Six Nations Struggle Continues
By Aaron Mercredi
For one year now, the people of Six Nations have stood on their reclaimed land at the entrance to the Douglas Creek Estates. Since February 28th, 2006, when a group of people from the community took back land that was taken from Six Nations and was being developed into a luxury home subdivision, Canada has refused to acknowledge the legal and inherent rights of Six Nations people and the sovereignty of the traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
While Six Nations people and supporters were camped out on the reclamation site, defending their land from being taken for another colonial development and appealing to Canada to deal with the issue, they were met with the guns and pepper spray of the Ontario Provincial Police, who attacked them in the early morning of April 20th. They were met with the criminalization of people who were legitimately defending themselves and their people, like Trevor Miller, who spent months in an Ontario jail before being released and the 32 other people who face charges for their part in the reclamation. They were met with the racism ingrained in Canadian society and the mobilization of Canada’s most backward elements against them, which the ruling class media used in their favour. And they were met with the 139-year old official colonial state of Canada that won’t deal with Six Nations on a nation-to-nation basis as it is legally bound to do.
Canada, a country that prides itself on its humanitarianism but voted in the UN against the rights of Indigenous people this summer. A first-world country ranked 6th on the UN Human Development Index, but attracts international aid workers who are trying to find ways of helping out the poverty and suicides in Northern Native ghettoes. The following document exposes more Canada’s illegitimacy in dealing with Indigenous people. It is the most recent statement released by the Women Title Holders of the Six Nations Confederacy, which gives some insight in to who exactly Canada is dealing with and what their grievances are. It is not just some people camped out on a construction site, but people who are fighting for their nationhood and who know from experience that Canada is not a peaceful country, but a country built on lies. The struggle one year ago is the same struggle today and it is the same struggle that Indigenous people have been fighting colonization began throughout the Americas. It is a struggle for self-determination of Indigenous nations and it is the fundamental issue facing all people living on stolen land in Canada.
WOMEN TITLE HOLDERS OF SIX NATIONS CONFEDERACY CHARGE CANADA FOR VIOLATING TWO ROW WAMPUM, SILVER COVENANT CHAIN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
THE WOMEN ARE THE TITLE HOLDERS of the land of Turtle Island as recalled by Wampum 44 of the Kaianereh’ko:wa, constitution of the Rotinonhsonni:onwe
TO: THE MISSISSAUGAS OF NEW CREDIT
THE CITY OF TORONTO
ME. MICHAELLE JEAN, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA email@example.com
HON. STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
RE: PROPOSED FRAUDULENT LAND CLAIM SETTLEMENT OF SIX NATIONS LAND KNOWN AS THE “CITY OF TORONTO” WITH THE MISSISSAUGAS OF NEW CREDIT
WE FIND YOU GUILTY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. THE FRAUDULENT PURCHASE OF SIX NATIONS LAND KNOWN AS THE “CITY OF TORONTO” BY THE BRITISH COLONIAL GOVERNMENT AND THE SUBSEQUENT LAND CLAIMS SETTLEMENT IN PROGRESS WITH THE MISSISSAUGA OF NEW CREDIT WHO DO NOT OWN THE LAND;
2. THE VIOLATIONS OF KAIANEREH’KO:WA, TWO ROW WAMPUM, SILVER COVENANT AND INTERNATIONAL LAWS.
DATE: February 7, 2007
In a Six Nations meeting with the Mississauga on May 22, 1784, Pokquan the Mississauga Speaker told the British that:
“We have considered your request Father. We the Mississauga are not the owners of all that Land laying between the three Lakes, but we have agreed and are willing to transfer our right of Soil & property to the King our Father...”
In 1784 the British were aware that the Missisauga had no interest in the land now known as the “City of Toronto”. “Toronto” is a Mohawk name. “Ontario” is also a Mohawk name. So is “Canada”. In 1787 this Purchase of Toronto by the British was found to be fraudulent because it is Six Nations land and the Mississauga admitted to not owning it. The British got the Mississauga to sign a blank agreement and paid them 10 shillings for 392 square miles of Six Nations Land. After the signing the British inserted the dimensions making it larger than agreed upon. Throughout the Mississauga knew they could not sell land that belongs to the Six Nations.
According to the Kaianereh’ko:wa Joseph Brant, who witnessed this theft, had no position with the Iroquois Confederacy. He was appointed as a Pine Tree Chief by the Confederacy to act as a translator. It was a ceremonial position without any power. Joseph Brant was an officer in the British army and a British subject, not a Mohawk of the Confederacy. He signed as a British subject to sell land to his colonial friends. All these alienations by Joseph Brant are illegal. Our lands cannot be alienated. Any transactions of any kind to do with land have to be sanctioned by all the nations of the Confederacy at a Grand Council meeting. This has always been our law and it is consistent with modern international law as affirmed by International court of Justice in the Western Sahara case.
We have the responsibility to protect our mother and our mother has to be there to take care of our future generations. It is the birthright of every generation to have their mother there to take care of them. It is not ours to sell.
No nation legitimizes foreigners to sell their land. The British would not themselves nor let Germany put up England for sale on the world market! Neither does France or Japan or China! Whenever a peoples’ homeland is threatened by occupation or other means, the Indigenous people of those lands take it as an act of aggression and an act of war. Canada is a colony and does not have title to our land. Evidence of their anxiety is this proposal to illegally “settle” the Toronto land claim.
The Mississauga told the British in 1784, “We don’t own anything, but since you want to buy what we own, which is nothing, we are willing to sell it”. Today their successors, the colony of Canada and its corporate agents, are attempting to “correct” their oversight of 1784. They now want the Mississauga to once again fraudulently transfer Six Nations lands to the British successors. Extensive evidence and documents are available to support our position. Canada is trying to make us think that an original wrong can be corrected by a subsequent wrong.
The British and the Mississauga both knew that the Confederacy would never relinquish our rights to any of our land. So they made the fraudulent deal between themselves and Joseph Brant, a British subject, was their witness.
The thief now wants to legitimize the original theft. Stealing is illegal anywhere in the world. There is no statute of limitation on theft. Colonial powers cannot ratify their original theft. The present Mississauga are an incorporated band set up under the illegal Indian Act, which is ultra vires the Constitution. Any dealings between two colonial government agencies is illegal and fraudulent.
Canada, Ontario and Toronto, whose money are you going to use to pay the Mississauga? It will be our money from the land and resources you have stolen from us. You are using stolen money to buy stolen property. You have to sit down with us, the owners of the land, the Six Nations Confederacy, and nobody else. You cannot deal with the Mississauga. They came under the protective umbrella of the Confederacy and are tenants on our land. The tenant cannot sell the land out from underneath the landlord. Only the true title holders have a right to deal with land issues.
It is fraud. It is theft. Everybody, native and non-native, can see it for what it is.
THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND ITS AGENTS ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE FOLLOWING COVENANTS THAT IT CLAIMS TO UPHOLD:
UN Resolution 1514 affirms the independence of Indigenous people. This fraudulent land claim of the British for the city of Toronto is a colonial act that violates international law. Canada is “squatting” on Turtle Island. UNTS 1021 condemns colonial states that force such policies on us as constituting genocide. [The Mabo case in Australia];
The title of Noongar Aborigines of Australia to Western Australia including the city of Perth were affirmed on September 21, 2006, in Bennell v. State of Western Australia. They proved they continue to exist and are still part of the land. The Six Nations Confederacy and our title to what is now known as the city of Toronto and beyond continues to exist.
The UN Charter requires that its members cannot use armed force to resolve international differences. Starving and then waving money in front of the Mississauga constitutes coercion, violence and use of force.
Canada is a colonial state that must respect the political rights of the Six Nations Confederacy as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV) requires the informed consent of a people before they are included in another state [Western Sahara case]. We are not Canadians. We have never surrendered our jurisdiction over ourselves and our lands. Britain and its successor, Canada, are violating our jurisdiction. We must be dealt with on a nation-to-nation basis.
The United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination found on March 6, 2006 that the United States was denying the Western Shoshone people “their rights to own, develop, control and use their land and resources”. Canada continues to live in the past and refuses to stop colonialism even though it is illegal.
International law rejects colonial encroachment on our land. Our land cannot be developed without consultation with us and our consent. Our perspectives cannot be ignored. Even the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes that.
WE, THE ROTINONHSONNI:ONWE WOMEN TITLE HOLDERS demand an end to the breach of our rights.
a). Our governance is based on relations of equality and mutual respect as affirmed by the Kaianereh’ko:wa, our Great Law of Peace. Our relationship with the colonists is based on the Guswentah, the Two Row Wampum. We agreed to travel on different paths on the same river without interfering with each other. Canada cannot usurp our vessel.
b). We are the trustees of our land for the future generations of our People. Our land cannot be alienated. Colonial states cannot remove us to exploit our land and resources.
c). Colonial states have failed to stop their encroachment on our land and in our lives. Squatters illegally occupy our land, steal our resources and poison our water and air almost beyond repair. Corporate governments and their entities have imposed their destructive agendas on us.
d). Canada’s justice system functions to keep the stolen property, to continue the theft, to undermine us and to continue its genocide.
WE, THE ROTINONHSONNI:ONWE WOMEN TITLE HOLDERS WISH TO PROTECT OUR PHYSICAL INTEGRITY AND OUR LEGAL RIGHTS THROUGH PEACEFUL MEANS.
1.That Canada uphold freedom, justice and peace including our inherent right of self-determination. Canada cannot “settle” this fraudulent land claim of the Six Nations without our fully informed consent and consensus of the majority of our people.
2. That we be dealt with on a nation-to-nation basis. Colonial states cannot deal through their unlawfully imposed corporate puppets known as the Mississauga band council.
3. The “rule of law” comes from Creation. It encompasses all that is good for humanity, that of being of one mind based on natural righteousness. To create peace we must live in balance with the natural world, according to our own teachings, direction, language and culture. Foreigners to Turtle Island must respect the Indigenous law of our land. They cannot legislate over or judge us.
4. Colonial states cannot criminalize us for upholding our obligations. We have an inherent right to preserve our land for our coming generations. Our acts have been defensive and peaceful.
WE, THE ROTINONHSONNI:ONWE WOMEN TITLE HOLDERS, insist that in keeping with our right to self-determination, we shall deal with our lands, rights and possessions, including the Six Nations land that the city of Toronto is sitting on.
For 500 years we resisted colonial efforts to do away with us and impose your unnatural institutions on us. The colonizers need to meet with us peacefully according to the principles of the Two Row Wampum agreement. The colonizers must remain on your ship and not steer our canoe. The formula to peace is the Kaianereh’ko:wa.
We, the Women Title Holders, insist on an immediate end to this false initiative to have Canadian government corporations settle a fraudulent claim to our land. Colonization has changed the natural world on Turtle Island, the plants, the animals, and the air we breathe. We can’t even drink the water anymore without filtering it. Some people in the colonial society seem to think that just because the first treaties like the Two Row Wampum and the Silver Covenant Chain are inconvenient for you, you can forget about them. They are still the foundation of our relationships, an irrevocable part of modern life. We must initiate a dialogue to work toward a solution acceptable to the Rotinoshonni’onwe.
Signed on this day of February 7, 2007.
Katenies /s/ __________________
Kahentinetha /s/ _____________________
Box 991, Kahnawake of Mohawk Territory (Quebec) J0L 1B0
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