Monday, 16 June 2014

The Two Row Wampum Myth - Fantasy Rears its Head Once Again

In most newspapers, an editorial is written by the editor of the paper, and the author's name is clearly evident.  This is the case with Turtle Island News (TIN) where the editor's picture is included with the editorial, and her name is found immediately below under "Editor".  Everyone hereabouts knows that Lynda Powless is the Editor, and that she writes the editorials for TIN.  However things are not so clear with the Two Row Times (TRT), where a recent editorial is unsourced, and when seeking to find who is assigned the role of editor, two names are given - Jonathan Garlow (a status Six Nations member) and Tom Keefer (a White Communist Anarchist who has insinuated his way into the upper echelons of this newspaper where he is also the General Manager).  Should anyone question Keefer's destructive role in Caledonia, a few minutes of Google searching or seeing the data here should dispel any concerns about the accuracy of the statement.  I attended the march in 2012, and all the preceding events leading up to the march, and speak not only from what is peppered across the Internet, but also personal experience.  Perhaps the words coming from TIN that there is only one Reserve newspaper have some merit, considering that TRT is headed by a group of non-Native Anarchists, and offers the latter a "legitimate" platform for their radical leftist and anti - establishment views.  Amazingly, it also allows a Keefer family member, a physician at Brantford General Hospital, to write a column railing on with anti-scientific nonsense linking obesity to "colonialism".  But I digress.  So did Garlow or Keefer write the editorial entitled, "True equality between nations", TRT, June 11th, 2014, p.6?  It begs the question as to who is calling the shots, the White owner / employees, or the Six Nations members affiliated with the newspaper.  Since I am in deep disagreement with much of the content of the editorial, whomever wrote it, I will sift through it clause by clause in an attempt to point out how skewed and factually incorrect the content is.

The editorial was triggered by the McHale "citizen's arrest" of John Garlow Kawaowene on 8 June, 2014.  The two previous blog postings seen below provide the detail, including beliefs versus facts as shown in multiple videos taken at the time.

The editorial stated that, McHale has promoted his political ideology of Canadian supremacy through a rhetoric of forced equality that violates the Two Row Wampum.  This statement is a supposition and not backed up with a single fact.  It is correct that McHale advocates one law for all in Canada, as his website and his book (see previous postings) demonstrate - but this is a given for those who choose to live within the boundaries of Canada - boundaries that are respected by all other countries world wide. 

The "Editor" continues, Our Onkwehonwe hospitality towards the newcomers, and our relationship with the Canadian/British Sovereign has been limited and defined in the Two Row Wampum and the Kaianerekowa (Constitution of the Peoples).  It is important to pause here to clear up some errors in fact. 

First the Two Row Wampum is a concept which continues to perpetuate itself, but its origins are mired in obscurity.  I have devoted considerable blog space to this topic.  There is no clear validity for this assumed "relationship agreement" with the boat and the canoe travelling in parallel (represented as the two purple stripes on the wampum belt said to accompany the agreement).  The story and documentation that goes along with this concept has been severely criticized by academics and it is basically flawed.  For example, wampum used later to record treaties and attest to the appointment of Chiefs simply cannot be shown to exist in Six Nations country before the 1630s - yet the supposed document signed by 4 otherwise unidentified Aboriginal persons and two Dutchmen is dated 1613 and only speaks of trade - nothing else - but somewhere along the way obtained the moniker, "Treaty of Tawagonshi" (the latter the hill where the supposed document was supposedly signed).  It was not an agreement with the British Crown, but merely two Dutch traders residing in New Amsterdam before the British took over this colony in 1664.  So to pin so much on what amounts to a document that many academics consider to be forged in the 19th or 20th Centuries, and a belt whose age is undetermined, cannot possibly be accepted uncritically except by those who are "true believers".  Even such respected Six Nations historians as Rick Hill acknowledge the lack of evidence, but slough it off because there is "oral history" (which is as soft as a cotton ball).  See here for his "talking points" by clicking on the link "Two Row History".  Clearly this concept is being confused with the valid "Covenant Chain" agreement of 1671 onwards - but it is again a friendship and mutual support agreement - nothing whatsoever being said about sovereignty.  As it stands today, anyone who questions the sacred nature of the Two Row Wampum agreement can expect to be called "racist" or similar term.  Facts mean nothing.  If in fact the concept and details of the supposed Two Row Wampum agreement is valid, then where is the evidence?  If I am wrong, in other words the mountain of evidence is somehow in error, then it is incumbent upon Six Nations leaders to clearly and unequivocally prove the validity of the Two Row Wampum, thus clearing up the inconsistencies, so we can move forward.  Hence I challenge Six Nations to provide evidence that can be verified by objective parties such as university academics.  If Six Nations cannot do this then the detailed research I have provided stands and the Two Row Wampum as articulated by those at Six Nations without references is unsupported and relegated to the category of myths. 

I grew up believing in the validity of both the Two Row Wampum and the Nanfan Treaty, and merely accepted both as correct without bothering to ask any hard questions - it was simply not acceptable to do so and I knew it.  I am "all grown up" now and as an individual educated in the scientific method, am highly skeptical of anything without hard evidence, cross validation and the like.  So now, after all these years, when I apply the litmus test of scientific inquiry to both of these "sacred cows", I find that both fail miserably on all counts.  I was duped.  In this blog I have attempted to set the record straight with evidence that is properly sourced, and data which is contemporary with the events being described - such as the so called "Nanfan Treaty".  Apparently it is easy for people who want to believe to accept the "party line" without question.  Life is more comfortable by so doing - at least to those who have not been taught to question everything.  That which is valid will stand up to close scrutiny, false information will not.

Secondly, it should also be noted that the Kayenkeragowagh (Great Law) was first committed to writing in the mid 1800s by Eli Parker and others, and at Six Nations there were two versions circulating by the end of the 19th Century.  One was written by Seth Newhouse (Mohawk) and the other by John Gibson (Seneca).  The Hereditary Chiefs chose the latter and it was selected as the "correct" version - although somewhat controversial at the time.  Without a doubt the most comprehensive study of the Great Law was William N. Fenton, The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy, Norman OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.  The field work was done in the 1940s and 50s at Six Nations with informants such as Simeon Gibson, Joseph Logan, Howard Skye, Alexander General, and Jake Thomas.  The work is 786 pages in length and is detailed and comprehensive.  I am unaware of a better source.  It is interesting that not once does Fenton or any of his informants appear to mention "Two Row Wampum" - a curious omission, or a reflection of reality?  To to see that Great Law as something immutable cannot be sustained based on the number of versions seen in Six Nations communities in New York and Ontario.  Interpretations have changed over the years, but now, as far as I know, the published Gibson version is the one memorized and recited each year.  The Newhouse version is only found in manuscript form, the apparent original (a house fire destroyed some of it) is found at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa (I have read the original).

The British Crown never considered the Five (later Six) Nations as "equals".  Both the British and the French claimed parts of North America as their sovereign territory.  The various deeds and surrenders from the earliest days of the British rule to the 19th Century consistently spoke of "our Great Father the King of England".  Even the much vaunted (by Six Nations), but entirely fraudulent, Nanfan "Treaty" of 1701 explicitly states that the Five Nations are subjects of Britain and its Sovereign (as opposed to the French).

Despite all this "reality business" the "editor" continues to speak about how, Equality between nations does not mean that they are subject to each others constitution: what we are talking about is international equality.  Furthermore, all along the Canadian colony has knowingly suppressed our true nationalities and true citizenships to our particular sovereign nations.  This is a fabrication, but one commonly heard (after all the more something is repeated and not challenged, the more likely someone is to believe a myth as fact).  There is one Nation, Canada, and all who reside within its boundaries are Canadian and subject to its laws.  When Bill C-10 (outlawing contraband tobacco) becomes law, Canada will have the right to enforce the law anywhere in Canada - Six Nations knows this hence all the fuss now going on lobbying Ottawa for an exemption.  Whether Canada choses to enforce the law at Six Nations is another matter entirely since the whole matter is such an "issue", and the Government tends to tred lightly in areas where Native issues obtrude.

Things get a little more odd when the editorial states, During his ongoing siege of our community, McHale has systematically and arbitrarily denied the evident and chosen nations of the men and women he targets and harasses, ramming his own confused notions of equality down our throats, and arbitrarily spreading Canadian 'equality' forcibly onto the peoples of free nations who have never defined themselves as Canadian and who have never become subjects of the British/Canadian Crown.  The latter first.  Six Nations were declared subjects and signed agreements as to the sovereignty of the British Crown from the early years of British rule, and this was confirmed in the Proclamation of 1763 and subsequent acts.  Just where precisely does it say that the Crown has rescinded sovereignty of all peoples of the Canadas - English, French and Native?  These are the three "founding peoples", based on various documents coming from the Federal Government, but they are not each sovereign (although French speaking Quebecers have long been pushing in this direction).  The ownership of the Haldimand Tract, purchased from the Aboriginal occupants, the Mississauga, was not transferred to the Six Nations.  The right of occupation of these lands were given to Six Nations in 1784, is still to this day the lands are vested in the Crown such that no land sale here is legal unless surrendered to the Crown and the monies derived from the sale put into trust for the Six Nations.  Deniers of history run into the roadblock of the facts - as inconvenient as they might be.  Those who have not studied the matter in detail could be snowed by arguments based on oral tradition and such, generally presented with much emotion, but those of us such as myself who have made inquires via a search of the primary source documentation will be harder to convince because the data does not support the position of the Six Nations on this subject.

To add to the sheer outlandishness of what is written, the unnamed author states that, McHale has arrested a non-Canadian without the process of extradition.  McHale's crusade may put him and everyone else in a constitutional crisis, and may have violated the covenant of peace between the British Crown and the Onkwehonwe.  Some Canadians may call that an act of treasonous contempt.  I have no doubt that the White "solidarity" Six Nations supporters funded by the unions, and the Communist and Anarchist groups would promulgate this stance.  However, most Canadians will see the business for what it is - but a "constitutional crisis" - as if.  Outlandish and off the wall claims only make the cause seem dodgy, and potential sympathy (if there was any) dissipates.

The editorial ends by stating that, We are Onkwehon:we and we deserve to be respected as the equals that we are and have always been under the Two Row Wampum.  Indeed, no argument here.  That is the point of what McHale is saying.  We are all equal under the law and all deserve to receive its protections.  If anyone wishes to push to hard on the "we are not Canadians" theme, there is going to be a major backlash where many will say if that is true, then you will need to stop accepting Canadian taxpayer Welfare and Transfer Payments.  That has not happened, and is not likely to happen.  As these developments and claims profiled in the present blog become more apparent to all Canadians, not just the folks hereabouts, I would predict an increasing call for dismantling the Reserve system (at least for those who, like Six Nations, cannot claim to be Aboriginal to the lands where they are presently settled - Grand River Ontario is not Upstate New York), all lands in the possession of those with location tickets to have these documents converted to deeds in fee simple, and after a transition period, no more "perks" (that includes the right/entitlement not to pay certain taxes), so that all are truly equal to carve out their own destiny.  The lands are geographically within either Brant County (Tuscarora Township, Onondaga Township between Middleport and Onondaga, and the Glebe Lands with the old Mohawk Institute and the Mohawk Chapel) or Haldimand County (the strip of Oneida Township along Oneida Road).  It would be simple to add these clearly defined areas to either the Brant County or Haldimand County Land Registry.  Be careful what you ask for ........


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