1) List and discuss a set of interrelated endemic problems plaguing Canada and Canadians. All emerge from the Indian Act of 1876. None of these issues have been resolved in the 100 or more years we have had to get it right. The result has been increasing inequality, injustices, and social unrest that realistically will never disappear or be ameliorated within the framework of a firmly entrenched status quo.
2) Propose a solution to these problems which is guaranteed to inflame the passions of those who are benefiting from the status quo, but which has at one time had the support of some of the most influential and respected Canadians. In the long run it is our best chance at ridding ourselves of a system which from Colonial times has underpinned and supported the pathology feeding these problems.
What triggered the present posting?: I have experienced simmering anger, building for some time, about the waste of my tax dollars, and the dysfunctional Reserve system, but most particularly how my hard earned tax dollars have been used to prop up a Reserve - based activist group whose illegal self - serving actions have created turmoil in Haldimand and Brant Counties. I deeply resent the knowledge that a penny of my money is going into the pockets of these local parasites - and there is nothing I can say or do to change the situation. We, the taxpayers of the Grand River Valley (and others) are powerless, and must merely learn to tolerate violence and disrespect as a reward for the "generosity" extracted from our wallets. So finally, the pot has come to a rolling boil.
However what sent fingers flying across the keyboard at this time was reading three articles, published this past week, which triggered a flare up in the frustration over how my tax dollars were being spent to support floundering Canadian Indian Reserves. One article also showed the unwarranted expectations, fueled by false information and faulty interpretations of supposed facts, by many who live within the Reserve communities. The three specific articles are as follows:
1) Release to the public of the salaries of chiefs and Reserve officers across Canada: Now that the Federal Government has required transparency among those entrusted with our tax dollars, the release of the salaries of Chiefs and other officials of Canada's 600+ Indian Bands provide sobering statistics. We now have irrefutable proof of rampant corruption, and unconscionable waste of the dollars you and I are sending to Reserves across the country. Chiefs of bands with less than 50 members making a salary of over a million dollars as seen here - and that is just for starters. It should make Canadian taxpayers very very angry, with the obscene waste of their hard earned money to allow a select group of greedy Chiefs to enrich themselves and their cronies for what? What would justify this use of taxpayer dollars when the average Band member still lives in abject poverty? Some things never change. Something has to give. No more pouring good money after bad down a bottomless pit and enduring the incessant whining for more tax dollars since they can't seem to make ends meet. We need to get a handle on what is wrong, and propose viable solutions.
2) Editorial in "Two Row Times": The 6 August 2014 Editorial is entitled, Ambidextrous Politics, (p.6) which got me very hot under the collar when I realized that never but never will an absurd notion that a "nation" or "600 nations" should or could exist within the present borders of Canada, go away. The statement which I found to get under my skin is as follows, occurring within the context of a justification of the Editor's anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian stance. In his words:
Someday I hope that my people the Haudenosaunee will retake our homelands and form our own country, which already exists in our hearts and minds. Perhaps we will be funded $233.7 billion by a foreign world power. By then the people of Canada and the United States will probably feel like the land is theirs and that they are indigenous in some way or other. My prayer is that we will not destroy them or advocate genocide ..........
So basically he is saying, "We are the Indigenous people of Canada and are forced to tolerate you for now, but if we could, we would send you packing back to wherever you or your ancestors came from - hopefully we would not need to commit genocide to do it". Reading between the lines, the Editor must sense that many of us both above and below the border already believe that we are as indigenous to this Continent as members of the 600+ Bands - the only difference is that members have questionable entitlements, and we do not.
I will show below how this "independent nation" in relation to the Six Nations Reserve community is a mere fantasy, but it is one that simply will not go away as is clear from the above editorial. The only solution it seems would be ............. I will give the obvious solution shortly.
The third article resonated profoundly within me, and is written by a Canadian who clearly shares my views on the subject matter of the above Editorial. It seems as if she is speaking about the about Editorial, but is not - although the "fit" is amazing.
3) Author's words in "End Race Based Law": You can feel the heartfelt sentiments deeply in the following words - and what she says is absolutely correct and factual to the best of my knowledge - although apologists and deniers will be found, as has been the case throughout history. Please listen to the words carefully, and read the full "End Race Based Law" article here.
" It's so racist, so incredibly bullying and disrespectful and downright cruel to speak that way to millions of hard working people, so many of whom have long histories here, ALL of whom are paying taxes, paying rents, and paying mortgages, and some guy who happens to be that ONE RACE comes along and uses his race to terrorize an innocent person's sense of safety in this country, telling him he is "on stolen land", simply because of his/her race.
Canada is about ALL of us, not just some, where-as ONE RACE uses their race to act as "one brush" against every other race, to blame the "government" and abuse innocent tax payers and our court system by all 600+ nations taking us to court on a daily basis, all across the country, to push and push and blame and blame and cost us billions every year in this race based game that's created the Indian Industry.
It's time tax payers got active and vocal, and insisted their politicians deal with these race based issues, openly, bravely, and honestly."
END RACE BASED LAW
"End Race Based Law inc." has a website which can be viewed here, and also a facebook site of the same name which you can see here. I was left with one of those jaw dropping moments where I realized that what I had just been writing was mirrored in many of the articles found at ERBL. The first article on the current page of the website, 20 July 2014, is entitled, "The Myths of Caledonia".
My background as it relates to the subject under consideration: I have very deep roots in this country, with ancestors who were Six Nations Indians, Europeans from a variety of northern countries, and African-Americans. But that does not entitle me to be considered a "special" Canadian, or to be given any special privileges. Race - ethnicity - ancestry must of necessity be irrelevant in a modern democratic country such as Canada. I was born here and carry a Canadian passport - no other word or nationality fits - Canadian all the way - although I also identify with my ancestral Province of Ontario, but this does not trump being Canadian, nothing does.
At this time I do not have a "Status Card" by virtue of my Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) ancestry which is linked to my maternal line, and considering what I have said over the years, I would be something of a hypocrite if I ever accepted one. I have taken great pains to get to know the life stories of all of my ancestors. In the process I learned considerable detail of the history, culture and genealogy of Six Nations people. Since I have always resided on the doorstep of the Reserve, between Hagersville and Caledonia, this has given me a connection that would otherwise be tenuous if I resided in say Toronto. Thus one might say that I am a Canadian whose proximity affords me a somewhat unique opportunity to comment from direct experience on the happenings involving Six Nations members.
Unlike the vast majority of my posts which include copious references, this one will largely be written directly from my mind and memory, but even more from the heart. Despite my academic background, I do feel emotions such as anger coming from a sense of injustice very deeply. So who knows what will emerge as I stare at the screen of my laptop, and as I recall examples and studies which seem to paint a very clear picture.
Are we all Canadian?: Many at Six Nations and others among the other 600 or so Bands would state a resounding, NO to this question - believing that each is a sovereign nation. However, for the more rational among us, a good example of the fact that we are either Canadian or not can be found in the Olympics such as the recent Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi, Russia. When the scoreboard showed rankings there was only a single category for those who represented Canada - Canada. On the podium, when a person representing Canada accepted their medal, there was absolutely no caveat that so and so was a French Canadian, or immigrated at age 5 from Slovenia, nothing of the sort. "Canada" won a gold medal. In the little vignettes about each competitor they would mention their home town, so it might be for example Caledonia, Ontario, Canada; or Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. If you were competing for Canada it was irrelevant if your ancestors arrived a long time ago, or more recently. You were Canadian, not French Canadian, or English Canadian, an immigrant member of the multi-cultural community, or "Aboriginal" Canadian. Canadian, period. It would have been considered extremely disrespectful if an athlete, for example, carried a "Confederacy - Six Nations" flag instead of the Canadian flag.
While place of origin within Canada of course shaped the athlete, and he or she may be proud of being from say British Columbia, but at opening ceremonies all athletes representing Canada carried Canadian flags. The insanity that is Caledonia 2014 means that if you wish to place a Canadian flag on the former Douglas Creek Estates it will remain in place until the first set of eyes occupying this property owned now by the Province of Ontario sees it, whereupon it will be torn down and likely desecrated, to be replaced by either a Confederacy flag or a Mohawk Warrior flag, either of which are acceptable in that location, but certainly not an Ontario or a Canadian flag. Despite the obvious ridiculousness of the matter, many at Six Nations do not see themselves as Canadian - although have no trouble in justifying the receipt of monies from Canadian taxpayers such as you and I.
Being "Indigenous" in Canada: I was about to write a posting solely on the content of the above Editorial in "Two Row Times", which is really troubling, but came to realize that there was much much more to the relatively few words in the Editorial. I realized that I had heard it all many times in the past, and had tried not to dwell on the subject. I cannot ignore this predilection to focus on being "Indigenous" and all that entails. "Indigenous", "First Nations", "Aboriginal", "Native", you name it - but the term, in their eyes, sets them apart from other Canadians. The rest of us are "settlers" or some other insulting term, and the suggestion that Canadians without a "Status Card" might consider themselves entirely "Indigenous" (yes, with a capital "I") to Canada would be met with derision.
Those who also call themselves "Onkwehonwe" ("The Real People") tend to believe they are better than the rest of us - including those oddballs among us who are a bit "Native" and a bit or a lot "settler". The phony belief system comes in a package. "'We are special, have always been here, and we have a special relationship to the land, are land protectors, and the Creator gave us a spiritual connection that White people (add, "settler" or whatever other descriptor might apply) can not access". Furthermore, "we are victims of 'Colonialism' and are prone to PTSD because great Aunt Mildred attended Residential School". Right ....... This and considerable other unproven but widely believed "spin" stuff is profoundly insulting. No one will ever convince me that anyone else living within the boundaries of Canada is some entity known as, "The Real People". More appropriate and apt might be "First Immigrants" - with genetically and archaeologically proven connections to Northeastern Asia - the homeland before Canada (thousands of years ago). To get around the obvious immigrant matter, some rationalize things by reverting to the world of mythology where the ancestors of the Haudenosaunee arrived on the back of Turtle Island via Sky Woman, whose tumble from the world above was cushioned by otter who scooped up earth from below the water - and so on. This is a "creation myth" and in this day and age is not meant to be taken literally at least by any educated individual who has been taught critical thinking skills - or has good common sense.
The archaeological record clearly shows that the ancestors of the Haudenosaunee arrived in Upstate New York about 900 AD, displacing the group that was there before. Prior to that they resided in a region known as Clements Island (actually an area in what is today central Pennsylvania). Prior to this, the record becomes too fuzzy to give a precise area of former residence. What is clear, however, is that "aboriginal homeland" and "Indigenous" is all relative to the time period being discussed. Despite the dream of the Editor above, there is no single "homeland" of the Six Nations ancestors unless they arbitrarily draw a line at say circa 1100 AD and call the place of residence at that time the "aboriginal homeland". Many at Six Nations would say that the Grand River Valley is the homeland of the Haudenosaunee. So, which is it - actually there is no good answer, it is all relative. However, there is no real question in the minds of academics in any discipline that we all originated in Africa, and we migrated across the planet at different times - but the homeland for all humans is Africa.
To assert that say the Six Nations are "Indigenous" people flies against reality, even within a fairly recent time frame. The ancestors of the Six Nations of the Grand River may wish to call themselves Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse). It is a much more politically correct name than "Six Nations", and one that has only recently gained traction and come to replace "Six Nations" or "Iroquois" in common parlance, but that is a self - attribute. I can call people of my background Haudenglnorgerafr and that is nothing but an arbitrary term (a bit Haudenosaunee, English, Norwegian, German, African) that only carries meaning if I can convince others to buy into it. Irrespective, the refugee Six Nations arrived in the Grand River Haldimand Tract arrived from what is today Upstate New York in the spring of 1785 - slightly later than the arrival of the refugee Loyalists of Butler's Ranger and the Six Nations Indian Department (who lived and fought with the Six Nations) who arrived in 1784.
The term Onkwehonwe is used of late as a "put down" by so-called "Native" agitators, and is thus offensive - or might be taken as such by some depending on what is meant by it. If it means, "Ha you are just a descendant of settlers, whereas I am a descendant of "The Real People" and so you need to recognize that despite the fact that I have no education to speak of, and no paying job, and don't pay taxes, that I am special and have a particular wisdom that cannot be understood by settlers". That is racist pure and simple - but I have heard the words (without the parts about no job etc.) expressed frequently, especially at the DCE (former Douglas Creek Estates barricade, called Kanonhstaton by the occupiers). Being of a particular ancestry in Canada, whatever it might be, is merely something to put on a family tree - but what are your own personal accomplishments? That would be an "ouch" question when posed to the present occupiers of DCE in Caledonia (much more about this later).
The indisputable fact is that while some "non-Native" Canadians have "Native" ancestry; all Band members across Canada have European or other ancestry (e.g., some from St. Joseph's Island are of Jewish ancestry) to a greater or lesser degree. I can demonstrate this with full genome studies that have included a cross section of Canadian Indians such as Athabaskans and Ojibway. At Six Nations, just based on phenotype (what you see) one would think that some members are 100% European. Some Band members show their African ancestry, whereas most do not - even though they have a small (e.g., 5%) amount of African genomic material.
Six Nations are not aboriginal to the Grand River Tract (or to Canada). The Six Nations of the Grand River are among a somewhat unique group of people labelled as "Aboriginal". I do not know of any evidence whatsoever, including all of the genetic studies done to date, that would suggest that there is a single "Indigenous" person living in Canada who is not admixed with European, and possibly African via the slave trade. So why not send the, often considerable, part of a MacNaughton to Scotland or an Elliott back to the English Border Counties or a Montour back to France or a Doxtador (Dachstatter) back to Germany? So if some of the Chiefs of the Six Nations end up in the United Kingdom, well so be it. That is just the way that the ancestry cookie crumbles. The ancestry realities highlight the insanity of categorizing some as "Native" when they have considerable European ancestry; and others, who may have considerable biological "Native" ancestry, are merely lumped in with the "general Canadian" or "settler" groups. Then there are those of us who are largely European, and for example have "Native" ancestry only on the mother's side - but that gives us a Clan affiliation - the supposed hallmark of a true Onkwehonwe. Real life is very confusing.
So all Six Nations are admixed, and it is irritating to some of us that those we see on the other side of the Reserve line have less "Native" ancestry as those of us who do not possess a "Status Card". As a matter of fact, an eminent Canadian anthropologist interviewed as many Six Nations informants as he could find and the consensus was in the 1898 that the last person on the Reserve to claim to be "full blooded" was one Andrew Spragge who died in 1869. So in effect, all at Six Nations could be termed "Metis" if one was only focusing on biological ancestry - the same as many of their neighbours in Caledonia and surrounds. Of course of key importance is community membership - as it always has.
Does being a member of one of the 600 or so "official" "First Nations" bands recognized by Canada mean anything other than there is a good chance that you and your ancestors have been the recipients of countless Canadian tax dollars - and you don't have to pay taxes like others outside the orbit of the "big 600"? That is discriminatory. Why, when I have Six Nations ancestors, and so am Onkwehonwe or Haudenosaunee or whatever, should I not be able to partake of this largesse? In my case I would be embarrassed that I would have to depend on other Canadians to pull my weight. My ancestors, with the exception of a few wayward great aunts and uncles (who all died early and sometimes experienced violent deaths), left the Reserve to marry out and carry on as "regular Canadians". Thus the children would not be held back and hobbled by forcing them into a school curriculum where there is a focus on culture and language at the expense of maths and sciences. The likelihood of ever becoming say an aeronautics engineer is a direct function of the importance placed upon the latter two disciplines in the schools you attended (plus the addition factor of parental support). My hat off to Bands such as the Osoyoos in Okanagan British Columbia and their (uncorrupt, and truly innovative) Chief Clarence Louie, for recognizing what it takes to be a success in life and to break the cycle of welfare and poverty. British Columbia, and its relationship to the "Native" people there is a special case and is very much the exception.
Far too many elements in far too many Reserves would have members return to some sort of romanticized Stone Age existence - but not of course having to give up their 4x4 trucks loaded with every creature comfort including GPS. I mean returning to our roots is cool, but actually walking and using the wisdom of the elders to find our way from point A to point B - well that has been lost due to the interference of missionaries and government agencies - maybe. Lets play the blame game - "it is residential schools, Colonialism and racism and other "isms" that have created all our problems". What about personal responsibility, is that totally irrelevant? Did someone put a gun to your head and force you to huff glue or gasoline? It is so much easier to blame others, and whine enough and play the victim card with panache to garner sympathy from those infected with White guilt for the supposed sins of their ancestors 300 years ago. Kaching - more money from the Federal Government.
The nonsense about such "specialness" as being protectors of the land trips and falls when faced with the hypocrisy of Reserve life where there is a trash dump at the forests edge on every lot and concession, and holes dug everywhere filled with dangerous substances such as pesticides, leaching into the water table, and where the concept of recycling is known but almost never practiced. I can provide a tour if there is a "doubting Thomas" or two out there. An anthropologist blew away all of those words about a special relationship with the land by following northern community members as they made their way to fishing and hunting camps at some distance from their settlement. While many members of the general Canadian population believe strongly in a policy of "leave nothing behind" in wilderness areas, and act upon their beliefs, it would appear that our "land protectors" dig holes or just leave items where they were last put. Thus things such as "disposable diapers" for children and plastic tampon insertion devices and other nasty items were observed to remain in situ when the hunting party pulled up stakes and moved on. This garbage will be found by archaeologists a hundred years from now, almost intact. Being a "land protector" has nothing at all to do with race or ethnicity, but rather the individual's respect for the environment - uncorrelated with ancestry. The great Canadian "Native" conservationist "Grey Owl" was eventually shown to be one Archie Belaney, an Englishman. He hid his identity even from his Mohawk wife. Whether his origins were "aboriginal" or "settler" he had become a Canadian, and his actions helped foster a greater conservation awareness in this country.
There is no way that anyone can say that someone whose ancestors from for example Europe have been here 300 years is any less "of the land" than those whose ancestors came from Asia years before this. If you were born here and your roots are here, you are Canadian and any differences are strictly those of self - perception. The wish, expressed by some "Natives" that the rest all go back to where they came from is about as reasonable as expecting an Englishman to determine what his ancestral heritage is and determine whether Norman predominates then be forced to return to Normandy, France. However the Normans originated in Scandinavia and so Norway is the homeland under this mode of thinking. It all becomes quite absurd.
The taxpayers burden and special treatment for "Aboriginal" and other favoured groups: There are those who are, thanks to the Indian Act of 1876, given special status and a score of entitlements, including living tax free thanks to the taxpayers of Canada, that make no sense whatsoever in 2014. We as Canadian taxpayers are being bled dry by those across the country whose chronic problems and sense of entitlement (plus the rampant corruption) ensure that there will never be enough money to satisfy the "needs" of "Status Indians". So unless you are fine with having your grandchildren support the grandchildren of a special interest group, it is time to make for a clean sweep that will make us all equals in the eyes of the law, and with no special entitlements for those whose ancestors traded the "annual presents" for "transfer payments" (from your wallet to theirs). More on how to go about this common sense revolution shortly.
Those who wish to see a listing of all the entitlements and perks available to "Status Card" carrying "Band members" (some differences relate to living on or off Reserve), can be seen here. Perhaps you are a bit "twitchy" about paying 40% or more of your income to Revenue Canada, although your reaction may be mitigated by knowing that most of the money goes to support essential services including our health care system and the massive infrastructure system of roads and food inspectors and so on. Would you feel comfortable knowing that someone living a mile away pays nothing whatsoever of their salary to fund the same services that they and you use? Does that seem fair? What if you learned that they don't pay any taxes on gasoline purchases? This two tiered system is inherently unfair as one group is given questionable special benefits based on circumstances that existed 150 or so years ago. Would it make some furious when, knowing this, they see members of those privileged groups blocking their way to work because of some cause that is perceived as important enough to stop you, as well as EMT and other essential services, because they want to show support for those participating in a "cause" taking place 1000 miles away? I would answer in the affirmative. It was my anger about just such a situation in October 2013 which led me to start this blog.
In the last few days I found that the simmering anger at the double standard(s) seen in Canada these days has begun to peak. My prime focus has been in the treatment and apparent sympathy extended to citizens who have been labelled "Status Indians", versus the rest of the unwashed masses. For example Government and law enforcement appear to treat Indians with kidd gloves, while the "others" can expect second order care. However other perceived militants, supposedly victimized groups, poorly integrated into Canadian society, such as Palestinians, are rioting in Toronto or Calgary, and they also can expect special treatment. The police and politicians seem to stand down for fear of an incident occurring where a member of an allegedly downtrodden group is injured and that the public perception will be adverse. However the vast majority would in truth be cheering "arrest all the rioters" and "crush the maggots" (or words to this effect which would be spoken by the vast majority of law abiding Canadians). Canadians would then feel safer knowing that their police officers put the rule of law before all else, and that there is no two - tiered system of justice.
I have personally witnessed explicit examples of this behavior involving a double standard on the part of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) where they stood facing the victims (Caledonians). Here the "Natives" would taunt both the locals and the police with every "f" word in their limited vocabulary from the safety of the no-go zone established by the OPP to keep the politically expendable regular Canadians from committing such intolerable acts as placing a Canadian flag on DCE grounds. Gary McHale, in his book, Victory in the No-Go Zone: Winning the Fight Against Two-Tiered Policing speaks from direct personal experience in relation to this issue which those of us physically present also saw and experienced. If we lose faith in our law enforcement, or believe that they favour the designated, but phony, downtrodden group, local vigilante and militia groups will emerge to see justice done where anarchy prevails. Haldimand County is ripe for the emergence of these entities.
Being politically correct, and White guilt: I have no tolerance for today's politically correct views which tend to be left wing radical. This world view has permeated the hallowed halls of academia and for example the Department of Political Science at any Canadian University is likely to be a hotbed of intolerance. Here students adhere to the Marxist - inspired dogma expressed in radical feminism, pro-Palestinian sentiment, and the suppression of dissent and free speech. This is precisely what happened when for example there were sit ins and other protests which kept Christie Blatchford speaking at an Ontario university - from telling the truth as we here in Caledonia saw it, and expressed in her book Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anxiety, and How the Law Failed All of Us. The inflexible dogma permeating those supposed bastions of free speech is that what Christie (a respected reporter) wrote was "racist", and since it did not support the Indian - anarchist solidarity side of the issue, must be shouted down. A very crazy world has emerged in the past generation as we see Canadian tolerance replaced by political dogma filtered by radical "professors" and adolescent minds whose frontal lobes not fully myelinated and the connections between white matter and grey matter is tenuous - hence their immaturity.
As a scientist trained at 5 universities, I view data, evidence, facts as well as the concepts of truth and justice as being paramount. Sensitivity to concepts which are bogus, such as "spirituality", simply deflect away from finding the truth of the matter. Instead people who buy into this politically correct but unsupported belief system get bogged down in the unknown and unknowable (despite what some "Natives" would have you believe). This leads to even greater absurdities such as the much heard belief that "Natives" have some "spiritual" connection to the land which is unknowable by those of European descent. Nonsense. Anyone can have a deep spiritual connection to a place that is special to them - such as deep connection I feel toward the large granite outlier boulder deposited by the glaciers in the lake by my cottage in Muskoka. No evidence that "Natives" are special in this regard, it is only a belief which they and their supporters have carefully crafted.
At this point in my life, and with the utter frustration resulting from the clear realization that no matter what I or anyone else cares to say, nothing is going to change the attitudes of those on the front lines of Six Nations activism - and therefore behavior will not change. They are impervious to reasoned arguments, and have their world view encapsulated in the "accepted" and therefore "correct" version of any subject. The only hope on the horizon is to convince Canadians, including our government representatives, to look at the facts, the data, the evidence with a mind cleared of preconceptions and romantic but untrue pictures of "Native perspectives" and "Native" guided revisionist history. Back to the basics is a tried and true approach that works.
The various spin doctors at Six Nations or their supporters use terms such as "of a good mind", and "spiritual understanding" as if they have validity equivalent to what a methodical approach emerging from adopting the methods of scientific inquiry can offer. They will assert that something such as the supposed "Two Row" relationship to the Crown and the Canadian government has substance, and has roots in history, but in exploring the evidence it does not take long to see that this is sheer fantasy. To critique this accepted dogma "true in the Native communities" could be academic suicide, so professors in every discipline have begun to toe the line and accept soft evidence such as "oral history" to be equivalent to data generated by for example archaeological or genetic studies. The world seems to be doing cartwheels to ensure that everything is first and foremost politically correct, then only secondly, that it adheres to the standards and guidelines of a discipline such as anthropology. The result of many of the newest books published in for example archaeology is that a third or so of the book is more about gazing into a crystal ball than science. We need more people to blow the whistle on these trends which ensure that irrespective of the truth or evidence, the "Native" perspective must be given equal billing to the traditional approaches used in say the 1980s.
So bit by bit this "Native guided understanding", has painted standard anthropology, which has over the years saved knowledge of many "indigenous" cultures and languages from disappearing from the planet, as an entity replete with the vestiges of European Colonialism. Eventually those of us trained in the "hard sciences" have to say:
Enough is enough.
The wishful thinking and fantasy and distorted history will no longer be given equal billing. We need to debate assumed realities such as the validity of the Nanfan Treaty of 1701, and come to a consensus based on only one thing - what the objective evidence tells us. This is no justification for an equal weighting of those concepts that may guide "Native" thinking in the matter, but which are more closely aligned with unicorns and leprechauns to scientists across the world. A genetic study of the world's populations can be obtained from scientists working in labs in Kazakhstan, or Australia, or Chile - all use standard approaches to ensure there are not superfluous biases that could distort the data.
It seems that Canada (and much of the world) is now cowering before the groups that claim to be "aboriginal", claiming that they or their ancestors have been horribly treated by a country which prides itself on being caring and tolerant, but which is still infected with racism and Colonialism.
This acceptance of what is "indigenous" or "aboriginal" is being fed by considerable "White guilt" based on the claims of victimization put forward by "Native people" - everything from stolen land to residential schools. Although the claims may be bogus, if they are believed, then some Canadians will (as is intended) feel "guilty" by virtue of the alleged "sins" of their ancestors. As is so often the case, the truth is irrelevant, it is the perception that ultimately counts. The cure, more treaty "rights", sovereignty and more money from taxpayers. There are very good reasons why we do not want to go down this path (again) - which will be the subject of much of the discussion to follow.
How much "White guilt" can be supported based on historical fact? An objective look at the history of Canada shows nothing of the atrocities of the Spanish conquest of South America for example - not even an remote parallels. History and archaeology show us that among the worst genocides and ethnic cleansing that has ever occurred on the planet happened in what is today Canada and the United States when the then Five Nations (the Haudenosaunee since the League or Confederacy was already formed) embarked on a highly successful campaign to terminate the existence of every single non aligned Iroquoian group, from the Huron / Wyandot in the north to the Susquehanna in the south and the Erie to the west. Between 1640 and 1651 the goal was entirely successful and, to enhance their reputation as warriors (and for other reasons) the Five Nations committed unspeakable acts of cruelty and wanton torture, followed by cannibalism and feasting. That one is difficult to sweep under the carpet since it is so well documented. So by comparison, what did the Europeans do that has even the remotest resemblance to the carnage of Native upon Native in the 17th Century?
Canada has been eminently fair and has never "stolen" an acre of land - although there was nothing to stop obtaining land in the same way the Indians originally did, "by right of conquest". So de facto, Canadian Forces could easily eliminate "opposition" and claim the rightful inheritance of all Canadians from the few who have delusion - based claims to land. Virtually all agree that this is not the route to take, except in circumstances where there is a violent insurrection such as at Oka (Kanahsatake) where Corporal Marcel Lemay was shot and killed by a Mohawk terrorist, or in Caledonia where the OPP were swarmed in April of 2006, forced to step down or use force (not their style) - so it will be up to Canadian Forces if the matter is not resolved by other means.
Treaties: If the whole "treaty" business is brought into the picture I am going to ask - do the agreements made by a foreign power (Great Britain) chain me down to paying for your children's education in perpetuity? Will there ever be an end to it? When my Viking ancestors made a treaty with my Anglo-Saxon ancestors it was only for a limited period of time, and then it was renewed or one party or the other was stronger and the treaty just died a natural death and everyone went on with their lives. I am not receiving transfer payments from a fund set up by my Norman ancestors to compensate my Anglo-Saxon ancestors for the land they were robbed of. Although "Natives" may say that they were never conquered in battle, that was a long time ago. Should you wish to pit your might against the Canadian Army with which my family has served with pride for generations, we would be compelled to oblige and revert the present situation to one where everyone is under the same banner and equal, and if resistance exists it will be quelled until the word "conquer" fits the circumstances. These comments reflect my frustration with hearing veiled or direct threats of violence if this or that demand is not met. The most recent in my neck of the woods was the threat of "grave consequences" by the HDI if Ontario does not comply with their demands. We know that the Ontario Provincial Police will not take firm action if necessary, so it will be up to the Canadian Forces to enforce the law when anarchy reigns supreme and thus protect the law abiding citizens from those who would create another Caledonia 2006.
Somehow a topsy turvy system has emerged whereby the child is telling the parent what is acceptable and what is not. So the Indians call the shots, warn of dire consequences if they don't get their own way, and the Government capitulates. Last I checked, the Indian Bands are comprised of a few hundred thousand individuals, and Canada has over 30 million citizens. So the one percent dictates terms to the 99 percent? That is pathetic.
When the evidence is clear that compensation is fair, then so be it. However, when Canada purchased land via for example the set of "Robinson Treaties" in Northern Ontario, it did so above board and with the acceptance of all parties to the terms of the agreement. One does not go back a hundred years and say, wait a minute, we were cheated. That could be done by any group who has ever made a treaty using some pretext or another. Chaos would reign supreme in the world were this to be taken to the logical conclusion and that is that every treaty ever negotiated anywhere in the world needs to be re-examined. There needs to be a statute of limitations, and although there are issues in British Columbia that need to be resolved, the rest of Canada should be able to rest easy that all land is a registered part of the country of Canada, and most except that set aside as Provincial or Canadian Parks is available, and can be bought and sold without liens or conditions based on some nebulous / bogus Indian land claim.
Sovereignty and Six Nations: Since the "Caledonia crisis of 2006" there has been a revived militancy at Six Nations, where the specter of their being a sovereign nation has resurfaced, as it did in the early years of the 1900s when Cayuga Chief Deskahe went to the League of Nations to complain of the ill treatment of "Natives" by Canada. Recent (2013) deputations from Six Nations and others have done precisely the same thing whining to the United Nations about the supposed horrid treatment, some variant of the old standby, "colonialism", supposedly experienced by "Native" people and perpetrated by Canada. These actions unjustifiably stained the reputation of our great country in the eyes of the world. Of course the trip and the trappings were funded by ............. yes, the Canadian taxpayer.
There are extreme militant websites and newsletters out there with highly evident, make no bones about it, racist "White hatred". They tend to espouse the view that Indigenous people are superior and some day the Creator will return the land to them. Scary but you have to believe, it is a commonly held view even among those who hold taxpayer funded positions, some very high up in the chain of things - as alluded to by the Editorial noted above. As an example you can view the following site entitled, "Mohawk Nation News". Anyone with the stomach strong enough to read some of the material found on this site (which I find offensive) can be seen here. Sounds rather tame, and relative to other sites it is. None the less here are the four goals of those who ascribe to their thinking:
1) It is not possible to alienate or surrender in any way lands that Mohawks have claimed over the years.
2) The relationship between Canada and the Mohawk is a "nation to nation" relationship, governed by the Two Row Wampum (I have more to say about this concept later), and that Canada must respect this perspective.
3) Resistance to the occupation of their lands by Canada or their representatives such as Elected Band Councils, as this is considered "genocide" (I am not making this stuff up).
4) "To resist illegal colonial reasoning and impositions" (whatever that means - but it is off the wall and intolerant).
The whole issue of sovereignty can be dealt a death blow with three words, Proclamation of 1763. Allow me to first descend back 62 years prior to this monumental document, and make note of the Nanfan "Treaty" of 1701. It is widely (among Six Nations) accepted as the basis of Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) sovereignty, and therefore wide ranging entitlements in Southwestern Ontario including hunting rights, and the right to be "consulted" and "accommodated" (paid off) when developments such as industrial wind turbine and solar panel farms are planned anywhere within this vast area. The trouble is that the latter document is fraudulent. Considering the fully accepted and entirely legal and above board Proclamation of 1763, England claimed sovereignty over all of the lands formerly claimed by France and this claim has held up in Court right up to the Supreme Court of Canada. So sovereignty should be a dead issue, but it is always in the picture locally, and has the matter has hot air blown into it to justify a nation to nation relationship between for example Canada and the Mohawk.
A problem in the past is that historians have been somewhat stymied by the Proclamation of 1763 since a clear interpretation relies on an understanding of the law from Colonial times to the present. An excellent article which is written by a lawyer who is well versed in history can be seen here. The article is entitled, Joseph Brant vs. Peter Russell: A Re-examination of the Six Nations. Land transactions in the Grand River Valley, by John S. Hagopian. For an overview, with the 1763 Proclamation and the 1701 Nanfan Treaty in context as they relate to the "Caledonia crisis of 2006" (and ongoing) see Garry Horsnell's "Short History" here. The above Editorial which helped to trigger this posting longed for sovereignty for his people. Many "First Nations" see it as inevitable. Surely little else need be said - it is a pipe dream, and totally unrealistic.
Has the Indian Act of 1876 served us well?: For those unfamiliar with this important piece of legislation which governs most every aspect of the Federal Government's relationship to the 600+ Indian Bands in Canada, they can read the document here. For a comprehensive look at the legislation and amendments over the years, the Federal Government site here should provide answers to most questions.
I am not aware of any who would answer in the affirmative to the question posed by the heading here. Yet there is no move afoot at the present time to dump the chump since, despite billions of taxpayer dollars being sent faithfully to the various Reserves in Canada, social ills such as poverty, sub standard housing, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence are endemic in many to most Reserves - so surely the answer is not more taxpayer money - multi billions of dollars spent, and the conditions on (particularly) Northern Reserves are horrid - no better than they were when the Indian Act was passed into law.
Many "Natives" have complained bitterly over the racist, colonialist treatment that has resulted from the Indian Act of 1876. I hereby propose that it be rescinded as of today. Indian people will be free to be whatever they want as Canadians. You will pay taxes just like the rest of us. You not receive any perks unavailable to other Canadians. One land, one law, one people. Join with us and create a level playing field for your children so that they can compete in this ever more complex world. The atavistic desire to return to the good old days of some sort of ideal pre-Colonial time is an illusion. Archaeology shows us that the First Immigrants were at each others throats and committing acts of barbarism including cannibalism and genocide - and the same time that Europeans were doing more or less the same thing.
At present the Act infantilizes members of the various Bands by giving them "entitlements" whose origins are lost in time (they often started off as a practice of doleing out "presents"). This is 2014, there should be absolutely no need to treat one group of citizens as incapacitated children who need to be told what is good for them. It is time that all Band members stand on their own two feet and as with all other citizens, make their way in the wider world, choosing how much time they wish to invest in their community of origin, or whether their interests would be better served by for example moving to Victoria, British Columbia to expand educational horizons. Perhaps they might obtain a job which can provide something the present dole from taxpayers cannot do - give pride in individual accomplishments. With the umbilical cord tying them to communities of origin cut, or modified such that they are able to function outside the colonial structures that were the lot of their ancestors, earned success becomes possible. Now, facilitated by Canadian law gone amuck, Indians expect to be "consulted" and "accommodated" on lands that they, for some historical reason or another, expect is their God given right. This despite the fact that until recently, groups of Indians wandered about the landscape, and migrated to new areas, just as Europeans did both in Europe, and in the Americas. So we stop the clock at an arbitrary point in time and say as of this date, whatever you claimed via oral tradition or the like, is under your wing. That is ridiculous, unless we grant to other groups in this country the same rights.
If Indians are residing in communities with mostly other Indians of the same tribe / nation then those communities, if the land was not already granted in fee simple, should be converted to a fair and equitable private ownership with each adult receiving the same acreage, such that greedy corrupt chiefs and their families do not claim an unfair distribution that is to their own advantage.
The most reasonable and likely most effective solution to all of the assorted problems noted above is to disband the Reserve and give each member a share in the proceeds so that they could create some sort of quasi State if that is what they wish - but no longer funded by you and I, the Canadian taxpayer. We have been stiffed for the bill for all sorts of activist road and rail blockages, work stoppages at development sites. Miles of Hydro One cable have never been strung along the huge metal towers that pass close to the DCE site due to threats of violence from Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) supporters. This must and will end.
Locally, in my world, it has been 8 years in Caledonia and the thugs are still running the show, have resulted in the expenditure of something in the order of a half a billion dollars just for this one fiasco - yet pay on Canadians. Somehow these people see it as their right to claim any parcel of land as their own - and get away with it? That is so absurd that it would seem like a fit plot for some B grade movie. However the nightmare is real. These people are using their race or ethnicity to make wild claims that cannot be substantiated, and get away with it - 8 years and counting.
The present Reserve system has been an unmitigated disaster and there is no hope for improvement. Billions of tax dollars have gone up in smoke, allowing chiefs and their cronies to syphon off the money without worry of a tax audit, get rich, and the rest of the people remain impoverished. One of the most egregious cases can be seen here. The extraordinary rates of domestic violence, sexual assaults, alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, gas sniffing, oxycodone abuse, suicide, high school drop outs and on and on with the social ills associated with the Reserve system. Do away with the Indian Act, do away with Reserves, let everyone join mainstream Canadian society and make the best of it as the rest of us must.
Reserves, ghettos and apartheid: By its very nature, living on a Reserve is equivalent to ghettoization where one group lives separate and apart from another group in Canada - and the situation is encouraged by the system orchestrated by the Indian Act. I am not entirely clear on how similar this is to say the situation in some American cities where recently there has been a proliferation of informal "reserve - like" communities composed of people of one racial - ethnic group. Compton in California was all White to about 1960 when African-Americans began to move in, and by 2014 Compton is more or less all Black. Southcentral Los Angeles is almost exclusively African-American, although Hispanics are in the process of clustering in the area so the demography may be in the process of changing. The end result is the same, a Reserve versus a ghetto, but the process is entirely different. Also in the general area of Los Angles and Orange Counties you have Little Saigon in Westminister, Koreatown in LA but also a very high concentration in Cerritos in the OC. There are exclusively Hispanic areas throughout LA, such as East Los Angeles and Southgate, the South Asian Indians in Artesia, old stock Americans in Southern Orange County in cities such as Laguna Beach and Irvine. In other words there are tight knit communities composed of a particular racial - ethnic group in cloistered areas of the greater Los Angeles region. Other than the fact that the Canadian taxpayer funds the communities, is this situation all that much different from having a concentration of "Status Indians" at the juncture of Brant and Haldimand Counties? All are relatively homogeneous communities composed almost exclusively of one racial - ethnic group. Why can all of the above named groups in California manage to come together as strong communities without government support, yet the Canadian Reserves can somehow only exist with the billions of Canadian Government tax dollars in the form of "transfer payments"?
As I contemplate the matter, it seems that there is a strong parallel between the Canadian Reserve system and the apartheid system that existed in South Africa before this hated system was dismantled. No one in the modern world would have much of a positive nature to say about a system which segregated people based on their race. Opportunities that were available to one group, were largely closed to the other (as seen here). The White (Dutch Boors and English) held power and control over the Black population, and the "Cape Coloured" population that resulted from admixture from the two groups were caught in between and were largely in a separate category situated geographically, economically and socially between the two parental groups. The world put so much pressure (including economic sanctions) on the South African White led government that it eventually was toppled, and the "Rainbow Coalition" emerged with all having (theoretically) the option to participate equally, with opportunities open based on talent irrespective of race.
So the question is, are "First Nations" being ghettoized, living in a system of apartheid whose roots extend back to Colonial times. If so, and since this is 2014, why do we not dismantle this antiquated system?
Injustice, lies, the HDI and violence: My once positive perception of those who reside on the Six Nations Reserve was shattered in the 1980s when some from here decided to occupy privately owned land near Dunnville based on a pretext which I later found was absolutely false. Then of course came 2006, where I had no tolerance of the disrespect for the rule of law and the anarchy in Caledonia during the "reclamation" (actually theft) of the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) at the southern entrance to Caledonia. Once again, when I looked into the records (easily accomplished due to my familiarity with the Indian Affairs Papers in Ottawa), there was no possible justification for these illegal actions - except perception. In the minds of the participants and their supporters, the land had been "stolen". Not true, but thanks to a submission of 29 "land claims" by the Six Nations Lands and Resources Department, it could be considered "contested" - at least in terms of how much of the money from the sale of the land 170 years ago went into the Six Nations Trust Fund. But if someone wants to believe in something, for example that the land was "stolen" they can find a way to rationalize it, and tip toe around the facts and the truth by simply ignoring or disrespecting both.
It is the summer of 2014, nothing has changed, the radicals are still occupying privately owned land at DCE, and even Court Injunctions have yet to have sufficient clout to remove the trespassers. The activists (terrorists), in the guise of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) are demanding that the Province of Ontario, who presently holds the deed to the property, give over the land to them so they can add it to their own (as yet empty) land registry listing. Their refusal to meet with the Aboriginal Affairs Minister of Ontario except under the "protocol" of the HDI involving "consultation" and "accommodation" stipulations has fallen flat. By law the Province and Ottawa must negotiate with the legal authority at the Reserve, the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC), who replaced the dysfunctional Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) in 1924 (i.e., three or four generations ago). Today the enforcement and extortion wing of the HCCC (since 2006) is the HDI. Only by changing the Indian Act could this reality of SNEC being the legally constituted authority at Six Nations be amended. So without any legal justification, the HDI have begun the illegal construction of a permanent fence on the property. This Six Nations radical group behaves much like a local Mafia (using typical extortion and intimidation tactics). Here the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) dictates terms to all others ("Natives" or non-Natives). In this case they refuse to speak to anyone but the Province of Ontario, who hold title to the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) property, but alone - without any other party present - which is unacceptable to Ontario and most other parties. The HDI is an artificial construct which uses brute force and threats to get their way - although some recent Court Injunctions have taken away a few of their talons.
This delusions of the HDI exist despite the inconvenient fact that the property was duly surrendered on 18 December 1844 by 47 Six Nations Chiefs in Council, had been patented by the Crown, and sold to one George Ryckman in 1848 with the deed being recorded in the Ontario Land Registry for Haldimand County in Cayuga. Since that time there were no discrepancies or liens in relation to the property, and it was in the legal possession of the Henning brothers before 2006. In the latter year some Six Nations activists decided that the land was theirs, and began a violent insurrection to "reclaim" land that their ancestors had legally sold, and never questioned the matter in their lifetime. No one questioned any of the land surrenders until Six Nations land researchers, funded by the Federal Government of Canada, decided that there was justification in adding this "Plank Road" claim to 28 others filed in 1987. The Federal Government checked the records in the Indian Affairs Records (RG10) at the Library and Archives Canada and stated in 1995 that there was no valid land claim, that the only open question was about the payment of monies into the Six Nations Trust Fund. Since 1995 they have consistently stated this position, yet people on all sides of the equation accuse them of not addressing the issue. In fact they have - but perception is reality. They need to plaster a 4 foot by 8 foot copy of the signatures of all 47 Chiefs who signed the 1844 surrender to a sign near the corner of Argyle Street and Caithness Street at the lights in Caledonia for all to see - as if even this would do any good.
The HDI and associates, including the HCCC occupy DCE, owned by the Province of Ontario, without permission or negotiation. Thus it should be no surprise that they are bold enough to construct a fence on land they don't own - but are so sure they will eventually prevail and the land will be put in their hands (not any other group at Six Nations including, especially, not the Elected Band Council). They decide who can enter the property, and assiduously keep all "non-Natives" and those who do not have a "good mind" out like swatting flies away as they are the self - designated "owners". This chronic flaunting of the law has finally galvanized both the County of Haldimand and the Province of Ontario, who now clearly recognize the nefarious nature of the HDI who will not negotiate, except to accept the DCE property (which they choose to call Kanonhstaton - The Protected Place) on a silver platter. It isn't going to happen - those who have suffered under the reign of terror perpetrated by the HDI and foreign nationals will never accept this as a "solution". I, for example, would fight it tooth and claw.
The law and the Ontario Land Registry: The old chestnut that "our land was stolen from us" cannot be supported in terms of what Canada or the forerunner, the Crown, ever did. The Crown of England was scrupulous in purchasing land from the rightful owners. They did this from the Mississauga, considered owners to the land by right of conquest, in 1784 to allow the Six Nations to settle on this Crown administered land. Their tenure was one of "occupancy", and all sales had to be approved by the Crown. Perhaps some are confusing the situation in Canada with what happened in Spanish settled countries such as Mexico with the Conquistadors destroying everything in their path except the gold they valued; or what happened in the United States as settlers pushed westward in the 1830s leaving the "Natives" in for example Ohio with few choices. None of that happened here.
There is an Ontario Land Registry system based on a set of original Crown Patents, and it has been since the beginning of Upper Canada the basis or foundation of our land ownership rights. If we own title to property in the Registry we can safely conclude that we own title in fee simple which can be conveyed to others by bargain and sale, or can be mortgaged, or in some cases leased out for a period of time. Our property rights as Canadians are in jeopardy when a group of thugs can enter any property, claim it as their own, call it a "reclamation", and the authorities such as the Ontario Provincial Police refuse to protect the legal and honest property owner and in some cases protect the brutal, insolent, arrogant members of some group that says without a single shred of evidence that they are the true owners. Get rid of the Indian Act, and we remove this sort of destructive scenario from the horizon.
Considering the above: Some Delusions / Myths Under Which Six Nations Operate:
Each Indian Band across Canada will have its own history, and own justifications for assuming certain rights and entitlements. The focus here will be on the circumstances I know best - those in my own back yard. All the following numbered items are false beliefs.
1) The Six Nations are "indigenous" or "aboriginal" to the Grand River. In fact, the Six Nations of the Grand River immigrated from below the American border into Canada as Loyalist refugees. As will be noted below under the Nanfan "Treaty", the Mississauga are aboriginal to the Grand River and Southwestern Ontario.
The arrival en masse of the Six Nations Loyalist refugees and their allies such as Delaware and Nanticoke occurred in 1785. The migration of other Loyalist refugees began a few years earlier with the disbanding of older Butler's Rangers so that they could begin farming on the Canadian side of the River to supply the British garrison. So Loyalist refugee = Loyalist refugee, why provide those who arrived as Six Nations with special privileges that are not available to the descendants of other Loyalist refugees. Many of us have genealogical proof of Loyalist "status" and belong to the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. Should those of us in the latter group, including some including myself with Six Nations ancestors who were given land along the Grand River in recognition of being "one of our people", be excluded or categorized differently from the "Status" Indians? If so why should this be? It was the Government who made the rules so that ancestry is now traced through the paternal side. For time out of mind Six Nations people have traced their ancestry through the mother's side - the side which gives one a Clan affiliation. Many at Six Nations with paternal Six Nations heritage do not have a Clan - apparently a requirement according to the Haudenosaunee Development Institute in order to partake of the goodies that they are raking in from naïve developers and corporations willing to give in to terrorist extortion practices by following their "consultation protocol".
Some of the firmly entrenched beliefs include:
2) The Two Row Wampum Treaty of 1613 proves the sovereignty of the Six Nations. This concept is built upon a supposed ancient treaty extending back to 1613, and supported by a wampum belt of the same name, which guides Six Nations understanding of the relationship between themselves and the Europeans. In fact there the only document purportedly linked to this arrangement has been deemed a forgery, a hoax, by virtually all academics who have examined the matter. Even if it were valid, it is only a trade agreement between two Dutchmen and four "Aboriginals", probably Mohawk. The wampum belt's provenance cannot be verified - particularly since there is no wampum on any Six Nations site prior to the 1630s and then only a tiny amount. The legend of the Two Row Wampum, now accepted at the barricade on DCE as perfectly true began at the earliest in the late 1800s, but today has "taken shape" thanks to believers who have molded this myth into their version of reality. "Are you in the boat or the canoe" is a question one hears at the barricade - with the belief that one purple line in the belt represents a European boat, and the other a "Native" canoe. The fact that no one can find where the concept originated is apparently of no concern. The message here being that these vessels (Haudenosaunee and European) travel side by side but do not interfere with each other - thus in the minds of the naïve, justifying the concept of Six Nations sovereignty - that they warrant their own nation, separate from Canada. Where the money would come from to run this country is never discussed - but the assumption is that the tap will not be turned off and the Canadian taxpayer will be on the hook - again.
3) The Nanfan Treaty of 1701 gives Six Nations people hunting rights, and the right to be consulted about any development in Southwestern Ontario. Most at Six Nations believe that this document, signed by 20 Five Nations Chiefs, represents their entitlement to unrestricted control over the lands in Southwestern Ontario, and so "consultation" and "accommodation". Alas, for them, the document is not a treaty but an agreement that if the Five Nations turn over this land to "His Majesty the Great King of England" they will accept British sovereignty, and express only the "hope" that they will be allowed to continue hunting beaver there. The truth of the matter is that they were selling the Brooklyn Bridge - land to which they had no claim. In the 1640s to 1650 the Five Nations did exterminate (commit genocide) against all of the peoples in Central and Southwestern Ontario so that for example the Attiwandaronk / Neutral people of the Grand River Valley, whose numbers approximated those of the Five Nations, were completely wiped off the face of the planet through the merciless and cruel wars of the Five Nations against these and all other people in the region. However, while in the 1660s to 1680s the Five Nations did exercise their title by virtue of conquest and construct 8 settlements on the north side of Lakes Ontario and Erie, a coalition of Mississauga, Ojibway, Ottawas and others completely decimated the Five Nations in this area and by 1700 no settlements remained in Southwestern Ontario - except those of their enemies of the Three Fires. Thus making an agreement in 1701 for lands that they did not possess is fraudulent. The British Government apparently viewed it thus since an examination of the original document at Kew in London shows that the Royal seal or a seal of any kind was never affixed to the document and thus it was nothing more than a piece of paper of historical interest - but nothing that the Six Nations of today could use as a justification for claiming the right to be consulted in say Norfolk County, outside the Haldimand Tract about such projects such as industrial wind turbines.
4) The Haldimand Document of 1784 gives the Six Nations title to the Grand River lands. Governor Sir Frederick Haldimand granted to the Mohawk and others of the Six Nations who may wish to settle there, a tract of land for their occupation six miles on each side of the Grand River from the mouth to the land recently purchased from the Mississauga near the headwaters of the River. It was and is Crown land and cannot be sold in fee simple, although this was the request of Captain Joseph Brant Thayendenagea and others. If this had been granted, there is no doubt that all of the lands along the Grand River would have been alienated as the people required money, and they would have sold their improvements then moved to the west - either what was called the then "American Northwest" (the Ohio country), or to Manitoulin Island. There is nothing in the "deed" that would grant the land in fee simple - it allowed only for occupancy. A deed was offered by the Simcoe Proclamation of 1793, but the offer was firmly turned down by the Six Nations. Again the Haldimand Document does not carry a Royal seal or even the seal of the Colony of Canada, only the Governors personal seal. It is not a treaty, it includes only the Governor's signature.
5) The Six Nations have currently valid land claims to large acreages of the Haldimand Tract. The land surrenders beginning in 1787, and continuing until 1848 when the Chiefs in Council at Onondaga signed off on the last parcel (the Burtch Tract) which they no longer wished to Reserve. The lands at the end of it all comprised precisely those lands seen on any map of Ontario, and surveyed by Lewis Burwell and others as part of the agreement to move most of the Six Nations people to a more compact land base, known as a Reserve, so that they would not scatter to the four winds (which was a process then well underway). Thus 47 Chiefs in Council, for example, on 18 December 1844 put their signatures to a document stating that they did not want to reserve the tier of lots along the Plank Road (Argyle Street, old Highway 6), but only the lands to the west of what is today Oneida Road which is the eastern most part of the Six Nations Reserve and has been since Lord Elgin's finalization of all the various surrenders and the mapping of the Reserve land in 1850. Thus the members of Six Nations, primarily affiliated with the Haudeosaunee Development Institute (HDI), have no basis in fact for making a claim to land sold by their ancestors 170 years ago - except possible monetary compensation if the monies were not properly deposited in the Six Nations Trust Account - although one might invoke the Statute of Limitations here since accounting for every penny 170 years later would be a daunting and perhaps impossible task due to some records missing, out of place, lost or destroyed when exploring matters from the distant past.
All of the above are beliefs, and do not rest on any solid factual evidential basis.
Solution - Scrap the Indian Act of 1876 and Apply the White Paper of 1969: I have long lived by the principle, "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions". In this vein, I offer the following:
First, the rationale as I see it: IT IS TIME THAT MEMBERS OF ALL 600 CANADIAN "FIRST NATIONS" BANDS ENTER THE 21ST CENTURY. THIS WILL INVOLVE DISBANDING THE RESERVES AND CONVERTING THE TITLE TO FEE SIMPLE. ALL FORMER BAND MEMBERS WILL BE CITIZENS, FREE TO JOIN CANADIAN SOCIETY AS FULL MEMBERS AND ENTITLED TO ALL OF THE BENEFITS AS EQUAL PARTNERS. THERE WILL BE NO SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS BY TAXPAYERS AND GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES TO ANYONE ON THE BASIS OF RACE OR ETHNICITY - THAT IS PART OF AN OUTDATED COLONIAL LEGACY. THOSE WHO CHOSE TO LIVE A LIFESYLE BASED ON SOME BYGONE ERA, THAT IS THEIR PERFECT RIGHT, AS LONG AS CANADIAN TAXPAYERS DO NOT HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL FOR THEIR CHOICES.
The White Paper of 1969, tabled by the Liberal Government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chrétien, was a very positive step toward allowing Bands to enter the 20th century on an equal footing with all other Canadians. The legislation would have seen the dismantling of the Reserve system, and the ultimate treatment of all Band members as equal partners with all the rights and privileges accorded to other Canadians irrespective of ancestry. Although it did not pass into law, it was an excellent start whereby the process or path is shown to us. Some modifications would need to be made, but ultimately the main thrust of the White Paper needs to be enacted in some manner, shape and form and as soon as feasible. Delays are to the advantage of only the corrupt Indian establishment consuming from the public trough, or those who have something to gain (and that includes Government employees) from maintaining the status quo.
Thus it is time to re-introduce the White Paper of 1969, as seen here. Nothing else will work. A summary of what would happen if the White Paper was enacted into law can be seen below:
If passed, the white paper would have worked to eliminate "Indian" status (the specific legal identity of an Aboriginal person in Canada) and dissolve the Department of Indian Affairs within five years. The Indian Act would be abolished, provide funding for economic development and appoint a commissioner who would investigate outstanding land claims as well as terminate treaties. Reserve land converted to private property to allow Aboriginal bands and band members to sell the property. Finally, the white paper would transfer the responsibility of "Indian" affairs to the province, gradually integrating them with the services provided to other Canadian citizens. See here for more of the Wiki article. Much more information can be found by googling - white paper 1969.
To this end, as shown here, the white paper proposed to
- Eliminate Indian status
- Dissolve the Department of Indian Affairs within five years
- Abolish the Indian Act
- Convert reserve land to private property that can be sold by the band or its members
- Transfer responsibility for Indian affairs from the federal government to the province and integrate these services into those provided to other Canadian citizens
- Provide funding for economic development
- Appoint a commissioner to address outstanding land claims and gradually terminate existing treaties
Summary: End "racism". End the Indian Act. End apartheid. End Colonialism. Make us one people. Reintroduce the White Paper of 1969. We are all Canadians, it is time that we all acknowledge this fact and divest ourselves of the antiquated reasons for fostering artificial divisions, and providing one group with unwarranted privileges that are denied all other Canadians. It is unfair and unjustified that our grandchildren and generations to come in perpetuity should pay one group of Canadians taxpayer money that does not have the intended effect and is detrimental to all. It is 2014 - no more "presents" or monetary substitutes - unless all Canadians are given these perks. As a Canadian with Indian ancestors I feel the sting of injustice very personally - when those on the other side of the road can go to the same stores where I shop, display their "Status Card", and are given the very same items I am purchasing but at a lower price, it admittedly causes resentment. I pay taxes and they don't pay taxes - you tell he how or why that is fair just based on an arbitrary definition of race / ethnicity / ancestry. We must dispense with Colonial era thinking and practice. We have to draw a line in the sand.