MNN. May 25, 2006. The first sign that rot is spreading to the core of community relations in rural Ontario came when a team of 11-year lacrosse and 7 and 8-year old baseball players were ostracized. The Caledonia team refused to play against our kids on either Six Nations or Caledonia diamonds. Another town, Fisherville, won't come down to Six Nations to play our kids either. Meanwhile we are paying $200 an hour to play lacrosse in the Caledonia Arena. When our team showed up yesterday at the regular time, the Caledonians locked us out.
There are two court actions which could be brought because of these events. A complaint of racial discrimination could be made in the Ontario Human Rights tribunal and an action for breach of contract could be brought into small claims court.
We don't know who initiated this petty snit. We do know that the instigators of the "Bread and Cheese Fight" were not members of the Caledonia community. Our contacts in Caledonia did not know them. However, their m.o. was recognizable to Indigenous people on other parts of the country. They've been seen before in the thick of the fray in other attacks on Indigenous nations. There is a strong suspicion that these trained instigators may be part of covert state funded operations. We saw it at Lasalle and Chateauguay in Quebec.
We ran into it in 1974 when the Indigenous caravan arrived in Ottawa to demonstrate on Parliament Hill. We were all gathered there and the riot police was called in. We wondered why they were there because we were all peaceful. We noticed a few non-natives in our midst with heavy-ladened backpacks. Suddenly these guys reached into their bags and pulled out iron tools, rocks, handles and even small axes. They threw them at the police and then took off. The police attacked the crowd and we all got beaten up. Paddy wagons were already there. It was a set up. **
Canada refuses to follow international law by dealing with us on a nation-to-nation basis. Canada does not respect proper communication. Every time there is a problem, it turns into a confrontation and armed forces are sent in.
In 1990 the Mohawks of Kanehsatake were refusing to let the nearby town of Oka to build a golf course over our ceremonial sites and burial grounds. On July 11th a paramilitary Quebec Police force opened fire on the defenders at Kanehsatake. To stop the blood bath that was obviously possible, we closed down the Mercier Bridge that goes over the St. Lawrence River from Kahnawake to Montreal.
The people of Chateauguay, a bedroom community right next to Kahnawake, were angry. They had rioted against our people in the same way that the Caledonians tried to attack the Six Nations people. Night after night they would gather at the edge of our territory on the other side of the barricade. They would burn our effigy, make threats and set off fires and loud firecrackers which sounded like guns.
We sat calmly on our side of the barricade and watched. They wanted to come into Kahnawake to attack us. At the same time they would scream in French, "Bring in the army". We heard persons purporting to be the KKK were there too, instigating fights between the rioters. The Quebec police withdrew and the RCMP came in. Then the instigators turned the crowd against the RCMP, beating them up and throwing bricks at them. Twelve were injured. That's when the Canadian army came in and the Chateauguay people clapped and screamed with joy.
Even though the misbehavior such as riots, civil unrest, vandalism, threats, attacks on the police and each other was going on among the non-native people, we got goy surrounded by the army. They refused to let any people leave our community to get food, medical supplies or anything we needed. We set up about 5 eating centers on the territory. After a while we ran out of gas. We all had to walk, ride bikes, bring out roller skates or whatever mobility we could find. It was surreal. For about 2 months it was quiet, without traffic. We were alone without any non-natives in our midst. Our supporters were not allowed to come in to bring provisions to us. When they weren't caught by the citizens' vigilantes of the nearby towns, they managed to sneak in by water and even dropped some by aircraft. In the end we had to open up the bridge because we were running out of food.
What is happening to the children's sport teams at Six Nations is nothing new to us. This happened after the Mohawk Oka crisis of 1990.
After the crisis was over, the surrounding towns changed their schedules so that our kids could not compete. We had put a lot of money into their communities for hockey, lacrosse, football, wrestling, baseball, you name it. We are big sports fans. When the kids play, the whole family supports them. When our kids were stopped from competing, of course, the Indigenous crowds diminished dramatically. The arenas started to lose money.
Also, we stopped shopping in Chateauguay. Businesses started to go under. The situation got so bad, in a fit of desperation the town of Chateauguay even tried to sue us for $25 million for not shopping there. Good luck! They didn't get anywhere on that one. 16 years later they have not completely recovered. There's still a big division between the people over there. The moral of the story is that this silly snits can snowball. They can bring economic ruin to whole communities.
Whether or not the people of Caledonia or Fisherville are being suckered by megalomaniacs who have infiltrated the Canadian government, the effects of their boycott may prove devastating for their communities in the long run.
We suspect that that Caledonia is being incited to do this. It is obvious that someone's interest is being served by turning non-natives against natives. It is equally obvious that it will do nothing for Caledonia or Fisherville in the long run. We hope our friends will not buy into this nonsense. Some of their kids are playing on Six Nations teams. We know who are our friends are. Let's get back to being good sports.
Six Nations has produced a lot of elite native athletes. This is something that concerns all young people. This is a time when elite athletes, native and non-native, could take a stand to promote good sportsmanship.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
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