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.