From the horse’s mouth.
During the second world war, the Canadian Government was going to build an airport on our reserve. Some of our people were to be bought out and move to Georgian Bay. A Mohawk Worker (and Chief) named James Squire Hill (Born 1887) took it upon himself to stop the building of an airport on the reservation. After much talk & shoeleather, he was able to get enough people to sign a petition resulting the airport being built alternatively at Burtch.
1948 brought the forming of the United Nations in San Francisco. Some of the Mohawk Workers felt our people should have some sort of representation at the United Nations. Again, James S. Hill rose to the occasion and was sent. Once in San Francisco, much static was received from Canada. With the help of the Ambassador from India, he finally managed to get an audience to address the assembly. We of course were turned down as being recognized as a nation because we had no peace keeping force.
Now, we move to 1966 when rumors surfaced that we were supposed to be a tax-free people. Several attempts are made by different people to contact the treasury department, but with no success. Mohawk Workers decide we must give it a try, as it will be good for the people. Mohawk Worker, Melvin Squire Hill (son of James) writes a letter to the Treasury and receives and invitation to travel to Ottawa to meet. After a series of meetings, we were declared to be a tax-free people. So next time you save a few dollars on a major purchase stop by Kanata now home of the Mohawk Workers and make a much needed donation. Yes it was the Mohawk Workers that achieved tax-free status.
In 1969 Mel Squire & the famous Tuscarora, “Mad Bear” set out to the U.N. in New York City. With the help of Dr. Omar Z. Ghobashi, an Egyptian lawyer, they were making some headway. Canada stopped the court action by declaring to the United Nations a land claims commission had been set up and these matters would be taken care of immediately. Of course we came to find out that this was only a stalling tactic; no Mohawk – or for that matter – any “Six Nation” land has ever been settled.
Now I must list some of the people & families connected with the Mohawk Workers: Mohawk Chief Seymour Hill and his wife & their family, Ivan Maracle, Richard Maracle, Abe Hill, Norman Hill and their families, Bob Jamison & Art Anderson.
Did you know that the Deskaheh (Levi General) was a Mohawk Worker – most people thought he was a Cayuga but his heart was in the right place. Yes, he was a very dedicated – and legendary Mohawk Worker.
These aforementioned people did things for the people simply because they need to be done for the good of the people & the generations to come. Nobody paid them anything.
The main point of the writing of this is so that many know that any family or any person may take it upon themselves to do something for the benefit of the people and the unborn. Or you can come to Kanata and join or support the Mohawk Workers. Our door is always open.
Our most recent move has been to speak with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples who has accepted an invitation to visit Canada this summer. If you wish to learn more about some of our latest achievements, please come to Kanata – you will be most welcome.
There are so many people & families that have made donations & support we are most grateful. A special thanks to Kathy Smith for a riding lawnmower which sure beats the old push-mower. Also we must thank the Men’s Fire for support, firewood and even security. Iowne Anderson was very helpful with our garden; thanks Iowne. (Please forgive me if I have missed anyone).
We are presently pushing on gardening, a farm market & gift shop as we host tourists from around the world who visit us. Donations of time or resources are deeply appreciated by us & the generations to come. In the traditions of our ancestors, the Mohawk Workers will never give up.