Declaration of the Onkwehonwe of Grand River Territory on the 2010 olympic torch relay
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Being Onkwehonwe (people) of the Grand River Territory, we strive to uphold our responsibilities as stewards of the land; and to the coming faces. In accordance with our responsibilities we declare:
This land is not conquered. We are not canadian. Our ancestors have fought for 500 years to ensure this. Therefore asserting our sovereignty we declare that Canada and their Six Nations band council has no authority over our territory. This authority rests with the Onkwehonwe (people).
On August 20th at a Six Nations Parks & Recreation department led community meeting, Onkwehonwe present reached consensus that the torch was not welcome through our territory. Canada has ignored the voice of the Onkwehonwe, but this decision has not been forgotten.
As supporters of the people and with respect to all our relations we hereby affirm our peaceful opposition to the entry and progression of the 2010 olympic torch into and through our territory. In accordance with the Two-Row Wampum treaty we further invite any progression of the torch to proceed around the boundaries of the heart of our Grand River territory.
The 2010 olympics and torch relay do not reflect the principles of the Great Law of Peace; a law that prioritizes life and land. We honor Etinoha (Mother Earth) because she gives us life and we are bound to sustaining that life cycle. Due to the corporate and state led destruction of indigenous lands and life, we acknowledge the impacts the 2010 olympics are having on the Onkwehonwe (people). We honor the call for solidarity with those Onkwehonwe (peoples) of the territories affected by the olympics and the destructive legacy of manifest destiny.
This is not an attack on athleticism or sports; we feel that our legacy of athleticism is not being honored, a legacy which has been rooted in our traditions and spirituality for time immemorial. Onkwehonwe participation in the olympic torch relay affirms Canada’s attempt to hide the negative image they have in the international arena for their treatment of the Onkwehonwe (peoples). This has been proven in Canada’s refusal to sign the UN declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples, refusal to uphold our treaties including
the two row wampum, ongoing land claims, the effects of the residential school legacy and the continuing issues of violence against our women and children.
Through our opposition to the torch relay, we seek to enlighten and educate others of the corruption created by this façade of peace and unity with Onkwehonwe (peoples) that the olympics exhibit. We recognize that the benefit of any participation in these olympics is temporary, however the impacts will be long lasting and destructive.
In the spirit of peace and in honor of our Coming Faces,
Hoskanigetah (Men’s Fire), Ahgongweh (Women’s Fire), Grand River Onkwehonwe youth & other concerned people