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.