As has often been the case in the past, Elected Councillor HM is once again being direct and blunt, "shooting from the hip" and "pulling no punches". She is doubtless very bright, clearly articulate, well educated, and is willing to speak her mind on virtually any subject. Other Councillors seem to be less inclined to share their views with the Reserve Community. Generally Councillor HM is willing to tackle controversial topics, and give her honest opinion - which is very refreshing. Few Elected Councillors seem to be willing to voice their opinions in relation to the behavior of the Hereditary Councillors, and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) - but HM is completely fearless in this regard. An honest opinion and a search for the facts - would that there were more Councillors of this stripe affiliated with both the Elected and Hereditary factions - although the latter use HDI mouthpieces to do their talking so we don't really know how they think or feel. Sometimes Chief Allen MacNaughton of the HCCC/CC and Men's Fire has spoken out about matters, such as the Birkett Lane development in Brantford - but we have heard less from him recently as all communication has been funneled through the HDI.
Councillor HM has not disappointed in relation to the recent issues surrounding the fencing of DCE, and related matters primarily to do with the HDI. Likely since "Turtle Island News" is little more than an affiliate of the HCCC, she has turned to "Two Row Times" to air her views on the HDI's recent forays, hardening of their agenda, and more and more claiming to speak for all Haudenosaunee.
In a letter to the editor of "Two Row Times", 30 July 2014, pages 3&17 entitled, Helen Miller on HDI, HM states that the HCCC (aka CC) through Chief MacNaughton has designated the HDI "to speak on their behalf". Clearly HM is upset that during a recent gathering at the barricade on DCE the Director of the HDI took the opportunity to, bad mouth the Elected Council. HM also expresses concern that, there is a double standard being applied in our community. There is one standard of stringent openness, transparency and accountability being demanded of the Elected Council, especially with proposed development projects. The community isn't, however, demanding the same standards from the Confederacy Council who are also making development deals. If you recall the HDI newsletter [the subject of a previous posting to this blog] listed several financial deals, including land leases, they have made with developers without any community consultation and approval.
HM notes how when Community Elder, Jan Longboat, asked about where the money taken in by HDI was going, that the Director of the HDI's response was such that HM sees the meaning as representing, "exclusivity". Here, as was noted in my previous blog posting, the Director of HDI said that those who are concerned about this issue should go through the "proper channels", through their clans and families, which translates to something like "only those who are participating members of the traditional society on the Reserve deserve to know this information" (my words). Thus, the only people who will have anything to say about the money or have access to the money are those who attend longhouse. That's not right, said Councillor HM.
HM further states that, the Elected Council's Economic Development Department is currently completing the development of a Development Corporation. Within this corporation will be a community trust to administer and manage monies from the development projects and any other source revenues. Unlike the HDI/CC this money will be used to the benefit of the community as a whole whether our citizens go to church or longhouse and whether our citizens follow the traditional way or the elected system.
Also HM takes exception to the statements of the HDI Director to the effect that the Elected Council "just wants money", whereas the HDI is focused on land. However what the evidence shows is a case of the "pot calling the kettle black", since it is the HDI who has established a system where developers pay into the HDI "Land Acquisition Fund" every year. Then the HDI will use this money to "buy" certain parcels of land over the 20 years of the project and put this land under the CC's land registry system.
Councillor HM then recalls how years ago, the CC and the community frowned upon the Elected Council for buying back our own land .............. now the CC is agreeing to buying back land as well. How times have changed!
HM questions whether "internal forces" (HDI?) are, straying from the traditional system and going down the wrong road. Neither is the CC practicing the traditional system as they should. There is no HDI in the traditional system, it is a group with questionable intentions who are causing further disruptions within the community with the result that, our community is more dysfunctional than ever in terms of building positive working relationships.
HM recounts the irony in having the HDI wishing to speak only to Ontario, yet not so long ago, the CC would have nothing to do with the Provincial government ...... but now as they say in political circles the CC is sleeping with the Province.
HM ends her letter with a statement of her belief that, It's only the people of Six Nations who can determine governance.
So in summary, at present we have a group of non elected self - appointed activists, associated as spokespersons(actually only the Director ever speaks, at least to the media) of the CC (HCCC), who do not have the mandate to speak for Six Nations members, but claim to do so on moral authority. Thus there is a small clique who are attempting a coup, to take over governance at Six Nations by their own authority and by their own rules, and convince everyone that it is Colonialism or some such concept which is at fault and that having a government that is not accountable to any but a relatively small percentage of the community is the correct path. Any who would accept this are making a pact with the devil. As HM says, the HDI has zero transparency and zero accountability. The claim that those who wish to "see the books" should go through proper channels and contact their Clan Mother flies in the face of reality. The majority of people at Six Nations do not know their clan, and it would be interesting to learn how many of the HDI "members" actually know their own clan. Although there is an attempt to make that connection, in reality the clan system was broken by the end of the 19th Century, and today it is chaotic and bears little resemblance to reality. When you have someone from the Ball Clan "representing" people of one of the Mohawk families you know that something is broken when only Turtle, Wolf and Bear clans were present among the Mohawk until recently. Anyone who wishes to see how the longhouse system has been imploding may wish to read the book by Annemarie Shimony about "Conservatism" at Six Nations, as it existed in the 1950s and 60s, which I have discussed in earlier blog postings. Yet there is a movement to install a dictator, in the form of a Director, of a group whose self - serving interests are seen by the collapsing Hereditary Council as their saving grace. The HDI does carry a large stick, that is correct, and they appear willing to use any means necessary, including violence, to obtain their ends - which is money that no one knows where it ends up - other than to pay for the well tailored suits of their non-Native legal counsel.