Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mohawks: Haudenosaunee women are decision makers of land

MNN 6 Nations Spokespersons "Suckered" by Politicians & Lawyers




Mohawk Nation News

Sep. 27, 2007. The original Haudenosaunee Law is based on clear thinking and not on emotion or fear.

The Six Nations Confederacy Royaner [chiefs] who follow the Handsome Lake religion are an emotional people. It’s a Christian based revitalization movement of the early 1800s that was brought into the longhouse.

They believe that the “creator’ is going to solve our problems for us. This fear based inhibition stops them from aggressively pushing the Six Nations sovereignty and land issue. Too bad!

In the Christian religion that the colonial law is based on there is a story about Moses and a burning bush and how he got the Ten Commandments directly from God. Our story is about our efforts to get people to join the confederacy. The extent and complexity of these stories is meant to remind us about how much care is needed to reach a true consensus. We have to understand people’s minds. The colonial law is based on command. They don’t need consensus.

They just have to obey.

Our spokespersons at the Six Nations “talks” with Canada and Ontario went off track somewhere along the way. In a recent update from one of our spokespersons there is a reference to the law of the

“Creator”. This is consistent with the English concept of legality where they stick a cross on top of everything, including the Crown.

According to the Kaianerekowa, the Great Law of Peace, only the women can make a decision concerning the land [wampum 44]. The Haudenosaunee women own the land and the soil. The newly created

“Haudenosaunee Development Institute” HDI is a violation of the Kaianerehkowa. It’s an attempt to usurp the power and authority of the Haudenosaunee women. The Royaner [chiefs] and Oyaner [clan mothers] are supposed to represent our ideas. Instead, they made decisions on our behalf without consulting us.

MNN did an internet search and found that the name, “Haudenosaunee Development Institute”, is not available in Ontario. This suggests that someone might have or is in the process of registering or incorporating the

“Haudenosaunee Development Institute” under Ontariolaw. This represents an alienation from our sovereign independence and a submission to Ontario law.

These spokespersons never presented the proposal to form such an Institute to us. We were never shown this organization’s constitutional documents. We are told that HDI is not incorporated, that it falls under the jurisdiction of the Confederacy. If it were to be incorporated under colonial laws, we could be sued and all our assets could be seized such as equipment and bank accounts, not to mention the main prize, our land itself.

Our assets are being signed over to the HDI board members. HDI not being incorporated allows individual board members to be sued and held responsible for any decisions HDI makes. What protection do we have in this new concoction that extinguishes our political rights in this area? None! Who’s paying the liability insurance for the board members?

The “Institute” is not being recognized as a governmental authority that represents us. It appears that the money collected for our land will go to the institute, not to the people. Sounds more and more like a private company, doesn’t it? It is just asking to be turned into a land surrender system?

What went wrong in the “talks”? It is our custom to change spokespersons frequently. This is to make sure that they continue to communicate with us and that we remain fully informed. Then we select someone else to be our spokesperson. This system raises the level of knowledge among everybody and better decisions are made. It also protects our representatives from bribery and assimilation into the elitist culture of those who sit in positions of power in colonial society.

We made a mistake. We have been letting the same people go to these meetings throughout. In the process they seem to have lost touch with us.

Everything was turned upside down. Instead of reporting on the “talks”, and letting us decide what to do next, an elite group of “faithkeepers, clan mothers, chiefs, and many of our Ratiskenekethe… took it upon themselves” to make decisions on our behalf. They did not meet the people BEFORE HDI was set up. They are trying “to explain what they did”.

We must be informed to make a proper decision.

Then that decision is taken back to the talks with Canada, Ontario or any other foreign nation or corporation we may be dealing with.

Our spokespeople should not have put us in a position where we are called “dissidents” on our own land by our own people who are supposed to be representing us. Their position is that we will be tolerated regarding the Stirling Street housing development. We are “O:ya non eagaeya dodinidoha” or “they’ve chosen a different idea to do something different from what the Council thought best for this situation”. This goes against the root concept of the

Kaianerehkowa and modern international law. Both require “prior, informed consent” of the people before any decision affecting our resources is made.

One of the spokespersons says in the update that those who obstruct them “will have to face our Creator”. This also shows how things got off track.

Nobody has to face the “creator”. They have to face us, the people, and tell us what they’re up to. They have to come out of their colonial trance and start thinking.

Haudenosaunee law provides that meetings shall not take place after sundown, to make sure that decisions are made with a clear mind and not rushed.

We all know how important it is to “sleep on” major decisions. MNN has learned that one clan mother was pressured into signing the documents that set up HDI at 3 am. Nothing signed at this hour is valid.

This must be why she forgot that she did not have the right to sign. Why are 3 Cayuga clan women signing for everybody? The proper person must be selected by the people in a public process.

Other questions concern the role of Aaron Detlor.

How did he come to be the lawyer for the Haudenosaunee?

He is not being paid by funds under our control. He is paid by the Ontario government. Therefore, he represents Ontario, not us. This is not independent legal advice.

It’s a huge conflict of interest.

Aaron Detlor claims to be a lawyer and technician for the Confederacy. He drafted what he calls a “precedent setting” agreement with a developer to build houses on our land. We never saw or agreed to this. The colonial police was sent in to stop those Haudenosaunee who were trying to force the Confederacy and the developer to follow our law.

Our spokespersons seem to have been bewitched by John Tory the conservative candidate for Premier in the Ontario election. In Caledonia he said “if elected … on October 10th, he would change provincial laws to broaden the definition of trespassing and double existing fines for those [Indigenous] who defy the order and illegally occupy lands”.

Our spokesperson exclaimed, “Finally someone who agrees with the Haudenosaunee”. What nonsense!!! John Tory did not say that Ontario would respect

Haudenosaunee law and sovereignty. He wants us to submit to the colonial order that he is hoping to head. Under him we can look forward to more oppression than ever. Our spokesperson gave him “three cheers”.

How can we get things back on track? We have to recognize that the HDI is not legal under Haudenosaunee law. It is merely a proposal. All the documents need to be circulated to all members of the Confederacy living at Six Nations and in our other communities on Turtle Island. We need to decide whether it conforms to our laws and to our “nation-to-nation” position.

We need to stop our spokespersons from being assimilated into the colonial government, especially their knee jerk apology to the people who attacked our children. These Indigenous kids were part of a group raising the issue of another illegal housing development.

They took a brave stand. We knew all too well that they were exposing themselves to the full force of colonial society.

One of those arrested was refused bail because “he disrespected Canadian rule of law, does not comply with band council rules and doesn’t listen to the Confederacy spokespeople”. He is being jailed for thinking for himself, attempting to protect the future generations and not obeying the law of usurpers and trespassers.

How can we trust the people who have been wining and dining with the colonial representatives? One day they told us there will be no development. The next day the shovels appeared and 90 new houses are going to be built by one man. What kind of man needs 90 homes?

The spokespeople pretend that the Haudenosaunee represents the settler population too. No way! It’s their problem when their government does not consult them. If they don’t like it, they can change their political system. We cannot represent those who have no participation in our government process.

Who are you, HDI? This is an evil slight of hand being tried against us. The colonists would like to solve the Six Nations problem once and for all by incorporating or registering the Six Nations in Ontario. What the Royaner, Oyaner and our spokespersons are doing is just plain illegal and they have to be stopped!

Contact: donations for legal defense and updates:

Janie Jamieson, %R.R. 1, Ohsweken

[Ontario, Canada] N0A 1M0 –

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

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