Thursday, 29 October 2015

Opportunist Ambulance Chasers Try to Scam More Money from the Government over Residential Schools Etc.

In an article entitled Compensation for Sixties Scoop and Day School Abuse, found in "Two Row Times", 28 October 2015, p.4, we learn that some law firm proposes that there are "victims of Canada's assimilation policies through residential schools and other legislative bodies that have fallen through the cracks when it comes to financial compensation".  The solution .............. a class action law suit to grab more money from the Canadian taxpayer.  Perhaps the election of Trudeau has opened the door to attempts to fleece the taxpayer that never would have flown under the Harper administration.

I have spoken many times in this blog about how controversial the Residential Schools matter is at Six Nations.  Many stepped forward to tell stories of supposed woes, garner the sympathy of whoever holds the purse strings, and obtained "compensation" for the pain and suffering they supposedly endured.  The party line says that you must all agree that this happened everywhere, not just in remote communities up north, no it was endemic and so all Residential Schools must be tarred with the same brush.  The approach worked well at Six Nations with the publication of a book entitled "The Mush Hole", pertaining to the Mohawk Institute in Brantford (actually on the Six Nations Reserve even to this day).  However if one looks at the objective facts, and speaks to respected elders who were there and whose stories have NOT been told, you will hear a very different scenario.  I have said on more than one occasion, while most will not speak against the party line at "inquiries" and the like, they will to insiders.  The most succinct statement of the reality was told to me in this way:  "At home we were beaten, had nothing to eat and learned nothing; at school we were beaten, had 3 meals a day, and learned something".  To deny these stories is to try to shape the past to fit the common myth - and the truth be damned.  Not only this, but most of the teachers at Six Nations in past years were taught at the Mohawk Institute - the story is now so distorted that most are inclined to listen only to those who relay their perceptions of the horrors they claim to have experienced - all other versions are suppressed.

So now some might say that a group of fly by night ambulance chasers are proposing to squeeze more money out of perceived abusers because it is possible that some at Six Nations may have not received enough or even any compensation.  Add in something called "Sixties Scoop" and "Day School abuse" where half of the students went home at night, but "were subject to the same life altering abuse as well", and you have the makings of a fine class action law suit.  What many seem to fail to realize that many of us across Canada had a rough time at school - it was not only Indian children who experienced brutality at school.  I was bullied and abused at Day School - that was indeed the experience of half or more of kids at school in the 50s and 60s, and even into the 80s.  I still carry the physical and emotional scars.  It was the times, and I don't want a dime in "compensation".  The times have changed for the better and methods instituted to ensure what I went through will be far less likely to be foisted on some poor youngster today.  Unfortunately there is a group of whiners and complainers who have no ambition and put the blame on everyone and everything but themselves for any misfortunes.  A suggestion here would be to take some responsibility and realize that *%it happens and it is how you deal with it that makes you strong - not blood money.

These legal eagles say, as you hear on TV all the time with lawyers offering their personal injury services, that we "will only be paid if you win your case based on a percentage of compensation paid to the client".  A cynic here might say that what the lawyers are hyping is that, "you too can also be compensated for 'cultural genocide' and assorted ills, it merely requires you to step forward and sign on the dotted line - what do you have to lose?

It would not be surprising if some would feel contempt for those involved in such questionable actions for monetary gain.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Continued Threats by HDI and HCCC - Claims of Treaty Rights Etc. Now Recognized as Myths and Fairy Tales - The HDI Outlandish Assertions Fall on Deaf Ears

Well, unsurprisingly, it seems that the once powerful and influential Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), which claimed to speak for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC), the Hereditary Council replaced by the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) in 1924, is about to sail into the sunset and sink under the weight of its own rhetoric and changing times.

It would not be an understatement to say the not only residents of Caledonia, but also the Provincial and Federal Governments, and even the HCCC itself are getting sick of, or losing faith in, the HDI, which emerged after the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) / Kanonhstaton reclamation / theft and the brutality, arson and anti - social behaviour  on the part of many Six Nations members as the activist - militant group self proclaimed to speak for Six Nations on any matter dealing with "unsurrendered" land (that was in fact sold 170 years ago), and bogus "treaty rights".  People are now starting to catch on - rhetoric (attended with non - transparency) and not fact is all they have to offer.

Here I will summarize my take on the events of the last three weeks as seen in the "Sachem", "Turtle Island News" and Two Row Times" newspapers.  There is no need here to provide, as I have in all other postings, complete references.  The data can be found in the above three newspapers, and in my numerous postings (complete with photographic copies of the actual original documents) below.

Recent Events:  HDI is upset because the Province will not negotiate or accommodate or consult with them (or the HCCC) on the following matters:

1)  Completing the repairs of the Cayuga Bridge (which the HDI shut down in 2014).  The Province maintains that the legally constituted authority to negotiate with them is SNEC - and they are absolutely correct.  If the HDI wants to be included they will need to work out things through with SNEC or risk Six Nations be seen as a community divided (which it is), and lose all credibility.

2)  Then there is the mega 3000 plus residential homes project along McClung Road to create, eventually, a "second Caledonia" equal in size to the present community.  Personally I believe that this would be a disaster, what with one bridge (which also desperately needs to be replaced) and a traffic nightmare on Argyle Street at any time of the day which would rival what one would find anywhere in Los Angeles - and to double the trouble with twice the vehicles crossing the one bridge!  So I would love to see this ill conceived project grind to a halt, but the HDI does not have the clout to do it.  They tried, using as a pretext the assertion that the archaeology was not properly done.  Actually it was.  I am very familiar with ASI (Archaeological Services, Incorporated) and they have followed the letter of the law on the matter and have brought in monitors from Six Nations and New Credit - just not the HDI monitors (whose training is questionable and whose demands for payment are embarrassing).  At any rate consultation with Aboriginal Communities is a guideline not a standard of practice in archaeology - so by having monitors from both New Credit and Six Nations (just not those with HDI approval) they are actually doing more than is required.

3)  A similar situation is brewing at the Tutela Heights residential development project in Brant County.

A Major Problem for the HDI:  There is no law or legal precedent or even requirement that HDI be involved in any way.  HDI maintains that only they have the connection to the Crown and the governance body which is legitimate.  That is only true in a fairy tale world.  They say that everything in not only the Haldimand Tract, but Southwestern Ontario is "Treaty land", coming under the supposed "Nanfan Treaty of 1701" and the "Haldimand Proclamation".  They even trot out the "Two Row Wampum" arrangement of 1613 to bolster their argument.  The problem here is that not one of these entities gives Six Nations any claim to lands beyond the 45,000 plus acres which now comprise the Six Nations Reserve in Tuscarora, Oneida and Onondaga Townships.  As I have shown over and over with all the original supporting documentation - the Six Nations claims are a myth, and nothing more.  Taking each in turn:

1)  The Nanfan document of 1701 is nothing more than a request by 20 Five Nations chiefs that their Sovereign Lord the King of England grant them beaver hunting rights on lands in Southwestern Ontario.  A couple of problems here.  The document was never given the seal of the then Governor of New York, John Nanfan; nor was it given the Privy Council Seal in England.  It is not a treaty, it is a request.  Secondly, the Five Nations had no right to request anything in this particular geographical region.  After the Five Nations had committed acts of genocide to remove the Wyandotte (Huron), Attiwandaronk (Neutral) and other tribes in the area between 1642 and 1649, by 1696 the Mississauga and their allies had destroyed 8 Haudenosaunee settlements north of Lake Ontario and had taken the lands by conquest from the Five Nations.  No group can negotiate for lands that do not belong them.

2)  The Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 is not in any legal sense what the HDI is claiming.  Southwestern Ontario was Mississauga land in 1784 when Governor Sir Frederick Haldimand purchased the land along the Grand River and allowed the Six Nations and their allies to settled upon these lands, but the title to the lands was vested in the Crown.

3)  Going from the sublime to the ridiculous is the supposed "Two Row Wampum" treaty or agreement of 1613.  Somewhere, perhaps on the present Onondaga Reserve near Syracuse NY, is a document written in old Dutch supposedly in 1613, but of highly suspect provenance, which is a trade agreement between two Dutchmen (only one of whom can be identified), and four Mohawks whose status is unclear.  There is nothing whatsoever to suggest that it is a treaty, nor do the signators have authority to make any such arrangement.  Somehow this questionable piece of paper became linked to a wampum belt that has two purple rows set on a background of white wampum (shell beads).  Its age is unknown,  Its provenance is unknown.  Its meaning is unknown.  However, I would venture to say that many to most at Six Nations believe that this is a valid arrangement between the Crown (despite it being signed long before England took New Netherlands in 1664), and that each purple row represents a vessel - one being a canoe (the Five, later Six, Nations) and the other a ship (the Dutch and later the British Crown).  Boiling down the supposed meaning (there being nothing objective to support it) is that the canoe and the ship were to sail independently on their own course not interfering with each other, but interacting to their mutual benefit as befit the circumstances.  Sorry not a shred of evidence, but the belief is strong to this day and data or evidence take a back seat to what is believed to be the case - which is also held out as "proof" of a sovereignty arrangement between Six Nations and the Crown - which in fact it does nothing of the sort.

Serious Problems Facing the HDI:  So now the HDI is being left out of any consultation process on the bridges along the Grand River, Developments such as the McClung Road Development near Caledonia, and most recently the Tutela Heights Development in Brant County.  The Government and the developers are holding their ground this time and in the case of the McClung Development, they have obtained an injunction (Cayuga Court) such that any interference with the project will result in the Ontario Provincial Police being called and the protesters being charged with trespass if they try to impede the developers.  This is more or less what happened with DCE, so what is different this time - two things basically.  In addition to the fact that the HDI has no legal authority there are some other difficulties they will inevitably face.

First, at long last the County, and the "Little Crown" (Ontario) and the "Big Crown" (Federal Government) are playing hard ball and turning to the law which says they only need to consider any negotiations with SNEC as the proper representatives of the Six Nations people.  That is the law.

Second, one might ask why it is not likely that another 2006 take over event will occur at either McClung or Tutela Heights.  In a word, geography.

What those who do not live here would not realize is that the DCE property at the south end of Caledonia is within a few minutes of the Reserve and that by driving down 6th Line and taking the dirt road before Argyle Street (old Highway 6) Six Nations reinforcements could stream down to the site in seconds without having to pass through more than a few farms enroute to the protest site.  Taking McClung as an example, they would have to find their way to Argyle Street and then get locked in traffic like the rest of us trying to cross the bridge.  Even closer access is Stirling Street Bridge which at one time brought traffic from the Reserve to Argyle Street near the Bridge - but that went up in flames during an episode of arson during the 2006 take over of DCE - and it is doubtful that it will ever be rebuilt.

Chiefswood Bridge off Highway 54 (Sutherland Street in Caledonia paralleling the Grand River and leading to McClung about a mile east of the lights) is another access point - but distant.  Either way the OPP would have ample opportunity to "discourage" and "disperse" - something not available to them in the 2006 crisis.  So in this instance the "phone tree" and social media would not be particularly helpful, and only the most dedicated of souls would venture into such uncertainty where they would not have their neighbours and kinfolk streaming down right behind them.  The OPP could send them on "detours" that would highly discourage any organized agglomeration of Six Nations radicals.  Here the OPP would be in a position to "shine" and perhaps redeem themselves in the eyes of local residents - something that surely is in their awareness.  Any hearty souls who did make it to McClung would probably be met with a lot of angry Caledonians who would be in a position to block the exit of the protesters, and give the OPP the opportunity to arrest the leaders and clip off the head of the snake.  All entirely different from the dynamics of 2006.

Also, it has become apparent to many at Six Nations that 2006 created a public relations nightmare and deep wounds.  It is questionable whether there would be the same level of support for an event of that nature in 2015 - just as things are beginning to normalize.

Basically the HDI have been partially declawed and defanged, and whatever they do they are likely to run into a "roadblock".  Even on the Reserve they are under intense scrutiny by those who see them as lacking in any transparency, and making decisions on their own without Council (HCCC) approval.  These are not halcion days for the HDI - these times were in the past.  Perhaps some are coming to realize that in order to survive, even the HCCC is going to have to change.  Nothing can stay the same from Stone Age times.  That is not the way the modern world works - it is more along the lines of adapt or become obsolete and fall by the wayside.  This is the danger that the HCCC faces unless it changes to meet the challenges of the times.  The HDI would drag them back to maladaptive ways and along paths to meet their ultimate demise. Clearly if HDI is to play a role in the Six Nations community it will need to also change - what it is doing is not working - to continue in this way is called perseveration which is a clear sign of pathology.


Friday, 25 September 2015

More Threats by Men's Fire, This Time to "Shut Down" Enbridge Pipeline Work

Well, if it isn't Highway 6, it will be something else.  In what seems to be a rather pathetic attempt to keep themselves "relevant", Men's Fire have decided that they must be consulted or dire consequences will ensue.  Of course the target is not some trailer park in Drumbo, but the mega wealthy Enbridge's number 9 oil pipeline.  The route of the pipeline is shown below:

A close up view of the above would show that Line 9b does not dip anywhere below Highway 403.  In other words it does not pass through Six Nations Territory.  However, that is of no concern to Men's Fire and like minds - through some twisted logic Six Nations still has a stake in lands that they sold 150 or more years ago.

One issue that will surface, because it always does, is that this is aboriginal land.  It is not.  The Haldimand Tract was granted to Six Nations for their use, but the title is vested and is still vested in the Crown.  The fact that Six Nations have no business to put their noses in matters outside of IR 40 the Six Nations Reserve just simply will not sink in - largely because their claims go unchallenged.  No one in Government (Provincial or Federal) has the guts to come out and say to Six Nations that, "you alienated all rights, title and deed to these lands 200 years ago and do not have any legal standing relating to the lands in this area".  No one in authority seems willing to tell the truth and challenge the thugs who insist that if they don't get their way, all hell will break loose.  It is total insanity, but welcome to politically correct Canada.

In "Turtle Island News" of 23 September 2015 is an article entitled, Enbridge in talks with Six Nations Men's Fire over Line 9 (p.7).  Here we are informed that Men's Fire wish to be informed about "pipeline safety and integrity digs" - routine operations for Enbridge.  Recently members of Men's Fire met with representatives of Enbridge, in Brantford, to talk about spill safety regarding the company's plan to reverse the flow of oil in its Line 9B pipeline that runs through Haudenosaunee Territory.

Two concerns immediately come to the fore.  First, as noted, Six Nations have absolutely no rights relating to what Enbridge does or does not do.  Secondly, we are on the verge of hypocrisy here when Men's Fire concern themselves with matters that are actually providing a safe means of transport of oil near Six Nations lands.  Surely they are aware that oil rumbles across the aged railway bridge every day on tracks that I, based on personal inspection, would say are "marginal".  What if the whole trainload hit a defective spot in the tracks and all the tanker cars ended up in the Grand River one mile east of the Six Nations Reserve?  This scenario is better than a well maintained pipeline which, by comparison to railway transport, is many times more safe and secure.  The big picture seems to elude Men's Fire.  They are well aware that the railway which runs through the area where the Stirling Street Bridge was until it was torched by Six Nations activists in 2006 (and has not, and will not be repaired).  The political fall out of addressing anything to do with the railway makes it an unlikely target at present.  No one ever seems to think of the monumental environmental disaster which is immanent on their doorstep, but would rather focus on politically expedient topics like pipelines where there is already a host of militant groups that will provide them with support.

Men's Fire question, 'Who gave them the authority to go through our territories?' He [B.M.] said there needs to be an emergency management team in place, manned by Six Nations [presumably paid by Enbridge] people, in case of a spill.  'The people here in the community; they're the ones who know the layout of the land.  They know the medicines it (an oil spill) could harm.  They know how it could impact the environment.  Our people know that.'  Really, the average Six Nations person has the expertise to address the effects of an oil spill - how did that come about?  Who knows the "layout of the land" in the area north of Highway 403?  There are "regular Canadians" who would be in a far better position to have the knowledge to cooperate effectively with Enbridge.  Six Nations has a serious problem with the environment on the Reserve - perhaps that should be addressed before claiming some sort of magical expertise to understand the impact of a potential oil spill outside of their own land.

Of course, Men's Fire get to the threats.  They told Enbridge that if they don't comply with Men's Fire, they'd shut down the reversal project.  That would be an illegal act, and if anyone had any guts they would simply obtain a Court Injunction and have the OPP arrest any who violate the terms of the Injunction.  Line 9 is a long way from "reinforcements" available at the Reserve, so it may be a hollow threat - except for the fact that corporations have been known to comply with Men's Fire or HDI (Haudenosaunee Development Institute) since it is politically risky to challenge Indians, the perceived "guardians of the land" (take a trip to the Reserve and see the reality about how well the term "guardians of the land" fits).

Then, enter factionalism.  Men's Fire have not been paid for this "required" work.  However, B.M., was under the assumption that HDI (Haudenosaunee Development Institute) did get consulting fees (from Endridge).  In other words payola has already crossed palms, but Men's Fire did not see any of it.  The Director of the HDI denies that any negotiations with Enbridge have taken place, and notes that Men's Fire have not contacted them about the matter of acting in the role of an emergency management plans.  The finger of blame was also pointed at the group of Six Nations working with developer Steve Charest (whose project is at Eagle's Nest in Brantford).

As to Enbridge, they noted that the integrity digs have already been completed.

All in all, plenty of blame in relation to a non - issue, once again stirring up the simmering pot at Six Nations.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Rifts within the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council and the Disruptive Role of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute - Updates

What follows is essentially a follow up to the recent posting found here.

In the 5 August 2015 issue of Two Row Times (TRT), there are two items of interest.  There is little use in providing an edited version here when TRT is online and easily accessed.

1)  Article: Disruption at Confederacy Council during HDI report.  See here.

The article provides the most recent examples of the rifts emerging within the HCCC, largely due to the antics of the HDI including "rudely" interrupting and breaching protocol as well as the usual lack of transparency allegations.

2)  Letter to the Editor: Council Observations.  See here.

The author repeats the concerns expressed above, and notes the "one sided 'reporting' on it in a certain local newspaper".  Gosh, I wonder what newspaper that would be - since there is only TRT and one other.  The frustration and anger of the writer is clearly in evidence.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Sovereignty and Hypocrisy

Well, the previous blog posting discussing "inconsistency" in relation to the use of the sovereignty concept at Six Nations, and alluded to some hypocrisy in the way it all plays out.  No more alluding - we can now use the word hypocrisy full bore.  In what has to be at the very least a completely embarrassing (to some) and classic example of the "do as we say, not as we do" philosophy, we find that the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) at the center of yet another controversy.  Here from the git go they have been preaching (without evidence) that "we are a sovereign people and need not consult with either the Federal Government nor the Ontario Provincial Government".  They have consistently maintained that they are the true representatives of the Six Nations community, and that they are not Canadians, but Haudenosaunee people.  Of course this does not stop them from taking all the goodies (e.g., grants, transfer payments) that can be got from both the Canadian and Ontario governments legally available only on the basis of being citizens of Canada.  They claim that Ontario has no jurisdiction over lands that they decide (with no evidence) belong to Haudenosaunee people (e.g., the Douglas Creek Estates which their thugs have "reclaimed"), and no longer belong in the Ontario Land Registry system, but one of their own creation - the "Haudeosaunee Land Registry").  They maintain that if they deem it in their best interests to speak to Ottawa or Toronto, then it is on a nation to nation basis as they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Government of Ontario as having any role in Six Nations affairs.

Therefore, while it comes as absolutely no surprise to myself and other HDI "watchers", some, including the people they are supposed to represent, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) have been taken off guard with regard to certain recent HDI actions which were apparently done without consultation with the HCCC Chiefs and Clan Mothers.  Furthermore, these actions appear to be clearly hypocritical.

Reporters with the "Two Row Times" paper have unconvered some apparently "shady dealings" which call into question whether the HDI simply operates on principals of convenience, and seemingly those that will maximize the primary goal - the obtaining of as much money from as many sources as possible for the HDI, without any accountability.  In the interests of clarity, the present author will use large quotes from this TRT article of 22 July 2015 and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.  I suspect that those who have been following this blog over the years will just be shaking their heads in another, "you have got to be kidding" moment.  This time they may have seriously overstepped their bounds, and will be in for a lot of "explaining" (again) to their parent body, the HCCC.  There are already significant "rumblings of discontent", and these may ultimately coalesce into a storm - although the HDI have been very "slippery" and been able to find their way back into the good graces of the people of Six Nations as they have on and off since 2006. Something of a Teflon group to deal with, but to date they have always managed to land on their feet.  Here follow some relevant quotes, all with grey background and directly from TRT.

SIX NATIONS – A recent Corporate Profile Report confirms that the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) is operating as a numbered corporation, registered under the jurisdiction of Ontario as ‘2438543 Ontario Inc.’.
Two Row Times obtained documents showing land was purchased on Pauline Johnson Road, just outside the borders of the Six Nations Reserve. The April 2015 purchase occurred between a Brant County resident and a corporation named only as ‘2438543 Ontario Inc.’.
Local residents near the Pauline Johnson Road property informed the TRT that the land had been “sold to HDI”.
Copies of the land transfer given to TRT did not name HDI, but instead listed a corporation with the same mailing address as HDI.
An online search through the Ministry of Government Services listed ‘2438543 Ontario Inc.’ as a “Corporation under the jurisdiction of Ontario”. Hazel Hill is noted as the Director of the Corporation, which was launched in October of 2014, and identifies Hill as a Canadian resident.
Additional research confirmed that on May 27, 2015 a change was submitted to the corporate structure: adding Aaron Detlor as Secretary and Brian Doolittle as President. Both men are also at the core of HDI and are listed on the document as Canadian residents.
HDI has publicly stated numerous times they have been “legislated” by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) as the “administrative arm” of the community’s traditional governing body.
However, since the formation of the Confederacy the Haudenosaunee people have stood on the grounds of sovereignty – not being under the jurisdiction of Ontario and that the Haudenosaunee people are not Canadians.
HDI has also publicly condemned the Elected Council as a merely an extension of the federal government, further declaring the Confederacy is the legitimate self-governing body of Haudenosaunee people of the Grand River Territory.
Employees of HDI have insisted they are only operating under the leadership of the HCCC. HDI lawyer Aaron Detlor recently addressed the question of why he is on Six Nations, saying, “…because the Confederacy has asked me to do that work. The Chief’s Council asked me to do the work, so I do the work. I do negotiations. I draft agreements.”
HDI has also very publicly stated that registering land under the HDI, would protect and preserve Six Nations sovereignty by not requiring registration under the Ontario Realty Corp.
TRT emailed HDI to seek clarification regarding the formation of this corporation operating out of the HDI office at the GREAT building in Ohsweken.
HDI media director and publisher of the Turtle Island News, Lynda Powless, responded to those questions, saying that at the November 2014 meeting of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, the formation of this corporation “was publicly discussed and a full description given and HCCC approval received (Dec. 24th).”
Profile reports for the numbered corporation however, state that the corporation was formed on October 20, 2014; before Powless said the approval was given.
Six Nations residents, clan mothers and chiefs the TRT has spoken to seem to know nothing about the corporation and were upset when shown the corporate profile.
TRT has also obtained copies of a letter written by HDI Director Hazel Hill, showing that despite several Canada-wide protests over the controversial Enbridge Pipeline, HDI has engaged with Enbridge to seek some form of financial restitution in exchange for their support. 
This information points to the possibility that much of what HDI does is for its own enhancement in the jockeying for power that is the undercurrent playing out there.  It suggests that it is all about the MONEY, and the disposition of the money (who gets what) is unknown since HDI will not open their books.

The hypocrisy part enters the picture when you look at the "ideals" of the HDI (sovereignty being non - negotiable), versus their "actions" (backing off the sovereignty dogma is fine when convenient).  So they are not Canadians unless their are funds and perks that can accrue by claiming Canadian status; and they are anti - pipeline unless the pipeline corporation is willing to cough up some cash then the whole matter quietly is shuffled to the side.  I am sure that many people believe that this cannot possibly be true, there must be an explanation that keeps the HDI shining as a beacon for Haudenosaunee sovereignty and for being in the forefront of environmental awareness.  If so, where is the evidence?  They say they will open the books, but then put so many stipulations about say clan membership and so on such that no one is going to be able to meet the criteria and have access to the full range of books.  "Trust me" they say.  It reminds me of an old Al Greene song, "The Snake" - about a kindly person who took in a cold and hungry snake and it ended up biting her with its venomous fangs, and as the woman was dying the snake said , "what did you expect, I am a snake".  Alas the woman did not see that early enough and was far too trusting - and paid the ultimate price.


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sovereignty, Haudenosaunee Passports, and Inconsistency

This posting was triggered by an article in "Two Row Times", 15 July 2015, p.4, entitled, Haudenosaunee U-19 women will not travel on a foreign passport.  Before addressing the specifics of this article, it is necessary to explore the facts in relation to the assumption that would lead some at Six Nations to consider a Canadian passport to be a "foreign" one.

As bizarre as it may seem to many in say the United States, there are separatist movements in Canada.  The one which has received the most publicity is the separatists in Quebec.  Basically, there are a large number of Quebecois, largely those of old stock French Canadian ancestry, who want their own country.  In other words they want to separate from Canada and form their own country.  I can recall from childhood the emergence of the Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ).  The movement begun in 1963, involving such acts as bombing mailboxes, came to a head in the October 1970 ("the October Crisis") when the Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte, and British Trade Commissioner James Cross were kidnapped, and the former murdered.  With the resultant application of the War Measures Act (supported by the vast majority of Canadians), those Canadians living in Quebec and Ottawa for some months got used to having armed troops wandering our streets.  They were welcome to the Anglophone minority in Quebec who felt very threatened.  The senseless murder sealed the fate of the separatist movement for a time - but it never disappeared, although the militancy was much attenuated.  The movement shifted gears to become more political and formed the Parti Quebecois (PQ) which came into power during the 1976 Quebec election, defeating the incumbent Liberals and leaving the rest of Canada feeling that the country was about to fragment, and uncertainty became endemic.  In 1980 the PQ established a referendum for what they termed "sovereignty - association", however this initiative was soundly defeated - although during their term of office they enacted Bill 101 the "notorious" "Language Law" which is a red flag for many Canadians to this day (the "language police" are an all too real entity).  Referendums followed in 1985 and in 1995 - again, each went down to defeat, although the latter by less than one percentage point.  Later the Bloc Quebecois (or simply, "the Bloc") emerged at the Federal level and put forward an agenda that was hauntingly similar to what was seen with the PQ.

The supporters of independence have failed to consider the fact that Canadians would do everything in their power to make it difficult for Quebec to succeed in promoting their "romantic but unrealistic" viewpoint.  Canada would be unlikely to allow the perceived traitors to share its currency, consular offices, and on and on.  Furthermore the pro independence group underestimate the can of worms that would be opened.  The aboriginal groups stated they would never agree to an independent Quebec.  For example the Mistassini Cree, Kahnawake Mohawks, and other First Nations groups polled showed that over 95% wished to remain in Canada.  They have made it abundantly clear that they have agreements with Canada, and would do everything in their power to stand in the way of the independence movement.

While the assertion by many Six Nations of being a "sovereign nation" is not precisely the same as the situation in Quebec, the latter provides a relevant background or comparison point for a discussion of the "Six Nations version of sovereignty".

As I have noted many times, the concept that Six Nations are a sovereign people is a fiction, fueled by a fabricated document which is only a 1613 trade agreement with the Dutch and uninterpretable wampum belt (Two Row Wampum).  The second underpinning of this false assumption is a bogus "treaty" which is actually a gift of land with a request to retain hunting rights gifted by the then Five Nations to the King of territory not then owned by the Five Nations since it was taken from them by right of conquest by the Mississauga in 1696 (Nanfan "Treaty" of 1701).  There is nothing, except documents taken out of context, that could be used to support any claim that the Six Nations are a sovereign people.  In truth they acknowledged that they were subjects of the King of England and Great Britain, and their land tenure along the Grand River reflects this reality - the Haldimand Proclamation is a grant not in fee simple, but a document offering the Six Nations rights of occupancy of lands vested in the Crown.  See here for one of my articles on this subject.

This misconception, this twisting of history, has been in place since the Six Nations were acknowledged as allies of the Crown in the wars against France.  The word "allies" in the 18th Century context does not automatically invoke sovereignty - but that fact eludes many.

So we have Deskahe visiting the League of Nations in 1930, and various delegations at various times arguing that Six Nations were a sovereign people.  That has never been approved - only vague concepts of "rights to self - determination" by those who have no right to speak for the Nation of Canada within which Six Nations Territory is situated.  None the less, reality has never deterred factions at Six Nations who would assert that they are a sovereign people, and that their "nationhood" should be recognized by countries such as the United Kingdom or France or Botswana for example.  A "country" of about 23,000 is in theory feasible, but it would be a long road ahead to be accepted as such by the United Nations or any body charged with the responsibility of recognizing say the Czech Republic as a country after it broke away from Czechoslovakia, and earlier from the Soviet Union. One would be hard pressed to find any legitimate rationale for considering "Haudenosaunee" as anything but a region within Canada where people who call themselves Haudenosaunee reside.

In the above noted article in Two Row Times, we learn that, The U-19 Haudenosaunee Women's Lacrosse Team has dropped out of the World Field Lacrosse Championships which they were to compete in Edinburgh Scotland at the end of this month.  The reason, Haudenosaunee passports they were to travel on, were not acceptable according to Canadian, American and Scottish border crossing policies.

Consider the world we live in, with a very palpable terrorist threat resulting in stepped up security at every level, should this refusal be a surprise?  Entry into the UK is a privilege not a right.  It must be supported by documentation that can be validated through a computer based system that will allow customs agents to be satisfied that the individual does not pose a risk.  In other words, a foreign national who wishes to enter the UK or Canada or any other recognized country and has a criminal record which is equivalent to what is found in the Criminal Code of Canada will be barred admission.  The obvious necessity is to be able to access criminal records in the home country and Interpol.  An obvious problem is that Haudenosaunee is not a country, and at least since modern record keeping has been in place, can not in any way shape or form be considered to be a country.  So here someone or a group wishes to enter the UK but they are not from a recognized country.  There is also no evidence that their passport would meet even the most basic of security requirements such as holograms and other devices countries use to make counterfeiting very difficult.  Looking at the tattered example of a Haudenosaunee passport included in the TRT article, it would be hard to imagine the border agents not shaking their heads in disbelief in the UK.

While it is politically correct today to give "aboriginals" across the world special privileges (which many see as rights), this does not extend to the level of the ridiculous and absurd.  Anyone who has watched the show "Border Security" on DTour or National Geographic will realize the immense security issues that face agents in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Trying to imagine these first line defenders of the country trying to assess whether someone with a "dodgy" and unregistered Haudenosaunee passport is suitable for admission is a no brainer.  There is no way that the prospective entrant could conceivably be admitted on any basis whatsoever, hence they would be refused entry and turned back (placed on the next available flight to the country or origin).  A bit of a problem, there is no country called "Haudenosaunee".  This is an ethnic group residing within the borders of Canada and the United States, the latter two are recognized as countries world wide, but not elements within.

If Haudenosaunee was a "country" then where are the consulates?  What would happen if a Haudenosaunee citizen ran into difficulties overseas, to whom would they turn for assistance.  If they are saying that they are not Canadian, then there is no reason to expect any help from the Canadian Consulate.  They don't have their own currency or anything that would signal that they are an independent country.  There are no border check points at say the Chiefswood Bridge, or 4th Line or anywhere.  Haudenosaunee people do not have an International Airport.  They use Canadian infrastructure in getting to any major service such as a hospital.  They depend on tax dollars from the Ontario Provincial Government and the Canadian Federal Government to function (via Canadian taxpayers).  Haudenosaunee do not tax their own people for services such as fire and policing, the funds come from Canadian taxpayers.  They are entirely dependent on Canada for their existance.  None of this sounds in any way as if Haudenosaunee are a country.  Lets see what further information is provided by the above article about the stance taken by the women's lacrosse group.

It is stated that, The UK requires security standards that our Haudenosaunee passports do not meet, so they were willing to allow us to travel on Haudenosaunee passports along with a Canadian or American passport.  The Confederacy would not agree to this because we are not Canadian or American citizens.  The obvious question is, if you are not Canadian citizens, why are you willing to accept funding from a "foreign" country such as Canada so that you can have municipal services?  Apparently the Confederacy boils things down to the fact that there is a, lack of recognition of our Haudenosaunee peoples as a sovereign nation by some countries.  I think that should read "all" countries.  Then the old chestnut about Turtle Island and having always been a separate, sovereign nation is brought to the surface.  The spokesperson for the lacrosse team stated how proud they were of the stand taken by the team, which is a, proud statement for Haudenosaunee sovereignty and national pride.

While some comments were sensible, of the "it is rather a shame that it came to this" variety, there were some off the wall extremist points of view expressed.  One columnist wrote, This is BS ........ There is fault to be laid here.  For the U.S., Canada and the UK to deny our people the right to freely travel without claiming their citizenship is a crime.  This violates the Human Rights Conventions ..........  Would it also be "BS" if the Basques demanded the right to enter the UK based on their Basque heritage rather than on Spanish or French citizenship.  It would never be accepted by any country in the world, so why should it be any different for the Haudenosaunee?

The article ends with a discussion of the Jay Treaty of 1794 which has absolutely no relevance for travel to the UK or any other country in the world except the USA.

If the Haudenosaunee are so adamant that they are not Canadian citizens, not Canadians at all, then why are so many Haudenosaunee thrilled to represent "their" country (Canada) at Olympic and Pan Am Games?  This brings me to the second article in the TRT, p.18, entitled, Carey Leigh Thomas excited about Pan-Am Games.  The large picture on this page shows Ms. Thomas wearing a baseball cap with the maple leaf and "Canada" as its logo, and her uniform shirt says "Canada" and right beneath it is the symbol of Canada the country, a maple leaf.  It is reported here that, Carey-Leigh Thomas will be representing Canada, once again on the international sports stage this summer as a member of the Canadian National Softball Team which is getting ready for the Pan-Am Games in Toronto this summer.  Ms. Thomas is Six Nations, Cayuga, Bear Clan who was "proud" to make the "National Team".  As a star player for the Women's Softball team, she has been called, "an outspoken ambassador for Onkwehonwe women in sports", and sees herself as a role model for all young women (she has been able to successfully juggle being a star athlete and mother).  In her role she has traveled (presumably on a Canadian passport) to compete in games as far away as South Africa.

So are Six Nations only "Canadians of convenience"?  Does the concept of separatist, or sovereignist apply?  Most people would agree that in these situations, either you are in or you are out.  Either you are a member and a citizen or you are not.  Something is very very wrong when one attempts to reconcile the content of this article focusing on Softball athletes, versus the above article on Lacrosse athletes.  One is willing to represent Canada and the other is not?  It is all very strange, inconsistent, and some might say, hypocritical.

What can be said with confidence is that many Six Nations men volunteered for service to fight for Canada during both World War I and II.  They fought, in in some cases gave their lives, for Canada and to stop the rule of tyranny, fascism and Nazi monsters at a time when the freedom of the entire world was at stake.  They are honoured for their role.  These brave men did not serve as foreigners in some French Foreign Legion unit, they fought and died as a band of brothers, as Canadians with their countrymen in lands far from home - under the Canadian and British flags, not the flag of the Confederacy.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council in Chaos: Internal Disputes Placing the Entire Hereditary System in Jeopardy - Calls for Dismantling of the HDI

One does not have to search far in this blog for discussions of the extreme factionism at Six Nations. A swirling kaleidoscope of groups emerge when any issue involving land (e.g., the "return" of the former Burtch Correctional Center) or money (e.g., who gets what in deals with wind turbine "green energy" corporations) comes into view.

Six Nations is riddled with factions, each vying for power - it has ever been thus.  The only group empowered by law to deal with the Government of Canada is the Six Nations Elected Council. However this "inconvenient truth" does not in any way diminish the belief of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) from asserting their right to govern at Six Nations.  They are the hereditary conservative group who claim a historical right to rule being in theory direct descendants of the system of governance established in the Great Law by the Peacemaker in the days before contact with Europeans.  In 1924 this group had become so dysfunctional that educated Mohawks petitioned the Government to establish an elected system.  Even after the doors to the Hereditary Council House were locked, the group continued to function as a parallel system, and continue to this day to maintain that they are the only legitimate authority at Six Nations.  There has been no compromise between the two groups, only an entrenched digging in of the heels of their respective positions.  Add to this other bodies who claim that for example, only the Mohawks have the right to negotiate land claims under the Haldimand Proclamation.  The truth of the matter is that just about everyone at Six Nations is part Mohawk and part descendants of a number of the other Six Nations or Delaware groups.  Being assigned to a band such as Lower Mohawk or Upper Cayuga or Tuscarora etc. is set by the Indian Act of 1876 which follows the father's (paternal) line.  The Hereditary Council (in theory) follow the maternal (clan) line (although relatively few at Six Nations have any awareness of the clan to which they belong, and if they have a White maternal ancestor, as many do, this complicates things immensely).

So, just off the top of my head, in addition to the above two groups there is the Men's Fire, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, the Mohawk Workers, the Mohawks of the Grand River (formerly Kanata Mohawks).  So many claim to be in charge of this or that and there are those who oppose them, so inevitably inertia keeps things static (nothing gets done).

Now there is a new factionalism problem, internal disputes from within the HCCC, which are ripping and shredding the oldest governing body at Six Nations. There are two newspapers at Six Nations, one who favours the HCCC, and one which is more neutral and hence likely to report on a factual non - biased basis.  In the 8 July 2015 issue of "Two Row Times", page 8-9, is an:

A) ArticleMohawk Chief Allan McNaughton abruptly closes second Confederacy meeting in a row.  The author was aware of mounting tensions within HCCC, but a lot of it has been kept under wraps until now, or just dribbled out - there did not seem to be a meltdown over the horizon - but that is precisely what has occurred.

The series of problems came to a head when Chief McNaughton "stormed out of the longhouse". Some of the emerging issues, concerns and problems as of July 20015, as I see them expressed in this article, are as follows:

1)  The failure to observe protocol and its consequences.  As anyone who has read the "Great Law" (Kayenkeragowa) would know, there are tribes, clans and moieties.  It is imperative that the council come to a consensus, and this is done by following a well established system of rules.  Proposals are discussed by one side (say the Elder Brother side) and passed across the fire to the other (Younger Brother) side for discussion.  If those matters brought before Council have not been resolved satisfactorily, then they must be, as the author of the article says, "placed under the pillow" and held over for the next meeting.  However the current Chief, in acting out of human frustration, effectively closed the meeting and nothing further can be discussed until the next meeting.  With the head Chief (Tekaihogea, Turtle Clan, Mohawk) just walks away from a meeting, leaving everyone "bewildered", and the female clan members sent to bring him back were unsuccessful in even finding him - well this breach in protocol might at worse signal a death knell for the system, even if one understands the frustration that had built up.  Apparently this is the "second time in a row" that this behaviour has occurred.  If there is a groundswell of opinion that the Chief has not behaved acceptably there are procedures to remove him and replace him (the process is known as "dehorning"), but that is a very serious business - and for the head chief, that would signal serious internal strife.

2)  There is a serious downside to protocol as it now exists.  It should be noted that meetings are not as regular as they would be with other systems such as the elected system where as long as a quorum is reached (say 60% of Councillors present), the meeting can go on.  However here, as noted in this article, the death of someone in the family of a Chief can result in a series of steps, required as per protocol, but which could delay any work getting done indefinitely.  In a case such as this where some sort of reasonable timetable would be needed in order to work effectively with the Federal Government, the Hereditary Council falters badly.  This is 2015, and we are in the social media electronic era, yet protocol requires the Chiefs to react as if it was 1415.  When protocol is coming apart at the seams, you get fissons from within, which is precisely what we are seeing at the Longhouse.

3)  The proposed Tobacco Law is highly controversial at Six Nations.  The Hereditary Council (and Six Nations in general) refuse to accept Canadian Bill C-10 which would criminalize the contraband tobacco industry and severely penalize the individuals involved with it.  The problem is that this industry is a mainstay of employment at Six Nations.  Thus, a group led by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) has proposed that Six Nations regulate the industry on their own, and enforce instances where the law is broken by a Haudenosaunee person (defined as anyone who has an ancestor who was a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River).  The HDI emerged after the 2006 illegal take over of the Douglas Creek Estates near Caledonia, with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and all levels of government leaving the residents of Caledonia and surrounds to their own devices.  They soon realized that their brand of militancy (use of fear and intimidation with thugs and enforcers showing up at say a new housing development site in Hagersville, or the repair of the bridge in Cayuga and forcing a shut down of all work) tended to have the desired effect, and with impunity.  So through the use of extortion tactics, this group has been able to get developers and various levels of government to see the wisdom of "consultation and accommodation".  The fact that this group has zero authority to do what they are doing, does not seem to phase many people - except the residents of Brant and Haldimand Counties.  The exception is with Judges such as Harrison Arrell of Brantford who dropped the hammer on HDI individual members and issued severe fines. Few officials at any level of government have had the determination to do what Justice Arrell did in 2010.  It appears that the government, and the OPP, fear the HDI (and so will not for example enforce the legitimacy of the Ontario Land Registry System) - which is precisely the desired response.

The problem for some members of the HCCC, even though the proposed law is being orchestrated by their own authorized (more on this later) body the HDI, they see serious flaws which would mean that instead of the Canadian Government making the rules and enforcing them, some sort of cloned system would be put in place by the HDI who would make the law, enforce the law, establish licencing fees, and perhaps profit from the fines issued when a law is broken.  Most controversial of all is the "banishment clause" with the power to "expel anyone from Six Nations of the Grand River territory not complying with the tobacco law".

According to the "Great Law" a Chief or Clan Mother does not have the authority to invoke any such punishments on members of other Clans.  The view is that the new law would be nothing more than a "Canadian style" system, and would circumvent the traditional powers of Chiefs and Clan Mothers.

Protocol dictates that if a matter (such as the proposed Tobacco Law) is presented three times and there is no consensus, the matter is "abandoned".  Two meetings have come and gone, so there is in theory one more try then the whole business is dumped and what happens after that is anyone's guess.

4)  The former Burtch Correctional property is creating considerable dissention.  The previous Council had been prematurely closed. Thus the important business of how to approach the transfer of the former Burtch Correctional property back to Six Nations, which was not addressed then, was also shelved for another day - yet a solution is needed now.  This too may succumb to the "three meeting rule".  There is the Ontario Government putting the lands into a trust (since the Band Council is being challenged by HCCC and by law only the Elected Band Council can deal directly with Government in such matters); and the dispute over who gets to farm the land.  A great deal of acrimony has been created over this matter, and now HCCC is unable to offer a clear response.  Although not required to do so, the Ontario Government has sent a letter to the HCCC seeking their input on the matter, and requested a reply by 16 June - which came and went without the matter being acted upon - and now it is closing in on 16 July and still silence.

5)  The proposal to dismantle the HDI is gaining momentum.  In June some of the younger Chiefs had expressed their very serious concerns about the HDI, and they "called for all work involving the Haudenosaunee Development Institute be halted", and the staff, including the legal representative, be dismissed. Apparently "secret documents" about the HDI agreement clauses with Samsung were shown to these Chiefs.  This matter concerns the wind turbines and solar panel farms on lands not owned by Six Nations, but in order to avoid "trouble" Samsung and other "green energy" corporations have thought it prudent to just pay up so that work delays will not be inevitable.  The "deal" would mean perhaps $200 to each band member over 20 years, but if the deal was with the Haudenosaunee, and the definition was anyone with a Haudenosaunee ancestor this would include Wahta in Muskoka, Oneida of the Thames, or even people across Ontario or beyond who have Six Nations ancestry.  So then the pie would have to be sliced infinitely smaller depending on who would be in this net, and the money would be meaningless except to the administrative staff (presumably HDI) who would obtain funds for their efforts.  So some Chiefs and Clan mothers were questioning the HDI in broader terms since the latter has been involved in a lot of money generating activities of late (e.g., kickbacks from developers and corporations) - so, "where is the money"?  Where are the books so that Six Nations citizens can see where the expenditures are going and who is being paid what.  In what little has been given to the band members, they have seen expenses such as the HDI spending $280,000 in "travel costs".  On the surface this seems astronomical, and some members are demanding that the books be opened for full inspection.  Some have called the expenses. "outrageous in light of the poverty many of the Chiefs and Clanmothers endure on a daily basis".

In summary, there are a lot of very unhappy individuals at Six Nations who want answers from the HDI.  These are not just HCCC supporters, but also those affiliated with the Elected Council, and citizens across the Territory.  A simple question, "what is happening to the money"?  Last month the HDI responded assertively (some would say aggressively) to those who were questioning them.  It seems that while this worked for a short while, the heat is being turned up across a wider spectrum and questions of this nature are not going away - they require the HDI to open its books at the very least to all members of the Elected and the Hereditary Councils.  With true transparency, the books would be open to all.

Also, and most disturbing, is whether the Hereditary - Confederacy system itself can show sufficient flexibility to address problems such as what to do with the Burtch property, and how to respond to the "Haudenosaunee made" Tobacco Law - or will it shatter into many small pieces and disappear as an effective entity, a tangible link to the past.  Is it simply not possible to deploy a system designed in circa 1415 to successfully address complex issues in the modern world.  All successful governing systems from the Middle Ages have been forced to change or simply disappear into history books.  Can the Hereditary system remain a living breathing entity capable of carrying on the business of matters rooted in 2015, or at the very least a useful ceremonial role.  Six hundred years or so, the endurance has been astounding, but in the end it is "change or dissolve" - so we will see what happens over they next few months.  The HCCC (and HDI) appears to have reached a critical juncture.

B) Letter to the Editor:  Reflecting the tenor of the above article, a respected Turtle Clan female elder sent a letter entitled, Mohawk Turtle Woman Speaks (p.7).  She wrote that, We can no longer pretend that the current longhouse governance has the best interest of the community at heart.  Therefore we have no alternative, but with great sadness and remorse, have made a decision that the present governance cease all action and begin to repair the present system of the Six Nations Confederacy.

It appears that the Confederacy Council has made inappropriate decisions regarding the Haldimand Tract, without consultation and accommodation with the Six nations community.

We now request that HDI will now cease and desist and make a truth and reconciliation statement to the community .......................  May the Spirits be with us as we clean and repair our house.

That is a very strong indictment of the Hereditary Council and particularly the HDI and is another of the mounting demands that the HDI stop all operations and provide the community with what it has requested, honesty and transparency, which can be accomplished by "opening the books".  As voices mount, how long will it be that the HCCC will wish to retain its present affiliation with an "agency" that is perceived has having gone rogue?

I would certainly NOT like to see the demise of the HCCC, but people within and without are clamoring for change.  The ball is in the HCCC's court.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

The 1841 Surrender of All Lands Except the Present Day Six Nations Reserve I.R. 40

The Federal Government has stated on a number of occasions that it stands by the Surrender of 1841.  That being the case, it will be important to see and assess just what that surrender entailed.  For this purpose I have appended here all 14 pages of said surrender, followed by a typed transcript which is considerably easier to read since most handwritten documents can be trying on the eyes as one attempts to read handwriting from 170 years ago.

1)  The Original 14 pages comprising the Surrender of 1841:

(LAC, R216-79-6-E, Surrender by the Chiefs of the Six Nations Indians of certain Lands to Her Majesty in Trust for the Use of their Tribes - IT129, Online MIKAN no. 3963846).

2)  Printed Copies of 1841 Surrender:

A Snapshot of Six Nations 20 Years After Surrender

The testimony for the information below is from David Thorburn the Superintendent of Six Nations, and Messrs. Nellis and Elliot Anglican ministers at Six Nations.  If there is any bias in the data it is not apparent, and all of the information included herein tallies with the original records in the RG10 Indian Affairs records that the present author has reviewed.

One of the facts that is noteworthy is that in 1858, ten years after all of the refining of the 1841 surrender had been accomplished between the Canadian Government officials and the Six Nations Chiefs in Council, the size of the Reserve was fixed.  It is precisely the same as is in say 1958 before Six Nations began purchasing parcels of land to add to the Reserve land base, or before the Six Nations had decided without a shred of documentary support or legal rationale, to "reclaim" parcels of land such as Douglas Creek Estates based on nothing more than beliefs.  Here follow, after the pages providing reference material, the documents showing important details of the Six Nations Reserve in 1858:

 The key question to ask here is IF there was discontent among the Chiefs about what lands were and were not surrendered during the 1840s and earlier, why is there nothing whatsoever in the records that reflects any concern, or perception that they were misunderstood or hard done by.  Nothing.  Then in the 1980s a land office is established at Six Nations and the goal is to see what might be gained by contesting the wisdom of their ancestors, and establishing a series of claims for various parcels of land.  Anything I have seen in the way of claims for land are based on an incomplete reading of the record.  There is NOTHING to suggesting that the Chiefs were unhappy about a surrender which was reviewed repeatedly in Council throughout the 1840s, although it took until 1849 before they receded to the 1841 Surrender and the Minutes of Council and the signatures and marks of all the Chiefs present at the time reflect their wishes as recorded by the documents now found in Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.  As far as I can determine, the land researchers (P.M., and L.B.) have agreed that any outstanding issues are not about land surrenders, but about trust fund monies.  Particular sore points are the possible misappropriate of funds by one official; and the poor investment advice given such that they would put all their eggs in one barrel and invest in the Grand River Navigation Company.  It was Six Nations that took it on the chin and lost all when the company went bankrupt.  There is definitely something "fishy" about this matter, although it remains to be see whether 150 years later the statue of limitations would allow for any examination of this issue at this time.  For the record, I consider the trust fund matter to be a legitimate concern based on the documentary evidence I have seen.


Monday, 22 June 2015

Documentary Evidence of the Surrender of the Land Where Douglas Creek Estates (Kanonhstaton) is Situated: Signed by 47 Chiefs in the Year 1844

There are numerous posts in this blog and in the media across the country which profile the 2006 take over and occupation of the land where Henco Construction had begun the development that was to be known as Douglas Creek Estates (DCE), perpetrated by activists from the nearby Six Nations Reserve.  Those who took it upon themselves to re-write history claimed that the land was never surrendered and still belonged to the Six Nations and should be incorporated into their land base.  This despite the fact that since 1847 the properties along the Plank Road (where the DCE is located) have been entered into the Ontario Land Registry System.

As noted previously, Six Nations land claims researchers agree that there is no legitimate claim to land that has been surrendered (170 years ago), however there are outstanding claims relating to the use (possible misuse) of the money that, after the land was sold, was placed in trust for the benefit of Six Nations.  I argued that were it not for any sort of reasonable interpretation of "statute of limitations", it would be prudent to provide a cost accounting of the trust fund monies including the monies deployed in the investments in the Grand River Navigation Company.

None the less, many activists at Six Nations and their supporters, clearly have not read the original documents that demonstrate the lead up to the formation of the present day Reserve.  The Reserve of today includes Tuscarora Township and part of Onondaga Township in Brant County; and a strip of land on the western boundary of Oneida Township.  The Chiefs also asked to reserve a 200 acre plot of land around the Mohawk Institute in the City of Brantford.  This mutually acceptable agreement was signed, sealed and delivered by a series of surrenders by the Chiefs in Council culminating in the report of Lord Elgin in 1850 which received Crown ascent.  Since then, there have been recent purchases to add to the Six Nations land base, including lands acquired via the highly questionable agreement between the Ontario Government and Six Nations representatives in 2006.  The latter agreed to remove the barricades blocking Argyll Street, if Six Nations was granted the land where the former Burtch Correctional facility (between the Reserve and the City of Brantford) was situated.  This sounds a lot like extortion.  However the core Reserve has, since 1847 been only the land noted above involving Tuscarora Township and parts of Onondaga and Oneida Township, as well as a 200 acre parcel in the City of Brantford. 

To this day, the former DCE is occupied by Six Nations members, and a fence has been erected around the perimeter of the property, and a gate was installed crossing Surrey Street, which is owned by the County of Haldimand.

The goal of the present posting is to provide photographic copies of the original documents proving that DCE (Kanonhstaton) was surrendered prior to 18 December 1844.  After reading the entire series of documents pertaining to the surrender of the various parcels of Grand River land , the present author has been led to an inevitable conclusion.  That is to say, the common belief that the commissioner and superintendent were enacting "colonialist" and "paternalistic" policies which were meant to ensure "cultural genocide" could not be further from the truth.  These dedicated civil servants, David Thorburn and James Winniett, were attempting to ensure the survival of the Six Nations as a people.  At the time the population of about 2,000 was scattered throughout the Grand River Territory from about Dunnville to Brantford, and they were selling their improvements to White settlers then moving somewhere else.  At the time of the surrender of 1844 there were about 2,000 non-Native residents living on the land belonging to the Crown, but held by the Six Nations under right of occupancy.  Clearly the trend for Six Nations people to move west to the Ohio country, or elsewhere, was escalating and soon the Six Nations people would be scattered to the four winds.  Their own lands were dotted with White settlers ("squatters") who generally held title by virtue of a land sale from a Six Nations member.  To save the Six Nations from extinction as a people ("cultural genocide"), the government officials came up with a plan to consolidate the Six Nations settlement to a compact area where they would be a community, and would be safe from encroachments by those wanting the very land on which they lived.  The government made it very clear that no Six Nations person would be required to sell their property and move to the new Reserve, but if at a later date they did wish to sell their property and move to the Reserve, they would have the right to reside there amongst their own people.  Hence the old chestnut of finger pointing at the Government officials, accusing them of trying to destroy the Six Nations as a people is wrong - it was these officials who had the best interests of the Six Nations in mind when they recommended a consolidated Reserve, with the sale of other properties to be placed in a trust fund.  There would be compensation for the "squatters" who had built homes and cleared land which would then be used by incoming Six Nations people, and that money would come from the trust fund.  Hence the understandable confusion about what was placed into, and removed from, the trust fund account.

Here follows the individual pages of one small part of the entire series of Council meetings and surrenders between 1841 and 1849.  The focus here is on the part where the Chiefs gave up their initial idea to lease lands along the Plank Road, and instead reserved only the lands on the west side of the "tier of lots" along the Plank Road.  In other words they reserved only the far western strip of Oneida Township, which is today part of the Six Nations Reserve.

However, I must ask the question:  "Why has it taken so long for these key records to see the light of day?  Why has the Federal Government not released them to show all interested parties why they consider the surrender of 1841, which was capped off by Lord Elgin's report in 1850, valid?  Six Nations must come to the realization that to continue going down the same path, under the delusion that there is a legal basis upon which they could recover lands within the Grand River Tract, is folly.  It would seem incumbent on the Government to "show their cards" so that the Ontario Provincial Police will see the evidence which refutes any claim to "unsurrendered" land.  Furthermore, residents of Caledonia and other communities impacted by Six Nations illegal take over of lands will realize that, for example, the occupants of DCE do not have a leg to stand on.  The Province of Ontario needs to stand firm in the assertion that their Land Titles System (e.g., the deeds registered on title in the Land Registry Office in Cayuga) is valid, legal and secure.  Also the citizens of Ontario whose land is being eyed by those who would take steps to acquire it outside the land registry system, need to stand up for their legal rights without being intimidated by false claims backed up by militancy - bullies and thugs.

The evidence is arranged as follows:  First the handwritten Minutes of Council Meetings and associated documents.  Second a transcript of the handwritten documents.  Third, a map showing the boundaries of the Six Nations Reserve in 1842 in relation to the "tier of lots" west of the Plank Road.  At one point the Chiefs had wished to reserve the lots on the west side of the Plank Road for leasing purposes, however they later "receded from" this temporary position, as seen in the documents below, and unanimously agreed to maintain the eastern boundary along the present line in Oneida Township.

1)  Handwritten Documents Relating to the Surrender of the Lands West of the Plank Road:

(LAC, RG10, Volume 144, pp. 286-300 [83269-83287]).

2)  Transcripts of the Above Documents Added for Clarity:
Since the above handwriting leaves something to be desired, a transcript of the key parts of these documents are included below, from a transcript made by Garry Horsnell and published in his online, "A Short History of the Six Nations", in 2008.  Click on image to enlarge:

3)  Map of the Six Nations Reserve and Oneida Township Showing the "Tier of Lots" West of the Plank Road:
Note that this map dated 1842 was received by the Department of Indian Affairs in 1896.  As the marginal note on the right indicates, the Indian Reserve as agreed upon in various Council Meetings was the line running between B and E.  The Plank Road is shown as a red line running diagonally north - south.  The "tier of lots" noted in the above documentation refers to the lots situated between the Plank Road on the west side, and running west to the line marking the eastern boundary of I.R. 40, the Six Nations Reserve.  In effect this is the wedge shaped area bounded by D to C (along the Plank Road), and B to E (present day boundary of Six Nations Reserve)  (LAC, RG10M 78903/78, Plan of part of the township of Oneida, date 1842 [1896], Online MIKAN no. 3669668).