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?"