Saturday, 10 December 2016

Time for a Pause

Dear Readers:

As many of you will have noted, there has been nothing posted to this site for a few months.  There are a number of reasons for this development.  First is that I am tired of hashing and re-hashing the same old, same old, same old topics.  Despite the facts, the evidence, it still does not to seem to have made a dent in the deeply entrenched beliefs that are firmly held by most Six Nations who reside on the Rez.  If the goal is to put one's fingers on the pulse of the truth, then objective evidence and critical thinking are a must.  I know many on the Rez read this blog, but it is crystal clear that few are willing to bow to reason and rationality, when adhering to the spin that has accumulated over the centuries is what is expected in the Community.  If the seeds of doubt have been sown in at least some, then it makes my efforts worthwhile.  None the less, it is exceedingly frustrating to think that some still think that little children from the Mohawk Institute were murdered there, and there are mass graves yet to be located in that vicinity, and that there has been some sort of Church - State conspiracy to keep the whole thing quiet.  These irrational (without any basis in evidence) beliefs open the door to predatory hoaxers, which is precisely what happened.  How does one defeat ignorance when there is no respect for critical thinking, reason and evidence.  Anyone who goes against the grain of the "party line" will be shouted down and "put in their place".

I have dutifully picked up a copy of each of the two Reserve newspapers when in residence in the area, and in the past 6 months have read two issues, and sent the rest to recycling.  The task of reading what is essentially the same reality denying, bellyaching and "wheel spinning" is simply so unpleasant that I could not bring myself to read any more issues.  It is the year 2016 and it is the same now as it was "then" - so no productive changes, just entrenchment of unsupported beliefs.

Here follows, off the top of my head, some of the recurring matters which are particularly irritating / galling and contributed to my "pause":

1)  The creating of a class of individuals known as Residential School "survivors" who have their hands out for monetary "compensation" for the supposed intentional "cultural genocide" by the Anglican Church and the Canadian Government.  In fact it was the Chiefs (and hence Clan Mothers) who in 1837 pleaded with the Government to establish a residential school on the Reserve (it was located in on Indian land within what is today Brantford at the northern end of the Reserve), and when the Government decided to close it down the Chiefs pleaded with the Government to keep it open (since this is where most of the Reserves teachers had received their education).  Somehow there was a cadre of individuals who latched on to the coat tails of the very different situation in the West where there were abuses, and claimed that the same things happened at the Mohawk Institute.  In speaking to the elders I know who went there, they were very clear that they have fond memories of the place and saw it as a haven from often impoverished and dysfunctional home environments.

2)  The emphasis on the "canoe" and "ship" relationship between Six Nations and the British, and now the Canadian Government.  It is a concept that is heard constantly at Six Nations with the assumption that it has validity.  This is also known as the "Two Row Wampum" agreement.  I tracked down this document from 1613 (posted to this blog) and found (as had numerous academics) that it is nothing more than a trade agreement between two Dutch traders and 6 Five now Six Nations (apparently Mohawk) individuals.  There is no hint of a government to government or culture to culture relationship - and in 1613 the British claimed new England and the Dutch New Netherlands and it was that way until 1664 when the British became the ruling body in New York.  So there was never any formal agreement between independent governments dating to the earliest days of the European settlement along the Hudson River.

3)  The belief that Six Nations has "treaty rights" in Southwestern Ontario including the Grand River region is patently false.  Again the original document of 1701 (posted to this blog) that came to be called the "Nanfan Treaty" of 1701 shows that it was a document whereby 20 Six Nations individuals gave away all rights to "His Majesty the King of England" their lands in what is today Southwestern Ontario, with the hope that the King would grant them beaver hunting rights.  How this is seen as a treaty stretches the imagination.  A further problem is that by 1696 all 8 of the Six Nations settlements north of Lake Ontario on lands taken from the Wyandot (Huron) and Attiwandaronk (Neutral) peoples by conquest were actually taken by conquest from the Six (then 5) Nations by the "5 Fires Confederacy" led primarily by the Mississauga.  So in effect the Six Nations were trying to arrange a deal for lands they did not own.  In no way was it a treaty of any description.  There is no seal of the Colony of New York, and none of the Privy Council of England.  The document is of historical value and nothing more.

4)  Another very distracting and disruptive false belief is that the Six Nations own unsurrendered land within the Haldimand Grant of 1784.  The Six Nations gave up all lands except the present day Reserve in 1841 (I posted the entire document here), and in the years that followed while there was some back tracking by the Chiefs they for example specifically gave up all rights to the lands on which the Douglas Creek Estates property is located in 1844 (all documents posted to this blog), and by 1852 the 1841 Surrender was agreed to once again and Lord Elgin wrote up a final report to that effect - which was not challenged by the Chiefs or anyone else until recent "agitators" decided to ignore history and make invalid claims causing the "billion dollar chaos" surrounding the "reclamation" of the Douglas Creek Estates, and the turmoil it has caused to the region, the Province, and the Country since 2006.

5)  The acts of violence since 2006, including assault (e.g., beating Mr. Gaulieri almost to death), and arson (e.g., burning of the Stirling Street Bridge), and vandalism (e.g., the cutting of Hydro One towers), and extortion (e.g., requiring that the Ontario Government give them the Burtch Correctional Center lands in order to remove the barrier blocking the southern entrance to Caledonia) have never been met with any consequences.  In the years since 2006 can be included the threat that if their demands (e.g., for money) are not met, further disruptions at construction sites will occur.  Similarly, based on the false beliefs of the non - existent Nanfan Treaty, extracting millions of dollars from Samsung and other companies building wind turbines and solar farms.  The same ends have been reached by falsely claiming unsurrendered land (e.g., in South Cayuga Township), and muscling in on projects in the area in order to line the coffers of who knows who (most at Six Nations don't know where the money has gone).

6)  The belief that the Government practiced and practices Colonialism and Cultural Genocide to suppress the aspirations of Six Nations people is once again wrong, and rather hypocritical.  The only genocide ever proven was that perpetrated by the Six (then 5) Nations against the Wyandot (Huron), Petun, Erie, Attiwandaronk (Neutral), Wenro and others which involved the cruel torture, and annihilation of all these peoples as tribal and nation entities, between the years 1642 and 1649.  This was true genocide and there is no white washing of any of it - the evidence being disparate documentary sources, and the archaeological record (showing precise evidence for the torture perpetrated before death as described by the Jesuit priests who were present to observe).  Now what is it that the Canadian Government has done that is in any way "genocidal"?

7)  Since 1924 (when the progressive element at Six Nations petitioned for an elected council) the never ending dispute over the legitimacy of the present Elected Council has festered when the Hereditary Council (a shadow government) claims to be the sole traditional and legitimate representative of the Six Nations people.  Meanwhile one of the two Reserve newspapers stands four square behind the Hereditary Council, as the latter continues to fail to be able to fill all of the 49 hereditary chief positions with legitimate members of the clan they are supposed to represent.  The tattered remnants of the Council are beset with internal squabbles and even violent confrontations, and are completely dysfunctional yet want to meet with the Canadian Government without any representation from the Elected Council in order to be the sole representatives of the Six Nations people.  This is entirely irrational, but ..............

8)  Factionalism is, and has always been, a serious problem at Six Nations.  Just as one single example of many, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) and the Men's Fire, both spin offs of the Hereditary Council have been active in trying to disrupt projects such as the McClung - Avalon Housing Development east of Caledonia (which I too do not want here).  They have been at each other's throats even to the extent of the Men's Fire sending representatives to eject the lawyer involved with the HDI - off the Reserve.  The expected donnybrook occurred, and the fall out is still very much hanging in the air.

9)  There has never been an apology for the torment to the citizens of Caledonia and surrounds.  Neither has there been any compensation for the billions of dollars (with the tab being picked up by the Canadian taxpayer) which is the responsibility of Six Nations and which was caused by, for example, the preventing of the stringing of the high tension wires on the towers between Niagara Falls and the grid by threats of violence, the primary costs and overtime for the Ontario Provincial Police, and on and on and on.  Never has anyone in an official capacity (or any other capacity for that matter) said, "I (we) are sorry for all of the disruption that we caused to you the citizens of Haldimand County" - never have those words been spoken and never will they.  Nor has one thin dime ever been "given back" to for example the energy companies for falsely leading them to believe that Six Nations has treaty rights or unsurrendered land.

10)  The Six Nations continues to get away with for example having illegal tobacco shops off the Reserve on for example Hydro One land, selling contraband cigarettes and paying no taxes while the shops a mile away in Caledonia are forced to comply with the letter of the law.  That is two faced and hypocritical but Six Nations knows how to play the game with the "race card" and the use of the veiled threat of violence if anyone one was to disturb the "new apple cart".

I will leave it at an even 10, but this is the tip of the iceberg.  What is so depressing is the obviously self - destructive element woven into the mix.  For example the call is for more language (Native) and culture taught in schools - although one might argue that this is the responsibility of the parents.  Were this to happen there would be less science and technology taught, and Six Nations children would be ham strung in the larger very real world out there should they wish to become an entrepreneur, or to obtain higher education and pursue goals anywhere in the world.

On that note I will now take my leave, and return to this blog as need and circumstances and state of mind dictate.  I know from the statistics to this blog that there are a large number of readers, and I don't want to disappoint.  However, it is "draining" to be constantly batting one's head against the wall - and eventually it begins to "hurt" and begs the questions, "why am I doing this, and do I have the psychological resources to continue doing it?"


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Apparently Science is Wrong, Native American Ancestors Did Not Cross the Bering Strait, but Have Been Here 100,000 Years

Over the entire week I have languished over what to write, or whether to write anything, about the inaccurate and downright false material found in the two Rez newspapers this past week.  Sometimes it simply gets discouraging to those of us who value reason, rational though, and firm evidence over stories and beliefs to deal with the constant stream of misinformation.  The decision here is to review, in two postings, one article from each newspaper.

An article in Two Row Times (15 June, 2016, p.4) entitled, 100,000 year old stone tools found in Haldimand, the author maintains that the Ancestors of Aboriginal People in the Americas Have Been Here for 80,000 years more than scientific research has revealed, and furthermore, the ancestors did not come across the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age (the theory that has thousands of peer reviewed articles in multiple disciplines behind it).  Where do I start.

The finding of some rocks with a red patina at a quarry near Hagersville seems to have ignited the same folks who believe we have been visited by extra terrestrials in the distant past - and have brought up the "ancient oral histories" sacred cow.  Bunk.  No evidence.  Almost no one at Six Nations even knows (for sure) their true (direct maternal line) clan, the knowledge has been forgotten in 100 years, yet somehow there are memories of 100,000 years ago that can be relied upon?

While I do respect the amateur archaeologist and others (very few) who would give credence to the longevity of Aboriginals in say Canada based on the geology, there is no evidence that these are tools worked by human beings, and there is no evidence as to the age of these artifacts except very indirect.  The claim is they are human made artifacts and are about 100,000 years old, the entire foundation of this belief, is not based on evidence but belief and coincidence.  In truth, it is much easier to believe that these "artifacts" are simply part of the quarry debris, or that someone brought these unusual stones from say Europe as "curios" and later generations saw them as junk and tossed them out.

Just as an example of how unrealistic this "evidence" is, all scientists agree that just over 10,000 years ago a glacier over a mile high stood over where Hagersville is today, having scoured the entire surface of the landscape and pushed it south, and extended all the way down to just north of the Meadowcroft site in Pennsylvania.  The latter, which has seen a lot of skeptics in the academic world, is now largely accepted as one of the two earliest sites of man in the Americas, being occupied sometime between 16,000 and 19,000 years ago (click here).  The other ancient site is in South America, specifically Monte Verde in Chile radiocarbon dated to about 18,500 years before present (click here).  Both are now gaining acceptance even from the most ardent skeptic.

Interest in a really really  ancient American has been around for quite a while, and even an archaeologist with the impeccable reputation of Dr. Louis B. Leakey was quite interested in a quarry site in Calico California where some of the rocks dating back 500,000 years looked as if they may have been "worked" by man (click here).  Alas, these were later shown to be simply naturally cracked rocks and by chance some mimicked what you would expect if a human were to have worked it.

It reminds me of other attempts to discount the Asian origins of Native Americans - such as those who believe in the Solutrean Hypothesis (click here).  A single spear head was supposedly trawled up with a Mastadon skull (long extinct "hairy elephant").  Authors such as Bradley and Stanford assert that the spear point is almost identical to the Solutrean assemblages (e.g., 21,000 years old) from what are today France and Spain.  Thus, the theory goes, mankind somehow managed to cross thousands of miles of frozen ocean or pack ice (there being no flint sources in between is somehow overlooked) to make Europeans the first Native Americans (or at least joining those coming in from Beringia) - thereby of course enhancing the European primacy factor and "explaining" how structures as complex as Mayan temples could be constructed (as if "true" Native Americans were incapable of such feats - if this is not racist, I don't know what is).  Recent attempts to re examine the original artifacts allegedly supporting this hypothesis, and to determine their provenance, have not proven successful.

So, in the world of today with far more sophisticated tools of analysis, these rather crude looking stones today can be dismissed due to evidence that is infinitely more persuasive.  For example the major advances in population genetics in the last 15 years tell a clear and coherent story.  It is now known from North American populations of today and ancient DNA samples such as the Kennewick Man from the State of Washington and the even earlier Anzick, Clovis Era boy whose remains are about 12,500 years old, as well as the even earlier Mal'ta fossil from Siberia (see here), that the people living today in all the Americas are descendants of immigrants from Northern Asia and Eastern Asia circa 20,000 years ago.  People today share the same DNA signatures as the above ancient fossils (whose DNA has been sequenced) and also share these with the people of Eastern Siberia.  Most "Native Americans" descend from a small group of pioneers who came across the Bering Strait when it was above water.  The ancestors of the Athabaskans appear to be later arrivals. Furthermore, the descendants of the Inuit came much later, after the bridge was long submerged.  The data is crystal clear.  I have read all of the relevant papers on mitochondrial DNA (direct maternal line), Y-DNA (direct paternal line), as well as the more recent studies on autosomal DNA (22 pairs of chromosomes) - there are no inconsistencies, the evidence could not be more clear.  There are still some open questions such as whether there was a contribution from Australasians in the distant past, but with more data that question will likely soon be answered.  So Aboriginal people of say Canada are related to Asians, and are aboriginal to that region (depending on one's definition of "aboriginal").  For sources there are numerous Wikipedia articles, or you can try any of the academic ones upon which these are based such as the paper seen here.

It is only if one wishes to take creation myths at face value (e.g., Sky Woman and the back of the turtle) that you can make a pitch for Native Americans having originated here.  For those who turn to multi - disciplinary science for answers, we know that myths are just that, and that the weight of evidence shows that all human beings of the past and all those alive today trace their early ancestry to Africa.


The Governor General Supposedly "Snubs" the "Confederacy"

According to an article entitled, National Aboriginal Day Governor General snubs Confederacy (Turtle Island News, 22 June, p.2), the representative of the Crown, by virtue of his actions, made a bold statement of what side he favours in the ongoing battle between the Elected Council and the Hereditary Council.  Really?  Reading the article one would think that the Governor General (GG) of Canada who is the Queen's representative in Canada, and thus by association the Crown, had made a major gaff and insulted the people of Six Nations.  That is patently false, but is typical of what one will see in a newspaper which has a distinct political bias - in this case without reservation pro Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC).  There is no to little unbiased reporting, except on mundane topics.

So Governor General David Johnston, who by the way is a descendant of the Port Carling, Parry Sound, Anishinabe - Algonquin people, was invited to Six Nations to spend Aboriginal Day.  One might presume that the invitation came from the Elected Council since they are the legal representatives of the Six Nations in their dealings with the "big Crown" (Federal Government) and "little Crown" (Province of Ontario).  Of all places he chose to accept the invitation from here and come to Six Nations - a profound honour.  How he is treated on this occasion speaks volumes. First the venue.  Instead of a setting such as the Mohawk Chapel (Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks, built 1786), he was shunted to the controversial Mohawk Institute (now the Woodland Cultural Center) across the road - the old residential school.  Apparently there were some there to see the Governor General pay his respects at Six Nations and considered it a "historic moment".  However, instead of welcoming the representative of the Crown, some at Six Nations took the opportunity of "grilling" him (good luck in ever getting him to return - or to be sympathetic to Six Nations causes).  He was made out to be the party responsible for the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) not being in attendance.  That is patently ridiculous.

The reporter accused the Governor General of, evading questions on the treaty relationship between the HCCC and the Crown.  That was a below the belt question, entirely inappropriate, and frankly an embarrassment to Six Nations.  So the GG was forced to provide platitudes since anything of substance he said could and would be used against him and the Federal Government.  It seems to have been an attempt at entrapment.  He also, refused to answer if he recognizes the HCCC as the legitimate governing body of Six Nations.  That was a loaded question, and profoundly insulting.  Being astute, he noted that he knew this was, a political question and that's one where I don't have the expertise to give you an answer.  It must have been tempting (it would have for me) to say, go ...........  yourself.  The GG is a gentleman and has a political background and so knew that any answer would be potential dynamite at Six Nations.  Of course, he had to say something about the residential school situation and gave the politically correct answer.  I expect that this part had been scripted - although I doubt that he knew that the situation at Six Nations and the situation in say Alberta was as day is to night.  He had to sit though a clip where two Six Nations boys played the parts of a young boy out west who died after running away from school (who hasn't run away from school at some time).  However, the reporter fails to note that this scenario had nothing to do with the Mohawk Institute.

Who knows if the GG knows that the HCCC is presently in turmoil and without leadership.  The last meeting (and others before) the Mohawk Head Chief stormed out of the Longhouse, or most recently simply did not attend.  There was no quorum and the meeting adjourned.  The HCCC is in the process of disintegration through factional disputes and inertia and for the editor of one of these newspaper must be wearing blinders to still continue to assert that they are the only legitimate governing body at Six Nations - and would have the Federal Government turn over responsibility of governing Six Nations to this dysfunction group defies logic.  Then to blame the Governor General, who does not make the arrangements, and merely accepts the invitation from the legally constituted governing body the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC).  If SNEC wanted HCCC to be present they would have invited them.  Perhaps they did, but in the past the latter has refused to even be in the same room as the former - that is how petty they have become.  So blame the Governor General for internal decay at Six Nations - amazing.  Then to fire off a series of politically charged questions, many of which would have required research due to the specific nature of the question, is putting Mr. Johnston on the spot.  He, as the Queen's representative cannot answer those types of questions anyway.  That is the responsibility of the Aboriginal Affairs people in Ottawa.  Very embarrassing all around.  Of course I would have loved to hear Mr. Johnston say, when asked about the residential schools, something like, "Why are you equating the situation in the West with children taken a thousand miles from their home and abused by the representatives of the Catholic Church when at Six Nations the school was requested in writing by the Six Nations Chiefs in 1838, and run by the Anglican Church for the benefit of the children, and with the full acceptance and knowledge of the Chiefs and parents at Six Nations".  Not going to happen.  The truth bites.


Friday, 17 June 2016

Six Nations Residential School: Compilation of Postings to this Blog

The whole matter of the Mohawk Institute, the residential school established for the Six Nations by the Anglican Church, is highly controversial here.  The "party line" is well known, with former attendees being labelled students, then "victims", then "survivors" of what came to be termed the "Mush Hole".  In reality it was the Chiefs who in 1838 requested the residential school be set up on Reserve land, and who in 1970 pleaded with the Canadian Government not to close down the school as it had served an important role in the education of those at Six Nations.  Elders told of seeing the school as a shelter from dysfunction at home, where at least they were fed and they learned something worthwhile.

However, despite these facts, many at Six Nations buy into the view that the Mohawk Institute was a place of horrors, where children were mistreated, murdered and tossed into mass graves, and other and unproven outlandish claims.  This view largely emerged out of the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" (TRC) which ultimately used some unfortunate situations in one part of Canada to paint broad strokes and demonize the entire system of education which gave many the entry into the wider world allowing them to make a success of their lives, not simply drifting back to a home community where dysfunction was the order of the day long before the introduction of residential schools.

Here follows the postings made to this blog about the subject of the Mohawk Institute; the rationale being that having all the information in one place rather than scattered among 200 postings would facilitate access to the data.  While there is overlap, each posting is categorized under the heading that seems to be most salient.

1) Detailed overview:  A recent comprehensive balanced look at the Mohawk Institute based on facts not beliefs - click here.

2)  General information:

 Click here for the earliest exploration into the matter on this blog.

3)  Hoaxer involvement:

For years now the Mohawk Institute has attracted hoaxers and those with an axe to grind - click here.  It is mind boggling that so many at Six Nations simply uncritically accepted these absurd allegations, then went about trying to convince all that the fantasy was the truth.  These hoaxes and the role of K.A. are woven into the links both above and below.

4)  Entrenched belief that murdered children buried around the Mohawk Institute:

There are many at Six Nations who are conspiracy theorists and believe that there are numerous bodies of children, murdered at the Mohawk Institute, that were cast out into mass graves - even to the extent of using ground penetrating radar to seek out these supposed remains.  The fact that only animal bone has been found does not deter the belief of many.  Click here to see evidence that the inevitable deaths at the Mohawk Institute (of disease) were dealt with sensitively, with the bodies being buried by the Anglican ministers in the cemetery at the Mohawk Chapel across the road from the Mohawk Institute.

5)  Residential School is used as a reason for the dysfunction at Six Nations:

Click here.  More of the blame game so prevalent at Six Nations.

6)  Involvement of lawyers and financial reward:

Click here.  Lawyers still trying to extract more money from the Government by encouraging more persons to hop on the gravy train, thereby enriching themselves and their "clients".

7)  Summary:  I am not speaking here about the situation in say Alberta since I have not sifted through the evidence, but only what happened at Six Nations, where I have explored the relevant data.

The Mohawk Institute, the residential school located physically on the Six Nations Reserve, was an educational institution supported by the Chiefs (and thus the Clan Mothers) from the year it opened (1838) to the year it closed (1970) when the elected Chiefs petitioned to allow it to remain open.  Most of the Six Nations teachers of the time were educated there, and it was here that many found a launching pad to success in the wider world.

With the TRC came an entire change in perception.  Those with a vested interest in portraying the Mohawk Institute in the same boat as the worst of the Residential Schools out west, came up with a catchy name, the "Mush Hole" to enhance the evil reputation they were intent on cultivating.  They collected "stories" or "recollections" from those who chose to come forth - but many didn't because they could not in all conscience depict their school, frequently recalled with fondness, in a way that would meet the wishes of the detractors who promised "compensation" if you would step forward and claim to be a "survivor".

People started coming out of the woodwork and all sorts of crazy theories surfaced (the mass graves being the most egregious) and ultimately for many it boiled down to how much money could be had by playing along and recalling horrible things (all of which happened at day school to those of us in earlier times) that could sound convincing to those wanting to compile examples of lurid experiences that could be tied to "school days".

The fact that the Ontario Government wishes to include the experiences (only the negative ones of course) in the Ontario school curriculum is a farce which will implant a false picture in the minds of children across the Province.  The grovelling apologies of officials in the Anglican Church and the various levels of Government (who clearly either did not have all the facts, or chose to be politically correct) was a positively sickening aspect of this business, as is the fact that there are those even outside Native circles who are profiting from the perpetuation of the party line, the truth being unimportant and an encumbrance.

I am very pleased that there is a move afoot to save the Mohawk Institute from demolition.  It has served many functions at Six Nations including housing a unique library of Six Nations culture, history and language that is in my opinion unparalleled.  What is galling is the the rationale for putting a new roof on the building, and ultimately restoring it, is to "save the evidence" - meaning that it will act as a testament to the residential schools era and include tours that will explain the horrid things that allegedly happened there.  It will then be somewhat similar to the old Kingston Penitentiary where tours through this historic structure are now being organized.  The big difference, however, is that the historical truth will be told at one (although likely from the guard's perspective), while the other will in all probability offer up only a skewed version of events that fit the political mold - a balanced consideration of all the facts and the truth being assiduously avoided.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Sovereignty and Nation to Nation Dialogue: Summary of Facts Posted to this Blog

Every so often it is important to pause and reflect on what has been accomplished.  In the previous posting I have listed the data included in a number of posts on the subjects of treaties and land claims said to pertain to the Six Nations.  Another broad topic to come to the fore from time to time is the belief that the Six Nations are a sovereign people and that any discussions with Canada must be of the nation to nation variety.  For a litany of reasons I vehemently disagree with any concept of a "nation within a nation" where in this case a group comprising 0.01% of the Canadian population believe that they should be on an equal footing with the Nation of Canada.  There would be much less justification for anything of this nature involving Six Nations and Canada than say allowing the representatives of the Cornish people (the last Cornish speaker died in the 19th Century) of the County of Cornwall to sit down at a table as an independent body, equal to the representatives of the British Nation of which Cornwall is a part.  Most recognize that this is entirely unrealistic, and those who may harbour these wishes are really only engaging in flights of fantasy.  It is certainly even more "out there" in relation to Six Nations.

Any true nation must be self - sufficient.  Despite the objective fact that Six Nations does not have any treaty with Canada, any source of income for schools, infrastructure and virtually everything you care to name comes directly from the Canadian taxpayer via transfer payments.  Since the old Six Nations Trust fund is likely defunct (an audit would need to confirm its status), and since they have no other source of income (since earnings or businesses on the Reserve are not taxed), it begs the question as to where the "Nation's" inflow of cash will be found.

The matter is considered to be of immediate interest since Chief Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is leading a motorcycle brigade to the Niagara Region to make his assertion for nation to nation talks and Native sovereignty as well as abolishing the Indian Act (click here).  Since much the underpinnings of his assertions are built upon quicksand, and have no documentary support, this is an attempt to be proactive and keep one step ahead of the forces who would use beliefs and soft evidence in the attempt to convince Canadians of the truth of what they are saying.  There are plenty of "beliebers" out there ready and willing to eat up anything fed to them by "Natives".

Here follow the postings which are largely focused on the assertion among many at Six Nations that they are a sovereign Nation.   At Six Nations this concept is tightly woven around the conceptualization of the Two Row Wampum, despite the harsh reality of the complete paucity of anything even remotely resembling evidence, or facts, or even a sound rationale.  Hence the following posts from the 15 July posting also apply here:

Two Row Wampum - 1613:

Click here.  The first part of this posting includes an overview discussion of sovereignty and the Two Row Wampum.  It includes photographic copies of the document purported to be the trade agreement of 1613 upon which the concept of the Two Row Wampum supposedly evolved, and the wampum belt that supposedly supports this document and the "ship" and "canoe" analogy that has become a "sacred cow" at Six Nations - to the extent that if you don't believe in it something is wrong with you or you are a racist.

Click here.  The validity of the Two Row Wampum agreement, and the "ship and canoe" inference is considered.  It also is brought forward in the discussion of treaty status and sovereignty by Six Nations.  Included is a photocopy of the original document (although the authenticity of this document has been questioned).

Click here.  The value of oral history, and the fallibility of  human memory is discussed.

Click here.  How the Two Row Wampum concept has impacted thinking and decisions is described.


The following postings were not included in the previous summary post.

Click here.  An early general look at sovereignty at Six Nations.

Click here.  Again, another general perspective on the matter.

Click here.  Sovereignty and Six Nations passports.

Click here.  Sovereignty and hypocrisy.

The above represents the facts and evidence found in this blog. Such "unorthodox" views however fly in the face of the mind set at Six Nations which is firmly focused on the community beliefs - and changing these for any reason for whatsoever is not in the cards.  That is the reality within which we operate - perception is reality at Six Nations.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Six Nations Treaties and Land Claims: Key Information Posted to this Blog

Among the 200 postings to this blog, I have included considerable material directly relevant to a discussion of "treaty rights" and "unsurrendered land".  For example there are photographic copies of each of the three "treaties" to which Six Nations refers when discussing certain entitlements within the geographic area of Southwestern Ontario.  These documents are placed within a historical and cultural context in order to achieve the closest possible approximation to the objective truth.  Similarly, I have included photographic copies and transcripts of the most important documents, with an analysis using all available sources, that pertain to the claim of unsurrendered (unceded) land still belonging to Six Nations.  In a nutshell, the data clearly and unequivocally shows that there are no treaties relating to the Six Nations, and there is presently no unsurrendered land outside the boundaries of the Six Nations Reserve (I.R. 40).

It occurs that this documentation is now scattered throughout this blog to the point where it may be difficult for general readers and Government officials to locate specific records which I have included in relation to treaties and land claims.  To rectify this problem, and thus allow ease of access, I have included links to the most important postings here.  There is some repetition in the various postings listed below.

For those just embarking on their question to learn more about the subject, the best "first read" outside this blog would be the excellent study by Garry Horsnell referenced below.  Click here and go to the blue "Download" button on the right to obtain a pdf copy of the document.

First it is important to note that the Six Nations are not aboriginal to Ontario:

Click here.  It is essential to realize that Six Nations are aboriginal to what is today New York State, and not to Ontario where their status is that of Loyalist refugees residing on Crown Land formerly owned by the Mississauga.


Summary Article on the various documents claimed to have treaty status or be related in some fashion to treaties, and an introduction to land claims:

Click here.  This posting includes photographic copies of the original Nanfan and Two Row Wampum documents.  It also includes some useful information on land claims.

General consideration of Treaties relating to Six Nations:

Click here.  It is important to note that a recent map of all treaties in Ontario sent to the schools does not show any treaty with the Six Nations.  The posting also includes an overview of the "Nanfan Treaty" and the "Haldimand Proclamation".

Click here.  A specific exploration of treaty "rights" and the "right" to hunt in Southwestern Ontario.

Click here.  An examination of how the claimed "treaty rights" will impact developers and others in Ontario.

Click here.  The falsely claimed treaty rights (as well as false claims about unsurrendered lands) will hold corporations (e.g., wind turbine) to ransom.

Click here.  Further data re the above.

The above is a mere sampling of the topic - but highlights some essentials for understanding the issues.

Two Row Wampum of 1613:

Click here.  The validity of the Two Row Wampum agreement, and the "ship and canoe" inference is considered.  It also is brought forward in the discussion of treaty status and sovereignty by Six Nations.  Included is a photocopy of the original document (although the authenticity of this document has been questioned).

Click here.  The value of oral history, and the fallibility of  human memory is discussed.

Click here.  How the Two Row Wampum concept has impacted thinking and decisions is described.

Nanfan “Treaty” of 1701:

Click here.  This posting, noted above, includes the most detailed information about the Nanfan document that I have included on this blog to date.  It includes photographic copies of the original document, front and back.

Click here.  Here the document that Six Nations believes gives them entitlements throughout all of Southwestern Ontario is further examined.

            Reality sets in:

Click here.  In utter frustration a Six Nations land researcher is forced to admit that the Nanfan "Treaty" is not exactly what most there believe it to be.
Royal Proclamation of 1763:

Click here.  Since this document is often "brought into the picture" in any treaty discussion at Six Nations, it is examined here.

Haldimand Deed of 1784:

Click here.  Once again this posting has been noted earlier (many include multiple related topics). The Haldimand Deed as well as the Nanfan Document are discussed.  A photograph of the original Haldimand Deed is included.


General Information:

Click here.  A very general overview of the subject.

Surrenders of Land in Haldimand Tract to 1840:

Click here.  Here we explore the various land surrenders from the 1780s to 1840.

Click here.  In this posting the author explores how the Six Nations refusal to acknowledge a valid land surrender of the 1830s has adversely impacted the lives of one Ontario family.

Surrenders of Land 1841 to 1850:

Click here.  A photographic copy of the 1841 surrender of all lands outside the present day Six Nations Reserve is presented, along with a printed transcript.  It is this document which the Federal Government believes (correctly) that dissolved all future Six Nations land claims outside I.R. 40 (Six Nations Reserve within Tuscarora, and parts of Onondaga, and Oneida Townships, as well as 200 acres surrounding the Mohawk Chapel and the Mohawk Institute in Brantford Township).

Click here.  More information relating to the above document is presented.

It needs to be emphasized that although the 1841 Surrender was valid, the Colonial officials of the time (consistently vilified by Six Nations) allowed the Chiefs to reconsider.  This went on for almost 10 years where the Chiefs would change their mind, then recant.  The problem was that hundreds of Six Nations members had sold land and improvements (on their own authority) to White buyers, then moved on to another piece of property and repeated the same process.  Ultimately these buyers could not simply be termed "squatters" and summarily removed, they had deeds of sale from Six Nations members.  Thus when considering whether to keep say the lands near Burtch, the Chiefs acknowledged that the White people would have to receive compensation for their purchased lands and the monies would have to come from the Six Nations Trust (since Six Nations members were the sellers).  Ultimately, the original surrender was considered to be the best of all compromises, and was fully confirmed by Lord Elgin's Report and map of 1850.

So in essence, the people of Brant and Haldimand Counties (and Ontario in general) are being made to suffer because the Six Nations people of today refuse to acknowledge the truth, the well documented evidence that 170 years ago their Chiefs made a decision that was in the best interests of the Six Nations at the time.  It shows a complete disrespect for the decisions of the earlier Chiefs who were doing what they could to keep the community from fragmenting and departing to points westward.  Their wisdom is what allowed the Six Nations to stay as an intact community in the lands granted to their forefathers in 1784.

Surrenders and Land Claims:

Click here.  An overview of the 29 land claims submitted by the Six Nations Lands and Resources Department is explored.

Douglas Creek Estates Lands (Oneida Township):

Click here.  A general consideration of the Oneida Township claim is outlined.

Click here.  Some assert that the Chiefs would not have signed away so much land.  Here the author provides the Nation and Tribe of many of the 47 Chiefs who signed the surrender of the property in Oneida Township in 1844.

Click here.  Here will be found photographic copies of the surrender of 1844 which included the Douglas Creek Estates property.  Also included is a transcript of this handwritten item, and a contemporary map of the Township.


The author has posted information on a number of the 29 claims.  In addition to the above, one more may be instructive - the lands on which the former Burtch Correctional Center are located.

Click here.

            A caveat:

Click here.  It is imperative to note that for any land negotiations to proceed, it needs to be acknowledged that Six Nations have stolen some key materials, particularly those from the Indian Office in Brantford, and mircofilmed them.  To the best of my knowledge these items have not been made available to the negotiators for the Federal Government - who are then at a disadvantage.  In my opinion no negotiations should take place until there is a level playing field where the Six Nations return the stolen documents which include, for example, the Land Inspection Returns for Seneca Township 1844 (where the McClung / Avalon housing development is situated).

How the myth of treaties and unsurrendered land is impacting:

          Green Energy Corporations in Southwestern Ontario Click here.  The lands noted here are in Norfolk and Oxford Counties, entirely outside the old Haldimand Proclamation lands.  Thus Six Nations are leaning on corporations (often after a short show of force), claiming rights under the (bogus) Nanfan Treaty.

          Green Energy Corporations in the Haldimand Tract Click here.  The false claim here is that there are unsurrendered lands in for example South Cayuga Township, Haldimand County and that Six Nations are owed a stake in any project established within the old Haldimand Proclamation lands.
If a corporation does not play ball, then the strong arm (extortion) strategies begin with "occupations" and the like to send the message that if you want the development to go smoothly, you need to have Six Nations on board (and paid big bucks).  The above are just two examples of many relevant items posted here.

Thus corporations have been adversely impacted by the fictions of BOTH treaties and unsurrendered land.  The same is true for land developers.

          Land development:  Some examples -

                 2006:  Douglas Creek Estates Click here.  "Infamous" situation.  Numerous other postings, many with photographs, are found in this blog.  Other such actions were attempted in for example Cayuga and Hagersville.  However, the hammer was dropped in 2009.

                 2009:  Ontario Supreme Court ruling on trespassing and the enforcement of Court Injunctions.  In this year Justice Harrison Arrell considered the violation of a Court Injunction by certain Six Nations members in relation to lands in Brantford.  He made it clear that should the matter of land claims come to Court, Six Nations would have a very "weak" case based on the evidence (as seen in the report of Joan Holmes and Associates noted below).

Click here.  An overview of the matter.

Click here.  The penalty phase of the proceedings.

                 2016:  McClung / Avalon Development Click here.  Although the number of work stoppages has diminished, the belief at Six Nations that they must be "accommodated" (by law it is voluntary - click here) and that they have rights to the lands being developed within the Haldimand Tract has not abated.  The issue continues to this very day.

Knowledgeable parties on all sides know that the outstanding issues are about monetary compensation, not about land (surrendered 170 years ago):

Click here for a perspective on the focus of negotiations.  Unfortunately, although the Lands and Resources personnel are well aware of the truth, the average person at Six Nations is still operating under the same old false beliefs which have continued to poison negotiations.  If the Federal Government would send copies of the Nanfan document and the various land surrenders to each elected and hereditary councilor they would in essence be laying their cards on the table.  Meetings where attempts to negotiate with both elected and hereditary councilors present in the same room have consistently led to friction and animosity - and one or the other group walks out.  The Federal Government needs to adopt a new strategy, and once again announce that they stand by the evidence - there are no valid treaties and no unsurrendered land - period. 

Key documentary sources:

                Garry Horsnell – Short History of the Six Nations:

                Joan Holmes and Associates – Report to the Corporation of the City of Brantford, 2009:

Click here.

Hopefully the above material will be useful to all those who are interested in obtaining the objective truth, which can only be determined by the careful consideration of all the documentary (or other) evidence.  Other than some Government researchers, and Six Nations land researchers representing the Band Council, Garry Horsnell, and the Joan Holmes group, the present author is likely one of the few persons to ever review the full extent of the evidence.  In my case this involved forays into the documentation in the RG10 (Indian Affairs) Series at the National Archives, as well as other pertinent sources - hopefully leaving no stone (document) left unturned.


Friday, 10 June 2016

Hereditary Council in the Process of Self Destructing and Circumstances are Pulling All Six Nations to the Precipice

It is all a bit ironic.  Many, such as the editor of Turtle Island News (one of two Reserve newspapers), are calling for the replacement of the Elected Council (SNEC) with the traditional Hereditary Council (HCCC) - yet the latter has disintegrated to the point that the head Chief, the Mohawk Tekarihogen, is refusing to show up for meetings at the Longhouse - and that's just for starters.

Some may be familiar with the historical underpinnings of how the HCCC was removed and SNEC installed.  Those who are only concerned with what is happening today can skip down to the heading "today".

History: Since time immemorial (hence the nostalgia about the hereditary form of government), the HCCC has acted as the governing body for the Five (now Six) Nations.  Since the Five Nations were at constant warfare with each other (yet some insist that there was some sort of Heaven on earth here until Columbus came to upset the apple cart), the "Peacemaker" Deganawida (a Wyandot - Huron, Mohawk or Onondaga depending on the version) was able to convince the Mohawk Hayenwagtha (a Mohawk or an Onondaga depending on the version) that burying the hatchet with their enemies and meeting regularly to discuss issues that would ensure that the peace be kept, was the path to future stability.  Each Nation in turn came to see the wisdom in a peaceful union through the symbolic tree of peace (white pine), under which the hatchets and implements of war would be buried (symbolically since there were still plenty of other enemies out there).  After Thadodaho of the Onondaga Nation finally had the snakes combed out of his hair, the Onondaga were made the fire keepers of the Five Nations Confederacy, with the Mohawk being the metaphorical (and geographical) keepers of the eastern gate, and the Seneca being the keepers of the western gate.  The Mohawk and the Seneca were known as the "elder brothers", and as those who respectively regulated the eastern and western doors, held considerable esteem and power among equals.  49 or 50 (viewpoints differ) Chiefs made up the Confederacy, for example 9 came from the Mohawk (3 Chiefs for each of 3 families - Ohwachira in each of the Turtle, Wolf and Bear Clans).

This system survived until 1777 when the American Revolution dictated that the council fire at Onondaga be extinguished.  The Mohawk, some or the most of the Onondaga, the Cayuga, and the Seneca all supported the British.  The Oneida (with the exception of the Aughquaga branch along the Susquehanna River), and the Tuscarora fought along side the Rebels ("Patriots").  When the Six Nations moved to the Grand River in 1785, the Oneida, some Onondaga, and most of the Seneca remained within American territory and came under control of the American Government and the State of New York.  The Mohawk, the Aughquaga (known at Six Nations later as Oneida), most of the Onondaga, the Cayuga, and a few of the Seneca were joined by scattered allies and refugees such as the Nanticoke, Tutalo and Delaware (the latter were actually residing at the Grand River prior to 1783).

A serious problem for any attempt to re-establish the Confederacy was the fact that most of the Seneca were residing in New York State and many Seneca chiefships were not filled at Six Nations from 1785 onwards.  There was never a full compliment of hereditary chiefs at Six Nations, although attempts to fill the void were enacted through "borrowing" from other clans or even nations.  Chadwick provides a glimpse of the chiefs in 1894 and many Seneca (and other) chief positions were not filled at Six Nations.  Instead Chiefs from the smaller, often non Iroquoian, groups were allowed seats at the Onondaga Longhouse (near Middleport, Brant County).  The Delaware (who amalgamated with the Nanticoke and Mahican - Stockbridge) were one of the largest groups at Six Nations - but were of Anishinabe ancestry and never historically members of the Confederacy.  At one time the Delaware were accorded a position of "women" or "wearing skirts" - a sexist put down at the time - ironic considering it was the Clan Mothers who installed Confederacy Chiefs and could dehorn (remove) them.

Thus things were always very "fluid" at Six Nations and the true historical Confederacy was never reconstituted except in modified form (there were never exactly 49 or 50 Confederacy Chiefs because there were never eligible candidates to fill each position).  Today chaos reigns supreme in the world of the Confederacy.  One example being that a key Mohawk Bear Clan position is filled by someone from the Ball Clan - the Mohawk never had a Ball Clan.  I would venture to say that few today at the HCCC could prove that they occupy a position that was derived through descent in the direct maternal line.  There has been too much borrowing and shuffling around over the years and the bald faced fact is that the vast majority of people at Six Nations don't know their Clan, and those who claim to know could not prove it via recitation via oral or written history of the names of the Clan Mothers back to the American Revolution.  What is important to note here is that the Confederacy as it was established prior to the American Revolution has never been reconstituted in full since the extinguishing of the Council Fire in 1777, so what has appeared at Six Nations is merely a vestige of that once powerful institution as described in the Kayenkerigowagh (many other spellings - this is a phonetic rendition of what I heard) or Great Law.

So in effect, the Hereditary Council is a fiction, a group of traditional people who claim to be the direct lineage descendants of the original Confederacy devised by the Peacemaker.  A sensible question to ask any Chief is to tell how he obtained his role back through the generations to 1916.  Few if any could go as far back as 1816 - if they can, I would delight in seeing the evidence.  Over the years White anthropologists have taken snapshots of those who held a Chief's position in say the 1960s (Shimony), the 1920s (Goldenweiser), and the 1890s (Chadwick).  Land deeds of earlier dates often include an individual's White name and their Haudenosaunee name (although groups such as the Lower Cayuga were slow to adopt White surnames - often not until the late 1800s) - but sometimes their Chiefly name and sometimes their commonly used name.

The "party line" at Six Nations is that in 1924 the "colonial" Canadian Government ordered the RCMP to lock the doors to the Longhouse where the HCCC met, then replaced the latter with a council elected by the people (with generally poor turn outs for elections).  In fact it was a group of "progressives", largely Mohawk and those from the upper parts of the Reserve, who sent a series of petitions to the government requesting that the (to them) dysfunctional hereditary chiefs be replaced by an elected council.  Ultimately the Canadian Government gave in to the "progressives" as they too were finding difficulty in getting things accomplished (decisions made), and so "took the heat" for what was really a factional dispute at Six Nations.  To this day the Canadian Government is blamed for ousting the traditional hereditary council and contributing to "cultural genocide".  The facts mean nothing, perception is all.

After 1924 the hereditary council continued as a parallel governance agency but with only moral not legal authority.  They claim to be the only true governance body at Six Nations but are not recognized as such by the Canadian Government, and it is anyone's guess as to how many at Six Nations support the HCCC.  All services from road maintenance to mortgage loans comes via SNEC - the HCCC has no role in the day to day operations on the Reserve.  However in 2006 during the Caledonia crisis, and subsequently, they along with SNEC were invited to the negotiating table by the Ontario Liberal Government.  Alas, the Elected Council members became so frustrated over the antics of the HCCC (specifically their "enforcement" wing the HDI) that they bowed out leaving only the HCCC at the table to negotiate over land claims.  This was problematic since by law (Indian Act) the Government can only make agreements with the legitimate governing body at the table - and that would be SNEC.

Today:  Over the past few years I have reported on the deteriorating situation with the HCCC, who are entangled in factional disputes involving groups from within such as Men's Fire and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI).  If possible, recently things have taken a turn for the worse.  Recently I blogged about the attempt by Men's Fire to physically remove the lawyer for the HDI from the Territory.  That did not go well, and nothing has been resolved other than further acrimony.  Now there is more trouble within the Longhouse, and whether it is reparable is anyone's guess.  It is not looking good.

It is important to note that the Mohawk Chief Tekarihogen is and has always been considered first among equals.  He initiates meetings and sets the tone of the proceedings.  Lately Tekarihogen has been a little disgruntled about this and that, and has on a number of occasions caused dissension within the Longhouse.  He has been known to simply stand up when frustrated and leave the building. At the most recent meeting he (AMac) and other Mohawks simply failed to show up at all, leaving all Chiefs who did show to look at their watches and after it was clear that he would not be coming, closed the meeting and rescheduled for another day - and this is the group who aspires to take over the day to day running of the Reserve!  To make matters worse the bench of the other elder brothers the Seneca also failed to be filled.

How can anyone place any reliance and grant authority to a group who takes their role in such a cavalier fashion?  That is the question that is being asked by individuals such as CG who wrote a Letter to the Editor or Two Row Times of 8 June 2016, p.7, entitled, No Chiefs Council.  An article in the same issue entitled HCC Council rescheduled, the reported stated that the June 4th meeting  had to be re-scheduled to June 25.  Since the requisite group of Chiefs was not present, those who were there, in what seems a state of bewilderment, stated that this need to reschedule cannot be allowed to continue, and something must be done - that the principal that, we all move forward as one mind is not coming to fruition and it is a key factor in the Great Law.  All this yet the Editor of Turtle Island News in the 8 June issue of the newspaper continues to give unreserved support to the Hereditary Council, as if they can rescue the Six Nations people from bad things such as "colonialism" and "factionalism".  Apparently, There is no question land and treaty rights belong to the HCCC to negotiate (p.7).  Apparently the Editor does not realize that the HCCC does not have a research department with anyone who is known to be competent to assess the records that will need to be discussed with the Federal Government.  Both PM and LB of the Elected Council's Lands and Resources Department do have access to the records, and have the skill to know how to interpret them.  Without someone who can speak with authority about the surrender of 1841 or the Nanfan document of 1701, the HCCC would be seen as simply those who hold strong beliefs but no actual knowledge.  This will simply not work, especially in 2016.

Thus in reality, the HCCC is a large part of the problem, and that simply handing over they keys to them would without a shadow of a doubt result in a major disaster for all Six Nations.  The ramifications should be clear, but apparently they are not - so blame blame blame ................  The ONLY hope for any progress would be for the members of SNEC and those of the HCCC to meet.  Alas, they will not even agree to be in the same room together at the same time as seen in the recent attempt of the Provincial Government to get the land talks moving again.  The HCCC via their "negotiating" wing the HDI waited (I was there) for the Government to come and meet with them separately.  It is no surprise that this did not happen.  The Six Nations have to get their act together and act with once voice (as is dictated in the Great Law) for progress to be made - either in negotiations with the Government, or in meetings at the Longhouse.

According to the above Editorial, three members of SNEC have in utter desperation decided that the only way forward is to meet with members of the HCCC at the Longhouse.  They are willing to do that despite the history of extreme acrimony.  There has also been an extraordinary amount of negativity enveloping the Reserve within the last few weeks and days - including the Reserve account running out of money to be used to fund mortgages, horrible auto accidents, suicides, a revenge killing of one and wounding of two by three neighbours all apparently over a $40 debt and earlier assault incident - to name but a few wounds that the community is dealing with.  Indeed something must be done.  Someone or some group(s) have to budge - for the common good.  All the idealism in the world will not work against the realities that are facing Six Nations today.  Everyone knows that things are moving to crisis levels.  Hopefully the hands extended across the table will result in a positive response from the HCCC.  The ball is in their court.  The latter simply cannot rebuff the members of the Elected Council this time - the stakes are too high.

Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.