We are holding a flash mob round dance at Brantford City Hall (at the mayor’s office) today (Monday) at 6 pm as part of the international day of action in support of Idle No More. The action will be framed under the slogan of “Idle No More – Honor the Two Row!”
This action will kick off a campaign to insist that the city of Brantford do the following in order to live up to its responsibilities under the Two Row Wampum.
PEACE – Declare a moratorium on new developments until the underlying land claim issues in Brantford are resolved. In particular, support a halt to all development on such contested sites as Tutela Heights, Hardy Road, and Davisville. Onkwehonweh land rights must be respected, green space must be valued, and farmers need land to grow the food we need to eat. Expanding the city limits in order to pave over more land is wrong.
RESPECT – Immediately turn the water back on at Kanata Village. The City of Brantford’s decision to shut off the water not only creates a fire hazard but is also a sign of total disrespect to the rightful occupants of Kanata Village.
FRIENDSHIP – The City of Brantford must take the principles of the Two Row Wampum seriously. The Two Row has a prominent place in the city’s coat of arms and heritage, it’s time for all Citizens of Brantford – including the Mayor and the City Council – to live up to their responsibilities under the Two Row.
Following the flash mob on January 28 there will be a public forum at Kanata Village on Thursday January 31st at 7pm to discuss how the Two Row Wampum remains relevant today, and what future steps will be required to achieve these demands.
Hopefully you can join us tonight and again on Thursday as well.
Indigenous people made investments in Canada – with the signing of each treaty that entitled the Onkwehon:we investors to a series of continuing payment annual sums for as long as the investment continues
January 20, 2013 — Elyse Bruce
Just the other day, my online friend @deejayNDN tweeted: People who say “I didn’t sign the treaties so I don’t recognize them” need to remember they didn’t sign the Constitution either.
The point of his comment was that just because people alive today weren’t present for the signing of the treaties, that doesn’t negate the obligations or commitments of those signed treaties.
The United Nations defines a treaty as a binding instrument where that the contracting parties intend, or intended, to create legal rights and duties, between two or more political authorities (as states or sovereigns) and normally signed by representatives duly authorized and ratified by the lawmaking authority of the signatory states or sovereigns.
What does all that mean as it pertains to the Canadian situation?
Back in the day, when the treaties between First Nations people and the Government of Canada were being signed, the treaties stated that they would provide annuities (among other things) in exchange for use of Aboriginal land.
And what, exactly, does that mean in this case?
The First Nations people made an investment in Canada with the signing of each treaty that entitled the investor (that would be the First Nations people) to a series of continuing payment annual sums for as long as the investment continues.
Now that the basics have been explained, let’s take a look at what some of those benefits are for First Nations people that are paid for by the continuing payment annual sums due First Nations people.
To provide clarity to readers as to what the function of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is, the AANDC website states:
AANDC is one of the federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North. Many of these responsibilities are defined by the more than 50 laws and regulations that AANDC administers. The Department’s programs, services, policies and legislative initiatives help fulfill its responsibilities.
The function of the AANDC is clearly defined in that statement. It is supposed to meet the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Obligations (courses of action to which the government is morally and legally bound) and commitments (the state and quality of being dedicated to obligations) to First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
So what constitutes First Nations money according to the AANDC? Again, their website provides an explanation in which the following is stated:
Indian Moneys means all moneys collected, received or held by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of Indians and/or bands. There are two types of Indian moneys: capital and revenue.
Capital moneys are Indian moneys derived from the sale of surrendered lands (from an interest in land), or from the sale of the non-renewable resources of a band. These moneys include oil and gas royalties, bonus payments and other proceeds from the sale of timber, oil and gas or gravel.
Revenue moneys are all Indian moneys other than capital moneys. Revenue moneys may include, but are not limited to, proceeds from: the sale of renewable resources, rights-of-way, fines and interest earned on capital, and revenue moneys held in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
Rights-Of-Way? What are those?
A right-of-way is the legal right of someone to pass over another’s land wherein the party whose land is being crossed is compensated for the permission granted. In Canada’s case, First Nations people gave the government of Canada permission for its people to pass over land identified as First Nations land.
Now that everyone’s on the same page with regards to what, in a nutshell, those treaties are all about and what the government of Canada understands them to mean, tomorrow’s blog article on how some of those continuing payment annual sums are spent for the benefit of First Nations people.
INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACT OF THE DAY: Following the 1876 Indian Act, Aboriginals who lived on reserves were forced to carry an identity card, like a passport, every time they stepped off reserve land.
Kanyen’kehake (Mohawks) of the Ouse / Grand River Territory Invite all Onkwehonwe and Allies (Native & Non-native) to Our Spiritual Fire – 12:00 Noon – Saturday January 19 – onikońhra otsire ne kati Lanadahere
The Kanyen’kehake (Mohawks) of the Ouse / Grand River Territory invite all Onkwehonwe and allies (Native & Non-native) to our Spiritual Fire.
Kanata Village – 440 Mohawk Street, Brantford
Saturday, January 19 starting at 12:00 Noon
(Unity Ceremony calling upon our Mother & bringing power to help and pray for the water in unison with the Midewiwin women in Winnipeg)
Calling Upon our Mother – A letter from Terrance Nelson to Chief Wallace Fox of the Onion Lake Cree Nation
Many people have no understanding of how strong a spiritual person you are. When the UN Special Rapporteur came to your community, he had tears rolling down his cheeks as he listened to the children of Onion Lake singing in Cree. At another time, I also witnessed the Onion Lake students singing and for me even though I have Sundanced and am Midewiwin it was still one of the most powerful spiritual ceremonies I have ever witnessed. I was told that the Special Rapporteur explained his tears. He said, that at the United Nations many indigenous people come there and cry about the problems they face. He felt overwhelmed by the pain of indigenous people. Hearing the children of Onion Lake singing as loud as their little voices could in their own language lifted his spirit so much, that here finally was a powerful sign that our people will not only survive but they will excel beyond expectations. It made him cry with joy.
For over a year now, Dakota Elder Albert Taylor has been asking me to use our power. He has been telling me that we need to lift the pipe. He kept saying, we need to ask for help. He says, “we still have power”. On Saturday January 19th 2013 at the RCMP Station on Portage Ave in Winnipeg, at noon Winnipeg time, the Elders will ask for spiritual help. Albert Taylor asked that my older brother Charles lift the pipe while Elder Taylor will sing.
Albert Taylor is 85 years old. He will sing the death song used by the 38 Dakotas who were hung in Mankato Minnesota in 1862.
In 1998, when others backed out of the trip to Iraq, my brother Charles accompanied me to Iraq. He did ceremony in the places where thousands of Iraqi children died. Taylor wants us to pray for the future generations, that they may have life from our Mother Earth. The elders want us to pray for forgiveness. We are destroying our planet. They are asking others to pray at the same time they lift the pipe in Winnipeg. They will do this ceremony at noon Saturday January 19th and Clyde Belcourt our AIM leader in Minneapolis will do the same thing at the very same time with people in Minneapolis. The Elders are asking all our people all over North America to join in and to pray at the exact same time. If other people around the world want to pray at that same time, it will be welcome.
I am not as spiritually strong as you or my brother or Elder Taylor but I know that we must ask for help. Some of our people are not happy with just protests and not doing enough about the environmental concerns. Our mother does not need us. Some of the white people do not understand. The Earth is not only alive, the earth is conscious, the Earth has been alive for millions of years and it has an intelligence far beyond our ability to comprehend.
Some of the whites in the media will make fun of us for the way we think but they cannot laugh at the environmental disasters to come. Global warming isn’t the most danger we face. If we do not listen to our elders, we too will be destroyed.
At the Treaty 1-11 Gathering in Brandon this summer, the spiritual fire got away and the wind picked it up almost burning down the gathering. People were running to their cars. In Winnipeg at the protest, a bald eagle flew over the legislature and the people who gathered at the Forks. Something is happening. Most eagles do not normally winter here.
When we were in Iraq video taping children dying in the hospital, children dying without medicines in severe pain, I was tearing up. It was too much. Looking into the eyes of children dying, stuck inside a body racked with pain and we could not help them. The feeling is something that I never want to feel again. I told my brother, God will punish us for this. By us, I meant the western nations. The United Nations released a study in December 1995 with the conclusion that 567,000 Iraqi children had died in the first five years of the economic sanctions. When Charlie lifts that pipe, he carries with him a lot of spiritual power if those children we saw dying in Iraq hear his prayer. I will burn my tobacco asking those children to carry our prayers to the Creator.
As Elder Taylor says, we still have power. Most people who have no understanding will dismiss this as something akin to the Ghost Dance. We know that we are still alive today because the Dakota Ghost Dancers prayed for us, now we must pray for the future generations. We must ask for forgiveness. Bishop Diego De Landa burned the entire libraries of the Mayans in 1562 saying:
We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction.
We will blockade in Manitoba on Wednesday January 16th, three days from now. This will be the physical part of our overall protests. The Elders are asking for time to consider the spiritual side of our understanding. On Saturday January 19th, we gather to protest at the RCMP station in Winnipeg but for one hour from noon to one, our Elders will take over and remind us of the spiritual part of our people. Midewiwin women have been walking for years praying for the water, they walked across North America and around the Great Lakes but few know of their strength. The Midewiwin women will join the ceremony at noon, bringing their power to help and they will pray for the water. Many whites and some of our own people do not understand this and will be like Diego De Landa thinking that this is only superstition. As more people become victims of hurricanes and weather disasters, they may yet come to understand that our Mother is conscious and aware of us, even if some are not aware of her.
Please share, post and tweet to all your email lists and your contacts. The more that help in the prayers, the better. Normally, I stay on the physical part of the movement, doing what I know best but once in a while I too have to be reminded that Elders like Taylor need to take over and remind all of us of our spiritual responsibilities to the future generations.
Mohawks demand City of Brantford deliver up documents behind staggering $250 billion debt mayors acknowledge, but the city refuses to pay – as a commercial debt collector pursues legal action – and city officials begin to squirm
The Mohawks believe that the City has been concealing at least one steering committee’s work which confirms an indebtedness of $250 billion owed to the Mohawks. The debt which continues to run at 6% interest is now valued at more than $734 billion and has been in collections since October. A Chicago-based commercial collection agency hired by the Mohawks has now commenced legal proceedings against the city who, despite admitting to occupying land not paid for, now refuses to take responsibility.
The Mohawks plan to pursue what is owed to them – and to hold public officials to the full extent of the Municipal Act – and the Criminal Code of Canada, as required in order to get to the truth and to recover what is clearly lawfully theirs.
A letter delivered to the Brantford City Clerk by Jason Bowman earlier today states:
I write to you on an urgent basis in order to request an inspection of records under your control pursuant to Section 253. (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, CHAPTER 25.
In particular, I request to inspect the following public records at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday January 7th, 2013, at which time, I will attend at city hall for the purpose of said inspection and demand that the same be produced:
(a) any by-law or resolution of the municipality or its local boards pertaining to; (i) monies paid or owed by the corporation the City of Brantford in respect of real property such as land leases, (ii) other land transactions, (iii) debts or monies claimed against the City of Brantford, (iv) other claims including land claims or lease matters in respect of the City of Brantford between the Mohawks, Six Nations, or other indigenous party / group;
(b) all minutes and proceedings of regular, special or committee meetings of the council or local board, whether the minutes and proceedings have been adopted or not, in respect of claims including land claims or lease matters in respect of the City of Brantford between the Mohawks, Six Nations, or other indigenous party / group; [See attached April 19, 1994 steering committee reference](c) all records considered at a meeting, except those records considered during that part of a meeting that was closed to the public, in respect of claims including land claims or lease matters in respect of the City of Brantford between the Mohawks, Six Nations, or other indigenous party / group;
(d) all records of the council in respect of claims including land claims or lease matters in respect of the City of Brantford between the Mohawks, Six Nations, or other indigenous party / group;
(e) all purchases including deeds of conveyance, lease agreements or any other transaction in respect of of lands currently situated within the municipality.
I have encountered remarkable difficulties during the past months in accessing documents pertaining to invoices received by the municipality in respect of monies claimed by the Mohawks. We know that a council committee investigated these issues, and demand that those records be delivered for inspection pursuant to law as outlined above – without delay.
Public servant refusing to deliver property – 337.
Every one who, being or having been employed in the service of Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province, or in the service of a municipality, and entrusted by virtue of that employment with the receipt, custody, management or control of anything, refuses or fails to deliver it to a person who is authorized to demand it and does demand it is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.