Wednesday, July 19, 2006

[Reclamation Site] July 18th Update from Hazel Hill

The latest update from Hazel Hill at the Reclamation site:

Good Evening from Grand River!

I hope everyone is well and in good spirits tonight.  Just to qualm the nerves of everyone, the group travelling back from Grassy Narrows have all arrived home safe and sound.  there was a bit of trouble with a few of our people being charged, some have to report back for court dates, however, to squash the gossip, Neecha is well, looks great, and while i didn't get to talk to her personally today, i have been assured by her travelling companions that alot of the gossip out there right now is NOT factual, and that it is very personal to her and when i get a chance to speak directly to her, if she has an update, i will forward it.  But just to let everyone know they are doing good, and glad to be home.  I'm not sure of all what is being said, but i can assure you that to my knowledge they have not been beaten, and they arrived back home early this morning smiling, happy,  a bit tired, but they all were looking good.  

   Buffy Saint-Marie stopped by this past Friday before her performance in Hamilton Ont. to show her support of the reclamation, and to say hi to everyone at the site.  It was a short but good visit.  A friend of mine and I got to go and see her show later on that night and her music and her message is very strong and powerful.  i was very honoured to have been able to see her perform.  We kind of teased a bit that my earliest memories were that of her on Sesame Street and this was my first time seeing her live, so i was thrilled to be there.  It is obvious that Buffy's life has been dedicated to making music and writing songs that echoe the actions of not only things like this reclamation, but also the injustices against PEACE throughout the world.   Her support of the Haudenesonne Confederacy, and the Onkwehonweh people's struggle is very deep and respectful.  Nya Weh to Buffy for her support, but also for sharing her music and message to the world as that is one way to educate about our struggle.

   Education is one of the goals of the people on the site at present and is also one of the conditions that the Clanmothers put on the table for negotiations.  It is time that Canada began educating its people as to the truth not only of the Six Nations, but of all the Onkwehonweh people and the real history of how Canada was established, and exactly who's money and resources have been building this country.  Perhaps the truth will help those people understand that it is not our people who are a drain on their society, and it is not their tax dollars that keep us, it is their tax dollars that keep feeding the lies of the crown and the building of its false empire.  Currently at the site, we have a number of people working directly with supporters from Caledonia and they are working hard at trying to educate people as to the history of the Six Nations as well as Caledonia.  One goal that we have been talking about is to get an information building going directly on the site that will serve as an education facility.  An education in peace, maybe even have great law teachings that will help spread that message of peace.  I don't know.  Maybe some of you have good ideas that you'd like to share. In the meantime, CommUNITY Friends meet regularly to share ideas and concerns.  this helps squash some of the rumours from the citizen alliance group, and it also shows the willingness of people from both of our communities to work at rebuilding relationships rather than allowing the rumour mill to fester the racism and ignorance of a few.    

Everything at the site has been quiet.  There is a bit of concern with the upcoming court date scheduled by Justice Marshall to deal with his "contempt of court" orders, and it is really unknown as to what it is that he is going to suggest, but the people on the site remain strong and unified and the position has not changed.  We are on the land until the title has been returned to Six Nations.  so far, that has not been done.  the negotiating team took this past week off, so they will begin talks again this Thursday.  Hopefully, now that the front gate is opened and clear, and people are feeling a bit more like they did when we first started the reclamation in February, things will continue on in a steady pace without interruptions.  Many people have been stopping by again and asking questions, and seeing for themselves that the people at the land reclamation are not there to harm anyone.  They have only seen what the media has shown, and that by no means can capture the full message in the few seconds that it portrays, even IF they are honestly trying!  The people that have stopped are always glad that they did and that they leave with a better understanding as to the truth of our history as well as why we are in this situation. They see for themselves that we are sitting there in a peaceful and symbolic way of making our position clear to the crown/canada, and that hopefully,  it will be the last time our people have to go through anything like this.  the message to Canada is that it must now deal with the issue of our land and the trust that they have never been accountable for, it must honour our treaties, accept responsibility for its own abuses against our people, deal with the theft of our land and resources, and begin righting the wrongs in an acceptable time frame.  The lands claim process designed by the government through the department of indian affairs is a scam.  The whole process is designed not to protect our interest in the land, but to continue to sell land that they deem "surplus crown land"  (meaning any land that belongs to our people that they want or can use/sell) and no where in that process is it ever intended to return land, they only want to get out the cheque book and usually that is AFTER development. This is no longer acceptable and must be stopped!  Our people are connected to the earth, not to the dollar; and it is time the Crown realized that as well.  

   You know, its hard to explain what is happening when there isn't alot going on.  As I write I'm smiling thinking about the people at the site, and how they've been enduring the heat trying to stay cool.  I got to the site Saturday afternoon with a couple of women from the Cultural Survival magazine and i was barely out of the van when i was drenched with water from our helpers.  I laughed because the two women who were with me hightailed it to the kitchen where they knew they wouldn't get soaked.  It wasn't just water balloons either, they had pitchers of water and were having fun.  There was no mercy for anyone, we all got hit, but there was lots of laughs.  it kinda gives you an idea of what the atmosphere is like around there right now anyway.  It is peaceful, it's family, it's fun.  Hopefully, things will stay that way.  That is our intent anyway.  So, i'm gonna leave you with those good thoughts tonight.  Keep smiling!

In love, light and peace,

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