Please Help Flood the emails of these Chiefs to get them to boycott this Gathering. If these Chiefs can bow down to the government about releasing their financial documents there shouldnt be a problem sharing their emails…Use the Template below or create your own but lets flood the shit out of their emails……Share it around and help this Campaign!
Cc: wallace fox <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Perry Bellegarde <email@example.com>, Jackie@berensriver.ca, Nelson Bunn <Chief.firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Chief Rollie Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Nelson Houle <firstname.lastname@example.org>, David Ledoux <email@example.com>, James Plewak <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Dennis Meeches <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Cameron Catcheway <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Chief Francine Meeches <email@example.com>, Barry McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Melville Wabash <email@example.com>, sam Cruise <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrea Camp <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, John Jurrius <email@example.com>, Hector <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My name is Kai Kai Kons and I belong to the Loon Clan of the Anishinabek Nation and reside in Oshkimaadiziig Camp and am of the Chimnissing Anishinabek.
We are writing you today on behalf of our territory, waters, and future generations and for those whose voices are not respected and represented. We have been asked by our Women who assert themselves accordingly to our Clan System and Laws and who are the true Leadership of our Nation where it is my obligation to the responsibilities of those things I’ve expressed that I am in which I am to addressing you today.
I am also writing you in regards to the illegally imposed Canadian policies, land claim settlements and industries that breach our Nation to Nation Agreements we have with the Crown where you are a representative as an Indian Act Agent commonly known as a Band Chief.
In 1705 in the case involving the Mohegan Tribe vs Connecticut the Crown ruled that the Jurisdiction of the Indigenous Nations of North America exists and is affirmed. This was never appealed. In 1764, the Niagara Covenant Chain Belt was an agreement between 24 Indigenous Nations. This was an agreement based on Peace, Co-existence and Non-Interference and one of Canada’s founding constitutional documents.
There is no representation of our people who wish to assert themselves accordingly in regards to these very sacred and legal agreements. Canada and its Judicial System, Military and their Agents who breach these agreements are guilty of Misprison of Treason and Complicity of Genocide. Our people’s voices are not truly represented as a Nation and who are forced to accept colonial policies under coercion and duress.
We understand Chief Terrance Nelson of the Southern Chiefs Organization of Manitoba has only invited specific Chiefs who are attending the AFN Gathering to an Oil and Pipeline Business Partnership Conference, held December 8th, 2014 at the Delta Hotel 350 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg. We strongly advise you to spiritually and legally uphold who we are as a Nation and boycott this event. The Forestry and Oil Industry, Pipelines, Land Surrenders, policies such as the First Nation Lands Management Act are attempts to undermine our Jursidiction, detroy our Waters, Land and Future Generations. You have a chance to start asserting yourself accordingly to who we really are. We strongly advise you to boycott this and address this issue amongst yourselves to stop this development and start a reemergence of our own institutions such as our own political structures and laws. We along with our Future Generations an Ancestor’s are watching.
“Women are the true jurisdictional authority and title holders of our territories as they are connected to Creator as they give life..but what happens if Women both in grassroots and indian act circles allow policies and land claim surrenders to go through and accept them as in my area…..Do I surrender and jump off the cliff too? and would I be disrespecting Women if I disagree and choose to assert our responsibility as a Human Being/Anishinabek by not given up our tribal sovereignty and protecting lands n waters from resource exploitation….Sometimes I think we forget that the Pipe of Peace has two realities that work together, the Bowl and the Stem” (The above quote first appeared on Johnny Hawkes Facebook page, and it has been used here without Johnny Hawkes permission. Please don’t tell on me.)
When I saw this post, it tickled something inside of me for two reasons. For one is raises the question about accepting leadership from women, but it also indirectly points to the Traditional concept of the Prayer Pipe, and how the stem and bowl work together. The Traditional concept of the Prayer Pipe, is that the bowl signifies the women energy, and the stem represents the male energies. The bowl symbolizes mother earth, and likewise the stem signifies all things on the earth. The way that I was taught, is that the women, who are naturally connected in ways to the feminine energies, (Mother Earth, and Grandmother Moon) speak on their behalf. The men then recieving this direction from the women, uphold those values and essentially enforce them as law. What Johnny is saying is that, “What if the womyn are not following the Spiritual Laws and direction that once guided our people, and are accepting land surrender deals?” Is it disrespectful to disagree with them? Or as Johnny says “Do I jump off the cliff too?” But I’d like to expand on this idea a bit, and include people who self identify as Elders, or who have rightfully or wrongfully been granted the “Elder” status.
When I began my last (and hopefully my final round of sobriety) it coincided with the Coldwater Narrows Land Claim settlement that my community accepted in 2012. In the fall of 2011 I went out fasting for the 1st time, I began going to sweat lodges every week, for several months, right up until two weeks before the vote of either yay or nay, to accept the 307 million dollar offer from the Canadian state as a settlement. (Hidden in the 100 pages of documents was legal jargon that essentially spelled out “extermination”). I went to a few legal advocates to help me understand all the legal phrases and words, and I went to see the Elders and Healers at Anishinabek Health. One of the Elders asked me, “What are the Traditional people of your community doing?” So I eventually made my way up to the reservation to hear mr. Hawke’s take on everything, and at the same time, went to see one of the Pipe Carriers. The message that I got from that pipe carrier was “I hope you aren’t listening to the Johnny Hawk, because we’ve been fighting for this land claim for a long time….” (In case you haven’t been following along, Johnny Hawk was adamantly opposed to accepting the land surrender, and his words, and actions are what inspired me to join the cause that eventually became the Oshkimadziig Unity Camp). Judging by what this Elder and Pipe Carrier was saying, he was hoping for a “yay” verdict on the settlement. But how could this be? This was somebody that everyone looked up to, for guidance, direction and healing. Should I too, unilaterally and unequivocally accept his advice and “jump off the cliff too?”
There was this hollow gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, something that beckoned for me to listen to what it was trying to tell me. But I was still an infant on my ceremonial and spiritual path, and I needed some more help and direction, so I went back to the city to seek it. I sought out every Elder that I knew, and who ever was available. At least two of those Elders told me to follow my own intuition, and do what my “heart tells me to do.” Another Grandmother told me, that in the Mohawk territory where she came from, the Elders advised the people not to accept the casino deal (and the money), and it turned out negatively in ways of increased drugs, addiction, abuse, gambling, impoverishment, death etc. She warned me from her own experience what might happen when “big money” is handed out to “small reserves”. But the best advice I received was from Grandfather Vern, who reminded me of the true path of the Red Road. He said “Well you’ve been following the Red Road teachings by going fasting, you’ve been going to the sweat lodges, you have been praying. Who have you been praying for, and who have you been praying about?” Grandfather Vern is also the one who taught me to pray, and in that prayer we begin thanking all of Creation for all of the blessings we receive from them). He plainly pointed out to me, “When you die, and you travel to the spirit world, you won’t have anyone with you. You will go before the Great Council of Grandmothers and Grandfathers by yourself. And you will have to account for everything that you have with your life here on Mother Earth. Whether you chose to accept the deal or not to accept the deal, will be something that you will have to atone for. But if you truly understand Our Ways (in reference to the Red Road), you will understand that we do not make deals to surrender anything to anyone for any amount of money.”
Johnny’s quote raises some interesting questions, not only regarding women, but some of those that are entrusted to carry those sacred Prayer Pipes too. Grandfather Vern told me once “There are many people who carry Prayer Pipes that shouldn’t be carrying them. There was a spiritual movement in the 60’s and 70’s where everyone came out of the woodwork, and people began handing out Prayer Pipes left and right. Alot of those people hadn’t earned the right to carry those Sacred Items for the people. I had to earn everything that I carry, my eagle wing, my Prayer Pipes, everything. How did I earn them? I fasted for everything that I carry. And how did I become an “Elder?” It wasn’t like one day, I just woke up with the title “Elder” I earned that right. How did I earn that right? I became a servant to the people.” He went on to say, “There are far to many people hurting people who do not have the right INTENTION of carrying the Prayer Pipe. Some of these people don’t even carry the teachings that go with those Prayer Pipes. That is why I tell everyone that you have the right to question everything. You have the right to question everyone who calls themselves and Elder, who carries a Prayer Pipe and who runs a Sweat Lodge or ceremonies. You have the right to keep yourself safe, and the only way you can keep yourself safe is to ask questions.”
I never questioned that Prayer Pipe Carrier on their teachings, and where they earned that right to carry that responsibility for the people. Probably because Grandfather Vern’s teaching hadn’t sunk all the way in yet. Or perhaps it was because I had put this person on some sort of pedestal, and that I thought that I was inferior to that person, and I didn’t feel like challenging them on their authority.
The Creator has given us a path. Each of our own paths are uniquely and distinctly our own. We can’t live someones else’s life, nor should we expect someone to live our life. The responsibilities that we accept when we follow the Red Road, are our own. Some people are chosen to Sundance, others are chosen to Sweat Lodge. Some are chosen to be Fire Keepers or Water Carriers. Some are chosen to be “Joe the wood chopper guy”, “Or Suzie the cedar picker girl”. Wherever we land on the Red Road, there are teachings and instructions that go with that Red Road. Some of those simplest instructions that go with them are the Teachings of the Two Paths (an ancient story I heard once, that is synonymous about “feeding the two wolves”) These teachings can be simplified into the Grandfather Teachings. There are the common 7 Grandfather Teachings that everyone talks about, but what about the opposite ones? No one seems to mention the opposite Grandfather Teachings, yet we know just about everyone who follows them, including ourselves. Do we speaking the TRUTH, even when it inflicts harms being HONEST to the Teachings? Is eating food that is bad for our health being RESPECTful to our bodies? Do we reflect on all these teachings every single time we make a decision? To do so would be following the direction of the Grandfather of WISDOM. We live in a world, where some of us have 9-5 jobs, and some of these jobs, may actually be hazardous to our health, and the environment in which we live. No one can live perfectly by the 7 Grandfather Teachings, that is why there is the opposite Grandfather Teachings (that no one seems to talk about), to remind us, and to teach us, that no one can live saintly without error, and therefore we should and need to raise questions.
If the community members where you come from, are making a deal to surrender traditional lands, and the women, and even the Sacred Pipe Carriers of that community are saying to go with it, does disagreement equate to disrespect? Absolutely not.
Looking back on everything now, and knowing everything I do now, I don’t blame the people for making any decisions. Nor do I blame myself, or the Oshimaadziig Unity Camp for not being able to influence the outcome the way that we wanted to. I have learned that we have to make our own decision from an objective, critical, analytical, and spiritual standpoint. The Elders keep telling me that the Red Road is the hardest road to walk. What makes it so hard, is the difficult decisions on that road. It means standing up for what you believe in. It means that often times when you do make a stand, you might be standing alone. But often times when you do make that stand, you might find that others will join your stance. If our people never made that stand at Wounded Knee, Alcatraz, Anishinabe Park, Gustafsen Lake, Kanesatake, Burnt Church, The Peoples Caravan, The Longest Walk, would we enjoy the relative freedom we do now? (I say relative freedom facetiously. Until we are fully liberated from colonization, none of us are truly free, but the point I was trying to establish, is that we aren’t exactly outlawed leaving the reserves, or outlawed from ceremonial practice either.)
I thank Johnny Hawke for making that initial stance and inspiring the courage in me to do so too. But I also thank all the Elders who helped guide me, and told me to trust my instincts and reminded of the Original Teachings that govern the world in which we live in.
Almost 3 years later, I’m still standing, and I’m still questioning everything. I encourage everyone to do the same. Question everything, and everyone. Except for this article, I am unilaterally and unequivocally perfect! I follow them opposite Grandfather Teachings to a “T”. Or do I?
I was talking to this comrade one time, and we were discussing some revolutionary type stuff, and I mentioned a “serve the people” type idea where I envisioned helping the Free Range people on the street. Helping with food, clothing, medicine, or whatever, and this comrade says to me “Sounds more like charity work, and not serve the people work”.
Although I can appreciate the criticism, around trying to build mass organizations, or social movements around “charity work”, I’ve had time to reflect on the comment, the past two years, and have delved into a deeper innerstanding of what charity is.
Charity in the capitalist, consumerist, dog-eat-dog world, is usually associated with NGO type organizations, who often times receive large amounts of grant money from, gov’t funded agencies, who then instill a whole list of “non-political” things one can or can not do with the money. Therefore, these NGO’s are not really that interested in party building, or funding revolutionary movements. These people especially those on the frontlines, may have the best of intentions and seriously want to help those most afflicted, but are in large ways limited by the bureaucratic policies that are placed upon them. Like I said, I can appreciate the comrades criticism for not wanting to do “charity” work, but alas, there is something that gnaws at me in the pit of my stomach. Something that tells me, THERE IS A NEED to do charity work.
As I’ve been meditating an praying about my roles and responsibilities, as a Bear Clan, a Man, and an Anishinabek, I contemplate the roles of all of them. To simplify things, I’ve singled it down to, “what does the Bear do?” Well the Bear is the Medicine Clan, which is why I probably have that innate sense of wanting to help, sick, and or ailing people.
As I’ve reflected on the 14 Grandfather Teachings, I think about how under the Grandfather of Love, that that there are many many Anishinabke words to describe actions of love. (I am not a fluent speaker of Anishinabemowin, but this is what I have been told). So, if there are many Anishinabek words to describe actions of love, then similarly, there must be many ways to describe actions of Love in the English language. One needs only to arm themselves with a thesaurus to get many different synonyms and antonyms.
Charity, is an act of kindness, generosity, and compassion, all of which can be described by using actions of Love. Therefore, under the Sacred Teachings, Charity is in fact a necessity of life.
Back to what that comrade was saying, about “charity work”, and how that comment was made to kind of dismiss the notion as “not an area” of work that people should be focusing on, I am reminded about what revolutionaries have said about the vanguard of the proletariat being the people who are most oppressed. If the people on the streets are not a large part of the most oppressed, then I don’t know who is. Understandably from an Indigenous perspective, I do not know off hand, of any nations that have committed strictly to charity work. However there are many cases and instances, where I can reference where in fact Anishinabek people are charitable. I can reference Chistopher Columbus when he washed up on shore, and how the Indigenous people saved them from scurvy. Or there’s an Anishinabek teaching about helping people. It goes that long ago, if you were paddling your canoe, and you saw some people starving and in need, by Traditional Law you were required to help them. But you should never give them anymore then 1/3 of your provisions.
When I think about all the people, and all the agencies, NGO or non NGO who have helped me, who either did it out of their love, compassion and kindness, I can’t not in good conscience, in my sobriety ignore those acts. And as such, I feel a spiritual and moral obligation to help those who may in fact need my help. Call it charity, call it love, kindness or compassion. Call it for what it really is. Its the right thing to do. Its the Mno Bimaadziwin way of life.
When I think about what the comrade had told me about “charity” service, I think it should be a criticism that all revolutionaries should undertake. Perhaps too much time is spent trying to organize among the “work class” and not enough time is committed to “charity” work. I say the word “charity” facetiously.
As a member of ACTION we don’t mind doing charity work. But understandably, the majority of our work can not be just charity. Our teaching tells us, that we can in fact commit 1/3 of our provisions help those in need. Maybe this should serve as a reminder to the vast majority of people who have the ability to give, but fail to do so, only during the holiday crunch when its socially acceptable to do so.
I remember the very first time that I heard that word, and questioned what it meant, was watching the movie “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”. There’s a scene when Friar Tuck is forced to pull his wagon of beer by the horses to the hideout, and he remarks, “Lord thank you for teaching me humility”. I was only a child at the time of the movie, and I didn’t really understand what humility meant, but judging by the movie, it took it as meaning “feeling comfortable in an embarrassing moment.”
As I’ve gotten older, and have had a few people tell me, “Humility is the opposite of ego.” By that measure, if ego is “I”, than humility must mean “You” or anyone other than “I”. To put it plainly I heard one “holier than thou aren’t” Uncle tell me, “It really boils down to being in service others than being in service of yourself.”
But there are so many different interpretations of ego, and humility in the English language, and thus the colonially programmed mind, and it is easy to co-opt one for the other.
Allow me to illustrate an example by way of my participation at Oshkimaadziig. What initially began as a protest camp, then eventually as a trail blazing venture toward decolonization, I allowed myself to be succumbed to the ego of serving myself, rather than serving the people. There are many such examples, and one such example could be how I thought that my voice and opinion were more important than others. I had become so involved with my own interpretation of my importance, that I had become, cynical, shrewd, and hyper-critical of others, and so forth. I put down those in the Idle No More movement, and cast them of as pacifists, and dished out criticisms toward the Indigenous academics and thought of them as “reformists” and colonial wannabes. In my mind, the way things should be going, was that people had to be doing things, the way that we were doing things, by “roughing it out in the bush” on our path to decolonization. I had literally convinced myself, that by sacrificing myself, the way that I was, that I was in fact “serving the people”. How wrong I was.
Back then there was only one sister who stepped up to the plate and set me straight. She kindly pointed out all of the things that I had been doing, and how far from the trail, I had allowed myself to become. I had literally become a shadow of my former self. I had a near nervous break down, and had to pull myself out and away from the camp. In a twist of irony, I had to stop “serving the people” and had to “serve myself” in the form of Traditional Counselling and Healing. I had to rekindle the spiritual essence that had propelled me to take action with Oshkimaadziig in the first place.
In the process, I had to get a better grip with my innerstanding of “humility” or face “humiliation” from the ancestors. So I opted to go with re-learning humility. I committed to all the instructions that I was given by the Grandmothers and Grandfathers I seen. I had to put others before I put myself, in my prayers, thoughts and actions. I committed to this whole heartedly, and before me, my world started to change. It was very subtle, (and is very subtle at times) but little by little I noticed that my entire spectrum of prayer and thoughts had changed. I challenged myself to see the good in people first. Or at least look for the good in people, before I started to critique peoples actions, thoughts and behaviours.
On my journey of re-learning humility, I had to first learn what ego truly was, and I not only saw it myself, but I started recognizing it in others. I would sometimes go to lodges, or circles, and could see and sense, that what was going on, was not for the people, but mostly for the conductor or facilitator. My experience in being called out for my egotism, had allowed me to see more clearly the ego in others actions. Which then serves a reminder on how not to be.
I remember learning of this guy Amilcar Cabral and how he led this revolution in Afrika. Anyway, one of the things he said, “…in order to truly fulfill the role in the national liberation struggle, the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie must be capable of committing suicide as a class in order to be reborn as revolutionary workers…” What this meant to me, was that those who feel entitlement (petty bourgeoisie), have to lower their standards, to become “more like the people” (revolutionary workers).
I have been called many things. I’ve been called a “Young Elder” or an “Elder in the making”. I’ve been called a “Warrior”, a “visionary” and a whole host of other names synonymous with “great”. And I think some of this inflated my already self existing and self sustaining ego. In my journey, I had to re-learn what it meant to take the proverbial “class suicide” and become just a regular Joe. Could I be comfortable, without being known for my frontline actions with Oshkimaadziig? Could I be comfortable with myself if my path never was to lead me to becoming a medicine man, a holy man, an elder, or a warrior?
The answer was yes. It was only 3 years ago, that I was a hopeless, reckless drunk and addict, and back then, I never wanting anything, and could care less about being any of those things. On my spiritual journey, what I have also learned about humility is that you must be comfortable with what the ancestors are asking of you. If you are being asked to be “Joe the wood chopper guy”, but secretly you want to be “Joe the medicine man guy” you have to learn to accept the humility of what is being asked of you, for the benefit of others.
For me personally, I’ve been asked to be “Giibwanisi the fart smudge guy”.
If you know me, you know that I have a great sense of humour, and I make up all these crazy stories, about farting, and smelling farts, and all kinds of other things. But it truly is my own humility teaching to my self. When you get right down to it, farting can be a very emBARE-ASSing thing, but when you normalize it, to the hilarious thing that it is….it gets easier. The other thing that my humility taught me to do, was to lower myself, to be the brunt of the jokes, to be the “town fool” or whatever, this way I could learn to be in em-BARE-ASSing moments, and not feel the need to be so ashamed, hurt, or humiliated when someone bad mouths me or what not. It also helps me learn to be comfortable with being the lowest on the totem pole, and to be okay with that.
As my good ole unkie Johnny taught me, “humility is really about being in service of others.” and ” the ability to do the next right thing, especially when no one else is watching”
I was sitting here this morning, reflecting on my own thoughts, and dreams. And something spoke to me about “forgiveness” and “acceptance”
Of all the things that I’ve had to learn on my journey, forgiveness and acceptance has been one of the hardest things I had to learn. Right up there with “patience”. Although “forgiveness”, “acceptance” and “patience” aren’t directly listed as a Grandfather/Grandmother teaching, they are in fact there.
Why is forgiveness so important? Well forgiveness is a part of the healing aspect and in order for one to heal, one must close that gaping wound that has been inflicted upon them. If one chooses not to forgive, then is like that saying about “opening old wounds”. Forgiveness is about accepting what has happened and moving on. You let that part of your journey, go, and in doing so, you let it heal.
But its not as easy as it sounds.
I was getting some healing done once, and the Healer said to me, “You must learn to let go, and to do this you must forgive what has been done to you, and what you have allowed yourself to do to others.”
I was like “dafuq, you talking about Willis? Let go? How am I just supposed to not remember all the shitty things, that happened to me. Not to mention all the shitty things that I’ve done to other people?”
I walked away from that ceremony confused and twisted, but I was instructed to do my own “Cedar Bath” ceremony. And I was instructed to do it correctly, with genuine intentions.
So I went home, and I thought about what he had said to me, and about a week or two of self pity, and wallowing in my own woe, I had enough and ran myself a bath, and boiled the cedar like I was taught. I prayed to the water, the medicines, and asked for forgiveness and to help with the healing. The entire time, I was committed to prayer. I was asking Creator for forgiveness for all the nasty and horrible things that I had done to people, animals, and all life.
After the four cedar baths I was instructed to do, I felt immensely better. And as I had reflected on the things that I was doing, it was then that I had a deeper and much more profound innerstanding of “forgiveness”, “acceptance” and “patience”. For starters, it took me a month to do all of the cedar baths, and in the process, I was taught that there is no instant cure, and things need time to heal. Secondly I was taught that the Creator, and all other creation can be “all forgiving” but it is us Two-Leggeds that need to learn this. (Ever kick a dog, and see that it will come back wagging its tail? Or how about when we poison the rivers, and ponds, and yet the fish and birds still return to spawn and nest? Or when we mow the lawn, or cut a tree, it will grow back). This taught me, that somehow I had to learn how to mend, and heal on my own, so that I can grow. And in doing so, I had to learn from all other aspects of creation, and learn to forgive, accept and trust.
I am no way shape or form healed from all the trauma and abuse that has either been inflicted upon me, or that I have inflicted upon myself or others, but the path of healing has been going on for about 5 years or so. I was told, that because of the enormity, and severity of the of the colonial genocide that took place on Turtle Island, it will take at least 7 Generations of healing to recover. That recovery takes place with me, with you, with us as a community.
But there is a two-fold, teaching in all of this, and that is that just because we forgive, it does not mean that we have to forget, or that we should learn to forget. We need to remember the abuse and trauma, so that we are reminded of the HIStory lesson, and so that we are cautious never to repeat those lessons. Only when we remember, we don’t allow ourselves to go so deep, as to relive all those traumatic events, and suffer deeply again. Its like having a sports injury to your arm. You don’t need to throw the ball so hard, as to re-injure yourself again. But your arm will feel a little sore, to remind you, that yes, there was some sort of trauma experienced there once, but it will heal up, and tomorrow you will feel fine again.
Forgiveness is a hell of thing, but its necessary in the journey moving forward. When one learns to forgive, one learns to accept. And in the process one is taught, that all animate and inanimate objects in the web of life, has the patience do endure another moment with us bumbling Two-Leggeds.
The Rendez-vous Champlain 2015 Festival currently being planned is generating excitement within historic Huronia, two hours north of Toronto. The Festival will commemorate the arrival of French colonist Samuel Du Champlain as well as the displaced so-called Huron Nation and the 400 years of French occupation in Traditional Wendat-Huron Territory. The local Anishinabek communities who play a very significant role in the area’s history which mostly goes unrecognized choose not participate in the celebrations.
Beausoleil First Nation, an Anishinabek community within Huronia whose ancestors were trade allies with the French and Huron and who defended the area from Haudenasaunee encroachment also claims the area as their traditional territory. The Huron who call themselves the Wendat Nation after fleeing the Haudenasaunee in the mid 1600’s fled to Quebec and parts of what is now known as the United States.
In a recent Beausoleil First Nation community meeting on Christian island, Chief Roland Monague announced the Council’s decision to not participate in the event. The Council along with the Union of Ontario Indians perspective on this event is not the same as the mainstream where First Nations see it as celebrating colonialism and the introduction of Christianity to this area. Chief Monague told community members that they were approached by a planning committee to participate but denied the offer. The Chief also informed the community that the Huron Nation has been contacted by the Champlain committee and will participate in the celebrations.
On August 1st, 1615, after spending time with the Nippising Anishinabek, Samuel de Champlain, Governor of New France, landed at the Wendat village of Toanche on what is known today as the Penetanguishene Penninsula. In the fall of 1615 Champlain and the Wendat went to wage war amongst Haudenasaunee peoples and then spent almost a year in Huronia, securing French interests in the Fur Trade. The Wendat who are also distant relatives of the Haudenasaunee were also their traditional enemies however before European influence conquering and exterminating each other for territory was non-existent amongst Turtle Island Nations. After dispersing the Wendat from their traditional territory the Haudenasaunee expanded their campaign of gaining control of the fur trade for their European allies into the Anishinabek Nation. Some of the ancestors of Beausoleil First Nation eventually pushed the Haudenasaunee back to their homelands and reaffirmed an ancient Resource Management and Peace Treaty known as the One Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt. The Anishinabek eventually came to occupy the former Wendat territory in protection of Indigenous interests where even today they were a huge part protecting the area’s waters in the Site 41 initiative.
Although Beausoeil First Nation leadership does not want to participate in the celebrations this does not prevent community members who wish to be involved.
“As a result of Champlain and the Fur Trade our Intertribal Trade Alliances, Economies, Spirituality, Territories began to face oppressive colonial policies that still exist today. This Celebration has a responsibility to bring together the Wendat, Haudenasaunee and Anishinabek Nations to re-establish these traditional alliances, empower us as Sovereign Nations, support our rights and reflect all sides of history.” Explains Kaikai Kons of ACTION and who is also from the community of Beausoleil First Nation.
ACTION is a union of Indigenous Communities and Camps established to remerge Indigenous Institutions in assertion of Indigenous Sovereignty. ACTION has established a Unity Camp which is a sacred gathering site known as Council Rock in Awenda Provincial Park. It is also located at one of the Five Embassies within the Haudenasaunee and Anishinabek Alliance Agreement. Kaikai Kons claims those lands were never ceded to the Crown and were to be reserved for members of Beausoleil First Nation. It is also the Wendat Village site where Champlain is believed to land.
“I am currently attempting to collaborate with the Champlain committee to include our side of history which is so often marginalized where Champlain, the Jesuits, the French and Huron take precedence. It is my goal to organize such a gathering and I am open to working with anyone who is interested.” Says Hawke
By: Kaikaikons (Johnny Hawk) “We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society. We believe in an educational system that will give to our people knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.” – # 5 Point of the Black Panther Party: 10 Point Program
The miss-education of our rights and history in the current educational institutes or the lack there of, including the absence of our own Indigenous institutions only prolongs our ignorance of whom we really are which only benefit the racist colonial matrix we are imprisoned in. If we want self-determination and liberation we must understand the myth that is Indian Control of Indian Education.
Through the collective soundbites, slogans and general knowledge shared by our people about our treaties throughout “Indian Country” many including leaders have a promote a biased education on our treaties and the intent in which they were created. This symptom of ignorance is reflective on the common belief that our treaties were created in the spirit of friendship, which is a colonial fabrication of history where these agreements were made under duress, coercion and fraud. This demonstrates the urgent need to control our education but what does that mean?
The historic and current educational industry exists only to create obedient workers to sustain the current globalized political, socio and economic conditions which conflicts aggressively with all that we are as Indigenous Nations. Educational Institutes were used to “kill the Indian within the child” for the colonial agenda and today for the global agenda it is used to kill the humanity within the human being. We need to find solutions to combat how we learn and how our knowledge is applied to live sustainable coexisting with our Earth.
The foreign values and institutions we’ve come to be dependent on, program us to believe that the treaties are as sacred as the land we lease in these very agreements. We confuse our inherit rights as treaty rights in which we surrender in this tool of oppression. Many cling on to the treaties and cherish these rations that are treaty rights while our so-called ally the crown continuously breaches these contracts. They can break such laws because they know these treaties, the Indian Bands and their so called country called Canada and it’s laws are all fiction. Canada is a defacto government with a fabricated constitution not ratified by the people in 1867 or 1982 which is really a corporation owned by the Crown. Canada and it’s treaties, laws which is also a sophisticated con to steal resources of Indigenous Peoples and theft on so called Canadians or more appropriate the subjects of the Crown by imposing fraudulently taxes to pay fictitious compounded debt to international private banks who are also owned by the same global elitists.
The rent payments from Treaty are always in arrears and never reflect the current inflation rate while these so called allies continue to prosper from extracting our resources at the expense of our health and health of the environment. These so called allies tirelessly attempt to extinguish their underlying obligation they have to our Nations by cunningly reshaping and introducing “self termination” policies and agreements with assimilated factions of our people.
These termination policies have always been incorporated within our treaty rights, treaty rights such as Education, which is exemplified in the Residential School era to today’s Educational Institutes and Education Policies, Agreements and Constitutions these Indian Act bands are establishing that are based on fraudulent treaties and acknowledge the corporation of Canada as a government. The Anishinabek Education Agreements that the Union of Ontario Indians is promoting to its membership require Indian Act Bands to create a constitution before benefiting from such agreement. As I hear echoes from the 70’s of “Indian Control of Indian Education” from today’s Indian Act Leaders and Governments, we the grassroots people need to separate ourselves from such neo colonial tactics and factions and organize and learn from our past, present and future. LEARNING FROM OUR PAST
We were a very advanced people who had our own institutions prior to contact. We never separated our children from the rest of our community nor separate our educational institutes from our collective existence, we were all connected. Our Authentic Anishinabek Educational Institution is our Aatisookaanak, our sacred understandings which is our experiences of the Sprit World, Star World and Mother Earth, we are Her Story not His Story.
Western Science is based upon Newtonian Science which relies on matter and what is seen to determine what is real. The current western science and world view is based on Newtonian Science which is not wrong but incomplete. Quantum Science is based upon unseen energy which is also equally real. Quantum Science gives our adversaries the research and a language to create a bridge for to understand our Indigenous Education paradigm, Science and World View which is more advanced. Indigenous Science is what is all seen is a manifestation of the very real unseen infinite energy systems.
In 1705 in a case between the Mohegan Tribe vs Connecticut the Crown acknowledged and affirmed that Indigenous Peoples of North America were not subject to colonial jurisdictions established for settlers but to their own jurisdiction, customs and institutions. This has never been repealed. In the 1760’s Anishinabek War Chief Pontiac was leading a successful alliance of French and other Indigenous Warriors to evict the British from our Territories as a result for not upholding their promises. In 1764 the British Crown surrendered by offering their peace through the 1764 Niagara Covenant Chain Belt. This agreement between 24 Indigenous Nations and the Crown established a relationship based upon Peace, Coexistence and Non-Interference. This Treaty serves as one of Canada’s foundational constitutional documents and set the stage for Crown and Indigenous Relations.
The many treaties, policies and agreements made after this original treaty have been enforced by deceptive manipulation and under circumstances of duress which breached our original contract. Such Treaties and Policies enforced in this manner are invalid and their continued imposition invalidates the legitimacy of the Canadian State. If Canada is disregarding this first agreement of our relationship then there is no Canada or Provinces, it is all an illusion. Treaty Rights are also an illusion equivalent to Rights permitted to Prisoners of War. Before we attempt to address such issues as Indian Control over Indian Education we must organize ourselves and make sure any agreements, policies and benefits we receive are reflective of our original Nation to Nation Treaty. If we continue to accept our rent under these illegal treaties and policies we shall remain under illegitimate conditions of our tenants when we are the landlords and I’m sure many of our people are not ready to evict our tenants as Uncle Pontiac did.
As these illegal treaties we being created our Nations were given the Treaty Right to give up a lifestyle of hunting for farming. We were given the Treaty Right that banned our ceremonies and to adopt Christianity. In this time we were given Treaty Rights to education where our children for generations were kidnapped and withheld in Residential School where they were subjected to and learned all about sexual and physical abuse first hand and that their customs and beliefs were evil. We eventual learned to be something we were not and adopted a very different way of life that most our people today are comfortable living and forget who they are and our original agreement we have with our so-called ally, the Crown.
In 1972 the National Indian Brotherhood predecessor of the Assembly of First Nations issued to the Government of Canada a response to PM Trudeau’s White Paper Policy.
The White Paper was Canada’s attempt to finally exterminate our so-called treaty rights, reserves and status as Indians. The response tilted Citizens Plus also known as the Red Paper was written by principal author Harold Cardinal who was instrumental in helping to form the National Indian Brotherhood which stated; “The educational system is primarily geared to develop individuals who will operate in a highly competitive society. Many of our native groups are members of a culture which place the group above the individual and where the basic philosophy of life is more co-operative than competitive.”
Another declaration to combat this policy from the National Indian Brotherhood was titled “Indian Control of Indian Education” which addressed; “The time has come for a radical change in Indian education. Our aim is to make education relevant to the philosophy and needs of the Indian people. We want education to give our children a strong sense of identity, with confidence in their personal worth and ability.”
As the battle for Indian Control over Indian Education progressed alongside our peoples Political Organizing and Mobilization this resurgence of our own institutions eventually became co-opted as we mimicked our adversary’s structures and the spirit of which this rebirth was founded upon became lost. The National Indian Brotherhood which had politically savvy young grassroots leaders eventually through the decades shifted into a corporate bureaucratic chief’s organization now called the Assembly of First Nations. As our people evolved in our political organizing so did many good Indigenous Education programs, colleges where our knowledge has been accepted into the mainstream educational institutes as credible.
During the time of the 1969 White Paper our people were mobilizing in various ways politically, educationally and artistically. The Band leaderships in so-called Canada were inspired by the times to organize in way that was needed but also in way that gave legitimacy to same policies they were fighting against. At the same time in so-called Canada and the United States our relatives were mobilizing more assertively through the American Indian Movement and through actions such as Anicinabe Park, Alcatraz, Wounded Knee II and in communities such as Restigouche, Awkesasne and Kanawake.
Our Spiritual and Warrior Societies were revived and served as educational institutions for a generation of youth looking to reclaim their identity. Without Funding from the Government the American Indian Movement took examples from the Black Panther Party to establish freedom schools.
In June 1969, the Black Panther Party launched its first liberation school in Berkeley, California. In the next few years, the Panthers opened additional liberation schools in African American communities across the United States from Seattle to San Francisco to Philadelphia to New York. Targeting African American elementary and middle school children, the schools epitomized Panther hopes of creating a new, revolutionary Black consciousness. Like the organization that created them, the Panther schools offered African American youth an alternative to the ideologies of White racial supremacy and economic oppression that surrounded them.
The American Indian Movement modelled some of their services in their urban communities from the Black Panthers in which they took control over their education creating Survival Schools. The Schools set out to provide an entirely different kind of education than the public schools. They wanted to help Indigenous youth discover and take pride in their Indigenous identities, as a foundation for personal development and as a source for a new sense of self-worth. The schools taught students Native languages as well as ancestral knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs. School founders educated their youth to become community-minded, spiritually grounded leaders for their people. They also incorporated students’ families and other community members into the processes of cultural discovery, community building, identity development, and personal growth. Ultimately, survival school organizers worked to repair the cultural losses of the past and regain the ability to determine their own future. LEARNING FROM THE PRESENT
Today as Indian Act Leaderships rally for First Nation Control of First Nation Education we must first identify the misinterpretations of what this currently means within our communities. With the explosion of Indigenous Academia that parallel Chief organizations which are mere tokens of our own authentic institutions we continue to compromise who we are to accommodate the very matrix that conflicts with everything we are. Taaiake Alfred who is an academic and professor teaching Indigenous Governance in a Western Institution in his book Wassase explains; “The experience of resurgence and regeneration in Onkwehonwe communities thus far proves that change cannot be made from within the colonial structure. Institutions and ideas that are the creation of the colonial relationship are not capable of ensuring our survival.”
As Indigenous Academia theorize our conditions while active within these current structures and who fail to actively engage in reviving and legitimizing our own spheres as educational institutes they have the responsibility to equally acknowledge itself as perpetuating assimilation.
The tokenization of our so-called cultural identity and learning styles exists within our elementary schools. How we teach our children reflects what we will be in the future. In my Communities elementary school our Anishinabe Language is taught from Kindergarten to Grade 8, our history for me was taught by white teachers from mainstream accounts of our history and our cultural identity was condensed to only language, spirit days and Indian taco sales. During my High school education Anishinabe was still being offered however out of the 13 years of taking Native Language I never became fluent. Our language has a world view which cannot be taught in the limitations of a classroom. Today most of our people feel being educated in our so-called cultural identity is not significant to provide us with employment in the global community. This leaves us with a majority of our people who only will reclaim and learn and employ as much of our identity to what is acceptable in the mainstream. If we want to re-emerge our own educational institutions than we must also re-establish our own economies so we can sustain ourselves with our Indigenous Values and Knowledge.
The failure to do so can be seen in our current reality where our identity is shaped into a pan-Indian-casino-powwow-not fluent in our own language society, where we are no different than any other mainstream small town. Today even Powwows where we share our song and dance to pass on to our future generations needs funding but at what cost?
There have been very few of our own post-secondary institutions that are reflective of the vision of those who fought to have control of our own education. DQ University is one such current Institute that demonstrates the potential of an authentic Indigenous learning environment. The full name of the school is Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University. According to Hadenasaunee leaders, use of the spelled-out name of the university can be offensive because the first part of the name should be used only in an appropriate spiritual context. Therefore, it is usually referred to as D–Q University to avoid offense. The purpose of D–Q University was to provide alternative ideas and methods of education to Indigenous people. Among its goals were the preservation and re-institutionalization of traditional Indigenous values, the perpetuation and exercise of our religion and beliefs, the establishment of a Native American Research Institute and the maintenance of social and personal support systems for D-Q students and staff. The school opened in 1971, and obtained accreditation in 1977, but lost it in 2005, after which it closed. However, disputes among the board of trustees were settled in a lawsuit which resulted in the re-opening of D–Q University later that year. Declining enrollment and lack of funds led the board to dismiss the president in June 2006. While formal classes are not currently being held, elders and teachers have occupied the University grounds despite Board and police pressures to vacate the land. During several instances in 2008, students and supporters were arrested for occupying the grounds. DQ is a current example of what we can build upon that is an example of an authentic representation of sharinf our Indigenous Knowledge in our own learning styles. “You cannot learn anything from me and I cannot learn anything from you but I can remind you of something and you can remind me of something and together we can remember. If people would understand that then they would take the hierarchy out of education and there would be no teacher student relationship there would only be a circle of people, scholars exchanging ideas.”– Dojon Banks DQ University Student
LEARNING FROM THE FUTURE
What inspired me to write this article was my five year old nephew, Embwakaat which means “Wise One” in Anishinabek. I spent the summer hanging out with him and trying to keep him occupied which he pretty much did on his own. This year I’ve been struggling as I stepped back from the frontlines to support my Dad in his battle with cancer and my Mother with the loss of her Sister and Brother. I’ve been struggling with these loss of many family and community members and in my relationship with my Girlfriend. I’ve realized this year that we are loosing our connections to our past rapidly in our communities and we need to reestablish our educational institutes immediatly.
This past year I have been emotionally, mentally and spiritually unbalanced where I’ve taken my nephew to pick medicine in the bush. I was showing him why and how we pick Cedar. He would come over to ask me if I was sad so we could go pick Cedar. He would tell his friends and teachers at school before the summer what he has been learning about our medicines. I also got to dance with him at our community powwow as my Mom made him a ribbon shirt where I shared what the dances mean
During the summer he reminded me about laughter and the innocenct spirit of the child and how we all need to keep in touch with these things, which been helping me through my depression. As he entered Grade 1 in September he would come over and visit and I would ask him about his day and he’d tell me of the rules and about the rewards given out for good behaviour. He helped me to remember that we learn so much from our children when we think we need to educate them. He also helped me remember who I really am and how important it is to remember who we are for the sake of our future generations and for our Mother the Earth. Writing this article I wanted to stay away from the bureaucratic details involving the AFN and the Government regarding Indian Control of Indian Ecucation because in the spirit of our original agreement, white man ways are not for us.
Below is a Draft Brochure of our Empowerment Workshops and Community Mentorship Programs and a preview of what we do in a YOUTUBE. ACTION Camps provide an authentic space for Indigenous Education to liberate our minds and communities in assertion in the resurgence of our Nationhood.
By: Johnny Hawk (I write this just as a humble strugglin’ Anishinabek within the Struggle tryin to make some sense in our Resurgence Movement, writing this for our own youth coming up and ready to fight)
The subject of the tokenism of our people by our so-called Crown Allies and its subjects through various realms in our interactions is a reality which comes up periodically through discussion amongst some relatives where we feel a need to take positive steps to create such awareness which will help us find where we need to be in our Nation to Nation Relationship.
The Tokenism of our People happens in obvious places such as when we deal with so-called Crown allies represented by the oppressive Federal and Provincial Governments who give us a bone now and again where most of our people take it. It also exists in places we least expect it, like in our spirituality, communities, schools and events and even amongst our activist comrades where it can happen intentionally or unintentionally, where again our people allow this to happen. When we see a bone being thrown some of our people will play the Uncle Tomahawk, Victim, Noble Savage or Righteous Warrior.
OUR FIRST ALLIES
As Anishinabek our spirituality is key to who we are, where we are not religious, politicians, academics or activists, we have a way of life. This way of life is our relationships and experiences we have with the Spirit, Star and Earth Worlds. Our first allies are those ones who manifest themselves in many ways in all these realms in which we have agreements with.
We are only pitiful Anishininabek, in which the Earth and all she encompasses would still survive without us but we can’t survive without mother earth, water and all its beings. The animals, earth, plant life and water give themselves up so that we can live and it is our duty to not over consume and only take what we need and to give back and give thanks.
We are made of components of the Spirit, Star and Earth World, Fire, Spirit, Air, Water and Earth, when we were sent here by Creation as Spirit we made a promise not to take our own life but to fulfill the responsibilities we have to our spirit name and clan and to the many things that give life to us. This is our sacred agreement to our first allies as allies.
When I see our people and spiritual people who don’t interact with the other beings and our own ways how it was intended fulfilling our obligations, we tokenize who we are. When I see our people and spiritual people condemning actions to those who will fight and die for those things that die for us so that we may live, our people tokenize who we are. I see how the many beings still fulfill their obligations but we have broken our first treaty.
IN HISTORY AND POLITICAL ALLIANCES
Before Colonists showed up lost on our shores, we developed many inter-tribal alliances that ended warfare, created trade economies, developed mutual understanding of resource sharing, where our Nations would travel all over Turtle Island and south to the Nations of the Condor. These inter-tribal alliances involved various diverse Confederacies connected and strengthened by family, ceremonies, wampum belt agreements, trade and festivals.
As our Nations began creating new alliances with the new comers, old inter-tribal alliances and agreements were disrespectfully disregarded and broken. These new comers used certain Nations as token allies for their own purposes which eventually led to inter-tribal warfare, which only benefited the New Comers greed for our resources and encroachment into our lands. Divide and Conquer.
During the many early Wars between the Colonists, the French and Indian Wars, the War of 1812 to World War 1 and 2 to Korea our people acted as Allies and were sought out for their successful unique abilities in warfare. Again our Warriors were being used as tokens in those early colonial wars. We were never told how to fight because our guerilla style helped win many battles. In the World Wars our shooting talent from hunting made our people excellent snipers, trackers and scouts and even our languages used in codes helped win many of our so-called allies’ wars. Ever much the token we were, our Sovereignty, Laws and Jurisdiction and Treaties were never honored.
Indian Act Leaderships and Indian Business Elite wear the Cultural Garb which they probably haven’t earned feathers to wear to accept inquiry’s, commissions, land claims, modern treaties, initiate new working groups to serve the interest of these so called allies.
Most communities carry around Eagle Staff’s, have Powwows, teach our Language in the schools and open events and meetings with Elder’s prayers and smudge, then when it’s time to move along with the meeting the culture is escorted out the door and back to business parallel to mainstream business and politics .
We prostitute our cultural articles but continue to live a life that is that of our allies, a way of life that goes against everything we are. Most of our people only are comfortable being Anishinabek at the discretion of our allies. We have our own political, judicial, economic, military, educational and many other institutions of our own but only want to use the beads and braids that make us who we are.
However there is still a chance for our people who want to survive and reclaim who we are and it is within our people who our reclaiming and re-establishing our own institutions separating from these token communities called reservations and rebuilding alliances and solidarity with meaningful settler organizations. It is what the intention of ACTION is about where we need you our people to become involved and help be leaders.
IN OUR SOLIDARITY ACTIVIST CIRCLES “Whites who are sincere don’t accomplish anything by joining Negro organisations and making them integrated. Whites who are sincere should organize among themselves and figure out some strategy to break down the prejudice that exists in white communities. This is where they can function more intelligently and more effectively, in the white community itself, and this has never been done.” – El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
I am not trying to be divisive between our activist comrades nor am I in some form promoting segregation within our collective movement but in our Indigenous understandings of well-being, starts with the self and working outward. We work on our spirit, us as an individual, the family, community, nation, inter-tribal alliances, confederacies and newcomer nation to nation alliances which then effects global change.
Our strongest non-Indigenous allies of Turtle Island are our activist comrades in various leftists and anti-capitalist organizing, from building alliances with Unions, Anti-Colonial Migrant Justice Movement and other racialized and oppressed peoples who face injustice at the hands of the patriarchal imperialist global elite. At the same time our strongest allies within these circles have also been conditioned and brainwashed and like us harbour colonial behaviour that have been part of our programming and although they seem righteous they too have issues that we need to be aware of when we build our alliances.
(In our Anishinabek Ways Nanaboozho iour great teacher is personified at times a s a bunny, We got lots to learn from this Trickster Rabbit, Watch how the Trickster deals with certain kind of allies, Anishinaebek Decoloniation is being the Rabbit)
As an Anishinabek I always hear allies, asking how they can help us, which is only up to them to figure out. I don’t go asking around what I can do for them, in their homes, family, community, society and governance, which is their own responsibility. I’m too busy trying to work on myself, family, community, nation and the colonial behaviours that we’ve assimilated into which slows us down from progressing as a collective strong united front.
At the same time, I see many solidarity activists coming into our communities with a Eurocentric messiah complex and yes even the racialized ones I’ve seen behave like that where they suggest or tell us how, when, where n why to do things within our own struggles and communities. Or we are invited within their communities and space to be their righteous warrior and have to fit within their program which is being the same old Eurocentric behaviour that got us all in this global mess in the first place. It is like some of them haven’t noticed we’ve been fighting oppression for 500 years, it is in our DNA memory to be a warrior and fighting people and our problems are for us to figure out ourselves. Self Determination is not only a right but a responsibility.
One Time me and my girlfriend wanted to attend an “Activist Convention” to promote each of our communities issues and hand out literature. There was already a group of “Neechies” from other frontline communities who were already asked from solidarity activists to be part of an Indigenous Delegation where this group worked very hard to fundraise to involve such a group at this event. The majority of “Neechies” that were there were all from communities with recent high profile campaigns going on. This gave the impression that our solidarity friends were seeking activist “cred” by choosing certain communities who were getting all the recent media headlines. I know this wasn’t likely not their intention but sometimes to our people it looks this way.
We still managed to go last minute, where room was found for us to bunk in a motel with our organizer friend vs a church floor where other were sleeping. I noticed that certain “neechies” got to get rooms at this hotel, while others slept on the church floor and wasn’t too sure at first if one of our pregnant sisters was there with here crew but later found out she was in a comfortable place. Again I not attempting to discredit the awesome hardwork just sharing some of my crazy observations. Certain actions intentionally or unintentionally can however be observed as Tokenism by our allies who are selective in who they give their solidarity and preference too. We have to much recent memory of divide and conquer strategies that caused divisions within our inter-tribal relations where similar actions in our past have happened.
This one solidarity activist one time told me, that he’d rather help this particular community because they had much more of a land base that wasn’t colonized. As if our struggles we we’re facing wasn’t linked or mattered. In our Anishinabek understanding our Nation is a collective of communities that stretches from so called Quebec, Ontario, Minnesota,Wisconsin to the Rocky Mountains. We do not think of ourselves separated divided by the imaginary reservation concentration camp as our community.
Another division some of these solidarity activists create is that with no disrespect to our Lakota and Haudenasaune Relatives but I see favouritism by these solidarity activists with the Six Nations struggle and the romanticism of the Great Law and Warrior Society and their internal politics. I’ve heard on many occasions from solidarity activists in this kind of manner “the Six Nations people of the Grand River Territory comprise the single largest indigenous community in Canada and, in certain regards, they have managed to withstand the pressures of Canadian colonialism better than many other indigenous nations in the south of Canada.” In our history it is the Anishinabek who pushed the Haudenasaunee back south when they were encroaching in our lands as allies of the Dutch. It was Anishinabek who pushed the Lakota Sioux back into their territories. These Nations always seem to get thought of as the most fiercest and Nations of Resistance. The American Indian Movement in the 70’s was mostly founded my Anishinabek. These type of comments can cause divisions.
I’ve also witnessed a solidarity group coming to a reclamation camp and in a discussion about our politics and who would lead the revolution the activist said, “I only call myself an anarchist to get other anarchists to do shit, I think’s needs to be done.” Now it is not the intent here to bash our solidarity circles but only to create awareness for some of our youth who may be reading this and to be aware of the type of behaviours out there. This activist is in and out of our communities usually giving some sort of direction to our people which makes some of our people and communities look like their being used as a token for this activist’s purpose. I am not bashing but at times this is how these behaviours come off as.
This one Activist told me during the same visit to tell an uncle we share who believes in dream messages that I dreamed of his community coming to our camp, just so we can get help of that community at our camp. I felt this was disrespectful of our spirituality and to the community that activist is now in helping. I also felt it was disrespectful to me because I’m sure this activist wouldn’t say that to the elders and aunties and sisters he is now surrounded by. I am sure that was not his intention to be disrespectful but it sure can be seen as that.
Also another issue with solidarity activists who are from other ethnic backgrounds who show some solid organizing we must remind them of our rights and how they can best show solidarity and work with us too. We need to educate each other on each of our struggles and must make it aware that whatever goals they are fighting to achieve doesn’t legitimize the colonial state.
Like I was saying before there are still slaves here as well as being brought over here who are the “economic slaves” all settlers are subjects of our so-called ally the Crown. These “economic slaves” work to be forever in debt and are losing more and more of their freedoms each day. These are our allies’ loyal subjects who enjoy more of our resources than we do, while we continue to be enslaved in our own homeland, denied access of enjoying our own resources and rights. Soon the slave master will deny their subjects their rights and property and everyone will all eventually become “Indians.”
Todays “economic slaves” are brought to help feed this capitalist industrial “monster” under the guise of freedom, opportunity for prosperity and success. These slaves inherit the crime of breaching treaty of their slave owner or colonial master, our so-called ally. As they enjoy our resources without actively dismantling their current criminal governments or forcibly holding them accountable until things immediately change then they too are in breach of our Nation to Nation understanding and they too become Slave Owners and Colonial Masters for it is we the Indigenous who still are facing economic, environmental and cultural genocide as they enjoy their privilege of benefiting from our resources and the unbalanced treaty.
We also have the same responsibility as Anishinabek to build ourselves up and disengage in the current colonial lifestyle, protecting all that we have left, which is immense.