It saddened me greatly when "Tekawenake", which at one time was the "voice of Six Nations" closed its doors - to be replaced by a dodgy publication called "Two Row Times".
I have no idea as to why "Teka", a local fixture both on and off Reserve, suddenly stopped publishing - doubtless there is an interesting story behind the move. It reminds me of when the Haldimand County newspaper, "The Regional News", was forced to shut down. I was told by an inside source that the reason was because their competitor, which is linked to a massive publishing empire, offered advertising at such low rates that it was impossible for the Regional News to stay afloat. It was a shame because it offered an unbiased forum for those who were most impacted by the Caledonia 2006 situation. Even Gary McHale had a column - something that I suspect would be too "controversial" for the remaining newspapers. The publishers were clearly sympathetic to the plight of Caledonians, and gave voice to these concerns. They organized a book signing for Christie Blatchford's book "Helpless" about Caledonia's struggle against not only Native aggression, but also Government apathy. But their bottom line could only withstand the onslaught by the well funded mega conglomerate (who could carry the other local newspaper at a loss until the competition folded) for so long. Anyway, that was the story given to me by the publishers of a much missed local newspaper. Presently, residents of Haldimand County have two newspapers, "The Sachem" (I don't have any complaints whatsoever about the content of the paper), and the "Haldimand Press" which has a more restricted circulation due to the fee charged for each issue (The Sachem is free, both in print and online).
So for reasons that have never come to my attention, "Tekawenake" just vanished, leaving "Turtle Island News" (TIN) as the sole newspaper on the Reserve. Some concerns here are noteworthy. This newspaper (TIN) is entirely behind the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) with the result that little if anything as to what is going on with the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) is seen in print. One is forced to go to their website to locate this information, but for many this is not something equivalent to having a weekly newspaper that would inform the public as to what is happening with the many activities of SNEC from repair of the roads, to the development projects with which they are involved. There is no on Reserve newspaper that will offer Six Nations members and others key information of what is happening with the most essential services on the Reserve.
So, there was a vacuum, and as with all vacuums, something will fill it eventually. In this case, some of the non-native participants of the defunct "Tekawenake" and their political buddies, convinced a member of the Six Nations business community to embark on an new venture to compete with "Turtle Island News". And so, "Two Row Times" (TRT) was born. At least they will print articles or letters to the Editor from members or supporters of the Elected Council, and serve a much needed function.
On the down side, the non-natives who have assumed significant roles (e.g., editor, general manager, reporter) at TRT are all of the same far left wing radical element, some of whom have directly caused so much suffering in Caledonia. They are composed of radical union members, Anarchists, Communists, and those who support the use of violence at events such as the G8 and G20 Conferences in Toronto, and are in attendance at such events. All or most were organizers and major participants of the spring 2012 "parade" (protest march) that, as I have said before, shut down Caledonia on a Saturday, and risked, in the words of the then Elected Chief William Montour, "opening old wounds". Still, this destructive path did not deter our intrepid anti-capitalist, anti-establishment, and as far as I am concerned, anti-social individuals from stressing our already wounded community in order to meet their own agenda. They showed their true colours at that time, having bussed in all the Toronto radicals that would fit on the CUPE bus and others hired for the occasion. Palestinian, Black Bloc, Communist Party of Canada and other violent, radical elements flew their flags at an event which was billed as promoting healing between Caledonia and Six Nations. That was the spin, but the goal was something quite different. They hoped to once again draw fracture lines within and between Haldimand and Six Nations, and to a degree they succeeded. I will never forget their block long purple and white "Two Row" flag being held horizontally and undulating as waves on a lake by marchers in the fashion of pall bearers. It is interesting that many of those who participated in the "rally" at this time went on to form the supposed "Native" and "Reserve" newspaper, "Two Row Times".
I have expressed my concern that this supposed Reserve newspaper is nothing more than a platform for the same old same old radical elements that have been loitering around Caledonia since 2006, and are members of various "solidarity" with Six Nations groups, and are in control of a newspaper that is being touted as "Native" and "Reserve". While I am no friend to the Editor / Publisher / Owner of "Turtle Island News" (TIN), I do think that her take on this "newsletter" is most revealing. She alerts people to the fact that it is operated from the barn in Brant County of the brother (who is a physician at Brantford General Hospital) of the most notorious radical TK whose background in radical left wing politics I have discussed on numerous occasions. The TIN Editor believes that it has nothing to do with the Reserve, and that TIN is at present the only Reserve newspaper. The Editor's comments seen here are well worth taking the time to read.
Due to the radical left wing anti-Canadian and anti-Semitic views expressed in "Two Row Times" one must question whether it should be supported by the community. It seems to be calling itself one thing (a voice of the Reserve) but in fact is something quite different (a platform for the promulgation of dangerous radical left wing ideals of those bent on the destruction of Canada). If this is true, then we would have to ask ourselves whether supporting the paper in any manner is justified.
As I said in a recent posting,
Those individuals and corporations who wish to have their names and company logos associated with this newspaper do so at their own risk. As long as the non-Native Anarchist - Communist radicals are affiliated with the newspaper there will be a strong bias in the direction of the far left activists.
I wish that there was a viable alternative to the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) publishing wing, "Turtle Island News", but alas when "Tekawenake" was disbanded, it left a vacuum that was filled by non-Native radical Unionists, Anarchists, Communists and those who they support (which includes the Palestinians), and Native tag alongs. The down side of ridding the community of "Two Row Times" is that the Elected Council, the single legitimate governance group on Reserve, and the voice of moderation, would be silenced. It is a difficult call, but those advertisers who pay for large advertisements in this newspaper may wish to assess their priorities. I will certainly not be doing business with any of these companies. Perhaps there are others who will also take a similar stand here, and the bottom line of those who inadvertently support anti-Semitism and similar hatred could be impacted.
In my opinion, something similar to "Two Row Times" is needed at Six Nations, but without the non-native agitators with a violent and hate mongering background - but I will be watching who gives their advertising dollars to this newspaper, whose views only foster hatred.