Friday, May 26, 2006

“Poor Sports” in Southern Ontario – Six Nations Kids Shut Out By Caledonia and Fisherville So Far

This from  Kahentinetha Horn’s Mohawk Nation News:


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.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News



8 comments:

  1. You had better take this one off...she has printed a retraction. Check out verbena-19.

    Bob: How do you feel about the Confederacy negotiating land claims for the Six Nations people. Are you in favour of dumping the elected band council. Dave General has said that they have to decide how they are going to govern themselves. This can't go on like it has for the past 80 years confederacy against elected band council something to this effect..my words, not his.)

    How do you se it playing out? Have any other of the nations found a middle of the road, whereby you have an elected band but can also live by all of the other Haudesonee beliefs?

    Dave General is going to be on the jamie WEst show on CHML next Thursday, and he has challenged Janie Jamieson et al to join in as well.

    Are you so hardline confederacy that you cannot see the merits of a democracy...meaning free vote, one vote per person.

    Looking forward to your reply.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Yokel,
    Thanks for the heads up regarding the retraction. I will post a copy of it right away.

    In regards to your question: i would not characterize my position as being pro-traditionalist, i would characterize it as being pro-self-determination. The band council system was imposed by force of arms on another nation which had never ceded its sovereignty nor had it lost its sovereignty in any war with the British or Canadian States. As such it is a neo-colonial imposition, much the same as the current government in Iraq, or those old bantustans in South Africa.

    Beyond that observation, however, i stay out of what i consider to be the internal affairs of another nation.

    As to the broader question of "one person one vote", it sounds nice in theory but in practice, when combined with a worldwide capitalist system, it gives us a series of choices between different representatives of the ruling class. Martin vs. Harper vs. Layton; Bush vs. Kerry; and so on and so forth... even when there are significant differences i can't say that any of the above is actually a good choice.

    While i am not Haudenosaunee i can say that the aspects their traditional government which involve consensus and institutional entrenching of women's power seem to be interesting models, ones which have already inspired many people from the settler nations, and for good reason.

    That said, i have no pat solutions for "how to organize society". I know our (i.e. the settler) method is a bad way to do it, and i look with a syjmpathetic eye on anti-authoritarian alternatives, but it's really not something i've settled in my own mind.

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  4. Dear Sketch:

    You say you are not "pro-traditionalist". However, by jumping into the fray and siding with the protesters, you ARE indicating that you are pro traditionalist.

    Yes, the elected band council was forced on the people. I guess because I am so against government being controlled by one religious group that I do not see how Haudensonee can truly represent all of the peoples of Six Nations. Please bear in mind that they are all not Haud..., some are Christian and some really have no affiliations with any religious group...just like the rest of Canada.

    I guess it for this reason that i feel the protesters ad haudensonee are really not that concerned about ALL of the people on the reserve and that this is mainly to obtain power and economic control.


    I will be watching with interest as to what happens up at Six Nations with regards to their governance.

    I will continue to post should I see inaccuracies being posted.

    Take care..enjoy the beautiful day.

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  5. Yokel,
    You can continue to post not only if you feel there ae "inaccuacies", but also just if you want to share your two cents worth. As i have mentioned previously, i am under the impression we may have major disagreements about the nature of the world we are living in, and this may have inplications for how we view specific struggles including - but not limited to - that occurring at Six Nations. That said, i am more than happy to try and convince you to "change sides", and you are welcome to try and convince me to do the same.

    So far i have adopted a policy of letting anyone post on my blog, and if things continue as they are i am not going to be altering this policy. It is a drag when some people spout unmitigated racist crap, but when they do so far i have left it up - my goal is to get rid of shit, not hide it. (i'm not referring to anything i remember you posting here, btw)

    So, in the hopes of contextualizing our disagreements i am asking you: above and beyond its colonial nature, what do you think of this country called Canada? of this system called capitalism? what with global warming, an endless series of wars and conflicts around the world (which - as in Afghanistan and Haiti - Canada is participating in), greater and greater poverty for the majority of people on this planet... well, any doubts about the viability or desirability of this system?

    I'm looking for common ground here - am i being naively optimistic?

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  6. Thank you for asking for my opinion.

    However, I am at work right now and don't have time to reply.

    Talk to you later....although, we may not agree on some things, we really do have common ground in other areas.

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  7. Dear Sketch:

    I want your advice on something. If I post something, do you review it before it gets sent out.

    I want to share something with you but i do not want it sent out into blogdom.

    Thanks

    Local

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  8. Hey Local,
    To send anything directly to me it is best to email it to info@kersplebedeb.com...
    Anything posted on this blog goes straight up.
    -k

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