Friday, 14 November 2014

Criminal Negligence?: Have the Lives of Two Local Young Girls Been Compromised Because of "Cultural Sensitivity"?

I have been following the stories of two young girls from the area, one from New Credit, the other from Six Nations, whose parents have made atypical choices in the care of their 11 year old daughters who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  In almost all cases, with the assistance of oncologists, parents will obtain the awareness that there is only one single form of treatment as of today that has been scientifically validated to work with this pernicious and otherwise inevitably fatal disease.  This treatment is chemotherapy.

Over the last few months I have not spoken about this troubling situation, it is very very sensitive and one close to my own training and expertise.  Since I have no formal involvement in either case, it has been my decision to keep my opinions to myself.  That all changed with the release of new information about the treatment that these children have been subjected to.  My training is in specialized medicine from McMaster University, the hospital facility which has assessed both girls and has recommended what is today standard treatment.  I have also had a role in assessments for the Children's Aid Societies in Southwestern Ontario, and testifying in Court as an expert witness. 

Alas, the matter has become politicized and any disagreement with the decision of not only the parents of the girls, but large segments of the New Credit and Six Nations communities, inevitably leading to charges of "racism" and "cultural insensitivity".

The real clash here is between superstition and modern medicine, pure and simple - which has recently been clarified when we learn that "traditional healing" really means relying on the "expertise" of a quack.

In both cases the parents of the girls decided that they would withdraw consent to treatment, and opt for "traditional healing".  The age where a child is allowed to take control of their own care and treatment is 18, so an 11 year old child is under the legal care of the parents, and if the latter fail to place their children's needs first and foremost, the "state" in the form of the Children's Aid Society (CAS) must step in and, if necessary, apprehend the child to meet the litmus test of, "what is in the best interests of the child".

So, to complicate the matter, there is a clash between Western values and aboriginal viewpoints - right?  No, that is incorrect.  It involves a situation where the parents of both girls have been told that if their daughters continue with the, admittedly unpleasant, rounds of chemotherapy, then the girls would have a 90 to 95% chance of a total cure.  So it is almost a guarantee that with the guidance of expert oncologists, the children have a very high chance of full recovery.  What if the parents don't accept this wisdom built of years of medical practice standing on the foundation of modern science?  Unfortunately the course will be downward, with possible temporary remission, but eventual relapse and death.  The latter could come soon if the children are withdrawn from McMaster's treatment recommendations.

What is important to understand is the nature of "traditional healing".  What does it entail?  No one has given a clear outline of the programme that will bring about healing.  Does it involve aboriginal wisdom about the property of herbs and other plants?  How sure can anyone be that this regimen will work?  What is the probability of success?  Is it near the 90 to 95% chance that chemotherapy offers?

Apparently, as has been recently revealed, the so called "traditional" treatment is actually an "alternative" treatment.  It does not even come up to the standards of naturopathy where legitimate practitioners know their limitations - and acute lymphoblastic leukemia is one of them.  A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) investigation found that a "doctor" from Florida had visited the Six Nations community twice (and to packed audiences if the video is in fact from those visits).  He convinced the audience that when the doctors in "Toronto" fail, then people come to him.  So what are his credentials?  In fact he is a doctor of nothing.  His "clinic" is a message establishment which also offers raw vegetable foods, intravenous vitamin C, cold laser light therapy - and that is about it.  The "qualifications" of the clinic's "doctor", and the treatment administered is shown in the video here.  What is crystal clear is that this "center", the "Hippocrates Health Institute" in Florida is "a centre that focuses on nutrition and naturopathic therapy" and as such, has nothing to do with "traditional healing" just quackery and snake oil sales where the bottom line is money - $18,000 to be specific.  Someone without any formal credentials makes phony claims of success and goes unpunished, and like the doomsday cults when the day passes and the world does not end, he and they will come up with some rationalization and keep going because the rational mind has been suspended in the service of false hope - the idea that some "organic" treatments are superior to what modern medicine has to offer.

The video reported that the little girl from New Credit went through the three week programme, returned to the home of her parents, and is now in critical condition.  This is positively criminal when a few months back, physicians could hold out an over 90% chance that there would be a full recovery.  Alas, the girls fate has been sealed due to ignorance and ineffective action.

How could any rational clear thinking individuals be led down the garden path by such charlatans?   Unfortunately at Six Nations there seems to be a susceptibility to proposals of this kind.  Some recent examples include the acceptance of the unproven technology of an entrepreneur from Nova Scotia to "disintegrate" not just incinerate the mounting piles of garbage at Six Nations.  The billowing clouds of noxious fumes have led to a moratorium on this unproven technology, but it is apparently being revived in the hope that some miracle will emerge.  Then there is the hoaxer who convinced a substantial part of the community that children were murdered at the Mohawk Institute (a residential school that closed in 1970) and their bodies stuffed in mass graves.  The hoaxer even found bone (later proven to be animal), and members of the community used ground penetrating radar to explore the area for the "bone pits".  There were never any such murders - common sense would tell you that there would have been no way to keep that sort of thing a secret.  The school is on the doorstep of Brantford, and is situated on Reserve land.  I found the burial records from the Mohawk Chapel which is across the street from the school, and there were entries for children who died while at the Mohawk Institute and the burial entries gave names, ages, Reserves, and the fact that the children were from the Mohawk Institute.  Finally, most people by this point have seen the light and the hoaxer is no longer welcome on the Reserve.  So for whatever reason, there is a large segment of the Reserve community willing to believe in quackery, which would never fly in surrounding communities where reliance is placed on individuals who have a proven track record and the expertise to provide solid verifiable information.  Thus people in say Caledonia are less likely to be "taken in" by false beliefs and to be time and again disappointed when the scammers show their true colours.

In the present case the community has rallied around the families of the two girls and fund raisers have provided money to fly the families to Florida for what was supposed to be "traditional healing" but was in fact just another fly by night scheme that will result in the death of two young girls who had put their trust in the adults of the community including their parents - ignoring the concerns of the medical establishment in Ontario.

When I was trained and certified it was made clear to me that above all else a practitioner must take into account "the best interests of the child".  This is also in the standards of practice and in the law which governs the actions of the Children's Aid Society (CAS).  The Brant County CAS has been told that they are not welcome at Six Nations, and that due to complaints (what CAS does not get complaints since they apprehend children from unfit parents) Six Nations would be forming their own child protective services.  This plan is totally without any coherence, and puts the CAS in the position of having to do their job (and they are mercilessly criticized if they don't act promptly), and are expected to be able to do this work from Brantford rather than Ohsweken on the Reserve.  So the Brant County CAS is in a tenuous position.  Perhaps this is why they have backed away from the whole situation and will not apprehend these two girls in need of protection.  They know that the community would come together to ensure that the apprehension never occurs, so the CAS has washed its hands of the matter, forcing McMaster to take them to Court to ensure that they do their job.  By the time that it all wends its way through the Court process nature will likely have taken its grim course here and the "problem will have been resolved". 

The question will always remain.  What would the outcome have been in the CAS had apprehended both girls while there was still a window of opportunity for the chemotherapy to work?  You can't wait months then intervene.  The child needs to be in treatment immediately upon diagnosis - there is no other rational interpretation of the facts.  Thus the parents decided what is best for their children, despite the fact that is obvious to all of us in the medical field, that the parents decisions are bad and that the children will pay the ultimate penalty for their failing to carry out parental obligations.  The Reserve communities will not lay the blame at the doorstep of the parents - the community is clearly playing the role of enablers where they have put up barriers such that everyone except the professionals at McMaster is afraid of offending, and appearing to be "culturally insensitive".  This is not about culture, it is about physiology.  The only way to reestablish a homeostatic balance in the bodies of these girls would be to follow the only reliable plan that has a reasonable chance of success - chemotherapy. 

Since the parents opted to go their own way and find "alternative methods", the death of their children will likely weigh heavily on their shoulders for the rest of their lives.  How can one live with the knowledge that their poor decisions played the key role in the demise of their own children.  The community saw fit to rally around these parents and so must also accept the responsibility for the decisions.  It is all so painful, so sad.  Vulnerable children who must of necessity rely on the best judgment of their parents and other adults, and being profoundly let down by them - even if well intentioned.

In addition to the parents and the Six Nations and New Credit communities as seen here and here, also "blame" can be directed at the Courts as seen here, and particularly here with the Courts decision to dismiss McMaster's case and permit the parents to continue with whatever form of treatment they deem appropriate.  Furthermore the role of the Brant County Children's Aid Society, as seen here and here needs to be carefully considered.

To this day I still stand by my training and would consistently act "in the best interests of the child".  Since in this case it is a simple matter of following the treatment with a proven track record, we do not even enter any sort of gray area.  It is cut and dried and there is no need to be "culturally sensitive" about the primary regimen, although it would be entirely appropriate to encourage the parents and community to combine true "traditional healing" with what world wide modern medicine has to offer, which is precisely what the eminent much respected Six Nations scholar - physician Dr. Oronhyatekha (Peter Martin, 1841-1907), recommended in such matters.  See here and here for his life story. 

A very recent article, which echoes exactly what I have maintained in the present posting was penned by a reporter for the CBC and can be found here.  The obvious need to focus on "the best interests of the child" is clearly stated in this article.  So many people seem to have lost sight of this very basic premise in the fields of child welfare and medicine.

Alas superstition reared its ugly head and reason and rationality goes out the window - even in 2014 - and two precious children will be adversely impacted by this predilection.  Also just as apparent, there is a double standard in dealing with "aboriginal" and non - aboriginal children.  The parents of the former get a free pass to do anything or nothing as they see fit to provide life saving therapy to their children.  However the latter group would come under the CAS rules, the child would be apprehended, and the parental rights suspended until the child has finished the treatment required to save their lives.  A 90 plus percent chance versus a zero percent chance.  This should be a no brainer to everyone involved who has the vaguest understanding of statistics and probability.  Sad, sad, sad.

Edited: 15 November 2014.

Update:  11 December 2014.  Recent information on the controversy relating to the scam artists posing as healers has come to light.  The parents of the Six Nations and New Credit girls, and communities, have turned their backs on proven science and modern medicine in the unwarranted expectation of obtaining a "cure" for the two girls with leukemia from a quack who is exposed as a total fraud here.


It is Time to "Repurpose" the Dysfunctional and Disintegrating Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council

The following posting was triggered by two events that have occurred this month.  The first is the work stoppage at the Cayuga bridge ordered by the Hereditary Council at Six Nations.  The second is an assessment of the recent state of the depleted Hereditary Council in an Editorial in "Two Row Times" where the writer expresses the hope that young people will step forward to stand in the shoes of those towering figures from a bygone era (one that is slowly slipping away).

The writing has been on the wall for many years.  Despite the fact that today the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC), whose "authority" is only symbolic, is a mere echo of the once powerful 50 hereditary chiefs of the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, it has survived - if only in a form that would be unrecognizable to their ancestors.  It is a mere shadow of its former self, but it persists in the face of mounting evidence that it should have folded a long time ago to allow the Reserve to operate as a modern community.  Instead it is little more than a lot of "sound and fury", a thorny entity that attracts militants and ner do wells to its "causes" by billing themselves as the "true" representatives of the Six Nations community.

The HCCC and its "operatives", including the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), have found numerous ways to disrupt the lives of people on the Reserve (by derogating the role of the legitimate governing body, the Elected Council), and the surrounding communities.  The latter have been forced to endure the theft of land owned by local residents who have valid title deeds to their property, accompanied by assaults.  Also there have been acts of vandalism including wanton destruction, arson, trespass, work stoppages, road blockades, extortion of money from land developers and wind turbine "green energy" companies, and numerous other behaviours that have made life miserable for local residents and corporations in Haldimand County and beyond.  Within their own community, they have shown a complete lack of transparency, and a total disregard for anyone's views but their own.  A mini North Korean state with a non - elected leader(s) whose authority is total and whose will cannot be questioned.  Thus many at Six Nations would foist upon the rest rule by a group of poorly educated dictators accountable to no one but their own mothers or aunties (Clan mothers).  How is this even a remotely reasonable proposition in 2014?  Who would voluntarily allow themselves to be duped into accepting governance that does not have room for their own concerns, only the agenda of the "in crowd"?  That is precisely the problem on so many other Reserves as we learn how chiefs and their families are running the Reserves as personal fiefdoms to enrich their own kin, and toss the rest to the winds of fate.

Historically, the governing body of the Six Nations dates to the 15th Century (date unknown, but likely pre - Columbus) when, tired of a state of perpetual warfare (which often involved genocide, capture of prisoners, torture, and cannibalism), the leaders of the day listened to the Peacemaker Deganawida (a probable Wyandot / Huron) who with Hayonwagtha (a Mohawk) convinced the peoples of what is today Upstate New York to metaphorically bury all of their weapons under the great tree of peace and give up fighting with each other.  This did not encompass "outsiders" who were fair game for all.  Ironically, during the 1640s and 1650s, the Five Nations committed a series of unparalleled acts of genocide which included the almost complete destruction of Deganawida's people, the Huron.  The Five Nations were so effective and universally feared because the Confederacy they established worked - at that time and that place - although it was a serious menace to all outside the Confederacy.  It is a leap of faith to assume that what worked 500 years ago during the North American Stone Age, would be an effective form of governance in an age of instant electronic communication, where the complexities of today had no parallel in bygone eras.

Reality set in during the Revolutionary War of 1776 to 1784 when the council fire at Onondaga (near present day Syracuse NY) was covered over and for all intents and purposes, the Confederacy was disbanded, its traditional structure in tatters.  Attempts to revive this system of governance at the Grand River settlement were shaky at best since, for example, many of the hereditary chiefships went vacant since there was no suitable candidate to fill the position.  Some titles that were at one time filled, went insolvent since there was no one eligible to assume the title.  Many titles had candidates available only in the USA.  A solution was to "borrow" chiefs and the system of chiefs and clan mothers became chaotic and arguments broke out over who was "the most eligible". 

The Hereditary Council was abolished as the legally recognized body representing Six Nations in the year 1924 - the year often being heard as a rallying cry of "look what the government took away from us", the truth is more mundane.  In the years before 1924, the Federal Government was having increasing difficulty in communicating with this governing body due to cultural practices which did not mesh with the need to make immediate decisions and to supply information promptly (so that transfer payments could be made).  However, even more frustrated were those at Six Nations who had a good education and / or were wealthy farmers.  This group was frustrated at every turn by the Hereditary Council and they emphasized the inappropriateness of having a group of what they saw as arbitrarily selected individuals, often with a poor education, put in positions of authority where nothing got done and decisions were arbitrary.  This cluster, led by the "Dehorners Association" and other "progressive" groups of largely Christian members, petitioned the Federal Government to install an elected system.  Ultimately the Indian Department saw the wisdom of the request (although it was resisted for some time), and used their powers under the Indian Act of 1876 to create an elected body that became what is today the Six Nations Elected Council.  This is the only legitimate governing body at Six Nations - the Hereditary Council have kept a shadow council since 1924.

It is important to cite sources.  The most comprehensive book to outline the traditional system among the Six Nations is, William N. Fenton, "The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy", Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.  An excellent source for information the League / Confederacy of the Six Nations, and on this period in Reserve life are two articles by Elizabeth Tooker, "The League of the Iroquois: Its History, Politics, and Ritual" (pp. 418-414) and "Iroquois Since 1820" (pp. 449-465), and most particularly Sally Weaver, "Six Nations on the Grand River, Ontario" (pp. 525-536) all in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 15: Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, 1978.

Probably the best book to outline the demoralizing decline that had set in by the late 1800s, as reflected in the Council Minutes of the time, is a book by John A. Noon, "Law and Government of the Grand River Iroquois", New York, The Viking Fund Inc., 1949).  By the mid 1900s the internal decay is well documented with examples in the book by Annemarie Shimony entitled, "Conservatism Among the Iroquois at the Six Nations Reserve", Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, 1994 (originally published,1961).

For a contemporary work, sympathetic to the current Six Nations perspective (blaming the British for "Colonialism", and the focus on 1924), is Andrea Lucille Catapano, "The Rising of the Ongwehonwe: Sovereignty, Identity, and Representation on the Six Nations Reserve", ProQuest, 2008 (see here for a pdf copy). 

Until recently the shadow hereditary council only had a role in cultural - ceremonial functions, and in criticizing the elected system and its officers.  Now they want to toss out the Elected Council and reestablish the dysfunctional hereditary system and have full rein to reap the "rewards" of extorting money from land developers and corporations involved in wind and solar energy - and the power to keep all of the transactions opaque so that only those who know their clan have access to the information.  Since this would exclude the majority of the people residing on the Reserve, it is a wonder that they have as much support as they do.  Perhaps many cannot see that if the HCCC got its way, the average resident at Six Nations would be the ultimate loser if the hereditary council replaced the elected one.

The situation (decay, internal dissention) is, if possible, worse today.  There is real concern that despite all the bluster by the HDI and the spin coming from the HCCC, the whole system is ready to disintegrate.  A recent article described the effects of the back to back deaths of both Chief Peter Skye, and activist Arnold Douglas, seen in an Editorial in "Two Row Times", 12 November 2014, p. 8.  Here, following the deaths of these two important figures in the traditional life at Six Nations, the Editor states,

In fact, a goodly number of wonderful, but aged, men and women may not be with us in 10 years time. What then? As we speak, there is no one on the Seneca bench at the Longhouse, and that has been the case for more than a year. The Mohawk bench is sparsely occupied, and that has been the case for some time now as well.

When one scans the horizon over Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, are there any dedicated men and women willing to take on the enormous weight of leadership as Chiefs and Clan Mothers?

Who among the young of today are ready, willing and able to step up to the plate and seek out elders and learn the old ways?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is pretty grim, unless there are many hidden, waiting in the wings ready to be tapped on the shoulder.  So there is a real concern that there will be no suitable candidate ready to fill the traditional (although never in practice) 50 chief's chairs.  There may not even be enough young people who don't have the clan ties linking the past to today to take over the roles needed to be filled. 

Today the clan system is in disarray.  The Clan to which my family belongs is Bear but the position is now held by a member of the Ball Clan.  Since there was never a Ball Clan among the Mohawk, this situation makes a mockery of the once viable system.  Also today, most at Six Nations do not know their Clan, inherited only one way - from their direct maternal line.  So there is a real problem with the Confederacy Council in that today and tomorrow the number of correctly filled positions continues to diminish with no hope for remediation.  Why should a group of pretend chiefs rule at Six Nations?  Why would anyone wish to consider this a legitimate situation with the ability to deal with the immense destructive factions at Six Nations, and to have the knowledge of the modern world to interface with Federal Government in order to address even mundane topics such as sewage disposal.  Extorting more money from land developers and "green energy" companies will not address those topics, only line the pockets of the few while the rest are in the dark and without a say in how things are run.  That would not last long as people would demand to be heard, and the claim by the Director of the HDI that Six Nations members should speak with their chiefs is absurd since most don't know their clan let alone their lineage (in the Mohawk Bear Clan there are 3 lineages) or owachira.

Despite the obvious fact that the HCCC is on the doorstep of collapse, they and their supporters behave as if all is well and that they are in a position to assume the duties of managing the intricate duties of running the Reserve - which may be totally unrealistic - but that does not in the least deter them.  This group, particularly the HDI, claim authority to enact the provisions of the fraudulent "Nanfan Treaty of 1701" which in their minds gives them entitlements to "accommodation" (payola and the right to hunt) across Southwestern Ontario.  The second "document giving authority" is the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 which initially gave the Six Nations the right to "occupy" (not ownership of) six miles on each side of the Grand River - although every last acre of this land except that which remains within the bounds of the present day Reserve had been surrendered to the Crown who own or owned title to the land, including the present day Six Nations Reserve).  The land outside the present Reserve had been surrendered, alienated, ceded by 1848 with the ceding of the Burtch Tract lands as shown in the Council Minutes of the time which includes the signatures of upwards of 48 chiefs.  Facts have never stood in the way of the HCCC and their enforcement and extortion wing the HDI, the later bolstered by advice from a non - Native legal representative (a licensed lawyer in Ontario) who sensed the smell of money in the air, and they have forged ahead as an unholy alliance of bullies making absurd claims and demands.

For some reason the Six Nations community contains the seeds of its own destruction housed within.  If they are allowed to germinate by permitting the Confederacy to take over governance, this would result in the growth of a self - destructive force which would lead to internal implosion and the demise of the community as we know it.  Reverting to an autocratic inherited authoritarian rule would provide fertile ground for the "seeds of destruction".  Autocratic inherited governments such as one finds in North Korea are economic disasters where human rights are subverted to keep the establishment in power.  While most societies who are "successes" have long dispensed with inherited governance, some have not and we need look no further than Great Britain, the English Crown, to see a modern version of an inherited order and its role in governance.  While England may have an inherited establishment including landed gentry with the Monarchy at the top, this group has nothing more than ceremonial functions.  It gives a sense of continuity with the past without disrupting the future of the country.  The power lies with the English people, in its parliament which is elected in a democratic fashion - there is really no other system that will work in any modern democracy.  Since Six Nations have since 1664 had a special relationship to the Crown, should all not look to this entity for guidance?  However some at Six Nations want to turn back the hands of time to a romanticized era and re-install an inherited council, when their only hope lies in an effective Elected Council.  If the HCCC were to usurp the role of the Elected Council it would be an unmitigated disaster, and could potentially result in the disbanding of the Reserve and dispersal of the community.  Is it worth the risk?

It is my sincere hope that the HCCC can play a role at Six Nations, not in the capacity of a "shadow cabinet" bent on usurping the role of the legitimate Elected Council, but in other ways.  Perhaps their focus to return to emphasizing the Longhouse way with all its ancient rituals and customs which can show the young people that there is continuity from pre - Columbian times to today.  This message is being lost, especially on the young people, who will see the HCCC as a militant group tilting at windmills Don Quixote style.  They need to find their niche within the fabric of the community, but not by aligning themselves with radical elements and non - Native "support" groups.  They can teach by example that the old ways, including the language and culture, are worth preserving - and they are the font of knowledge in this area.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Cayuga Bridge: View One Week After the HDI "Ordered" the Construction Company to Stop Work

As reported in a recent posting here, on 3 November 2014 the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) brought the repair work being completed on the 90 year old Cayuga bridge to a complete halt.  The question to be posed and answered in the present blog posting is, "what is the status of the work one week later?"  I will explore this matter via a set of pictures I took at the site today, 10 November 2014.

Considering that the HDI (the extortion and enforcement wing of the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council - HCCC) has no official status viz a viz negotiating with any level of government be it County, Provincial or Federal, threatening the work crews at the Cayuga bridge about "action" should they not halt the construction is nothing more than an illegal act of a group of citizens with absolutely no authority, except that they assign to themselves. 

Their rational for initiating this action is ostensibly because the bridge work is infringement on the tow path of the Grand River Navigation Company (built in the 1830s) and river bed land claims.  The true reason is that they have not been able to get the Provincial Government to hand over the deed to Douglas Creek Estates (DCE), and they need to flex their muscle in some manner to get the attention of Toronto.

As the Federal Government has indicated, and the legitimate Six Nations Elected Council has accepted, there is no valid land claim which would require return of lands in the Grand River Tract now in the hands of third parties.  The land in the Lower Grand River was surrendered in a series of claims largely from 1834 to 1849.  There is no unceded lands whatsoever in the vicinity of Cayuga.  The tow path began upriver in North Cayuga Township, north of the Ruthven historic site, since the dam at Dunnville backed the water up to an area a mile or so above Cayuga.  So even if one could stretch things to find some sort of tow path claim, it would not involve the lands where the bridge is being repaired.  In addition, by the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 the Six Nations were granted permission to "occupy" the lands on both sides of the Grand River, but there was no ownership in fee simple, and the River bed lands were never mentioned - the lands were vested in the Crown and could only be sold to the Crown such that the latter would issue Patents to the purchasers who bought the improvements of individual Indians.  All such issuances were addressed by the Six Nations Chiefs in Council.

Secondly, there is no treaty covering the lands around Cayuga.  The so-called "Nanfan Treaty of 1701" is a document where the then Five Nations offered to turn over lands in what is today Southwestern Ontario to "Our Great Father the King of England" with the hope that he will grant hunting rights.  Alas, the land in question, were taken via a genocide of unspeakable proportions during the 1640s and 1650s which completely annihilated the aboriginal people of Southwestern Ontario, the Attiwandaronk (Neutral) people of the Grand River Valley and their neighbours.  However, by 1696 the Mississauga and their allies had destroyed the 8 villages constructed by the then Five Nations on the conquered lands and drove them back to what is today Upstate New York.  So doing the math, the Five Nations had absolutely no rights to the lands they so generously offered to surrender to the King of England since they were taken from them by conquest 5 years earlier.  Further emphasizing the fraudulent nature of this "treaty", which is actually about hoped for permission to continue hunting in these lands, the original document has neither the Colonial seal of New York nor the Privy Council seal of the Crown so it is a total fraud, and the document is an item of historical interest only.

Knowing that there is no valid land claim, and that the treaty under which the HDI claims entitlements is bogus, then the question is why would a construction company acquiesce to the demands of the HDI to stop work?  Why did they not call the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) whose Cayuga detachment is only two minutes away?  Why have they not applied to the Superior Court of Haldimand County in Cayuga for a Court injunction to remove trespassers especially when in similar cases the Court has fined HDI members and affiliates along with their non - Native legal council up to $385,000?  Many postings to this blog have been devoted to this subject.  Perhaps they have, but the information has not made it to the news media.

There is another matter also which is highly pertinent to the situation in Cayuga.  To the best of my knowledge, the HDI are not occupying the site, but have "warned" the construction company that they must stop work, and that they will simply "keep an eye out" for any infractions (meaning the company ignoring the threats or obtaining a Court injunction allowing their employees to return to work under the protection of the Court).  It is important to note that the HDI has logistical problems in areas away from the immediate orbit of the Reserve.  Whereas they can have a few hundred thugs at a site in Caledonia or Hagersville within minutes, Cayuga is a relatively long way away and they would have to traverse a lot of non Reserve lands where they could be apprehended by the OPP between home and their destination.  Under these circumstances, and especially if there was an immanent Court injunction, the HDI would have trouble in assembling sufficient available thugs.  Of course the question as to why they would be available on a moment's notice is a valid one.  The availability to occupy a site or shut it down for any period of time other than a few hours could only be accomplished by those whose jobs were "flexible".

Since I had no evidence as to any change in the situation from one week earlier, in other words that work continues to be at a standstill, the only thing to do was investigate.  Since it was a sunny day I decided to visit the gravesite of my parents, and enroute I "popped in" to Cayuga to scope things out.

I parked on the west side of the bridge (on the largely unoccupied side of Cayuga), and walked east toward the Grand River.  What follows is a series of pictures showing what the site looked like today, Monday, 10 November 2014, at about 2 pm.

Entering Cayuga from the east along Highway 3

The above sign shows the name of the construction company which was doing the bridge repair work.  It is a large and well respected firm, well known across the Province.

The sign is correct, there is a large jog to the right which takes vehicles around the repair work and back to the original alignment on the other side of the bridge.

 Continuing west toward "downtown" Cayuga the extent of the work becomes apparent.

This was apparently the place where workers would cross the bridge to the other (north) side where most of the work was happening (at one time).

This is the spot on the north side of the road where workers enter or entered - the K rail is slightly ajar.

Looking toward Cayuga along the left or north side of the bridge with the current structure to the right.

The access to the main construction site is completely blocked off.

Work, the new bridge, in progress - well at a complete stand still at the time of my visit in mid afternoon on a Monday.

The Dufferin construction trailer and enclosure on the north side of Highway 3 just west of the welcome to Cayuga sign shown in an earlier picture above.  The Dufferin Construction website has detailed plans and visuals of the Cayuga bridge project as seen here.  This reflects what "should" be happening.

So, the evidence suggests that one week after threats were issued by HDI to "stop work or else", there is nothing happening in the way of repair work at the Cayuga bridge.  So how many millions of dollars is the HDI costing Canadian taxpayers "this time"?  Once a Court injunction is issued, if they fail to comply, how much in the way of fines will be levied.  Hopefully it will be along the lines of the decision of Justice Harrison Arrell of the Superior Court of Brantford in 2010 - in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for disrupting the work at construction sites in Brantford and failing to comply with a Court injunction.  Only the very stiffest of fines will put a crimp in the style of this rogue group which has carved a path of wanton destruction from Brantford to Dunnville and beyond.  They must be stopped as they are becoming emboldened - as happens when enablers don't drop the hammer on blatantly illegal acts including threats, intimidation and extortion.

Update:  17 November 2014.  Apparently the Ontario Provincial government has had enough.  Work will restart on the Bridge shortly, as detailed in the 14 November 2014 article in the "National Post" here.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Response of Local MPP Toby Barrett to the Fence and Gate at DCE

It is interesting to compare the perspectives of the MPP for Haldimand - Norfolk, Today Barrett with that of the Director of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) in relation to the DCE property and the new gate blocking Surrey Street.

Here is Mr. Barrett's view as found in the 4 November online version of "The Sachem" and seen here in the article entitled, "Gate erected at the entrance to the DCE property":

During an interview, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said he is no fan of the fence.

“Regrettably, protests and intimidation has gotten results and they got away with it,” Barrett said. “It sends a real message that an illegal occupation is how you get what you want. You can put up a fence and put signs and symbols on the front basically saying this is us and we own it, but that is not the case. There is no valid land claim.

“I’ve called for an inquiry. Specifically with this fence, the question should be raised of who paid for this? It’s important to follow the money. Where is the transparency? That fence looks fairly expensive. I don’t think they just passed the hat down at DCE.”

Barrett said that although his office received numerous calls and emails when construction of the fence began, there were fewer people in contact when the gate was erected.

“After eight and a half years, there is less appetite to try and do the work that government is supposed to do for people in Caledonia,” Barrett said.

As a member of the Progressive Conservative opposition at Queen’s Park, Barrett said he has little power to do what’s necessary to resolve the situation at DCE. He is putting the onus on the municipal government and provincial Liberal government.

“The gate at the front is across a municipal road, Surrey Street,” Barrett said. “This gate or barricade, whatever one wants to call it, crosses not only Ontario government property but also Haldimand County property. Apparently nobody ever did say what are you doing, this isn’t right, cease and desist.”

I COMPLETELY AGREE with Mr. Barrett.  Clearly he is expressing the viewpoint of the people he represents!

On the other hand, the Director of the HDI is completely out of touch and is just engaging in spin in relation to this topic.  Specifically, she maintains that,

All feedback we have received on the gate has been very positive,” Haudenosaunee Development Institute director Hazel Hill said in an email to The Sachem. “People are commenting on how good the site looks now with the rehabilitation the Confederacy has undertaken.”

With respect to the bold printed statement above the obvious question is, who in Caledonia is saying anything positive about the fence and gate?  If there is someone I would like to speak with them.  Incomers would not understand the history behind this symbol of our oppression.  To say anything to the militant Director of the HDI would be bizarre.  I suspect that the "people" she is speaking of are HDI supporters, or perhaps other Six Nations members - but residents of Haldimand for whom this is a gaping wound - I don't think so!  The sheer audacity of the action.  It was all done without the approval of the present owner of DCE, the Province of Ontario; nor the owner of Surrey Street which is now blocked by this gate, the County of Haldimand.  Seeing the gate every day reminds me of how this gate and its symbolic regalia represent how grossly incompetent and impotent various levels of government are in dealing with this terrorist threat on our doorstep.  We are left to the wolves, and no one but Mr. Barrett seems to care.

The fence and the gate must go.  It should be just a question of how and when.  However after 8 years of inaction and stumbles, it is becoming increasing clear that if we want something done about this situation, we will probably have to do it ourselves.


A Comparison of the Two Newspapers at Six Nations

If you live at Six Nations or surrounds, you have access to two hard copy newspapers that focus largely or exclusively on Six Nations issues and concerns (although sometimes the adjacent Mississaugas of New Credit get some print space).  Each of these newspapers has online versions - but there are major differences.  What is surprising though is that if you want to keep up with what is happening at Elected Council (SNEC) meetings - good luck, one paper is actively antagonistic toward SNEC, and the other largely ignores them.  Since SNEC is the only legally recognized (by the Federal Government) body representing the Six Nations community, this is a major omission.

"Turtle Island News" (TIN) is the older of the two, and considers itself the ONLY Reserve newspaper with the Editor of TIN going out of her way to emphasize that her competitor is really a Brant County paper, published in a barn somewhere off Reserve.  In trying to encapsulate the outlook of TIN, in my opinion it has become increasingly a mouthpiece of the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) and its professed "development" wing (actually the extortion and enforcement unit) the Haudeosaunee Development Institute (HDI).  The Editor has no tolerance for the Elected Council and, if the printed words are a reflection of true attitudes, then she has thrown her lot in with HCCC attempting to legitimize it to the detriment of SNEC and in the process tossing out the window all journalistic objectivity.

An example of the views of TIN can be seen in the most recent Editorial of 5 November 2014 (p.6) wherein rather ironic (and untrue) statements are made such as occurred after Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer's attempt to get all parties including HCCC / HDI to attend a meeting of all those who have a stake in the matter.  The message in TIN was that if Ontario did not get with the plan (to allow the Confederacy to become the sole group representing Six Nations), that, Wynne is on the verge of sending Ontario into yet another year of unrest and distrust with First Nations people with this my way or no way attitude.  Since when did trying to be inclusive warrant a statement such as this.  The only correct statement as to who insists on a "my way or no way" attitude is the HCCC / HDI who adamantly refuse to negotiate anything if the legally mandated Elected Council is present.  Anyone who would support having an unrepresentative unelected group who get their sole power mandate from inheritance (the whole system is ripe for nepotism and the favouritism that has torn apart many other First Nations Reserves) cannot be taken seriously.

I have tried very hard to find positive things to say about TIN but have come up dry.  They charge $1.30 per issue at Zehr's in Caledonia where I purchase the newspaper.  Their online edition requires a subscription which is outlandishly priced.  See here for what can be seen without a subscription.  Thus for example members of Six Nations living in say Hamilton or Toronto will be forced to chose whether they can budget for this paper when there is now serious competition.

The competition is in the form of the successor to Tekawanake, which for years was "the" Reserve newspaper.  It folded about two years ago but was quickly replaced by "Two Row Times" (TRT) which incorporated many staff members of Tekawenake.  Unfortunately, they also took on board hard line non - Native Six Nations supporters who are adamantly Communist and Anarchist.  These White people are even found at the editorial level, and their radical views on certain topics have compromised the integrity of the start up newspaper.  For example, one particularly unsavoury article was blatantly anti - Semitic and pro - Palestinian.  This sort of material should never appear in a newspaper geared towards using paper space to inform about Six Nations and more generally First Nations matters.  Also, I have had occasion to level criticism toward writers / reporters who had historical facts grotesquely in error.

However, I have noted of late a more moderate approach in TRT.  In the most recent edition, the Editorial was advocating that the "shell game" (I would term it the "blame game") stop whereby fingers are pointed by say municipal or provincial officials at the Federal Government leaving the ball in their court.  A number of good points were made in this editorial.  Also, there was an article on the evidence put forward by archaeologists and others that the ancestors of the present Native people of Canada came over about 15,000 years ago from Asia via the Bering Strait.  The article actually was quite well written and included data with which I am very familiar.  I agree that there is still much to be learned before we can put our seal of approval on the most popular migration hypothesis.  I never thought that I would support the content of this particular reporter, but there you go.  Furthermore they presented an entirely more objective version of the visit of Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer to the Onondaga Longhouse.

Also the fact is that at present anyway, TRT is free.  I pick up a copy at Zehr's the same time I pick up my copy of TIN and "The Sachem" (a Haldimand County newspaper) - but I don't have to pay for TIN.  See here for this weeks edition.  In addition, if I am travelling, I can still keep up with what is going on at the Reserve by reading the full articles in TRT which is free online.

So, will I be taking out a subscription to any local newspaper this year?  I am not about to pay good money to be barraged with propaganda and to be dinged a hefty price for it.  In the words of Popeye, "Your pays your money and you takes your choice" - or not pay as the case may be - unless I want to find out what the most radical off - center element is thinking and doing.  On principal I would rather get my news on this subject from almost any other source, and if I miss something, it is unlikely to be that momentous - if it was, the information will appear in other sources.


Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister Once Again Disrespected by Hereditary Faction

I will have to give Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer credit for persistence.  He seems to believe strongly in discussions with all those with a stake in a particular issue.  This is reasonable and rational, and laudable under virtually all circumstances.  The exception is when one is dealing with the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) representatives, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI).  He recently came up against the HDI brick wall, after a visit to the Onondaga Longhouse, and it led to the disagreement over the deed to Douglas Creek Estates to morph into a disagreement about the Cayuga bridge - where, as noted in a posting below, work on repairs was stopped.  The Editor of "Turtle Island News" (TIN) stated in the Editorial of 5 November 2014 that, Zimmer's visit to Six Nations Saturday was nothing short of rude to put it mildly.  The Minister may wish to read the entire Editorial, and may be quite disconcerted by its content.  Since I can find no confirmation in any other report of the visit that would even give shaky support to this statement, I will attribute it to TIN's overt antagonism to anything involving the legal representatives of the Six Nations community, the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) and unquestioning support for the rogue Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) and their thugee wing, the HDI.  There is little use in reading a paper which gives the truth such short shrift in the service of keeping the spotlight on the favoured faction.  The attitude is sealed with the clause that, Ontario would be wise to drop the patronizing attitude and work with Six Nations to find a solution.  And allowing the Confederacy's lead is the anwer.  Really - and what about the legally mandated group, SNEC?

In an article published in "The Sachem" of 6 November 2014 seen here entitled, Confederacy Chiefs stop work on Cayuga bridge over Six Nations land claim Mr. Zimmer's meeting with the HDI at the Onondaga Longhouse is described.  The article states that,

Supporters of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs halted work on a bridge project over the Grand River in Cayuga because they say it is encroaching on a Six Nations land claim and the province has not consulted with the traditional government.

The move Tuesday came after Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer spoke to the chiefs Saturday at the Onondaga Longhouse and appealed for them to join a “community-based process” to resolve “important issues” along with Haldimand County Council and the Six Nations-elected band council.

The most important issue is what’s to become of the former Douglas Creek Estates housing lands in Caledonia  .......... So the action at the Cayuga bridge is precisely for the reasons I had described earlier - DCE, and nothing to do with the stated "problem" of encroaching on the tow path and river bottom lands - a completely false and easily disproven claim.  The "sticky wicket" is still DCE.

The article goes on to report that, The Haudenosaunee Development Institute, which bills itself as the development arm of the Confederacy, .........  My readers will of course know that billing schmilling, they are in fact the extortion and enforcement arm of the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC).  They provide the "muscle" (thugs) to get what they want.  Furthermore, Zimmer did not know what to make of the latest move by Haudenosaunee supporters following his appeal for the chiefs to join talks with Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt and Six Nations Chief Ava Hill.

He wouldn’t describe it as a rejection, saying the chiefs told him they wanted to reflect on what he had said and would get back to him. He is still waiting for a response.

Still, he was disappointed by the move. The $15-million to $20-million project is replacing a bridge built in 1924. Work is set to be completed by next spring.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to see repairs on a bridge stopped,” Zimmer said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Of course "it doesn't make sense", and that is because Mr. Zimmer is a rational and reasonable person who unfortunately does not appear to understand what drives the HDI.  Those of us with connections to Six Nations are well aware of the real agendas and cross currents.  The HDI does not want to meet with anyone except the person in the Ontario Government who has the authority to give them the deed to DCE.  They consider themselves to be the ONLY true representatives of the Six Nations community, and refuse to sit at a table with not only the County of Haldimand but with the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) their arch rivals for power and control.  They want to abolish the Elected Council and return to the Stone Age with corrupt hereditary chiefs in control of the finances and all other aspects of life at Six Nations.  Mr. Zimmer was beat before he ever set foot in the Longhouse.  He should realize the correctness of this assertion in the statements of the legal representative of the HDI as follows:

Zimmer believed his proposal for a community panel — “a leader’s table” — has merit because it is not just the Confederacy which has an interest in resolving issues facing the area.

However, Detlor said that violates the obligation to deal with the Confederacy on a “nation-to-nation” basis.

So we further learn that not only does the HCCC / HDI believe that they are the legitimate representatives of the Six Nations community, but also that the Six Nations are a sovereign nation - despite the absurdity of the claim.  Absurd claims have never deterred the HDI.

Further details include:

The Confederacy and the province had a communications protocol in place that recognized how each would relate to the other but it expired in June after two years. Zimmer said it served its purpose and the province is pursuing a “broader approach” to resolve issues such as DCE.

Detlor said the Confederacy has already determined the future of DCE, which is to ensure it has the ability to have “free and undisturbed harvesting” for medicinal plants and small game.

“If the province wanted to raise any concerns, we had a communications protocol set up for that very purpose,” he added.

So Mr. Zimmer is once again hearing the HDI version of reality.  His expectation of a "broader approach" will NEVER fly with the HDI - they don't negotiate they dictate.

The spin about DCE being left as is for harvesting medicinal plants and small game is quite odd.  The site is a tick infested desert.  It was scraped clean of top soil leaving the sterile layer in which anything that will grow will be of the weed variety and even they will have a hard go of it as can be seen in the landscape there today.  I am not sure what "small game" is there other than rats and insects - perhaps these are now viewed as part of a "traditional diet".

While the matter is covered in "Turtle Island News", they have become the mouthpiece for the HDI / Hereditary Council and have disavowed any consideration of the legal reality - that the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) is the only body at Six Nations entitled to negotiate with the Federal or Provincial Government.  They therefore do not provide the reader with an unbiased source of information and what they print is largely in the arena of propaganda.  I will be less inclined to use this source in the future for this reason - and the fact that I am paying for something I can get for free in the other Reserve newspaper, which is unfortunately the haven for White Six Nations supporters with Communist and Anarchist predilections.

The HCCC has only symbolic and moral authority, being a vestige of a Stone Age system unable to cope with the realities of operating in the modern age.  Many at Six Nations look back longingly to a time when hereditary chiefs and clan mothers "ruled" the Confederacy (but never the local communities such as say the Upper or Canajoharie Mohawks when residing in Upstate NY - power was in the hands of village chiefs who earned this position by merit).  Over the years the entire system collapsed, with the American Revolution ensuring that many chiefly titles are vacant; and things in complete disarray where for example a Ball Clan member is now the chief of the Bear Clan lineage to which my ancestors belonged (the Mohawks never had a Ball Clan).  The decay is well documented in works such as Noon (1949) and Shimony (1963) which I have discussed in a number of previous postings.  The system was so completely dysfunctional at Six Nations that those who had some education, largely Mohawk Workers (a progressive faction at Six Nations), convinced the Federal Government (who was aware of the problem) that the internal rot was ensuring that no enlightened Six Nations member could expect to express their talents without leaving the Reserve to live elsewhere.  Thus in 1924 an elected system was entrenched as the legally authorized governing body at Six Nations.  Thus people could chose their own representatives, and they were accountable to the Six Nations community as a whole - not fettered by a system of nepotism and a lack of transparency where the chiefs were appointed by clan mothers for life and minimal chance of being "dehorned" or tossed out of office for misappropriation of funds or other opportunistic and illegal acts.  Despite the obvious flaws the Confederacy lingers and constitutes a parallel governing body with no legal authority, but with claims of being the only

The bottom line here is that the HDI are intransigent and will not budge an inch in their belief that they are the ONLY legitimate voice of the Six Nations community, and that whatever they dictate must be obeyed - no compromise.  Knowing full well how the HDI think and operate, it is amusing or sad to see someone like the Hon. David Zimmer, who seems to be acting out of genuine concern, expecting that reason and rationality are concepts that influence HDI behavior. 


Leaders of October 2014 Highway 6 Blockade Facing Criminal Charges by OPP

In the online version of "The Sachem", an article dated 5 November 2014 entitled, Three men facing mischief charges after highway protest (seen here) informs us that justice will be served in the blockade of Highway 6 on October 4th and 5th organized by the Six Nations Men's Fire.

The article is short enough that it can be quoted in full here:

Three men are facing mischief charges a month after a protest demanding a federal inquiry into the high number of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Prior to the demonstration – which took place on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 – members of the Six Nations Men’s Fire informed the OPP of their intention to hold a protest at the intersection of Highway 6 and Fourth Line.

“Due to the safety concerns, detour routes were set up at the Third Line to the south and the Fifth Line to the north,” said a media release issued by the OPP on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

“As a result of the interference on the highway the OPP commenced a criminal investigation which resulted in three persons being charged.”

Three men – a 58-year-old from Six Nations of the Grand River, a 52-year-old from Mississaugas of the New Credit and a 35-year-old from Hamilton – will appear in Cayuga Provincial Court at a later date to answer to the charges.

The key clause is highlighted in bold above by the present author.

As noted in previous postings, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) warned the leaders of this misguided effort to supposedly bring attention to the plight of missing and murdered women across Canada, that they were breaking the law and charges could be brought.  Since no charges were laid in a similar more spontaneous action (egged on by social media and one of the Reserve newspapers) one year ago (October 2013), it is indeed encouraging to see that the OPP is now taking very seriously its responsibility to apply the law for all citizens equally. 

As I have noted many times, if I or any other resident of Haldimand County who did not have an Indian "status card" tried to engage in the same behavior we would without a shadow of a doubt have been arrested on the spot and charged with an offence.  While it is upsetting that the perpetrators were not arrested when they set up the blockade tent on Highway 6, and that anyone using Highway 6 during the two days of the action was inconvenienced in one way or the other, I do agree with the OPP that for public safety sake, some modification of what might otherwise occur (immediate arrest) was the best course of action.  The reality, as those of us who live here well know, is that with the barrier being set up so close to the Six Nations Reserve, hundreds of protesters could have streamed down to the site within minutes if an arrest was made at the time.  Prudence called for slightly different tactics.  Perhaps the OPP have realized that by allowing the perpetrators to "get away" with the same crime in 2013 only emboldened those in 2014 who chose to use the same tactics because there were no consequences or repercussions. 

What is important is that the perpetrators will not get away with their misdeeds entirely unpunished.  Even if it means that they simply have to attend Court, their being "inconvenienced", as the County residents were, is a form of justice.  Hopefully they will receive a penalty entirely in keeping with the provisions of the law under such circumstances.  In other words the penalty should be exactly the same as if a resident of Haldimand County had committed the same act.  Equal application of the law is exactly what the local people such as myself have called for since the illegal take over of the Douglas Creek Estates in 2006 by a group of Six Nations militants.  I would recommend to the Court that they institute a zero tolerance policy for courtroom disrespect - which would get any other citizen of Canada ejected from Court.  In the past, Six Nations members have attended hearings and trials and from the audience gallery shouted obscenities and even threats against a Judge.  This must not be allowed to happen here or it will be a travesty, a complete mockery of our system of justice should Six Nations members be allowed to disrespect the Court.

Update 12 November 2014:  Some further clarification of the positions of the OPP and the protesters is found in an article in "The Sachem" found here.  Basically the OPP are saying that they had no choice but to close Highway 6 for safety reasons; whereas the head of Men's Fire maintains that they had no intentions of blockading the Highway and would have allowed emergency vehicles through.  I don't believe the latter.  I saw the vehicles on both sides of Fourth Line with Confederacy and Mohawk Warrior flags and they were blocking the Highway, as was the tent which had completely blocked the west lane of Highway 6.  How people were supposed to get through this blockade and whatever persons would be standing in the way is fortunately not something we had to worry about thanks to the proactive efforts of the OPP.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

HDI Stops Construction Repair Work at the Highway 3 Cayuga Bridge

Considering that the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) and their enforcement and extortion arm the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) have been frustrated by the fact that the Ontario Provincial Government will not play ball with them (hand over the deed to the Douglas Creek Estates property), it is not in the least surprising that they would initiate some action to get the attention of the Province.  The action by the HCCC Men's Fire blocking Highway 6 on the 4th and 5th of October 2014 under the pretend reason of demanding an inquiry into the missing and murdered aboriginal women, failed miserably.  So some other approach was expected - and now a month after their botched efforts, the HCCC affiliates are at it again.  The focus this time, the Grand River Navigation Company tow path and the Grand River river bed claim revived.  The target:  The Cayuga Bridge along Highway 3 now under major repair work.  The action:  A work stoppage.

In the online version of "The Sachem" is an article entitled, HDI issues press release in regards to Cayuga Bridge as seen here,  we learn that, the HDI have issued a press release as follows:

Cayuga Bridge work stops Ontario fails to consult

CAYUGA-The Ministry of Transportation has been put on notice and construction work on the Cayuga Bridge spanning the Grand River came to a halt Tuesday (November 3 2014) morning after workers were told Ontario had failed to engage with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) on a bridge that encroaches on Haudenosaunee tow path lands and the bed of the Grand River.

Since I have done extensive research into the Indian Affairs (RG10) Series at the National Archives, I can assure readers that there is no valid tow path or River bed claim.  It exists only in the minds of the HCCC supporters for whom evidence is never needed, only belief in the validity of something, or the belief that they can get away with gross distortions of reality since they will not likely be challenged on their assertions.  Also, it is not the HCCC who has the mandate to deal with either the Ontario Provincial Government or the Federal Government - that role is by law assigned to the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC).  The latter simply give way to the former since the Six Nations community is divided on which body is the "legitimate" governing unit for the Reserve.  The HDI claims moral authority, and an atavistic return to romanticized Stone Age conceptualizations in the modern world.  The damage caused by the HDI and their precursors is immense.  The horrors and acts of terrorism seen during and after the violent take over ("reclamation") of private property at the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) in 2006 is a classic example.  As the HDI became formalized, it emerged as the strong arm of the HCCC and would initiate work stoppages at developments on lands that it considered "unceded".  Since the Courts were not willing to tolerate criminal acts, and since the written evidence showed that by 1849 all of the lands outside the present day Reserve had been legally surrendered so that the monies could be places in the Six Nations Trust Account, they have occasionally been willing to act in work stoppages.  Thus in 2010 Judge Harrison Arrell of the Superior Court in Brantford fined the HDI members and supporters $385,000 for engaging in work stoppages involving land development.  This has not stopped the HDI (who are funded by extracting money from naieve land developers and industrial wind turbine corporations) from continuing with their illegal practices which have absolutely no regard whatsoever for the residents of Brant and Haldimand Counties. 

A number of my postings to this blog have explored the matter of bogus land claims.  SNEC has agreed with Federal Government researchers that any remaining claims are about fiscal irregularities in matters stretching back 170 years and which were never questioned by the Chiefs who signed the surrenders or their descendants.  That is to say, until the time was ripe for manipulating the public and increased radicalization that had been evident since the "Oka Crisis" of the 1980s and the "Ipperwash Incident" of the 1990s.  It is with a sense of entitlement that the HCCC, despite their lack of any official status, have attempted to foist their view of "reality" on both their own community and the general public (including the Federal and Provincial Governments).  Due to the factionalism within the Six Nations community, SNEC frequently gives in to the HCCC and allows them to take the lead in lost causes (e.g., the return of supposedly unceded land). 

Returning to the "press release", and again quoting from the article in "The Sachem", we see further details:

The Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) the HCCC’s development department, has been attempting to engage with the Ministry of Transportation for the past three (3) years with respect to MTO Projects which are impairing rights in areas of HCCC jurisdiction.

Despite repeated requests for a good faith engagement process the MTO has refused to sit down in good faith and consider the impact of MTO Projects on Haudenosaunee rights and interests, says HDI legal adviser Aaron Detlor.

Instead, he said, the Ontario Liberals would rather “cost the province’s manufacturing and construction industry tens of millions of dollars in work stoppages, shut downs and court costs as their failure to engage pushes the projects and Haudenosaunee into direct conflict”.

It seems that the HDI is able to make any false claim it choses and somehow the Ontario Government is expected to react.  Since it is a Federal Government responsibility the actions seem more geared toward getting the attention of the Provincial Government which has refused to negotiate with the HCCC without the legal party representing Six Nations, SNEC, being present.  HDI will have none of that.  They refuse to sit at any negotiating table with SNEC who they see as usurpers.  So when both the Federal and Provincial Government throw up their hands in disgust since they legally cannot deal with HDI or any other HCCC party without the legally mandated representatives of the Six Nations community, is it any wonder?

The work stoppages as noted have in the past resulted in fines against the perpetrators - although the fines have been reduced by negotiation.  At this point the present author is unclear as to who has paid how much in the above noted Court proceedings.  It is absolutely crystal clear however, that it is not the fault of the Federal or Provincial Governments (the HDI, because they want the deed to the DCE property placed in their hands, are now focusing on the latter) but the perpetrators in the form of the HDI and their thugs.

The legal representative of the HDI then said, after claiming that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation acknowledged the Six Nations claim (which I doubt very much), that, “the refusal of the MTO to deal in good faith has meant that the Haudenosaunee must now exercise their rights in and around the Cayuga Bridge project until the MTO is prepared to halt construction and sit down in good faith to begin discussions to determine if the Haudenosaunee are prepared to grant consent to allow MTO to proceed.”  So what are the Six Nations "rights".  Apparently this includes work stoppages.  Once again a completely uncreative and unproductive in the long run tactic of the HCCC supporters, and done with complete disregard to the innocent citizens whose lives will be negatively impacted. 

At Cayuga the geographical situation is such that the HDI thugs cannot expect reinforcement to stream in from the Reserve as they have in any actions in Caledonia (which is more proximal to the Reserve).  The protesters would be isolated, and with a large OPP detachment in Cayuga it should be a simple matter to enforce the law fairly and without prejudice by apprehending the protesters, jailing them, then by the Courts issuing stiff fines sufficient to act as a deterrent to any contemplated future actions of this nature.  Of course the question is once again, will the OPP continue to operate under a two - tiered policing arrangement with one set of rules and standards for the residents of Haldimand, and another (the kid glove treatment) for those who are defined as "aboriginal" (although are nothing of the sort any more than the Loyalist settlers who came to the Cayuga area as refugees in 1784 one year before the Six Nations Loyalist refugees arrived on the Grand River in 1785).  Six Nations are in a sense aboriginal to Upstate New York but only from about 900 AD according to the archaeological evidence.  This has all be discussed at length in previous postings.

The HDI representative then says,  “The HDI deeply regrets the failure of the MTO to come to the table in good faith and any inconveniences that MTO’s conduct will cause to the people of Haldimand County. We hope that the HDI and MTO will be able to sit down in a mediated process in the near future to resolve the failure of MTO to uphold the honour of the crown.”  This cynical statement is without a doubt said to mitigate the inevitable backlash (they have never before shown an ounce of concern for local residents).  It is not the Crown involved here - they are directly affecting the lives (once again) of the residents of Haldimand County (one wonders how much more tolerance will be bankable here), and are targeting the Ontario Government not the Federal Government (Crown).

The next statement is, A Communications protocol framework between the Haudenosaunee and Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs has been in limbo since June. It was the first in a series of established processes for the Ontario government, as part of the Crown, in how Ontario and the Haudenosaunee will relate to each other, with its basis in the Two Row Wampum.  There are two matters that need comment here.

First, it is now clear that what the HDI are talking about is the intransigence of the Ontario Government in dealing with the HCCC without the participation of SNEC (the legal representatives of the Six Nations community).  They want the deed to the DCE property which is in the hands of the Provincial Government, particularly so since the HDI have spent a lot of money constructing a chain link fence and a decorative gate blocking Surrey Street in Caledonia (all illegally done).  This is the real issue, the claim about tow path lands is just a ruse.

They also say, in their "press release", that, Ontario instead of returning to the communications table have unilaterally established a new table that appears to include the Six Nations Band Council and Haldimand County Council and attempts to bring the Haudenosaunee Confederacy under the Indian Act system.  This is proof positive as to what I have been asserting, in other words that the HCCC here want Ontario to give up using the legal approach and decide on their own that the true representatives of Six Nations are the Hereditary Council that has been in existence since the Stone Age, but which as the modern age dawned showed that they were not up to the task and became completely dysfunctional such that the Mohawk Workers and other progressive elements at Six Nations pleaded with the Federal Government to install an elected system - which after much debate was done in 1924.

Secondly, referring to the "Two Row Wampum" is another of the many fantasies believed at Six Nations but which cannot be supported by anything remotely resembling evidence.  So the reality here is constructed, it is merely a perception - but we all know that perception is reality.  In fact the Two Row Wampum is entirely constructed of bogus "evidence".  The concept of the European "settlers" being in a boat and the Six Nations people being in a canoe and that both travel side by side without interfering with each other is unsupported.  The document which allegedly underpins it was found by the brother of one VanLoon at New Credit in the past Century and has been shown by academics to be a mixture of Colonial and modern Dutch - a forgery and a fake.  It is at best a trade agreement (not a treaty) signed by two Dutch colonists and four apparently Mohawk individuals in 1613.  So the document cannot be show to be valid, then what about the other piece of "evidence", the wampum belt.  At some point in time a wampum belt from the 19th Century surfaced and its two purple rows of beads on a background of white beads was interpreted (in modern times) as representing a ship and a canoe.  At this point a story came into being about the supposed agreement and it representing the immutable relationship between the English Crown (although the document was signed only by two Dutch traders) and the Six Nations people.  They are likely confusing this with the valid "Covenant Chain of friendship" concept that can be traced to 1676 and is well documented.  However here the relationship is focused on the hegemony of the Crown and the acknowledgement of Six Nations that their Great Father the King of England was the ruler of all in the colony of New York.  When the Six Nations came to Ontario as refugees after the Revolutionary War I can find no evidence of any "Two Row Wampum" agreement.  It is only in the 1900s when it was created.

So here we go again, except that the major impact of the illegal acts will be in Cayuga not Caledonia.  It is unclear as of now whether the HDI will block all traffic on the bridge at Cayuga, which would cause chaos and millions of dollars.  The citizens of Cayuga have never rallied to the defense of those of us in Caledonia so I wish them good luck as they begin to find out what we have had to endure - then maybe we can act together with all of the residents of Haldimand County to defeat these terrorists - that is if the police are unable or unwilling to do their jobs.  The HDI do not wish to negotiate except when they are guaranteed a certain outcome.  All they understand is the application of the law - although clearly they think that they should be immune, and that they can get away with criminal acts here as they have time and again in both Haldimand and Brant Counties. 

Perhaps you would like to ask yourself a question.  If the HDI "land protectors" or "warriors" have enough time on their hands to enforce work stoppages, what is their means of supporting themselves?

The bottom line here is, why should the construction crew listen to HDI thugs.  If they need police protection call the OPP who are two minutes away.  No one needs to obey a group of thugs who represent a rogue group at Six Nations.  The workers need to get back to their jobs and quit enabling the HDI and legitimizing their bully behavior.