community south of Montreal.

The torch was carried by Olympic medallist Alwyn Morris,

a local hero who won gold and bronze medals in canoeing at the Los Angeles Olympics.

"What a great thing to rekindle the (Olympic) spirit in the community and give some hope and dreams to some very young people here who may want to follow in those footsteps," Morris said.

The compromise sent a signal that organizers are serious about aboriginal communities playing a role in the Olympics, as the other options would have been to bully forward with the RCMP or cancel Tuesday's visit altogether.

But the fact that organizers did give in to concerns could also send a signal to other groups that the mere mention of trouble could be enough to scare the relay away.

A cloud of controversy hung over the flame as Morris carried it along one of the main streets. In addition to jubilant crowds, there were several protestors holding huge banners protesting the event Tuesday.

Grand Chief Mike Delisle Jr. noted that the Mohawks have had "a long, storied, sometimes troubled history" with the Mounties.

"They've raided our community in the past for what is considered illegal and contraband tobacco," he said.

John Furlong, head of the Vancouver Games organizing committee, explained that the festivities were not considered an official relay event, which allowed the security protocol to be changed.

"It wasn't frankly really a leg of the relay in the traditional sense," he told reporters in Vancouver.

"What we did was we found a way to sort of break away from the relay for a bit of time so we could bring a torch in there and share it with the kids and families.
"It was a good day, it was a situation that needed a solution that was going to work and we got one."

The flame's visit to Kahnawake was originally supposed to be an official stop on the relay, one of more than 1,000 carefully choreographed moments along the 106-day event.

The decision to divert from the original plans was a significant one for the organizing committee which, along with governments, has spent millions trying to get aboriginal communities onside for the Games.

Torch relay sponsor RBC, wise to the fact that protest from aboriginal communities was a potential threat to the relay, also hired former Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine to work with communities along the route.

He did not return a call for comment but, according to one of the groups involved in the negotiations for Kahnawake, was not involved in the issue.

Delisle said he had worried the latest controversy might have "put a bit of a damper" on Tuesday's event as the torch made its way through his community.
"But, by the faces of the kids today, I doubt it," he added.

"There's been a lot of angst and consternation over the past two weeks or so. I think cooler heads prevailed," he said.

"It was a show of respect and a sign of recognition in terms of the RCMP backing away (and) the Olympic committee acknowledging the fact that we have a peacekeeper authority here."

The head of the Mohawk band council called the flame "a beacon of hope."
"That's what the flame is supposed to represent - brotherhood and peace. Peace is part of our foundation and part of our founding principles."

A handful of locals did stage a demonstration and carried large white banners that declared the Olympic torch was not welcome in Kahnawake or any native community.
"We don't support the torch coming through Kahnawake because of the land that's being destroyed in B.C. (for the Olympics)," Cheryl Diabo said in an interview.
"We support our native sisters and brothers who stood in line in our defence in 1990 during the crisis that we faced, and it's only natural that we do the same.
"We don't support the destruction of any land anywhere."

Diabo is a member of the community's Mohawk traditional council.
One of the banners that was stretched out beside her read: "Remove the Poison, Remove the Torch."

In the coming weeks, the torch is expected to pass through both Six Nations and Tyendinaga, two areas where violent confrontations have happened in recent years between residents and police.

Groups in both communities have committed to protesting the torch, though Furlong said he didn't expect another compromise was going to be required.
"We're not anticipating that it will, but the goal is . . . to try and find ways to make it all work and there's a lot of very happy young kids today because we did it," he said.

"We've very happy because that's the vision, to try and make sure we live up to our commitments and our promises."
(With files from Stephanie Levitz)

In a town haunted by Oka, nobody is ‘Canadian’

The Globe and Mail
By Sean Gordon, The Globe and Mail Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 9:07 PM ET

KAHNAWAKE, QUE. - The precious cargo arrived in a nondescript blue rental car, unadorned by the usual travelling fanfare that surrounds its every movement.

Typically, the Olympic flame is accompanied by a phalanx of Mounties, and preceded and followed by heavily branded Vancouver Organizing Committee vehicles.

But Kahnawake is anything but a typical stop on the Olympic Torch Relay. By prior arrangement, and after lengthy negotiations - which dragged late into Monday evening - the RCMP stayed off tribal land, and so did the rest of the torch road show.

They did so with good reason: The lessons of recent history are still painful in this community, which sits across the St. Lawrence from Montreal.

Put simply, since the Oka crisis, everything has changed in Kahnawake, and nothing has changed.

The Mohawk community has become a huge global player in the online gaming industry and is clearly thriving. Yet it remains beset by continuing problems with poverty, addiction and crime, and then there's the small matter of the continuing political stalemate between the band and the governments that would control it. Kahnawake is a place where the word Canadian is often set in quotation marks.

"If you go to any man, woman or child in this community, no one would tell you they're Canadian," said Michael Delisle Jr., grand chief of the Kahnawake Mohawk Council, who nevertheless said the torch is "a beacon of hope" to his community and that it was "a great day."

And so the torch's passage illustrates a mostly unspoken dichotomy: The Olympic ideal is held up as a symbol of hope and achievement to young people in aboriginal communities, but in Kahnawake that inspiration has little to no connection with the national celebration the 2010 Games organizers envision.

"You have a persisting disaffection with the federal government, and the claims to federal authority over Kahnawake. That hasn't evolved much or at all since Oka ... the Mohawk conception of national sovereignty is completely at variance with Canada's or Quebec's or with that of most of the Canadian population," said Ronald Niezen, a native affairs expert who teaches anthropology at McGill University.

Though the 1990 Oka crisis primarily involved a dispute at Kanesatake, a Mohawk reserve northwest of Montreal, members of Kahnawake blockaded a bridge linking their community to the city in solidarity.

Those roadblocks prompted construction on what would become Highway 30, the proposed extension of which is currently being contested by the Mohawks.

The situation today is nothing like the simmering tensions of the summer and fall of 1990, but the political positions remain intractable.

Indeed, the RCMP and Sûreté du Quebec provincial police are not welcome in Kahnawake unless they seek permission and co-operation from the community's police force, and the relay organizers were willing to make allowances to get the torch there, including shortening the original route.

"The goal, and we had the full support of the RCMP, is to find a way to make it all work. And there are a lot of very happy young kids today because we did it, and we're very happy," VANOC head John Furlong said. In the event, a crowd of several hundred school children and residents gathered under dazzling blue skies to cheer the relay.

Just before noon, the canister holding the flame - by then surreptitiously transferred into a Mohawk Peacekeepers squad car - was brought out to light a torch held by Kahnawake's own Alwyn Morris.

The 52-year-old, one of two medal-winning Olympians to hail from the community of about 7,500, said "the torch relay is about unity, it's about peace, it's about bringing together family and friends and uniting the country." He also expressed hope the day would help clear up a few misconceptions about his community.

"Unfortunately [the reserve] is given some very unappealing stereotypes. I was at the Olympic Games, I represented Canada at those Olympic Games, it didn't take anything away from Canada and I'm also a Mohawk. It's not something to be afraid of."

The two-time Olympian is a fitting exemplar of his community for more than athletic prowess. After winning two kayaking medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Games - a gold and a bronze - he returned home to work in addiction counselling and as a senior adviser to the band council.

In 2007, he quit that post to found a company in the reserve's booming industry, online gaming.

Kahnawake's computer servers are home to more than 500 Internet casinos, an activity that is technically illegal under Canadian law (as is much of the community's robust discount tobacco trade). But the gaming business has created hundreds of jobs and despite hefty federal funding for education and health, the general perception is Kahnawake has been left to its own devices.

"There's so many things that are happening in the community in terms of economic development. A lot of it, unfortunately, is in spite of what comes in by virtue of governmental support," Mr. Morris said.

Coincidentally, the first day the flame wasn't escorted by Mounties was also the first day on which a protester was arrested. As Mr. Morris alternately walked and jogged the few hundred metres between a gas station on Kahnawake's main drag and a school, a protester ran up and tried to hand him a stack of tracts. The protester was grabbed by a couple of burly Peacekeepers and after a brief scuffle was shepherded into the back of a squad car.

Just down the road, a traditionalist Mohawk group held a protest that comprised a handful of people holding bedsheets painted with slogans such as, "Remove the poison, remove the torch." Demonstrators grumbled Mr. Morris was trying to drum up attention for his business interests, while passing band members replied with insults aimed at the protest. A few children even booed.

With a report from Rod Mickleburgh in Vancouver
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'.