Category Archives: Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

Respecting historic agreements with the Haudenosaunee and walking to Kanonhstaton for peace

AW@L Radio: A discussion with Luke Stewart

Rabble Podcast Network, 20 April 2012

LINK:  http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/awl/2012/04/respecting-historic-agreements-and-walking-peace-april28net-discussion-hi

Show Notes:

The feature of today’s show is our discussion with radical historian Luke Stewart on the upcoming Rally, Walk, and Community BBQ taking place on April 28th in Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, hosted by the April 28th Coalition (http://april28.net). This discussion looks at the the intentions of the event organizers (both indigenous and settler), respecting historical friendships and honouring our treaties (such as the Silver Covenant Chain, The Two Row Wampum, and the Haldimand Proclamation) and the resistance to the event from business interests and white citizens’ councils, among other topics.

– Check http://april28.net for more information about the upcoming rally, walk and community celebration in Caledonia and @Kanonhstaton, Southern Ontario.
– Audio of the invitations for this event Indigenous Land Protectors and their Settler Allies.
This podcast is part of the weekly 2-hour radio show AW@L Radio on CKMS 100.3 http://soundfm.ca from 16:00-18:00 on Fridays.
Check the whole episode at: http://peaceculture.org/drupal/radio/aw@lradio-2012-04-13-fe.mp3

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Filed under April 28, AW@L, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

“We are not the criminals”

Dick Hill and Gene Johns on being found “guilty” of mischief

April 2, 2012

Dick Hill and Gene Johns, Rotiskenekete of Six Nations of the Grand River, were charged with mischief in relation to housing developments protected by an injunction granted to the City of Brantford. They were both arrested and released by the Brantford Police on conditions preventing them from going within 1.5 kilometers of any “land claim protest.” Through a year long Charter challenge, they fought that condition and Justice K.G. Lenz reduced the zone to 100m. In a criminal justice system that would silence Onkwehonwe (native) voices, these are their words.

Today, we are telling the court that – yes, we attended at development sites and caused a delay in construction.  We appreciate that a judge will find us “guilty” of mischief under Canadian law.  At the end of this long court process, we are affirmed that there is no justice.

When a Canadian judge recognizes that there is development happening on treaty land and there has been no negotiation or consultation prior to shovels in the ground, we are the criminals for attending at the site and demanding pause to allow for some discussion to occur with Six Nations?  This is not justice.  This is more of the same.  This is the reason why Onkwehonwe people cannot trust the police, the courts or the Canadian governments.

Our experience shows us that we cannot trust the words offered to Onkwehone people.  Stephen Harper’s Apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system, Canada’s commitment to United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – these are recent examples of words that fly in the face of how the government is actually treating our people.

We hear these words spoken in court – that the “honour of the Crown” is always at stake when dealing with Onkwehonwe people.  Treaties were made because the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) chose to be Allies with the Crown.  The City of Brantford, the Province and Canada behave like these treaties never happened.  In our case, the judge recognized that no negotiations or consultations have occurred on any of the sites listed in the City of Brantford’s injunction.  Every one of these sites has been recognized by the federal government as part of a legitimate “land claim” and the jurisdiction, ownership and interests in the land is unsettled.  No reconciliation, no benefit or consideration whatsoever to Six Nations – only arrest, jail and the appalling experience of being prosecuted in a criminal court.  Where is the honour in this?

We know directly from City officials, including former councillor James Calnan and sitting Mayor Chris Friel, that the City of Brantford has a strategy to use criminal law to stop any Onkwehonwe protests.  That strategy, developed with the direct participation of the Brantford Police Service, came to a head with bail conditions preventing anyone who was arrested from coming within 1.5 kilometres of any “land development site…in which a land claim protest is taking place”.  You forced us to go into a Canadian court to have this condition challenged knowing that your side is chewing up the land with no regard for treaties, no good faith efforts at negotiations and consultation, and no options for us but to sit back and watch the land destroyed.

When Canada and Ontario play games instead of negotiate in good faith, when our land and our future is bargained away without the slightest courtesy to our inherent rights – what options are we left with?

In our lifetimes, we have seen the size of Brantford double and Caledonia grow from a bunch of houses on the river.  Despite the fact of our treaties, this development goes ahead without any involvement from Six Nations.  Canadian law says that there must be negotiation to settle the long-standing issues and consultation before anything.  Who holds Canada accountable for failing to live up to their legal promises? No one.

There is no justice for us in any Canadian court, only towers of lawyers and bottomless pockets ready to use the club of Canadian law to continue your assumed jurisdiction over our land and our people.

We have no voice in the Canadian criminal justice system; we could sit in court talking until we are blue in the face but no one is listening because the Onkwehonwe voice does not fit into Canadian law.  Growing up native is about looking over your shoulder because a justice system says “we are going to getcha”.

We are not against development, we are against the all out attack on our children and the future of our people as we get more and more land-locked on the “reserve”.  As Haudenosaunee men, we live by our responsibilities under the Kaianereh’ko:wa (Great Law of Peace) and we understand what needs to be done.  We will protect this land until such time that the sun does not shine, the rivers do not flow and the grass grows no longer.  There is no judge, no court that will ever stop us from doing our duty to our people and the Creator.

Six Nations of The Grand River

For more information or to arrange for an interview, contact:

Sarah Dover
Counsel to Dick Hill & Gene Johns
(519) 751-4789
sarahdover@sympatico.ca

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Filed under Brantford, Development, Men's Fire, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

Even Clinton no Match for U.K.’s Refusal to allow entry of Lacrosse Players–Hamilton Spectator


Even Clinton no match for U.K.’s refusal to allow entry of lacrosse players

July 19, 2010
Jeremy Grimaldi
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 19, 2010)
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/810104

Six Nations members of the Iroquois Nationals field lacrosse team are back at home after a “roller-coaster ride” of highs and lows, the team coach said last night.

Speaking from the reserve, Cam Bomberry said the team had been pushed from pillar to post by the United Kingdom’s border agency as they tried to make their way to the World Lacrosse Champ- ionships in Manchester, England.

He said the agency went back on its word after originally giving assurances the team would be allowed in the country, only to repeal the promise at the last minute.

“It was as though the team’s management were the Easter bunny to these boys. We gave them hope and were optimistic on the promises of others,” said the former Nationals player. “But then at the last minute we were forced to rip that dream away from them and admit the whole thing was lost.”

During the tumultuous week, the team was initially told by the U.S. State Department they would not be able to leave the United States because they were travelling on Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, passports that weren’t considered legitimate by officials.

The team’s hopes were then raised after one of the world’s most powerful politicians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decided to hand them a one-time -only waiver to travel.

And even though Bomberry says the British initially said the team would be allowed in, should assurances be given that the players would be allowed back into the U.S., he said that promise was cruelly repealed in the end.

“The tension in the room never left us,” said the coach. “First it was day by day, then hour by hour, we were up and down all week thinking several times that we would be on a plane within moments — it was torture.

“For Clinton to get involved, it showed the magnitude of the situation. We were going for a medal and were sure we would have brought one home. For her to go to bat for us showed the level of support. For England to pull a 180 and go back on their word, was a real stab in the back.”

The U.K. border agency refused to comment on Bomberry’s objections, but a spokesperson did say the team would be welcomed should they gain “valid immigration documents.”

Bomberry said many positives did come out of the trip, including the close bond the players developed on the bus and in the hotel.

“This was the best team we have ever had, and we were going to the medal rounds — what colour medal we brought home was up to the players. In a certain way this was a victory of sorts to have the U.S. government change their minds, with the support we got from the public and with the bonding the team went through, we will be a force to be reckoned with when we do finally play together.”

The local players included Alexander Hill, Cody Jamieson, Craig Pont, Delby Powless, Isaiah Kicknosway, Roger Vyse, Ryan Burnham, Sid Smith and Tom Montour.

The Iroquois helped invent lacrosse, perhaps as early as 1,000 years ago.

Members of the team had been offered passports by the U.S., but team members say they will only use papers issued by the confederacy, a centuries-old league of semi-autonomous Indian nations whose residents mostly live now in New York, Ontario and Quebec.

Paul Horn, a Canadian attending the tournament, wrote in an e-mail to The Spectator: “Public sentiment here is strongly in favour of the Iroquois. When the flag was marched in last night, it received a standing ovation. Not even the home team received one. People over here sympathize with the Iroquois.”

The Haudenosaunee is working on new passports they say will conform with international security requirements. Bomberry said that before the team’s next event in the Czech Republic in 2011, he expects “a lot of money” to be spent updating the passports.

jgrimaldi@thespec.com

905-526-3323

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Filed under Brantford, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Hamilton, Hamilton Spectator, Issues, Mainstream Media, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports