Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Ontario Provincial Police Refuse to Press Charges in the 17th October 2013 Blockade of Highway 6

In a sense this blog has come full circle with the latest turn of events.  Here, in the 80th posting to this blog, I will provide information about the blockade, as per the title of this posting.  However I will also review my reasons for commencing this journey using a blog to convey factual information to counteract the prevalent beliefs.  Also embedded in this post is a precis of some of the major points made since day one.  Thus it will depart somewhat from the more focused content of earlier postings; and in the tone of what is written where to accentuate the content here, emotional reactions and opinions are much more in evidence.

I started the blog in October 2013, after I had been caught in the traffic nightmare caused by the blockade on the 17th initiated by Six Nations.  In effect the actions were perpetrated against all people of Caledonia and surrounds - supposedly in support of a New Brunswick First Nations group who at the time were pitching Molotov cocktails at passing cars.  As a result of how this blockade affected me personally, I decided to "spill the beans" and tell all who would listen what I knew of the Six Nations, and break through the wall of silence with some insider information combined with objective data.  I decided to let the world know that Six Nations have continued to capitalise on the brutal and irresponsible acts they foisted on the residents of Caledonia and surrounds beginning in February 2006.  No one at Six Nations has ever taken responsiblity for these actions, and no one has ever issued an appology.  No more would I keep my mouth shut about what I knew were taboos, or would be considered "disrespectful".  In my world, the truth trumps concepts of "the Community" or any similar concept.  Come what may, I felt the need to give up information that admittedly does not paint a positive picture of Six Nations - but to the best of my knowledge is absolutely correct (I include references wherever possible). 

Had the events of the 17th (or similar event) not taken place, I doubt very much that this blog would ever have emerged.  So the organizers of the "event" are in a sense responsible for the copious flow of information from this source.  As a consequence of being pushed "over the top" by the blockade, my goal, quite frankly, is to saturate the Internet with facts that can be verified via the references provided here, in order to dispell the many misconceptions in relation to Six Nations.  For example one belief is that by virtue of colonialization, the residential schools, and the "forced" change from hereditary to elected governance in 1924, Six Nations are "victims".  In no sense of the word is this perception true - and over the course of 80 posts I have proved it to be false with verifyable data.

The blockade of 17 October 2013 amounted to a direct assault against the innocent people of Caledonia, who once again had to endure the antics of Six Nations whose criminal behaviour since 2006 was inconsistently punished, or more typically not punished at all.  Being caught in the middle of this latest "action" assaulted my sense of fairness and propiety, and haunted me with memories of being blocked by bullies when I was a child.  While immersed in the traffic chaos I still had a wee bit of hope, and fantisized that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would somehow, and in some manner, have found their way and would act as police officers whose role was to "serve and protect".  I of course knew deep down that nothing had changed, and that Six Nations would be able to do as they pleased.  The OPP, as was the case since 2006 and all subsequent policing involving Six Nations members, had surrendered their role as police officers for the role of "peacekeepers".  They are no longer police, but simply "crowd managers" who will immediately arrest non-Native individuals, and ignore Natives who are engaging in the same or worse behaviours.  I have lost ALL respect for the OPP.  I don't trust them, at least in the Haldimand - Brant area, and it is clear to me that if I need to be protected, it is my own resources that I will need to rely upon.  I have personally watched as they stood frozen as Natives ran rampant - appearing to be paralysed with fear or some form of immobility issue.  Instead of the awe I felt for them when I was younger, all I felt, and feel now, is disdain and disgust.  Whether they wish to blame it on the policy of their superiors or not - officers are not doing their job.  Caledonia has been left to fend for itself when there is a Native - related matter to address, and nothing has chanaged in 8 years.

The most recent and comprehensive study of the changed OPP role whenever a situation involves Natives is superbly narrated in the book by Gary McHale, Victory in the No-Go Zone: Winning the Fight Against Two-Tier Policing, Toronto, Freedom Press, 2013.

In the 22 January 2013 issue of "The Sachem and Glanbrook Gazette" is an article entitled, OPP not laying charges in connection to Highway 6 blockHere the reporter states that, The Ontario Provincial Police will not be laying any charges in connection to the blockade on Highway 6 in October.  So while in the past they would have taken videos of those who led the protest, and waited until a week or so later to arrest and charge the perpetrators, not so this time.

So while a group of 40 or so Six Nations members successfully blocked Highway 6 near 5th Line south of Caledonia for hours, the OPP at the time acted as "watchers" and "directors of traffic".  There was no attempt to break up the illegal actions or in any way intervene.  They were there, apparently, to minimise the fallout and keep the lid on things by ensuring that no pesky non-Natives created trouble.  So the whole illegal incident was allowed to "run its course" without police intervention. Here is more detail from the Sachem article.  At a Police Services meeting Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt was clearly upset at the decisions made by the OPP:

“It’s your choice to decide whether charges are laid, so you, on the opinion and discussion with the Crown and your superiors, decided not to lay charges?” asked Mayor Ken Hewitt at the meeting.

Cayuga detachment commander Inspector Phil Carter confirmed that the OPP would not be laying any charges.

“Every individual peace officer has the ability to charge someone,” said Carter, but he added that it would be up to the prosecution to decide if they wanted to carry out that charge, and from the feedback he’s being getting from the Crown, he feels they wouldn’t.

“We understand this is not proper behaviour,” said Hewitt, referring to the protest that blocked the main road in Caledonia for four and a half hours, “but what the Crown is saying is that it is okay.”
He wanted to know where the line was between legal protesting activities and illegal protesting, and asked if another group would be given latitude if they had blocked the road for several hours.
“It’s not a black and white issue,” said Carter, adding that he wished he had a clear answer for the board, but he doesn’t.

Even if the "feedback" is that a conviction was unlikely, the mere act of taking the perps into Court would send a message - but even this small act was not on the police agenda!

I am left furious at this moment.  Even this rather strong word does not fully capture the intensity of my sentiments.  Specifically, the anger and disgust is directed toward Six Nations for perpetrating this anti-social and insensitive act against local people; and toward the OPP for failing to do their duty.  I am however heartened by the fact that the Mayor of Haldimand, Ken Hewitt, has taken this matter seriously - it speaks well for him in standing up for the rights and interests of his constituents.

There is not a shadow of a doubt that those who blocked Highway 6 should, after a suitable warning, have been physically removed in paddy waggons, and taken to jail.  That is what would happen to White folks.  The whole situation is particularly galling because since the illegal "reclamation" in 2006, the  Six Nations have been getting away with all sorts of bogus scams due to the mistaken belief that there is a legal requirement to consult with them for any proposed development not only in the Haldimand Tract, but anywhere within Southwestern Ontario.  There is no such requirement.  Most of these schemes fall under the umbrella of the fraudulent Nanfan "Treaty" (it was nothing of the sort) of 1701 and are falsely labelled "treaty rights" - which don't exist.  It must be emphasized that in 1701 only the Mississauga had ownership rights here.  Furthermore the Six Nations are not aboriginal to Southwestern Ontario, only Upstate New York, and as with the Loyalists were refugees fleeing the wrath of the Americans after the Revolution.  Then there is the failure to acknowledge the legal realities, such as the fact that as of December 1844 they had surrendered all of the lands of the Haldimand Tract outside the present Reserve, with the exception of the Burtch Tract which was surrendered to be sold by the Crown in 1848.  Thus the violence of Caledonia 2006 and subsequent work stoppages at development sites in Haldimand and Brant Counties are "justified" only in the minds of Six Nations, and White people unaware of the facts.  Does the truth and the facts matter to anyone, or have unquestioned and unsupported beliefs, such as "First Nations people are victims", captured the hearts and minds of Canadians outside Caledonia?  Has objective reality become irrelevant?  In the crazoid world in this neck of the woods, the true victims, the citizens of Haldimand and Brant Counties, are labelled with the term "racist" and other such epithets if they question their own victimization.

Had the OPP acted in a manner consistent with their professional standards, in all probability this would have ushered in the first steps towards again perceiving the Provincial police force in a more postive light.  Alas, that did not happen.  In a previous post I had "jokingly" said that perhaps residents of Haldimand and Brant will need to make a point, and see how the OPP respond if say Highway 54 at Chiefswood Road was blocked for the exact length of time Highway 6 was blocked, thereby inconveniencing many at Six Nations.  The question then becomes, "what would the OPP response be in a hypothetical scenario of this nature"?  If they were to arrest Haldimand and Brant residents for the exact same behaviour which they "tolerated" in Six Nations people, then we would have clear evidence of a double standard, and proof (if any more is needed) that there still exists a "race based" policing policy in Haldimand and Brant.


Canadian Taxpayers Slapped with Another Bill from the Caledonia 2006 Fallout

As is the theme here, I wish to explore beliefs, in this instance in relation to a series of huge taxpayer funded "gifts" as a result of the violent Caledonia 2006 land grab.  Then I will contrast these beliefs, which seem "infectious" in that obviously some White taxpayers buy into the erroneous rationale for "consultation" and "compensation", with the very inconvenient facts.

While the construction of a $41 million water treatment plant to serve Six Nations should be a cause for celebration (as it was, see Turtle Island News TIN, January 28, 2014, pp.2-3), it is the source of the funding that would be at issue for many who suffered through the pain and indignities of the attack on the area between the 6th Line Oneida to and including southern Caledonia by Six Nations members and the Mohawk Warriors in 2006.  As a consequence there is the multi - million dollar costs that resulted from the takeover by force of the primary target, the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE), renamed Kanonhstaton (The Protected Place).  There is also the $26 million of Provincial tax dollars used to purchase the property, and untold millions of overtime dollars for the Ontario Provincial Police - and that just for starters.  What is the connection?  As reported in TIN, The need for a new water treatment plant was a major item on the Six Nations/Haudenosaunee land rights table discussions that evolved from the 2006 land reclamation.  "Land rights", now that is easily shown as being a false assertion.  There are no legitimate land claims which need to be discussed.  This is a straw man that is easily toppled.  All one need do is to read all of the correspondence, Minutes of the Six Nations Chiefs in Council, and related documents between the years 1840 and 1850 seen in the RG10 Indian Affairs collection at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa (available on microfilm there, and at the Archives of Ontario at York University).  All of this has been discussed with the relevant references, and quotes relating to the specific documents, in a number of my earlier blog postings.

So as I take it, the new water treatment plant was but another bribe by one of the enablers who have ensured that there will be no end of "demands" from those who continue to "require" Canadian, Ontario as well as Haldimand and Brant County taxpayers to cough up more and more.  The irony is that the perpetrators are dictating the terms and deriving the benefits.  The innocent have been coerced into providing a continual stream of money based on what is a very ironic and bizarre twist of justice.

I am well aware of the need to a water treatment plant for 700 establishments (homes and businesses) at Ohsweken, although most of the Reserve is rural.  The goal here is to get "city water" to all 2,000 homes on the Rez - which will require another $100 million dollars. I wonder where that money is going to come from - actually I don't wonder, the answer is Canadian taxpayers.

The fact is that the Rez is primarily rural.  Just as I did, most live with wells and cisterns for their water.  That is standard in rural communities across Ontario.  Somehow I/we managed all those years without any "big city" amenities.  No one had water that arrived in pipes, except via the iron pipes sunk 90 feet into the limestone to tap into potable water from our wells.  The rest came from rainwater which flowed from our roofs (bird pooh and all) into a 2000 gallon cistern.  During dry spells or winter freezes we had water delivered by tanker truck.  Drinking water was generally from bottled water. 

What is most upsetting is that Six Nations pays nothing into the economy.  The largest on Reserve employer is Grand River Enterprises (GRE) who provide jobs for about 380 people.  They now pay some money to the Federal Government who is no longer entirely willing to put up with illegal cigarettes which not so long ago were smuggled from Akwesasne near Cornwall, and not taxed and not regulated.  So some kind of token payment is made.  As far as I know GRE pays no taxes to the Provincial Government and certainly not to Brant or Haldimand Counties.  The GRE does not pay taxes to the Six Nations - taxes are a dirty word at Six Nations.  Instead GRE has (grudgingly) "donated" money to help build for example a fire hall.  However this is all a drop in the bucket compared to what any comparable company off Reserve would be paying (in taxes).  So where does Six Nations Council get the money for esssential services such as infrastructure and education - yes, the Federal Government via Canadian taxpayers.

Six Nations who are NOT aboriginal to the Grand River Tract (that honour goes to the Mississauga - Anishinabe people) but get all these perks to which their fellow refugee Loyalist families in Haldimand and Brant have no access.  I am not sure how this is fair, unless it is part of the trust fund established in the 1790s to 1849 for lands surrendered to the Crown which then granted them to White people or Six Nations descendants who wanted their own land off Reserve.  It appears that this scenario is not the case here - it is "new" money, extracted under pressure subsequent to the illegal takeover in Caledonia.

Those who have followed this blog will not be surprised to learn that once again, the project was born in spite of the extreme factionalism at Six Nations.  It was first the Confederacy Chiefs (HCCC) who, had negotiated a new plant at the table and shortly afterwards the band left the table.  Within a few short months the band and MP McColeman [Brant MP] announced the new plant that had been born at the land rights table.  McColeman then made a puzzling statement that, This project is very important for the future economic growth and development opportunities in our community.  "Our community"?  That is a stretch, except for the fact that Six Nations are potential voters.  It was further reported that Brant MPP Dave Levac said, although the province didn't provide any funding for the plant, he will continue to raise his voice at Queen's Park to try and help Six Nations get piping extended to the entire reserve.  As far as recollection takes me, neither MP or MPP of Brant said anything in relation to the Caledonia crisis, that task fell to Haldimand MPP Toby Barrett, the only politician to make any attempt to seek justice for the event which triggered all this largess to the perpetrators of the violence.

I will be very blunt here.  There is no reason on this planet that one can give that would make a lick of sense towards giving non - taxpayers Canadian and Ontario taxpayers money without reparations being made for the most egretious act of arrogant illegal behaviour perpetrated hereabouts.  No money should be given until such point as an appology is issued from both the Elected Council (SNEC) and the HCCC, an acknowledgement that the Surrender of 1844 is valid, and after a tally of the costs to taxpayers all monies are paid in full to the aggrieved parties (individual and group).  In other words "Truth and Reconcilliation" works both ways.  We need to see the parallel with the residential school situation and run a parallel path with what was done here.  The citizens of the Caledonia area who were most impacted must be compensated.  Then for example the Ontario taxpayers who paid for the purchase of the DCE property must be compensated by recognizing that the Ontario Land Registry system is valid, and all associated costs such as policing and damages to the infrastructure (e.g., to Argyll Street, demolished towers and security charges), paying the Province of Ontario and Hydro One as starters.  Other Caledonia - related fees must also be returned, such as the money paid under duress or otherwise by wind turbine companies who falsely believed that it was necessary to consult and compensate Six Nations by virtue of the fraudulent Nanfan Treaty of 1701, and the belief instituted under threat that they were building towers on "unceded" land.

When all of the above are cleared up satisfactorily, then talks can begin about assisting with projects that may have some merit.  However, whether either the Federal or Provincial Governments should be paying for mega projects when the parties do not pay taxes is a matter that has to be on the table.  The bottom line here though is that I want the "average Canadian taxpayer" to ask themselves, "is it fair to be funding, with your money, projects relating to non - taxpayers?"  Recall that Six Nations are not aboriginal to Southwestern Ontario, and they are fully responsible for the multi - million dollar violent debacle that was Caledonia 2006.  This is a group that maintains the legitimacy of proven false "treaties" such as Nanfan 1701.  They will not acknowledge the legitimacy of the Surrender of 1844 whereby the lands they claim became Crown land and was sold to third parties 170 years ago.  Furthermore they claim false "rights" to consultation.  So by simply giving them what they want, are taxpayers not acting as enablers such that the demands will escalate and become more outlandish - with the veiled threat of, "you surely don't want any more Caledonia's do you" hanging over their heads like the Sword of Damocles.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Deepest Roots of the Six Nations Sovereignty Debate

The perception by most Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) in Canada (e.g., Six Nations of Haldimand and Brant Counties, Ontario) and the United States (e.g., Onondaga of Syracuse, NY area) is that they are a sovereign people.  This means that they should have their own passports and representatives at the League of Nations (now United Nations).  The debate is long standing, and often acrimonious when descendants of the Six Nations must come to terms with a wall of facts that do not support their interpretation of events.


The earliest purported evidence of a "sovereignty agreement" dates to 1613, and is composed of three items - each of which underpin the concept of sovereignty that exists to this day.  There is the Two Row Wampum (Kaswentha), the Tawagonshi Treaty, and Haudenosaunee oral tradition relating to agreements between the Dutch and the Mohawk.  While I have addressed this matter in earlier postings, a summary will help here as the Two Row Wampum is intimately intertwined with the more formal Covenant Chain agreement with the British Colonies in 1677.  It should be noted that whatever version of the truth one wishes to accept, the British Crown took New Netherlands from the Dutch in 1664 by conquest and established their own administration.  At that point any agreements that had been made with the Dutch, formal or informal (the latter applying to the supposed 1613 agreement) were terminated and would need to be renegotiated.  This is particularly so because the 1613 document, even if it was valid, was only between Dutch Colonists and the Mohawk - the Dutch Crown was not involved.

I discussed the Two Row Wampum in a previous posting (see here), and an entire issue of  the 2013 "Journal of Early American History" (see here) was devoted to this subject.  In summary, the use of the Two Row Wampum cannot in any way be construed as supporting Haudenosaunee sovereignty.  This will not stop "believers" from perpetuating their viewpoint in public forums where the solemnity and conviction of the speakers will continue to convince the audience of the validity of the claim.  Just the way it is.  The fact that the Crown neither ratified nor recognized the Two Row Wampum, including the Tawagonshi Treaty, is what is most important.


However there is a second, related, concept that is trotted out to bolster the Two Row Wampum.  Here in 1677 the British did indeed establish a "Covenant Chain" between them and the Mohawk (to later include the Five then Six Nations) that symbolized their relationship.  At this time there were two groups who recognized agreements between sovereign parties - but these are European powers, in this case the British and French (the English Crown and the French Crown).  Never was there any concept in England of a sovereign Native America, or a sovereign Five Nations.  The latter were subjects of the Crown.  The British as well as the French instituted various agreements and treaties between themselves and those of their subjects who were their military allies, generally mutual aid agreements.  There was never any illusion of equality, the arrangements were made with "our Great Father the King" and other such expressions clearly indicating that the Crown retained suzerainty over all the proceedings, and over all of the lands which they claimed for the King - including the lands occupied by the Five Nations.  The Two Row Wampum and the Covenant Chain are conflated by some authors, as seen here.

The Covenant Chain was conceptualized as an agreement between the peoples of the British Colonies and the Five Nations whereby the British wished to ensure peace, the support of the Five Nations against the French, and trade.  A good general article on the Covenant Chain can be found here.  Thus the treaties beginning in 1676 and 1677 were between for example the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New York; and the Mohawk or the Five Nations.  The metaphor used was a linked chain connecting the British ships in the harbour of New York and the Great Tree of Peace near the Onondaga Council Fire and Longhouse.  The links were conceived as being made of silver (although iron was sometimes brought into the picture along with rust), which needed to be "brightened" from time to time (e.g., yearly).  This was usually done via a meeting where copious "presents" were distributed to the Five Nations Chiefs - then all was well.  On one occasion however, in 1753, the chain was broken by a very frustrated Mohawk Chief Henry Peters Thoyanguen.  This created quite a stir and Colonial officials did all in their power to repair the chain and renew the friendship.  Damage control was attempted by the Colonies at the Albany Conference of 1754 where every Six Nations individual of any consequence attended.  Nothing was really settled however until Sir William Johnson took the reins of the British Indian Department (reporting to the Crown), and his diplomacy skills, along with family connections to the Mohawk (via children from liaisons with a number of Mohawk women, the most notable being Molly Brant), were able to re-establish the Covenant Chain, with the metaphor being of attached to "immovable mountains", and let the Six Nations know that he intended to brighten and strengthen the Covenant Chain of friendship (by a liberal distribution of presents).

There is nothing in the concept of the Covenant Chain that can in any realistic way be interpreted as being a successor to the Two Row Wampum, and an agreement between two sovereign peoples.  The British Crown did not recognize sovereignty within its realms, or sovereign subjects.  The Crown claimed all of North America between the French and the Spanish possessions.  There was no room for sovereignty involving those who were regarded as subjects in the same way as the Colonists were subjects - although the specifics of the relationship was obviously different. 

To this day, despite the insurmountable evidence, the Six Nations see themselves as a sovereign people, but are no more so than the descendants of the Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, and early Celtic Britons are sovereign peoples within England.  This is not even an idea that can be adequately conceptualized in this day and age, any more than Six Nations sovereignty can be envisaged in this day and age.  That will not deter those determined to put forward this agenda in any way and any where they can.  In reading the above Wikipedia reference for the Covenant Chain, here follows the very last paragraph in an otherwise objective and referenced account:

In June 2010, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain renewed the Covenant Chain Treaties by presenting 8 silver hand bells each to Band Chiefs from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Six Nations of the Grand River in commemoration of 300 years of the Covenant Chain. The bells were inscribed "300 Years" + "of Peace and Friendship" (which was a common term often used throughout history when the Chain was renewed). This marks the most modern renewal of the Covenant Chain Treaties between the Haudenosaunee and the Crown of Canada and provides a legal basis recognition of Haudenosaunee sovereignty and international trade between the 2 nations.

Here it is evident that someone with an agenda did an unreviewed edit.  There is no reference given here and the statements do not meet the standards expected of a Wikipedia article.  So wherever we turn, we will continue to see false claims of sovereignty with evidence that only the naive would accept - but that is sufficient to keep the issue in the public eye and meet the political agenda.


The present author maintains that these sovereignty matters will simply never go away, they will always resurface as long as the Indian Act of 1876 and successors are in force.  The goverment of the day does not want to create civil disobedience by telling the truth, and laying out the facts, so will attempt to come to some accommodation that will ensure that the Crown never relinquishes that which is its natural right.  It is the Courts that will ultimately decide the issues of sovereighty.  The terms sovereignty, self determination, inherent rights are really those which reference to historical fact, and legal presedence, can settle.  The bottom line is that the Crown is sovereign across the length and breadth of Canada, but that "arrangements" can be made to accommodate Native self governance withinCrown sovereignty the framework of .  A recent article (Peach, 2011, see here) provides a good perspective on matters as they stand to date, written by a law professor who appears to be well versed in the subject.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

False "Treaty Rights" Claimed by Six Nations - Developers and Others Take Note

The most recent issue of Turtle Island News (15 January 2014, p.7) included an article, Treaty rights flexed in HWHA harvests, 70 deer taken.  Here the reporter quoted a representative of the Haudenosaunee Wildlife & Habitat Authority (HWHA), who stated that the most important thing to come out of the annual deer harvest in Dundas, St. Catharines, and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington conducted by Six Nations bow hunters was actually not the meat that can be distributed to the Longhouses for ceremonies and to feed those in need - which I thought was the point of permitting Six Nations to participate in a cull of deer in these locations.  According to the HWHA representative, what is of greatest consequence is that Six Nations were able to "flex" their "treaty rights".  So the primary goal to be achieved was that, treaty rights were exercised and affirmed.  While some in Dundas and St. Catharines probably believe this fairy tale, there are a growing number of very well educated people in these communities prepared to do their homework, and publish their findings to the Internet.

I have been harping on this subject for some time (even as recently as a few days ago, noted here), but it is going to take probably years, and a Court case, to get the message out to the general public.  As it stands, the majority of developers and others still believe Six Nations when they talk about treaty rights and "obligation to consult".  The public needs to know that Six Nations are either lying, or they are very sadly mistaken.  I will come up with a bottom line here, at the end of this post, because of my strong belief in, "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions".

As I have stated, even recently, if you ask someone at Six Nations about the name of the treaty which gives them these perceived rights, you will probably get a blank stare or an evasive answer.  Many at Six Nations know that some members of the public are "on to them", and know that the treaty to which they refer as documenting their "rights" is fraudulent.  It is an embarrassment, and those in the know would likely rather not discuss the inconvenient details and keep things in the generality arena.  As long as someone does not bring forward a formal challenge, they know that they are safe and can depend of precedent and two unfortunate Court rulings by judges who appear not to have viewed the primary evidence, only transcripts which obfuscate rather than clarify.  Also the Provincial Government, who, if they are retreads from the McGinty era, are dinosaurs who would do anything possible to placate Six Nations, even if it meant ignoring the evidence.  So for the moment those at Six Nations, such as the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, can hide behind a smoke screen.  What they will soon realize is that smoke is ephemeral and will disperse, showing what has been covered over or disguised.  The agent in this case will be a collection of facts that paint a detailed picture of the truth.

As noted elsewhere, I have sifted through the vast collections of the Indian Affairs (RG10) Series at Library and Archives Canada for the original copies of census records, land deeds, surrenders and surveys, as well as all of the Six Nations Council Minutes.  Also accessed have been the survey records (all historical maps and survey diaries pertaining to the Grand River Tract), and Indian Agent notes and diaries at the Archives of Ontario.  Also explored have been the records at the County Land Registry Offices in Ontario.  These are only a few representative examples of the work completed in Canada.  Then there is the work at the archives in Albany, Cooperstown and New York City; plus the local archives in Upstate NY.  If anyone has done more work in these collections, I salute them (as I have done re Joan Holmes & Associates).

As a function of this study, I am in a position to assess claims such as "treaty rights", and ask the obvious question - "what treaty is it you are speaking about"?

A few examples of those impacted by the improper use of the term "treaty rights" include:

1)  Federal, Provincial and local goverments.
2)  Land developers.
3)  Hydro One.
4)  Power companies constructing wind turbines.
5)  Archaeological consultants.
6)  Conservation agencies.
7)  The taxpayers of Canada.

It is almost certain that the "treaty rights" are being claimed via the Nanfan (Fort Albany) "Treaty" of 1701.  This is a fraudulent arrangement since the Five Nations knew that as of June 1700 they had no further claim on the land in what is today Southwestern Ontario, subsequent to making peace with the French allied Ojibway (Anishinabe) groups, in particular the Mississauga.  The Five Nations tried to assert "ownership rights" by establishing 8 village sites on the north shore of Lake Ontario beginning about 1681.  By 1696 all were destroyed, and the Iroquoian people killed or forced back to their homeland in Upstate NY.  Thus it was presumptuous and fraudulent to negotiate for lands that they in fact did not possess, or hold any claim to by whatever rationale one might wish to apply.  It was Mississauga land in 1701, as it was in 1784 when Governor General Frederick Haldimand purchased the lands along the Grand River (Haldimand Tract) from the Mississauga to offer as a home to the Six Nations.  Also, based on the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697 the English acknowledged the right of the French to lands on the north side of Lakes Ontario and Erie.  This agreement stood until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, when it became an English possession.  So the Nanfan Treaty is actually a meaningless document, where the Five Nations yield to the King lands that they do not own or possess in any manner, but are actually under the direct ownership of the Mississauga, and the sovereignty of the King of France.

The document is not a "treaty", it is a "request" by 20 Five Nations Chiefs that the British Crown ("our great Lord and Master the King of England") exercise sovereign rights over the lands used as the "beaver hunting grounds", which were obtained "four score years agoe" (1621 would be in error) "totally conquer and subdue and drove them out of that country".  In fact the "them" were the aboriginal former occupants, who were conquered by what amounted to an almost complete genocide.  These included the Huron / Wyandot, Petun, Attiwandaronk, Erie, and Wenro (circa 1641 to 1657).  All that the Five Nations asked in return was to be able to use this land for hunting (no requests as to fishing are noted).  The document has the totems (clan symbols) of each signator (I recognize the names of all 6 of the Mohawks whose names appear), and a mere listing of the White people who were present, including Robert Livingston the "Secretary for the Indian affares".  The Governor attested to the names of the Whites who were present, but he did not use his own personal seal, nor any official government seal, and could not have even consulted the New York legislature since as acting Governor, Nanfan had dissolved it before the instrument was signed (19 July 1701).

A local researcher ordered a copy of the "treaty" (which was eventually located in England), with photographs of the front and the back of the parchment - which shows the context of the document and how it does not in any sense meet the standard of a "treaty" - instead it is a piece of paper gifting land to the King, with the hope that he will chose to confirm to the Five Nations a right to hunt beaver here.  The wording is, it is hereby expected that wee are to have free hunting for us and the heires and descendants from us the Five nations for ever.  There is a big difference between "expected" (i.e., hoped for) and something stronger like, "we require" which does not appear at all.  Robert Livingston was charged with the responsibility to take it to England to present to the King.  There is no evidence that the King or any of his inner circle ever saw it, and the English legislature never ratified the "treaty".  There is no Privy Council seal, nothing at all to make it into an official document.  Hence the request for confirmation of hunting rights amounted to nothing.  In essence the document was simply ignored, and placed into storage.

Anyone impacted by or merely interested in this subject can be directed toward a number of very well researched studies - all of which reach the same conclusion.  These include:

1)  Garry Horsnell - "Short History of the Six Nations", with a discussion of the Nanfan Treaty, see here.

2)  Alex Westwood - "Haudenosaunee deer hunting in Dundas Valley - history and legal aspects", see here.

3)  Thomas Kennedy - "The Nanfan Treaty 1701 - Hoax of History" from Alex Westwood's blog, see here.

4)  Alex Biegalski - "Haudenosaunee deer hunting in Dundas Valley - a 'treaty right' or a fraud?", see here.

5)  Alex Biegalski - "Conveyance of lands by the Native American Chiefs of the Five Nations", see here.

6) DeYo - For an earlier look at this topic by the present author see here.

Thomas Kennedy does not pull any punches in the above "Hoax of History" paper.  He concludes that the Nanfan "Treaty", does not reflect true historical facts. It is instead, a false term fabricated and used for fraudulent political purposes.  Furthermore, All agreements and protocols based on this hoax should be immediately challenged and revoked.  Alex Biegalski, the author of the "'treaty right' or fraud'" article sates that the so called "treaty" is a,  fraudulent interpretation of historical facts and a legally invalid claim of "treaty rights" that was, never intended, recognized or confirmed by the Crown as a valid treaty.

In my opinion, if any one of the parties impacted by the "treaty rights" set out a Court challenge in the Superior Court of Ontario against these purported "rights", the whole sordid business would topple like a house of cards, and most importantly, justice would be served. Frankly, however, it will be necessary to address two earlier Court cases, specifically Regina v. Ireland and Jamieson 1990, as well as Regina v. Barberstock 2003, which unfortunately did not have the original document to use in the respective decisions.  The upshot is that both judges concluded that both Robert Livingston and John Nanfan signed the document, and hence the agreement is valid. 

The matter has to be brought back to Court, but this time with the full weight of the entire body of evidence. I have no doubt as to what the outcome will be, but it will be necessary to show why the earlier judges were led to made some unfortunate conclusions, which rulings can be amended by virtue of the evidence now available.  The problems in past Court rulings were the facts that:

a)  Only a transcript of the 1701 document was then available.  The original document (photographic copies now being available locally) does not show what the judges claimed as fact.  Robert Livingston is merely listed (no signature), and Nanfan only signed attesting as to who was present on that occasion as witnesses, and to the authenticity of the document.  Nanfan included no seal, and no title, and nothing but his name.  When the document reached England it was given no further consideration.  There is no Privy Council seal affixed to it, and nothing at all added by the Crown that would give it any weight as a legal document.  It appears to be an item of historical interest only.

b)  There was apparently no formal historial research revealing a chronology, and key details showing it was not a treaty of any description.  In short, by 1701 when the document was signed, the Five Nations had been entirely driven from this land, the Mississauga owned it by right of conquest, and thus the Five Nations could have no legitimate claim here - making the document a fraud.  The document is nothing more than a surrender of any rights to land ownership, with a request to the King to be permitted hunting rights (the request was never confirmed by the Crown).  In the recent ruling by Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell (November 2010), he was privy to a report by respected historical researchers Joan Holmes & Associates, which was used in arriving at a firm conclusion.  In my opinion, comprehensive research done by historians can provide evidence useful to judges in arriving at a fully informed decision.

c)  I would recommend citing a critical legal principle which will almost certainly seal the case, bolstering the hard evidence above - namely "nemo dat quad non habet", which I discussed in my earlier posting.

The present author agrees with the above assessments by each of the authors, and would add that all agreements between Six Nations and various groups (e.g., wind turbine power companies) be considered null and void, and all monies paid based upon the belief that the Six Nations had valid "treaty rights" should be returned to the group or individuals who have unnecessarily paid money to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, the Mohawk Workers, the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council, or the Six Nations Elected Council.  If advantageous, these parties could re-negotiate using a different rationale - we now know, and can prove, that "treaty rights" is not a legitimate reason.

Update - The "solidarity" view of many White people to the Nanfan or any supposed treaty and supposed "treaty rights" is seen in a comment by R. Walker to a post on the blog,“Niagara at Large”, entitled, Shorthills Protests are Short on Patience with the Hunters by Six Nations member Karl Dockstader, 13 November 2013. The post and comment can be found here.  Here Mr. Walker states:  

There is a tendency to construct treaties as some kind of paper document and not a living document which is an arrangement between peoples. This arrangement was necessitated when Europeans strayed far from their roots and the two row wampum treaty was long before the Albany treaty. Furthermore, some of us support your inherent rights as first nations and certainly recognize and honour our treaties without any nit picking.

There are in fact noinherent rights of one group of Canadians that trump those of another group of Canadians. This is a far left wing concept which is politically correct at this point in time but has no grounding in objective reality, and therefore the only true feature here is that there are some who would without justification give to Six Nations (who are not aboriginal to Southwestern Ontario) more than the first Loyalist settlers who were generally of German descent. Furthermore, as far as Six Nations are concerned, there are no legitimate "treaty rights" - their lack of aboriginal status, and their lack of any treaty arrangement here are seemingly insurmountable problems.  So apparently the facts and the truth are less important than keeping up a pretext, a solidarity with the beliefs (very convenient ones) held by Six Nations.  So for some White people for whom Six Nations and Native people in general can do no wrong, the facts and the truth are quite irrelevant, they are apparently just a form of "nit picking".


Friday, 17 January 2014

Child Welfare Dispute: Six Nations versus Brant Children's Aid Society

Before launching into the controversy going on at present at Six Nations, I thought that it would be useful to look at hauntingly similar disputes that have impacted the children of other Reserves in Canada in recent years.

An excellent overview of the various child welfare issues can be found in Chapter 6, Child Welfare: Strengthening the Abusive Circle found in the book by Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, "Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation", Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queens University Press, 2008 which I will discuss in more detail in subsequent posts.  First I will examine the problem across Canada, then focus on Six Nations.

The Wider Perspective in Indian Territory Relative to Child Welfare:  Widdowson and Howard discuss the matter of White people adopting Native children, and how the latter sometimes receive the derisive term "apple" - red on the outside, white on the inside.  Many of these children do in fact develop social problems, but the interpretation is not always straightforward.  Native activists would say that the act is little more than "cultural genocide" as the child will always gravitate toward his or her biological heritage.  If culture is such a key factor in adoption, why is it that there are so many successful White parent - Asian child adoptions? 

The rather dramatic example of Michael Cretien, the adopted son of former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Cretien, is worth exploring.  Michael taped up and sodomized a woman who was passed out from alcohol.  The apologists got to work quickly and said that this is but another example of why Native children must remain in their home community, or be adopted by Native parents.  However, the most parsimonious, and hence the most likely, explanation is that Michael was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Exposure Syndrome (FAS or FAES) due to his biological mother's heavy drinking while he was a foetus in the womb. 

To deny that FAS is a problem on Reserves to to play ostrich.  It is literally in your face, and to the trained eye can often be read in the physical features of the child (e.g., the positioning of the ears).  This exposure causes irreversible brain damage for which there is no remediation.  The behavioural symptoms can include learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other actions that will likely ensure that no matter what sort of loving home they reside in, Native or White, the child will experience serious problems. 

The rate of FAS in Native communities varies between about 100 and 400 per 1000 births, compared to 1 to 3 per 1000 births in the general population.  This is an outlandish difference, and is caused by one factor alone - the biological mother's consumption of alcohol particularly in the first trimester (3 months of gestation).  What is amazing, and sad, is that the government has been less than proactive in addressing this off the charts discrepancy for fear of "stigmatising" the Native population.  So I guess it is better to sweep the problem under the carpet.  Native communities have reacted by blaming the group whose responsibility it is to deal with the fall out the best they can - social workers (particularly if they are non-Native).  So they recommend "community involvement" rather than classical intervention by the Children's Aid Society.  The term is nothing but a platitude since it disguises an excuse for inaction and thus a lowering of the reported rate of the problems.  The root problem is alcoholism.  Anything that deflects away from this reality is just politics.

Incredible as it may sound to some (who know for example the overlap between Native and White communities in many places in the country), aboriginals and their apologists maintain that aboriginal peoples are racially and culturally distinct from non-aboriginals, thus they should determine child welfare policies without outside interference (p.164).  So despite the extensive training all social workers receive in understanding child development (much of which is universal), somehow it can be justified that they cannot be helpful but rather, "overzealous social workers" are part of the problem. Here the belief is that they have "stolen" Native children as part of a conspiracy, in order to commit "cultural genocide".  In other words there is a "conscious conspiracy to steal Native babies" (p.165) and sell them on the black market etc. etc.  As crazy as this sounds, there are those who buy into this explanation, which of course justifies taking back child welfare and giving the social workers the boot.  In the 1950s the government became aware of the dysfunctional character of aboriginal communities, with high rates of child neglect, pedophilia and incest (p.165).  Apparently, in the mind of many aboriginals, it is better to keep the child in the community because if you removed every perpetrator of domestic violence there would be few if any left and the community would disperse.   Anyway, the parents are only neglectful on the weekends when they leave the children to go on drinking binges - and other such justifications.  I am not making this stuff up. 

There is no evidence that social workers remove children from the homes of sober caring parents, but that does not matter, the perception is that the social workers are the problem and they should keep their noses out of Reserve business.  Of course the Federal Government who often gets left holding the bag when crises break out have no choice but to be "culturally sensitive" even if it means glossing over the facts to keep up a pretence.  So they proposed to, revitalize traditional child - rearing practises that are alleged to have protected the child in the past (p.167).  While it may be true that in the past certain practises (such as letting the child decide what time to come home) worked, the world has changed and the wholesale application of outmoded practises would be a catastrophic failure (which tends to be the case when tried).  The Province of Manitoba took a "hands off" approach and sure enough the number of reported cases of abuse went down - because now the abuse was tolerated and unreported - so the stats looked good, and the children suffered.  There are a number of absolutely horrid cases that emerged out of this misguided policy - but what is one supposed to do when aboriginals and their supporters are insisting that with local autonomy they can fix the problem.  Damned if you do, damned of you don't.

As Widdowson and Howard assert, Aboriginal leaders are in complete denial about the extent and severity of abuse that exists in native communities (p.175).  Of course the solution is not only giving local autonomy, but also funnelling in more and more and more money, for example to hire "traditional healers".  There is no evidence what so ever that any of these programmes work, just give the illusion that something is being done, in a culturally sensitive way.  Social workers are now assessed on how "culturally sensitive" they are.  In other words how compliant to the Reserve authorities wishes, and how willing they are not to intervene.  For those who put the interests of the child ahead of the community, they are seen as ignorant of community values or some such nonsense.  Social workers are trained to put the interests of the child first and foremost.  There is no negotiation around this issue, it is part of the training and standards in their profession, and that of medicine.  Hence any real solution will require that the community also accept this principle.

Those who wish to read an assessment of the problem(s) from a Native advocate's point of view might find the well researched information here to be instructive.  I disagree with many of the statements and interpretations in this article, but it does deserve to be heard to balance the Widdowson and Howard assessment.

Past and Present at Six Nations in Relation to the Brant CAS:  I worked with social workers from Durham County, to Middlesex County, to Niagara and developed great respect for them and what they do despite the horrible adversities they face - including a lack of support from "the community".  In my work as a consultant, visiting with all parties in their homes to make my assessment to be presented in Court, never once was I accused of being "culturally insensitive" despite the number of different cultures I worked with - from wealthy Whites, to Six Nations members, to recent immigrants from Jamaica - not one complaint in years of working in this area.  I was taught a number of guiding principles such as "do no harm", and also that my decisions must always, without exception, be made based on "what is in the best interests of the child" - period.  I don't believe that the social workers are any less culturally sensitive, just frequently disrespected due to the work they sometimes must do - such as removing a child from a dangerous home environment.  I have never met one social worker who did a child apprehension with anything other than the most serious realisation as to what they were doing, acting to protect the child. 

Based on the above synopsis of my experience, I was very upset in learning that the Brant Children's Aid Society is in the process of being removed from Six Nations Territory.  First from their offices on the Reserve, with the plan being to replace all of them with a home grown care programme whose specifics I have yet to see outlined let alone detailed.  What follows is some recent information from Turtle Island News.  I have followed the story for some time, but only recently felt that I must say something because among others I have had experience in working with Brant CAS, and of course know the situation on the Reserve very well.  So I will give an update on the plans for a new child care system, and I will offer my honest opinions based on my experience.

The most recent issue of TIN (15 January 2014, p.15) provides a summary overview of what has been happening to date, and what the plans are for the future.  There are also articles in the Brantford Expositor and the Simcoe Reformer pertaining to this matter.  See here for an example.  Others can be googled.  First, it is odd that the "confusion" on the Reserve about what is happening is being blamed on social workers "mixing up issues" (whatever that means) over their removal.  The real problem seems to be that Six Nations knows what it wants, but has no idea as to how to go about getting it done (my opinion).  The plan is in fact to get rid of the Brant CAS and replace them with an ill defined child welfare service that will supposedly service Native children at Six Nations and all of Brant County.  The programme has a name, "Taking Care of Our Own", O Gwa deni:deo.  It will supposedly operate "through Band Council mandates" (whatever that means), and it will be funded by the Province.  So someone comes up with an idea to completely change what has been in place for 42 years, and replace it with an untried service with personnel whose training and skills are as yet unknown, and the Province will pick up the tab.  Does that make any sense?

Apparently a Child Welfare Services Project Coordinator has been appointed, along with a "consultant" (whose name is unfamiliar to me, and who does not appear to be a Six Nations member - a White "hired gun" willing to play ball by Council rules?).  Their only apparent contribution to date is to offload the problems on the shoulders of the Brant CAS workers (who are still expected to carry on, business as usual, during this "transition period" where they will probably ultimately all lose their jobs).  Apparently the whole matter came up because there have been complaints from the community.  Well, what a surprise!  Complaints against the CAS are legion because they are doing what is amongst the dirtiest jobs, guaranteed to be emotionally volatile because children are being taken from the home, and community if no one is available to take care of the child - so blame the workers diligently doing their jobs.  The "Coordinator" made a point of stating that the present social workers will need to "compete" for their jobs, based on performance and community complaints.  Apparently the officials at Brant CAS were "begging for forgiveness" for not consulting the clanmothers.  That seems very unlikely, and I would like to hear what Brant CAS has to say.

If Six Nations thinks that having their own in house CAS type service will lead to a rose garden they are in for a very big and rude awakening.  Apparently "the community", "want culture integrated and they want clanmothers involved in that process".  How many clanmothers are upset?  Questions of this nature have yet to be answered.

This local initiative is not the first to go this route.  Perhaps they should check out the data on those communities who travelled this path.  What was the outcome - after cutting through all the gloss, and looking only at the welfare of the child, not the community?

Naturally, the Elected Council and the Hereditary Council both have a stake in the matter, and as yet they do not seem to have locked horns - both wanting the CAS off the Reserve to be replaced by "something home grown".  However, I must give two Onondaga Chiefs on the Hereditary Council credit for showing good sense in refusing to sign an agreement about the timetable for the CAS removal.  They have earned my respect for urging caution.  However, the new establishment with the "consultant" have basically stated that not all the Confederacy Chiefs "have a clear grasp" - wow, and this is not an insult to the two Chiefs who "dared" to express concerns?  The Chiefs were worried about the safety of the children, and the liability issues that could arise.  And for this they are called "confused"!  Then there was the accusation that, "Somebody's been feeding (chiefs) misinformation".  However apparently the clanmothers are all on board - although one might question that if this is so, why some chiefs (who in a sense report to them) are "confused".  Apparently though, not only some chiefs are "confused", but also some clanmothers are under some misunderstanding about who will run the new agency.  This returns us to the most chronic problem on the Reserve - factionalism.  The "worry" of the clanmothers is that the Elected Council will get to rule the roost.  They needed to be reassured that the group will be independent - although that is inconsistent with earlier statements of the new entity being mandated by Elected Council.  It appears that the new transition team is obsessed with getting the Brant CAS physically off the Reserve (out of their present offices), expecting that the social workers can effectively do their work, and visit the Reserve, from offices in Brantford.  I simply do not understand the rationale for banishing the social workers here - it will only make their job more difficult, and hence the children will be the ones to suffer.

In my opinion, as someone who is knowledgeable in relation to many aspects of this initiative, it is ill conceived - no matter what "the community" has said.  We have no idea who "the community" is in this context.  Where are the statistics?  Is this just an instance where a few influential members swayed others, who are really not at all upset about things at this point - but to keep the peace ...........


"Treaty Rights" and the Six Nations Deer Harvest

In Turtle Island News (January 15, 2014, p.7) is an article entitled, Treaty rights flexed in HWHA harvests, 70 deer taken.  Once again, my focus here will be on the beliefs versus the facts in relation to this matter.

The article reads, The Haudenosaunee Wildlife & Habitat Authority (HWHA) is wrapping up another year of deer harvests that exercise Haudenosaunee treaty rights with bow-only hunts in a newly opened up area of Dundas Valley.

This season's hunts also included time in Short Hills Provincial Park outside of St. Catharines, as well as a small area of the Royal Botanical Gardens near Burlington - about 70 deer have been taken and distributed to longhouses across Six Nations.

But more important than the harvests, said HWHA co-ordinator Chester Gibson, is that treaty rights were exercised and affirmed.  'Its not about harvesting deer, but about educating our own people ..... and reminding our guys about our treaty rights'.

In general everyone has been supportive of these efforts since without any doubt the over population of deer is creating havoc in the environment - especially their browsing on small trees, bushes and flowers.  The co-operation between the HWHA and the local conservation authorities and the RBG has been commendable.  Other joint measures to protect the ecosystem are planned.  All good.  While I am saddened that these brown eyed forest creatures must die, it is inevitable in order to maintain a viable ecosystem since there are no natural predators, and the lack of food caused by the behaviour of the deer, particularly in the winter, puts a lot of stress on the herd.

So if I believe that this entire endeavour is a win - win situation, what is the beef here?  In a word, the 'rationale' for the hunt.

A question to Chester, what are these "treaty rights" of which you speak.  I know of no legitimate treaty that addresses Six Nations rights to hunt on land outside their own Reserve.  Since I have tried to keep up to date with matters such as these, it seems odd that I have not heard anything about a treaty that would give "rights" to bow-hunt in Dundas or other such places in Southwestern Ontario.  There are numerous newspaper articles on the subject, yet in none did I find the naming of the treaty by which Six Nations claims a "right" to hunt in for example the Dundas area.  See here for an example. 

The name of the treaty is not mentioned in the Native newspapers either, when discussing "rights" concerning hunting in Southwestern Ontatio, or involvement ("rights") in relation to wind farm projects in Southwestern Ontario, I am guessing that the treaty here is the Nanfan Treaty of 1701.  An exhaustively researched document on this subject, which concludes that the treaty is completely invalid, since the Five Nations formally yielded any interest in the territory to their conquerors, the Mississauga, in June 1700 can be found here.

In at least a half dozen blog postings I have discussed the "uncomfortable reality" that this so - called treaty is entirely bogus and invalid.  The Five Nations did exterminate the Huron / Wyandot, Petun, Attiwandaronk, Erie and other peoples of Southwestern Ontario (lets call it what it was, genocide) in the mid 1600s.  Thus they removed by conquest all of the former occupants of Southwestern Ontario, leaving it a human desert for a number of years.  However, Mississauga (Ojibway / Chippewa) peoples soon began to move into the area and establish settlements or at least territorial rights.  The Five Nations had built a minimum of 8 settlements north of Lake Ontario in what is today Southwestern Ontario during the 1680s and 1690s.  This would give them claim to the land by conquest and settlement.  There is a very big "however" coming here - by 1696 the Three Fires Confederation had destroyed all of these settlements of the Five Nations and they had no presence at all there by 1700.  The Three Fires Confederacy was composed of the Mississauga, Ojibway, and Pottawatomi.  The latter resided in Michigan and were also known as the "Fire Nation", the ancient enemies of the Five Nations.  In the end, the land was left to the Mississauga who were the acknowledged "owners" of Southwestern Ontario, and from whom Governor General Sir Frederick Haldimand purchased the Haldimand Tract for Six Nations occupancy in 1784.

Hence when the Nanfan Treaty of 1701 was signed by 20 representatives of the Five Nations (the Sixth Nation, the Tuscarora, were not incorporated until about 1714) they were yielding their "beaver hunting grounds" in Southwestern Ontario to the British - however they had no claim to Southwestern Ontario since they had been totally defeated by the Mississauga and their allies.  You cannot sell or bargain away land you don't possess, so had the British known that the deal was fatally flawed they never would have gone ahead with it.  Were they knowingly deceived by the Five Nations?  That is a question that does not seem to have a direct answer, but is non the less irrelevant.  The Five (Six) Nations had and have no claim whatsoever to lands in Southwestern Ontario.  All very inconvenient I know, but the truth must be told - at any rate it will all come out eventually.

In my earlier posting I provided references to the facts of the matter, and there does not seem to be even a centimetre of wiggle room here.  Thus how Six Nations can make the outrageous claim to "treaty rights" in Southwestern Ontario flies in the face of reality, the facts, the evidence, the truth.  However, I guess unless someone formally challenges Six Nations in their false claims, the status quo will prevail.  I want this information to be installed on the Internet so that others will begin to ask the hard questions, and that ultimately the truth will win out.  Basically, Six Nations has every right to negotiate an agreement with a conservation authority to participate in for example the deer cull, but they cannot do it under the guise of having rights they in fact do not possess.


More on Car Thefts in the Niagara Peninsula: The Six Nations Connection

Earlier I posted an article on the fact that Brantford and Hamilton had become the car theft capitals of Ontario.  Although it is definitely not politically correct to point fingers, the whole point of the present blog is to present the facts and unmask some unpleasantness going on at Six Nations.  One of the major problems is the fact that a huge number of stolen cars end up at "the Bush" - local talk for, on the Rez.  The fact is that most of these thefts are perpetrated by locals, and that positing that it could be others who use Six Nations as a dumping ground does not wash.  There would be the less than small problem of obtaining transportation to wherever it is someone wishes you to believe that the thieves reside.  Anyone who does not know the Bush well is definitely not going to venture here - it isn't safe, even for thieves.  See here for my earlier posting.

Well, the most recent car theft incident is way over the top, and involved two Six Nations members - although the report indicates that one perpetrator resides in Hagersville, and the other in Jarvis.  The violence associated with this behaviour is escalating and someone needs to blow the whistle.

In Turtle Island News (January 15, 2014, p.8) is an article entitled, Manhunt ends at Six Nations, local police aid in arrest of two.  The specific details of the start to finish of this misadventure is instructive as it illustrates the extremity to which some here are willing to go to elude law enforcement.  Here follow some excerpts from the article:

After a string of violent robberies, Niagara Regional Police Service deployed additional crime patrol units to specific areas throughout Niagara.

Reports said that on Monday January 13th, 2014 at about 1:38 a.m., Niagara Regional Police officers observed a stolen green GMC Suburban travelling east-bound on Regional Road 20.  The driver refused to pull over and a car chase ensued where stop sticks were deployed causing the vehicle to come to a stop on Concession 4, and the two occupants bailed in different directions.  Canine units and a helicopter were brought in to assist, which resulted in the arrest of one subject.  A short time later police were called to the area of Highways 20 and 24 and a second arrest ensued.

Three homes had been broken into in the vicinity of Highway 20 in West Lincoln. At the first, when confronted by the homeowner the suspect took off. At the second home a mother, father and son were assaulted and taken to hospital with serious injuries. At the third home is where a vehicle was stolen subsequent to an altercation with suspects. With the help of a helicopter the vehicle was tracked to the Brantford area where Six Nations Police and the OPP initiated a chase eastbound along Townline Road (Regional Road 20; Indian Line). Upon reaching the corner of Townline Road and Mohawk Road, the suspect bailed and was located at a home on the Rez and arrested by Six Nations Police, who turned the suspect over to Niagara Police Service. The investigation continues with the assistance of Waterloo Regional Police Service, Hamilton Police Service and the Six Nations Police Service.

In the picture accompanying the story, the caption reads, Six Nations police assisted in the arrest of two men that sparked a manhunt that began in Niagara and ended up on First Line and Mohawk road.

After reading this article it is unclear to myself as to how many incidents are being described.  Perhaps it is just one, if the article is confusing Townline Road and First Line (an easy mistake to make).

There is a very large elephant in the room.  Six Nations members commit a highly disproportionate number of car thefts and associated crime in the area roughly from Waterloo to St. Catharines to Burlington.  One of the perceptions (false as it turns out) is that "once I reach the Bush, I am home free".  All local police forces are aware of the problem, as well as the demographics, and have their resources attuned to the statistical reality - creating another black eye for people at Six Nations.  Folks in the Niagara Peninsula and surrounds are starting to view the Six Nations Reserve in common with how those in San Diego California view Tijuana (just across the Mexican border) - and with some justification.  I truly wish that I had some suggestions for solutions to this deeply ingrained problem, but I don't.


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Once Again, Apparent Fraud Perpetrated by Six Nations in Wind Turbine Dealings

In this week's issue of Turtle Island News (January 15, 2014, p.20) we see another of the "Six Nations Future" announcements.  The last one, pertaining to the McKenzie Meadows Development, failed miserably.  This one will more likely succeed. 

This represents a cash grab of the most blatant underhanded fraudulent variety.  Here Six Nations is putting pressure on groups far from the Reserve and extracting money from them - "so there will be no future problems of the work stoppage kind.  A little co-operation, and things will go smoothly - just 'consult' and pay us our 'requested' consultation fee.  You know all the nastiness that has happened in the past, surely you do not want a repeat of Caledonia 2006".  That is a synopsis of the reality.  Here follows the official announcement, which of course hides the truth.

The Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) announces to the Six Nations Community that they are seeking input for two proposed wind projects, "Gunn's Hill Wind Farm" in the Township of Norwich, Oxford County, and "Port Ryerse Wind Project" east of the town in Norfolk County.  Ok, lets pause here for a moment to examine geography.  Neither Oxford nor Norfolk Counties are or were within the Haldimand Tract, and so Six Nations do not even have a tenuous claim.  It makes about as much sense as Six Nations asking for payouts for developments in the Alberta Tar Sands.  That being said, lets look further into the document.  Here is the bottom line, which is always money.  Specifically, in relation to the Gunn's Hill Project, The proposed benefits include a potential 10% equity investment in the project which is estimated to generate revenue in excess of $3 million over 20 years, or a default royalty payment of $1,000 per MM/Year for the 20 year term of the FIT Contract ($360,000).  In addition the developer is offering two (2) $4,000 annual post-secondary bursaries for the 20 year term of the FIT Contract.  The Port Ryerse Project has a somewhat lower take, but mentorship of an on-reserve Small FIT solar development and a proposed Joint Venture development of future non-contracted renewable energy projects within which Six Nations could potentially own up to 15% in each contemplated project.

Sweet!  One problem.  Why is the town of Port Ryerse or for that matter Haldimand County not the recipients of these benefits?  Why do Six Nations warrant any consideration whatsoever in these Projects?  If some bogus claim to the Haldimand Tract can not be put forward, the only other option would seem to be reference to the bogus Nanfan Treaty of 1701 which has been entirely discredited.  An exhaustively researched document on this subject  can be found here.  It rightly concludes that the treaty is completely invalid, since the Five Nations formally yielded any interest in the territory to their conquerors, the Mississauga, in June 1700.  The Six Nations do not have a legitimate claim to one rabbit on the soil or bass in the waters of Southwestern Ontario, except on the Six Nations Reserve, let alone the huge sums of money that will flow like water simply because the power companies and their government enablers will not stand up and say, wait a minute, what is the rationale for including Six Nations in any consultation here?  Why not consult with the residents of Waterloo?  At least they have a university there with scientists who could provide expert input on the projects.  There is a term that applies - "protection money".  They continue to get away with it.  Chicago north.

If these "gifts" without strings granted to Six Nations for no legitimate reason at all continue, one day someone is going to blow the whistle - and it will be time to pay back the ill gotten gains - that is assuming there is a government interested in truth and justice - indeed, I am a bit sceptical too.  It is all about keeping a lid on things, and doing what it takes to avoid another Caledonia.  Alas, since the Hereditary Council in not part of this deal, I foresee serious issues on that score alone, and unless they get their cut of the take, the deal is not going to happen - that is if history serves as a guide.

Update:  Based on the Turtle Island News (28 January 2014, p.5), we have an answer as to how the HCCC might be placated so that the "deal" is not terminated.  Here the Six Nations Elected Band Council will still negotiate with the above parties, but members of the entire community will be given the opportunity to invest in the project.  Here, Investors will receive a 10 percent return for the next 20 years such that, If a community member invests $50,000, he or she could earn $5,000 a year for 20 years for a total of $100,000 and the return of the principal.  Sweet - 10% guraranteed - and the company saying that if interest rates increase this will be reflected in the payout!  Not that there are all that many at Six Nations with 50 grand to spare, but it is the idea.

Furthermore, there is another project near Port Ryerse coming into the picture with similar gains.  Also a company from Quebec called Boralex has agreed to discuss possible projects, along the Haldimand Tract, in which Six Nations would own up to 15 percent of each project.  Of course my perspective is that there is zero "unceded" land left in the Haldimand Tract, why shouldn't the residents of say South Cayuga Township derive the benefits - why Six Nations who have no aboriginal claim, nor any treaty rights that relate to the Haldimand Tract.  So many misconceptions.  This whole matter needs to go to the Supreme Court such that a ruling can let all developers know the truth of the situation, and unless the project is on the present day Reserve, Six Nations have no special rights that would entitle them to any consideration outside the current Reserve.  Until then just mention Caledonia and expect "compliance".  It seems to be working and no one in Government seems to have the guts to challenge the baseless claims.  What a pathetic and sad situation.  The Federal Government being held hostage, and encouraging it.  Is this Canada, or some 4th dimension where things are all topsy turvy?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Omerta ("Code of Silence") at Six Nations

It has never surprised me that so many Native women have disappeared, or their murders have gone unsolved.  Many Natives and their apologists continue to blame the Government or the police for not caring about Natives and placing a low priority on solving these crimes.  The truth, however, is likely to be quite different.  Many of these women were in the sex trade, and / or were homeless ensuring that unless they had a protector (e.g., pimp) they were among the most vulnerable of persons and the most at risk.  The reason why most were in this situation can likely be traced to the abysmal conditions on the Reserves that were once their home.  It is virtually certain that all experienced sexual assault, abuse, substance abuse and all of the other ills that plague First Nations communities in the North and the West in particular.  There is one other factor which puts police in a position where it is almost guaranteed that they will be unable to solve the crime.  Omerta.

Omerta is the "code of silence" most typically associated with the Mafia, but found in many communities including the Black community in many parts of the United States.  No one talks out of fear for their lives, or the lives of their family.  No one talks because of the belief that matters are best handled "at home", and that the White legal system will only open wounds.  So police cannot rely on the typical sources needed to solve crimes - witness testimony.  It would be a bit rare for a Reserve member to testify against another Reserve member in Court - it is taboo, even when the victim, usually a female, wants to press charges.  Generally she will be convinced that other methods such as "healing circles" and "forgiveness" are better options.  I will write a great deal more on this subject when I review a book on the "Aboriginal Industry" by Widdowson and Howard in the near future.

So how does this play out at Six Nations?  Many people likely believe that omerta is something found in other communities, not Six Nations.  It is very difficult to obtain hard facts here, only anecdotes - but that does not mean that the concept is irrelevant or wrong.  Here a very straightforward question can be posed, and the answer will be very telling.  During and after the situation in Caledonia in 2006 with violence against property and persons, theft, vandalism, arson, criminal mischief, and a complete flaunting of the laws of Haldimand County, the Province of Ontario, and the Federal Government of Canada - how many at Six Nations spoke out publicly against this barbaric turn of events?  As far as I know the answer is zero.  Does that mean that all at Six Nations supported the violence?  No, not at all.  None the less, in looking at the letters to the editor of local newspapers, including those in Haldimand and Brant Counties and the two on the Reserve, who stated the obvious - that the situation got out of hand and it was reflecting poorly on all Six Nations.  Did either the Elected Council or the Hereditary Council issue a formal apology - no, nothing remotely similar to the best of my knowledge.

Speaking out publicly, in other words off Reserve, against a fellow member of Six Nations is something that is avoided at all costs.  So basically one runs into the "wall of omerta" in trying to get to the truth.  The truth is not as important as group solidarity by in large.  It is important to put forward the "face of solidarity" when in fact none exists.  The Elected Council and the Hereditary Council agree on almost nothing - and seem to take pains to set things up so that the other will take the fall or the blame for whatever divisive issue is at stake.  Omerta functions to keep white people out of the loop.  Of course this is in practise impossible since all of the laundry, dirty or otherwise, is to be found in the two newspapers on the Reserve, sold at places off Reserve and easily available to White people without setting foot on the Rez.

So while omerta functions to keep the perception of Six Nations being one on all important issues (from land claims to wind turbines), the truth is something far different.  So what happens if someone at Six Nations "rats out" another in a public venue (e.g., testifying in Court)?  For years it has been much the same.  Recall the story of the Hatfields and the McCoys in West Virginia and Kentucky?  That is what is at risk at Six Nations.  Not only will the individual be at risk physically or at the very least be shunned, but his or her entire extended family will likely get drawn into the fray and the fur will fly and the "feud" can last for years, or even generations.  Knowing this, there were occasions in the past where I have "held back" saying or doing anything inflamatory.  For example a while back I had every reason to deck one very obnoxious neighbour who was making false allegations against me while throwing punches.  Instead I dodged the punches until this alcoholic exhausted himself.  I allowed him to get in his car and drive away - just up the road.  If it had been anywhere else I would have defended myself and / or called the cops.

Welcome to Six Nations.


Six Nations Ethnic Admixture - Indian, White and Black

There is a belief, probably more entrenched in the White community, that most Six Nations members are "full blooded".  Most or all at Six Nations know that is not true, and many of my circle have spoken with pride of their British or other White ancestors.  A Canadian anthropologist, studying the Six Nations, was given the information that the last person there to claim "full blood status" was one Andrew Spragge, a Cayuga who died in 1869 (David Boyle, The Pagan Iroquois: Archaeological Report of the Minister of Education 1898, Toronto, Ministry of Education, 1898). 

Admixture with Whites goes back as far as the earliest appearance of the Dutch to the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys.  As early as 1844, a Dutchman Johannes Megapolensis Jr., a Dutch Reformed minister who preached to the Mohawks and made careful observations commented thus, The women are exceedingly addicted to whoring; they will lie with a man for the value of one, two, or three schillings, and our Dutchmen run after them very much (Snow, Gehring and Starna, 1996, p. 43).  One can only guess at how many half - Dutch children were born in this fashion, but since lineage was traced through the maternal side, absorbing these children into Mohawk society would pose no problems.  There are numerous reports of half - Dutch Mohawks living in Mohawk Country in the 1600s, some of whom such as "Smit's Jan" became famous in their own right.  Furthermore, Gideon Hawley, who went to Oquaga as a missionary in 1753, noted that nearly every family of the Oneida and Tuscarora inhabitants of that village had 'more or less' white blood in their veins; while James Dean who taught and interpreted at Oneida missions for many years thought that by the end of the Revolution there was not a pure Oneida in existence, many of that nation being mixed with white blood as well as other strains (Kelsay, 1984, p. 24).

What is lesser known, or simply less spoken about, is the Black ancestry in many families - perhaps even all to some degree.  The latter subject is one that when I was younger, you could gently rib someone about - although sometimes it would not turn out well (especially if at a party and alcohol was involved).  The truth being that having a Black ancestor did not give someone "bragging rights", but rather was seen as a source of embarrassment.  Times have changed, and frankly I don't know whether perceptions have changed to keep up or not.  It would be exceedingly rare for a Six Nations member to marry a Black person (I am not aware of any such marriages), although some women may have had children out of wedlock with Black males - although that too is a rarity due to taboos.  There is no such taboo in relation to White males.  All this has caused havoc in determining who is a Six Nations member and entitled to all the pertinent rights, including the right to live on the Reserve.

When I was young, just as an example, the family across the road were all descended from one female.  She had a "relationship" with a White male or males, and all of her children took her last name.  All of the children were registered Band members.  Some married White people who then came to live on the Rez, some left the Rez to reside in the wider community.  One adopted a child (White father, Indian mother) from another Reserve.  This type of situation was very common and can be traced back as a pattern through many generations.  An inspection of the census records between 1851 and 1921 shows clearly how a "modified" nuclear family was typical at Six Nations.  There were often family constellations that defied easy description as some children were living at home with the mother and father (often it is unclear which children are those of the mother and which are those of the father and which are those of both of them), and others scattered around various homes in the vicinity. 

The government for many years defined who was Six Nations and who was ineligible.  The Indian Act of 1876 gave primary inspiration but rules have come and gone over the years (e.g., the "two grandmother rule").  The biggest change was in 1876 where a matrilineal system was replaced by a Canadian - modelled patrilineal system of descent.  If your father was Lower Cayuga you were Lower Cayuga - replacing the previous matrilineal definition of tribal membership.  This is a very complicated matter that is peripheral to the subject matter for the present posting.  Much of the responsiblity of deciding who is in and who is out now rests with the Membership Office, an arm of the Elected Council.

Going back a bit in history, some of the families were headed by a White male.  Among the most noteworthy are the families of Scots Archibald Russell (Mohawk wife) and Daniel MacNaughton (Cayuga wife).  They and their children resided in intact nuclear families.  Similar examples, where Indian men married White women, including Mohawks George Martin (wife Catherine Roelston) and George H. M. Johnson (wife Emily Howells).  All of these families resided on the consolidated Reserve.

Before the time the Reserve was consolidated there were White males who obtained land grants (usually 1200 acres) in the Haldimand Tract after marrying Six Nations women.  Among these include White men who married Mohawk women, William Kennedy Smith (married Mary Hill) and Solomon Phelps (married Esther Hill).  The children of these men married members of the White community and did not move to the consolidated Reserve, but lived in nearby Brantford or Mt. Pleasant.  Further downriver were White men who had served during the War of the American Revolution with Chief Joseph Brant and were given "Brant Leases".  These include Lt. John Young (married Catherine Hill, Mohawk), Capt. John Dochstader (married first Mohawk woman, second Cayuga woman, third Onondaga woman), his nephew Sgt. John Dochstader (married Catherine Thom a Delaware woman), and Pvt. John Huff (married an unnamed Delaware woman).  Most of their descendants simply integrated into the local White community, although a few did end up residing on the consolidated Reserve.

Then there were some who were more "shadowy", it not being entirely clear as to their ancestral composition.  One good example is John Garlow of German descent who in 1822 moved to the area near the Mohawk Village from Upstate New York.  His wife was enumerated as Mohawk, although there seems to be some confusion about her specific ancestry (in my opinion, more likely Oneida).  Their descendants remained on the consolidated Reserve, settling in large numbers along the "Garlow Line".

In looking through the Anglican Church registers for the Mohawk Chapel and St. John's (situated on the consolidated Reserve), one can see a rather large number of marriages between Six Nations and Whites.  There would of course be unofficial liaisons, and also marriages recorded by travelling Methodist ministers so it is unclear as to the absolute numbers of Indian - White marriages in the Haldimand Tract.

In looking at the typical Six Nations surnames one would find in the telephone book today, some reflect the White ancestry of the progenitor, and some are clearly from a male whose name may or may not be White - and the truth can only be settled by research.  Some surnames reflecting a White male progenitor include MacNaughton, Dochstader, Maracle, Garlow; while those whose origin is Six Nations (although the biological progenitor at some link in the chain may have been White) include Silversmith, Johnson, Hill, Powless and Claus (a Dutch contraction from Nicholas).  Each name would need to be traced to its roots, easier said than done in many to most cases.

Then there are the Black males who started families with Six Nations women.  The phenomenon is typically traced in some way to the institution of slavery.  Some of the 30 slaves of Joseph Brant, and lesser numbers "belonging" to other high ranking Six Nations (e.g., Aaron Hill) did merge with the Six Nations community.  The earliest example I have found is one John Smart, who escaped to the Canajoharie Village in New York in the middle of the 18th Century and was given sanctuary.  I am assuming that Peter Smart of Canajoharie was his son, and that the family of Smarts who arrived at Tyendinaga during the Loyalist migration were of this lineage.  More clear, thanks to the documentary evidence, is the relationship between Black males with the surnames Settles, Hill, Jackson, Schyler, Mike, and Morey.  Of this group, the Mike and Schyler families ended up on the consolidated Reserve, and the Morey family eventually moved to Burford, and the destination of the others is unknown to me.

Being of Black ancestry could create problems, despite the apparent welcoming some received.  For example, Michael Anthony, despite being the son of a Delaware chief George Anthony, and being a minister and a primary informant for anthropologists such as Frank Speck due to their knowledge of this history of their people, was "dehorned" by Six Nations Council.  An informant to someone studying the records (John A. Noon), stated that Anthony had Black ancestry at some point in his lineage and so was ineligible to be a chief.  He was replaced as a Delaware Chief by John Cayuga who did not suffer from the same stigma.  It is known that due to their early history in the Southern USA, many Tuscarora were of partial Black ancestry - which in some cases left them under a cloud of suspicion.  Members of the Mike family, acknowledged as part Black, were not impacted to any apparent large extent because they did not aspire to a chiefship or any office where their "credentials" would include the amount of Black ancestry.  So the Six Nations were pretty much the same as the surrounding White people in their views on Blacks - generally tolerated, but not exactly made to feel that they were on an equal footing.

So when I drive the roads of Six Nations and attend events there does it surprise me to see blonde hair and blue eyes in the children of Six Nations members - no, not in the least.  One only need look at the very light eyed Chief MacNaughton, Tekarihogea, Chief of the Hereditary Confederacy Council of Chiefs (HCCC) to get a sense of his biological ancestry.  What is important at Six Nations is not biology (although it is a consideration) but ones lineage, and the knowledge of how one "fits in" at Six Nations.

So basically you have Six Nations members living on or off the Reserve who are Indian, White and Black.  Some are physically indistinguishable from those in the surrounding community, and may have little knowledge of the history and culture of their own people.  You have White people who are White, Indian and Black whose ancestors were part of the Six Nations community, but they have no Reserve or Status Indian rights, but who are well versed in the history and culture of Six Nations.  There are other mix and match scenarios out there, but it all boils down to whether you are accepted as a Six Nations member by the Membership Office.  However when push comes to shove, such as in the Caledonia crisis of 2006, there are only two groups - Six Nations and other.  One aligns oneself with one side or the other since there is no middle ground.  Admixture means little "on the ground", what counts is if you have a Status Card or not - which will pretty well drive you to one camp or the other.  The exception is the White solidarity supporters who, despite their ignorance of the situation at Six Nations, stand tall with Six Nations in common cause.  All very strange, but not so much if you live here.