Posted by the Grassroots People of Ketagaunzeebee aka Garden River First Nation
Posted by the Grassroots People of Ketagaunzeebee aka Garden River First Nation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday March 29 2021
Kaikaikons of the Atik Clan Territory aka John Hawke INAC Prisoner of War # 1410167801 of Christian Island Indian Reserve 30A is announcing the breach of the $1.1 Billion 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement by the Province of Ontario’s AWENDA PROVINCIAL PARK whereas this Settlement proposed to recognize Aboriginal Harvesting Rights which was allegedly surrendered in 1923.
A 2018 Settlement Agreement between the Williams Treaties First Nations, Canada and the Province of Ontario to resolve issues surrounding the 1923 Williams Treaties is a repeat of history where Ontario has already breached this Agreement says Hawke.
John Hawke, a Beausoleil First Nation member erected a blockade on June 21, 2019 for five weeks of Ontario’s Awenda Provincial Park situated on land involved in the settlement to raise awareness of what he feels is a continuation of injustice.
Hawke erected a blockade to the entrance to the Provincial Park for 5 weeks which ended by his arrest for allegedly uttering threats to the Park Warden which he says was fabricated to get him out of the park in which OPP took him into custody. Hawke who self represented himself in December 2020 on these charges had them withdrawn bringing up a Constitutional Question in an Ontario Superior Court.
Hawke was taken into custody for almost 30 hours and released on bail. While in custody Park Staff cleared the blockade along with dismantling the cultural camp and cabin that was up for 7 years in a separate forested area in the Park and wasn’t part of the blockade.
“By the Park taking down the cabin and the OPP putting conditions on me not to return to the Park the Province of Ontario has already breached this 2018 Agreement which infringes on our reinstated Harvesting Rights and the promise to foster reconciliation and understanding as declared in the Agreement.” Says Hawke
Hawke further explains that erecting Cabins on Crown lands coincides with Indigenous Harvesting Rights as affirmed in R v Sundown and R v Meshake, two Supreme Court decisions.
Hawke requested the Beausoleil First Nation Chief and Council, who are a member of the seven Williams Treaties First Nations, on numerous occasions to get involved on this issue but have not. Hawke is now organizing with two prominent Constitutional Lawyers to bring forth litigation of this serious breach of this Settlement Agreement at the hands of the Province of Ontario. (Awenda Provincial Park). Hawke feels disheartened that the Williams Treaties First Nations have not shown interest in this matter.
“This is the same circumstance that led to this $1.1 Billion pay out” says Hawke.
Kaikaikons, Atik Dodem
705 247 2120
Feat. Phillip Meshekey and Michelle Latimer. Produced by Johnny Hawk, WellFAIR Recording Studio. All Gone Queen Productionz
By Kaikaikons (Johnny Hawk)
The Winter Solstice customarily introduces the time of year where Anishinaabe have always spent the winter isolated in our lodges sharing, learning and self reflecting on our Aatisokaanak (sacred stories and knowledge, family histories and tribal connections) where it is very fitting that this year’s Solstice began by lighting our collective sacred fire of storytelling which has focussed on one prominent storyteller in the Indigenous Filmmaking community who has engaged with the Spirit of the “Trickster.”
The concept and word “Trickster” coined by Eurocentric anthropologist’s minimizes many Indigenous People’s knowledge and interconnection with a very real ancestral entity which is also not the same Ancestor being for all Peoples. The use of this term creates a vague pan-Indian archetype that opens up one of our most sacred institutions for misappropriation that has been also assimilated by separating spiritual and physical realities of limiting our Aatisokaanak as “myth” and folklore.
For Anishinaabe our Grandfather Nanabozho, the fourth and youngest son of Winona and the West-wind who at times loved to play tricks has also brought the Anishinaabemany gifts that has made us our own distinct People. Many of our communities have their own stories of Grandfather which shows He is without an identity crisis and is more than a character of fiction and where even in our stories a key element is to know where the stories themselves come from.
As the storytelling season began where many have been self isolating in our lodges gathered around the virtual community fire, a CBC investigative piece published on Dec 17 shined a light on acclaimed film director Michelle Latimer. Latimer lauded for two high-profile Indigenous productions this year which includes CBC’s television series Trickster and the documentary Inconvenient Indian has been called out for her long-standing claim of Indigenous identity.
There are many articles and ramblings all over social media on this but what I am sharing here in the spirit of Nanaboozho is to hold a mirror up on the People rather than the “trickster figure” and to poke at the phenomenon of cancel culture and political correctness that has consumed our circles which can most times creates an unbalance as we pursue accountability.
Contrary Lives Don’t Matter
Phillip Meshekey a Kanienkeha:ka/Anishinaabe, Father, Writer, Speaker, Artist, Poet from Waganakasing Odawa in Northern Michigan who lives in Northern California has had experiences where his art was misappropriated by one of Latimer’s productions.
Meshekey says he recorded his Uncle Desi Dillon singing an Anishinaabe Ceremonial Song which was used without permission in Latimer’s critically-acclaimed Viceland series “Rise,” which follows indigenous movements of resistance across the Americas.
“This is the same Michelle Latimer who used my recording of Moniidoo Mukwa without permission. She even had the audacity to use the song clip in a scene where some Apache People are celebrating 4th of YouLie (July 4th). When I confronted her she attempted to side step me by basically saying, We are all Native, and we share everything.” Says Meshekey.
Meshekey say’s his recording was first misappropriated by another Indigenous Artist located in Winnipeg Manitoba named“Boogey the Beat” where Latimer got the rights from to use it where Boogey the Beat sampled Meshekey’s ceremonial song and found it online and used it without permission. Latimer found Boogey’s version online and got the rights from Boogey and used it in Rise. Meshekey says he approached Latimer where he says he felt still disrespected as the song was an obvious Anishinaabe song and used to celebrate Apache’s celebrating a colonial holiday which goes against the message of his art. The use by Latimer of this sacred Anishinaabe Ceremony Song with Anishinaabe Language over clips of Apache Vets celebrating July 4th uses the Anishinaabe Song in a very Pan Indian way which demonstrates an insensitivity of culture and any “Indian song” fits any Indigenous backdrop.
“ I was being super respectful but then Latimer attempts to take no responsibility, passing it off on the artist boogey the beat.” Says Meshekey who has always been vocal in calling injustices and questioning many things in various Indigenous Circles. He also speaks on the frustrations of not being heard and validated when doing so in relation to Latimer recently being called out by CBC.
“ It’s about time. Mark my words though, because now it’s gonna be popular to call out these
bastards even though us Nobody Windigokaan been calling out these fakes and Hollyweird for a long time. All we ever got was being called haters for trying to expose the crooked.” Says Meshekey. Phillip has been a performer in the Tribal Voice art form for over 10 years and has performed on many stages and alongside many well known voices such as John Trudell.
Phillip and his Uncle Desi are of the Anishinaabe Windigokaan, a Society of “Contraries” inwhich most Indigenous Nations have their distinct version and is akin to the so called “trickster figure.”
HIJACKED MOVEMENTS AND INDIGENOUS ELITIST’S
Our Movements been Hijacked for a while; being directed by and benefiting “white folk”. Political Correctness and Cancel Culture plays its part to allow this. “Lateral Silence” has everyone afraid to question and call things as they see it. Our Movements have been hijacked for a long time which is why I don’t trust many existing ones where our unbalance partly created by political correctness opens us up and allows such things to happen.
One issue many of us on the bottom of the societal totem pole recognize is when we call-out Injustices and hold those accountable in positions of privileged we are accused of lateral violence or being divisive for legitimate concerns. This past year I’ve witnessed others and also have experienced myself issues within the “Resistance” Movement where those of us who’ve been mistreated and experienced injustice within our own circles have demanded accountability from prominent activists and camps, spiritual people and even band politicians and councils for legitimate valid concerns but are belittled for speaking out.
The Supporters of these celebrity type activists, artists and people with platforms who are well known become like fan clubs who defend their hero’s and give them a pass and belittle those who are seeking accountability and calling out abusive behavior. Those who were victimized are revictimized where call-out culture within our circles has created an unbalance.
This past August 17 Metis Actress, Rosanne Supernault in an APTN interview addressed the lateral violence in what she describes as the “toxic Indigenous entertainment world” as she spoke on her experience in speaking out against her treatment by a member of a Tribe Called Red. and seeking accountability. https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/actress-says-she-was-ostracized-by-toxic-indigenous-entertainment-industry/
Those in privileged positions and their supporters create a sort of popularity cool kids clubs where calling someone out most times is only validated by people with such popularity, platforms or if you’re in the mainstream media. Elitist Circles exist in Academia, Arts Activism, Politics and even Spirituality across “Indian Country” and those on top most times seem to get protected or its taboo to call them out for their behaviors.
For a while our own People on the grassroots level were questioning people like Joseph Boyden and Michelle Latimer where political correctness labels those of us as being divisive for questioning concerns yet when mainstream media investigates and raises the same questions our people are quick to co-sign on those concerns coming from those arena’s. It took “whiteman’s” media for our people to make noise on this issue yet when our people on the ground make noise they get blacklisted and shamed.
Lateral Violence is also being misused by those who are actually engaging in this behavior and accuse their victims of this to gaslight and get the attention off of them.
Even our distinct Sacred Stories and societies are being hijacked and manipulated to assimilate us, Christianity to this overly passive ideologies can be seen influencing our Aatisokaanak. Most of our own Aatisokaankan spoken in our language if most understood would be considered Politically Incorrect and I wonder if Nanabush returned to help our People today I bet most would chase him away for being lateral violent for helping us look at ourselves. It’s easier to blame and point fingers at the “trickster” then to look at ourselves.
In the Spirit of the Season here is an Aatisokaan told by Waasaagonashkang who grew up on Rainy River, Rainy Lake, and the Lake of the Woods told circa 1905. Nanabush Pretends to be a Woman.
Mii sa eni-izhi-maajaad babimosed.
Mii sa ogii-debitawaa’ ikwewa’ manisenid; aaniish ogiimitawaa’:
“Amanjigish ge-izhchige’ongobanen ji-wiidigemang a’aw inini?” ikidowa’.
“Ambe sa noo, wawiyazh ninga-doodawaag awegweniwigwenag,” gii-inendam Nenaboozhoo
Ogikenimaan ge-mawinid wegwisisinid.
Mii dash gaa-izhi-wawezhi’od gaa-izhi-ikwekaazod.
Mii dash adikoo’obiinisagosiin mii dash iniw gaa-aawechiged i’iw ikweng.
Gaa-izhinaagwo’od, gaa-izhi-naazikawaad i’iw ikwewa’, o’ow idash ogii-inaa’ apii gaa-odisaad:
“Aaniindi ayaad a’aw inini zhiingenimaad i’iw ikwewa’ gaa-inind?”
Mii dash gaa-igod: “Mii omaa naaw-oodena ayaad,” ogii-igoo’.
“Gagwaanisagizi, endogwen ji-inendang.”
“Daga shkomaa, awii-inik,” odinaa’; “Nin-bi-izhi-nisha’ogoo ni-niigi’igoog,’” odinaa’ iw ikwewa’.
Mii sa geget gaa-izhi-giiwed bezhig, gaa-izhi-wiindamawind wa’aw mindimooyenh wegosisid.
E-kidod a’aw ikwe mayaajii’aajimod: “Biiwide omaa ayaa.”
O’ow dash ikido: “Nimbi-izhinizha’ogoo ni-niigi’igoog,” ikido.
“Mii dash gaa-pi-izhi-maajinizha’od, ‘awi-dibaajimon,’ nindig.
Ni-zhaagwenim. ‘Daa-bi-izhaawag nindaangwayag.’(1)”
Mii dash e-kidod aw mindimooye(2): “Aaniin dash i’iw andawaabamaasiweg,(1)” odinaa’ i’iw odaanisa’.
Mii dash geget ba-izhi-nandawaabamaawaad igiw ikwewag, mii sa gaa-giiwewiijiiwaawaad igiw ikwewag. (1)
Mii dash gaa-izhi’onoode’ind iwidi wendabinid iniw niniwan. (3)
Mii sa zhigwa gii-onaabemid. (1) (4)
Zhigwa owiishaamaa’ odaangweya’ ji-manisewaad(5).
Aaniish ajina go gii-mamadwe’igewan, aazha niibiwa misan.
“Awenen dash aw memindage ge-zhi-nshawisid?” odinaawaan, owiindamawaawaan ogiwaan.
“Geget sa gii-zhi-nshawisii a’aw nindaangwewaan.” (6)
Aaniish geget sa minwendam a’aw mindimooye, gaye a’aw akiwenzii gii-zhinshawisinid ona’aanganikwemiwaan.(7)
Mii dash gaa-izhi-ganoonaad waabizheshiwan:
“Ambe sa noo wiidookawishin o’ow ezhichigeyaan,” ogii-inaan.
Mii dash iniw gaa-oniijaanisid; o’ow idash ogii-inaan:
“Ambe sa noo, moozhag mawin,” ogii-inaan.
Mii dash geget gaa-izhichigenid,
dakobinaad ezhichiged mii eta i’imaa shkiinzhigoning zagapinaad; dakobinaad bimoomaawizod.
Mii sa go pane mawinid.
“Wo’ow idash ikidon,” ogii-inaan.
“ ‘Dagwaagishoob niwii-amwaa,’ ikidon i’iw ji-mamawiyan,” ogii-inaan.
Mii dash geget enwed a’aw abinoojii.
“Dagwaagishoob niwii-amwaa!” inwed.
Aaniish zhigwa zaagidoowan ozhinisan, aaniish ogimaawiwan; booch gii-zhichigenid i’iw anishinaabe ge-ikidod a’aw akiwenzii.
“Aaniish, anishinaabedog, e-kidod wa’aw noozhishenh, ‘dagwaagishoob niwii-amwaa,’” ikido.
Mii dash geget ge-bi-izhi-miinind Nenaboozhoo dagwaagishoobiin.
Bizaan apii gaa-onizhishininig maajid.
Mii dash waawiidigemaad iniw ininiwan, zhigwa ogikenimaan bigishkananinid iniw obiinisagosiin.
Mii dash gigizheb aazha namadabiwan ozhinisan gaye ozigosisan mii sa zhigwa gikenimaad bigishkanijijaakaamaad.
“Bisoo,” ikidowan ozhinisan.
“Wegonenda gaa-izhimaagwag?” ikidowan ozhinisan.
Geget mamiidaawendam; e-zhi-bazigwiid, aano-anishigaskabenid.
Ezhi-bangishimaad ozhinisan e-naasamabinid, ezhi-maajiibatood.
“Gegeti go ikwe inendamoog!” ikidowan Nenaboozhoowan.
|And then away he started upon his journey, travelling afoot.|
And so he came within the sound of some women who were gathering fire-wood; now he secretly overheard them saying:
“(I) wonder how we can bring it to pass so that we can marry that man!” they said.
“Now, a trick I am going to play on them, whoever they are,” thought Nanabushu.
He knew that the mother (of the man) would cry.
And so he got into gay attire after he had taken on the form of a woman.
There was a caribou spleen which he turned into a woman’s thing.
After he had taken on the form (of a woman), (and) after he had gone over to where the women were, this he then said to them when he came upon them:
“Where is the man who is said to be a hater of women?”
Whereupon he was told: “Here in the centre of the town he is,” he was told.
“He is hopelessly impossible, it is uncertain what his feeling would be (concerning you).”
“Then pray, do you go and give him a message,” he said to them; “I have been sent hither by my parents,” he said to the women.
And so truly, when back one (of them) went, then was the old woman who was mother (to the man) given the message.
Then said the woman who had conveyed the message: “A stranger is here.”
And this she said: “I have been sent hither by my parents,” she said.
“And so when I was set upon my way hitherward, ‘Go give the news,’ I was told.
I was loath (to go). ‘Let my friends come hither.’ (said the woman(1)).”
Thereupon said the old woman(2): “Why do you not go look for her(1)?” she said to her daughters.
And so truly came the women seeking for her, whereupon back home the women went, taking her(1) with them.
And then a place was made for her there where the man(3) was seated.
Therefore she(1) now had a husband(4).
By and by she wished her sisters-in-law to go with her to gather firewood(5).
So in a little while after the sound of her chopping was heard, already (was there) much firewood.
“Who is she that is such a remarkable worker?” they said to their mother, they said to her, telling her about it.
“Truly a good worker is our sister in law.” (6)
Now, thoroughly pleased was the old woman, as was also the old man, that such a good worker was their daughter-in-law.(7)
And then she (Nanabushu) addressed the Marten, saying:
“I wish you would help me in this that I am undertaking,” she said to it.
And so that was the creature she had for child; and this she said to it:
“Come, now, all the while do you cry,” she said to it.
And that truly was what (the Marten) did.
When she had it strapped to the cradle-board, her arrangement was such that she has it bound up as far as over the eyes; with it bound to the cradle-board, she played the nurse carrying it about on her back.
And so all the while did (the Marten) weep.
“Now, this do you say,” she said to it.
“Some tenderloin do I wish to eat,’ do you say, so that you may cry,” she said to it.
And that truly was what the infant cried.
“Some tenderloin do I want to eat!” it cried.
Presently they understood what it wanted.
Now then out went her father-in-law to cry aloud, for he was chief; for of necessity were the people bound to do whatever the old man should say.
“Now, O ye people! Thus says my grandchild, ‘Some tenderloin do I want to eat,’” he said.
And so truly was Nanabushu given some tenderloin.
It hushed while it was given something good to eat.
And so while she (Nanabushu) continues living (as a wife) with the man, she then became aware that the spleen was decaying.
And so one morning, while her father-in-law and mother-in-law were seated, she then began to realize that she was becoming rotten between the loins.
“Phew!” said her father-in-law.
“What is that which smells so?” said her father-in-law.
Truly was she worried about it; when she rose to her feet, in vain she tried to keep it from falling.
When she dropped it in front of where her father-in-law was seated, then away she started running.
“Truly a real woman they thought!” said Nanabushu.
By: Kaikaikons, Atik Clan aka Johnny Hawk
The Link Here is JOHN HAWKE – Contistutional Challenge DEC 4 the Hard Copy of my ConstitutionalQuestion I brought forward to an Ontario Court on Dec 9th 2020 regarding to a 5 week Blockade I set up in 2019 on disputed lands (Ontario Awenda’s Provincial Park) and was removed on fabricated charges of uttering threats. Will Post a follow up Video of what happened at this trial and next steps.
By: John Hawke
The 1798 Penetanguishene Purchase, Crown Treaty 5 is a complex issue where the lands it involves are fused with the 1815 Crown Treaty 16, the Lakes Simcoe and Lakes Huron Purchase. The 50,000 Acres allegedly ceded in regards to Crown Treaty 5, the Penetanguishene Purchase were consolidated and surrendered by the 1815 Crown Treaty 16 where 250,000 acres were ceded. This is how those 50,000 acres were unlawfully ceded. Slight of hand. This was the basis of a claim submitted by the Chippewa Tri Council (Beausoleil, Rama and Georgina Island First Nations) in 1986 and 1990 to Canada’s Specific Claims Branch but was rejected by Canada.
Elders and Leaderships who’ve passed on throughout the generations from Beausoleil First Nation along with descendants of Chief Aisance, a signatory of the 1798 Penetanguishene Harbour Purchase have always claimed the agreement was only for Penetanguishene Harbor.
On May 19th, 1795 representatives of the “Chippewa Nation” signed a provisional agreement at York; This document indicated that if they received goods worth 100 pounds in Quebec currency they would cede the lands “from the head of Opetiquawising to Nottowaysague Bay including the harbor of Penetanguishene. 1
“Keewaycamekeishcan: who used the Otter totem as his mark, meaning “He went in place of somebody.” This man likely signed the tentative agreement in the absence of one of the chiefs. 2
The Government took no immediate action to fulfill the terms of the provisional agreement. While no money or goods were given no attempt was made to take possession of the lands. Simcoe left the colony in July 1796 and in his absence Peter Russell became the Administer of the Province.
Band Members also speak on traditional hunting grounds south of Nottawasaga Bay in lands covered by the 1815 Lakes Simcoe-Huron Purchase, (Crown Treaty No. 16). 3 It is still of Chief Aisance family’s oral tradition that still holds that there were family hunting grounds within the area of today’s Thunder Beach. 4 The description of the ceded territory was vague.5 The maps accompanying the treaty demonstrated the extent to which the surveyors were unfamiliar with the area. 6
Francis Gore became Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1806 and he believed that before the Penetanguishene Peninsula could be developed, the government would have to build a road leading to it from Lake Simcoe. He asserted that the government should purchase these lands in this vicintiy not only to open up a road but also to open it up for settlement. In June 1811 he sent Williams Claus, Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs to negotiate yet another provisional agreement with the Ojibwes of Lake Simcoe and Matchedash Bay. This Treaty was seeking the Ojibwe to cede 250,000 acres of land situated between Kempentfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe and Penetangusihene Bay on Lake Huron. 7
At this meeting of this tentative agreement Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Claus told the Chiefs “I do not consider that we have a right to take possession of the land until the deed of conveyance shall; be executed and there is no objection to you occupying the garden grounds at Penetanguishene Bay. 8
Although the goods were sent from England the following summer, they were needed by the government for other purposes and therefore were not used to purchase the land. With the outbreak of war with the United States in 1812, the government believed it could no longer postpone creating a naval base in the area. Claus assured the Chiefs that although the government had sent troops “to open roads and form an establishment on Lake Huron,” it recognized that “all the Lands north of Lake Simcoe” were “still the property of the Indians.” 9
In November 1814 a military road was finished stretching from Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe to Penetanguishene, and in 1815 a blockhouse was built at that harbor. 10 After the war ended the government redirected its attention to obtaining a cession of lands north of Lake Simcoe. In November 1815, “Kinaybicoinini, Alsace and Musquckey, the principal Chiefs of the Chippewa Nation of Indians” signed a treaty agreeing to cede 250,000 acres which was the final ratification of the provisional agreement in June 1811 11, The Lakes simcoe- Lake Huron Purchase, Crown Treaty No. 16
This Treaty however did not contain no reference to the blacksmith which these chiefs had requested in 1811; no mention was made of the promise Claus had made in that year that they could continue to use their lands in and around Penetanguishene. 12
These bands also acted together in September 1850 when W.B Robinson, chosen by the executive Council to negotiate the cession to the crown of the lands on the north shores of Lakes Superior and Huron, 13 did not include them in the negotiating or signing of a treaty concerning bordering on Lake Huron. Chiefs Assance, Snake and Yellowhead met with Robinson one week after the Robinson Treaty had been signed and they asserted that a tract of land on lake Huron between Penetanguishene and the Severn River belonged to them and had never been ceded to the Crown. Robinson later recorded: “Should it appear that these Chiefs have any claim I think I could get their surrender of it for a small amount.” 14
The 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement attempted to resolve such injustices in the 1923 Williams Treaty where harvesting rights were unlawfully surrendered and where there was no proper compensation for the surrender of northern hunting grounds (13 Million Acres separate from the lands in the pre-confederation treaties) The inclusion of the complex issues of these Pre-Confederation Treaties should’ve remained as separate claims as this settlement agreement consolidated such issues with the intent to extinguish the Indigenous Title to such lands for Canada’s benefit.
The 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement was a repeat of history of the 1798 Penetanguishene Purchase Treaties and 1923 Williams Treaty. The 1923 Williams Treaty and 2018 Settlement Agreement is not a Treaty as there are no annuities for traditional territories being occupied, no rights to education and health care exemplified in the numbered treaties Canada has with other First Nations and provision to remove Canada’s assumption of jurisdiction imposed by the 1867 BNA Act and 1982 Constitution Act.
Queen Anne’s Order in Council an Imperial Statute (Constitutional Law) 1704, 1740, 1773 as a result of Mohegan vs Connecticut recognizes the Sovereignty of the Indigenous Nations of North America whereas any disputes between Settler Governments and the Indigneous are to be settled in an impartial third party court which was created and never disbanded. The Royal Proclamation 1763 a constitutional document of Canada recognizes the “several Nations or Tribes of Indians, with whom We are connected”. 15 in which was integrated with the 1764 Niagara Covenant Chain Belt Treaty that recognizes the Sovereignty and Jurisdiction of the Crowns Indigenous Allies. This rule of law exemplifies that Clan Territories of a Tribe and Nation where Indigenous Title can not be extinguished by the Indian Act Elected Band Council’s which are entities created by Canada. First Nations Band Councils are not a Clan, Tribe or Nation and have no lawful authority to represent our peoples and lands.
In a supreme court ruling in the Nowegijick case it states that “treaties and statutes dealing with Indians should be given a fair, large and liberal construction and doubtful expressions resolved in favour of the Indians, in the sense in which they would be naturally understood by the Indians.”16
The Ojibway may not have fully understood that the cessions meant the full surrender of all lands and rights. According to Donald B. Smith in his research in his book The Dispossession of the Mississauga Indians: a Missing Chapter in the Early History of Upper Canada shares “they had no concept of such a surrender, and they were assured that they could ‘encamp and fish where they pleased.” 17
There is debate as to whether our ancestor signatories understood the full meaning of the Upper Canada Land Surrender treaties. Robert Surtees postulated that those who agreed to sell their lands to the Crown during the late eighteenth century did not understand that the treaties represented the complete abandonment of their rights over the lands in question18
The terms and language found in the texts must be tempered by a close examination of what the parties understood them to mean, of the historical context of the period, and of the intent of the agreements. Specifically, the issue of “hunting” or “hunting grounds” is one of considerable interest. Throughout this period, Aboriginal lands were constantly described as “hunting grounds” in official documents and correspondence of the Indian Department.
In light of this usage, did British colonial officials make any distinction between the “hunting grounds” and Aboriginal title in their policies and their practices of treaty-making?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett may soon be facing an investigation by Canada’s Ethics Commissioner regarding a 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement between Canada, the Province of Ontario and seven First Nations in southern Ontario.
John Hawke a community member of Chimnissing Anishinabek (Beausoleil First Nation) located 175 km north of Toronto says he’s been in contact with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada over a concern involving the Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister as well as former Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
“They each have property within a 50,000 acre tract of land of our traditional territory where the Indigenous Title was extinguished in a 2018 Settlement Agreement. It is integral to know if they declared a conflict of interest in cabinet before their government signed off on this agreement” Explains Hawke
The Chippewa Tri Council (Beausoleil, Rama and Georgina Island First Nations) allege that a 50,000 acre tract in Simcoe County was not included in the Penetanguishene Treaty of 1798 and remained in title to the band however this tract was allegedly taken without consent by a 1811 provisional agreement. The matter was a submitted as a claim by the Chippewa Tri Council in 1986 and 1990 which Canada rejected and was recently included in with the 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement. Hawke feels this needed to be a stand alone claim.
“ Injustices in the Pre-confederation treaties such as the 1798 Penetang Purchase where these grievances have been amalgamated with the separate issue of our northern hunting grounds and harvesting rights have allowed Canada again to provide a flawed agreement with unfair compensation where Indigenous Title is never to be extinguished.” explains Hawke.
The 2018 Williams Treaties Settlement Agreement attempted to resolve injustices created by the 1923 Williams Treaties where the Crown breached it fiduciary responsibilities. The 1923 Williams Treaties unilaterally extinguished the First Nations Harvesting Rights within seven First Nation’s Traditional Territory and did not provide proper compensation and reserve lands for the surrender of their northern hunting grounds.
The Conflict of Interest Act provides in section 44 that only a Member of the Senate or House of Commons may request, in certain circumstances, that the Commissioner examines a matter. Section 45 of the Act however provides that the Commissioner may examine a matter on his own initiative if he has reason to believe that a public office holder has contravened the Act.
Hawke failed to get any responses from MP’s in his attempt to raise this concern but has raised interest of the Ethics Commissioner in an email of inquiry he sent.
A Special Advisor to the Commissioner, Phillipe Joly has been corresponding with Hawke who informed Hawke that Commissioner Dion asked him to take a look at his request to see if he could have reason to believe that a contravention has occurred. Hawke has provided preliminary information for their review.
Hawke also gives warning to other Indigenous Communities such has Six Nations of the Grand River where Minister Carolyn Bennett has agreed to sit down and discuss the historical claims and land right issues of Six Nations as a result of a month long occupation of a housing development by Six Nations land defenders.
“ I caution and encourage all communities to make noise by questioning the Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister on this matter.” Explains Hawke.
Hawke also feels that the First Nations Elected Councils are also under a conflict of interest when making agreements on behalf of an Indigenous Nation, Tribe and Clans as the Elected Councils are entities under the jurisdiction of Canada’s Indian Act.
The Williams Treaties First Nations include Alderville First Nation, Chippewas of Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation and Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
For more Information Contact:
Anishinabek Coalition To Invoke our Nation, Communications Dept
John Hawke @ 705 247 2120 or firstname.lastname@example.org