Monday, February 4, 2008

Mohawk Nation News: Algonquins are Mohawks? Who knew ...


MNN. Feb. 3, 2008. Everyone has a sense of their own
family history. Our parents and grandparents remember
where they grew up and what languages they spoke.
They remember what their parents told them about the
moments of success and the great challenges they had
to overcome. Every family learned its own way of
surviving, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

From the looks of it, the “Algonquins” of Sharbot Lake
are about to become amusement park Indians. The
Ontario and Canadian government bureaucrats have
put out a big casting call. To get an acting contract you
have to pretend to be an “Algonquin”. Rumor has it you
might even get to be a full-fledged Canadian after that.

The working title of the drama is, “It’s Just too Much
Trouble to be a Mohawk”. It’s so catchy that it might
end up being the final title, just like “Snakes on a Plane”.
Hurry! Hurry! Get your Algonquin status here. For wigs,
noses and ID cards, just step into the Wardrobe
Department on the right. It doesn’t matter what kind
of Indian you are, or even if you aren’t one, so long as
you can pay the part.

Sharbot Lake, 28 miles north of Kingston Ontario, is
where all the action is. The problem that Ontario and
Canada are dealing with is the opposition to uranium
mining and those pesky people who are worrying
about the future of the environment.

Sharbot Lake is named after one of 4 or 5 Mohawk
families that moved from Kanehsatake around 1840.
Kanehsatake is a Mohawk community near Montreal.
It’s famed for the “Mohawk/Oka Crisis of 1990” and
their recent resistance to Indian Affairs corruption which
diverted their social program funds into a paramilitary
attacked on the community.

Chief Francis Sharbot, a Mohawk was born January
18, 1822, at Kanehsatake. He married Mary Lavallee
who was born in 1835 and died in 1897 at Sharbot
Lake. They raised a big family who are the ancestors
of the Indigenous people there.

Like the residents of Mohawk communities Kahnawake,
Kanehsatake, Akwesasne and Tyendinaga, the
residents of Sharbot Lake also have Huron ancestry.
Though the Hurons, or Wendat, were never part of
the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, they are Iroquois.
Their language and culture are basically the same as

In the 1600s the Hurons and Algonquins were allies
of the French. The Hurons and the Mohawks/
Haudenosaunee saw early on that there was animosity
between the French and British and no one could be
friends with both. The Hurons went with the French
and the Haudenosaunee went with the British.

After many years of conflict, the French and their allies
sued the Haudenosaunee for peace. They wanted the
prisoners that we held. In September 1700 we brought
them to Montreal. As the Hurons had broken the “Great
Peace”, trusteeship of their land was forfeited to us.
This included the tract south of the Ottawa River where
Sharbot Lake is located. The Hurons remained in the
area and settled in with the Mohawks.

From the early 1600s to the early 1800s the occupation
of the area was almost entirely Mohawk and Huron.
Together they kept out the Algonquins. Those
Algonquins who hunted and trapped there seasonally
remained in their own communities outside the area
protected by the French until the latter 1700s. They
remained closer to Montreal at Kanehsatake and at
Sillery near Quebec City.

As the area south of the Ottawa River is Haudenosaunee
territory, according to the Two Row Wampum, any
Indigenous people who remained in the area had to
adopt our culture, language and ways. If we went to
live on Algonquin land, we too had to adopt their language,
culture, laws and identity, which many have.

From the early 1800s a few Algonquins began to move
into the Sharbot Lake area. They lived and married into
the Mohawk families and followed Haudenosaunee ways.

Now Canada and Ontario want to make a claim for
Haudenosaunee land. They know the Mohawks won’t
part with one inch of it. Somebody had an idea. They
started registering the Mohawks as “Algonquins”. During
the era, colonial agents were in charge of repressing
Indigenous knowledge. Many lost touch with their roots.
Those who objected to their classification as “Algonquins”
found they had to go along with it if they wanted any
respect for their rights.

Since 1995 the Canadian government took away all the
registry records from Golden Lake “reservation” offices
near Ottawa. They retroactively registered the Sharbots
there as Algonquins, even though they are Haudenosaunee.

The bureaucratic manipulators thought that if they turned
them into Algonquins and told them it was their land, they
could get it away from the Mohawks and everything
would be hunky-dory. “Sharbot Mishigama First Nation”,
a Huron name, was changed to “Shabot Obaadijwan
First Nation” so that the land claim could be started. The
colonists have been trying to create the fiction of
“continuous Algonquin presence”. The considerable
resources spent on the Algonquin claim could be greatly
compromised if this misinformation were known and
publicly understood.

They also figure the Mohawks are under attack from so
many directions, they won’t notice. Too bad! When the
greedy uranium miners at Frontenac Ventures Inc. tactics
got out of hand, our brothers and sister at Sharbot Lake
sent us a wampum asking for our help. We went there
and found a whack of other foolishness which MNN
reported on.

Chief Doreen Davis, the land claims negotiator, has no
proven Algonquin ancestry. Someone said she may be
a descendent of the Gigue family. These are Mohawks
from Kanehsatake. Don’t forget, any Indigenous people
who lived at Kanehsatake, whether they were Lakota,
Nippising or Algonquin, became Mohawks as it is
Haudenosaunee land. No matter their Indigenous ancestry,
if they can trace their lineage to Kanehsatake, they are all

Those at Sharbot always knew they were Mohawks. They
were told this by their parents and grandparents. The
Bradeurs, White Ducks, and Antoines have always been
part of the Sharbot Mohawk family, no matter their
indigenous origins.

Everyone knows that the land claim is fraud, except a
couple of squirrels in the trees. If they knew, they’d be
good and mad too!

People like “Chief” Harold Perry of Ardoc Algonquins had
no right to sell millions of dollars worth of Haudenosaunee
land. It’s fraud! It’s a treasonous conspiracy. He is
impersonating an Algonquin and passing the land off as

The colonists are playing on Indigenous mystification to
the hilt. They are trying to bring the pseudo Algonquins
on as business partners. At “Pine Lake” the Ontario
government is helping them set up a “Band Office” and
“pow wow” grounds to move them along with their
conversion of the Mohawks into full-fledged Hollywood
“Algonquinists”. We can just see the Ontario Provincial
Police “Blue Wolf Drummers” banging away on their
western prairie drums. Will they dye their hair blue and
pierce their bodies? Hey, phonies, don’t you know the
Haudenosaunees use water drums?

We take this opportunity to remind our brothers and
sisters at Sharbot Lake that they have always been
welcome in our Haudenosaunee communities. They
don’t need to get sucked into denying their past or
signing away the rights of their future generations.
Just come as you are and enjoy being part of our family.
You don’t have to live a lie.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

See Category: “ Sharbot Lake

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