Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kahentinetha Horn: Two Six Nations Youth Defend Themselves From Five Thugs

The following from Kahentinetha Horn's Mohawk News Network:

MNN. Sept. 15, 2007. On September 13th at around 4:00 pm. witnesses saw non-native men running out, picking up weapons and going back into the unfinished house. Inside they had ambushed two Indigenous youth. The kids' backs were against the wall. They have a right to self-defense. The two youth had gone into the house. One went one way and the other went in another direction. That's when the older Indigenous boy caught the non-native man beating his younger brother.

The OPP had stopped construction that morning at 9:00 am. Meetings were going on between the Six Nations and the "Crown" that afternoon about the land. Stirling construction was illegally building houses on Six Nations land.

It is worth noting that the Ontario Provincial Police were there throughout the incident "to maintain the peace". They had not verified that all workers had left or that the area was secure. They stood by and watched the non-native men go into the house with clubs. They did not help the two Indigenous youths who were being attacked inside. The OPP admitted, "We were caught off guard". Or they were using their discretion not to intervene!

Apparently two Indigenous youth had entered the "empty" building and surprised the non-natives who were inside. It was the Gualtieri brothers, Sam and Joe, and their three nephews. They started to beat one of the youth, a very young teenager. The older youth walked in and found Sam Gualtieri had his young brother against the wall with a bar pressed across his throat, ready to kill him. He grabbed whatever he could find to save his young brother. Joe Gualtieri watched as his partner in crime Sam took a beating. These burly guys and their nephews were over confident. They had numbers, strength and weight on their side, while the kids were fighting for their lives.

The Gualtieris said they were just checking on the "home" which was behind the Six Nations blockade. They stated they were merely "protecting each other" from the boys.

Then the Gualtieri stated that the two boys invited them "to have a [schoolyard] fight". "When you enter into a fight willingly, it isn't an assault, is it?" What about when a fight is provoked?

The blockade is along the Grand River in southwestern Ontario . The two young boys were part of the group that was defending the land from an illegal housing development by Stirling Construction. It is one and a half kilometers from "Kanonhstaton" which was reclaimed by the Six Nations on February 28, 2006.

Corporate media reported that 52-year old Sam Gualtieri was seriously injured. He was in the nearby Hagersville county hospital and shipped to Hamilton for testing.

The spokesperson for the Confederacy Royaner [Chiefs] immediately distanced himself from the defenders of the land. He issued a statement condemning the boys and apologizing to the Gualtieri family. The Royaner condemned all defenders by saying "they're on their own". He said they will support "peaceful actions" only. His apology for an act of self-defense by the Indigenous boys shows how even our own members can be ensnared by bad press that always presumes that we are guilty before being proven innocent. Even we can get sucked in by the mythology that blames us for all violence.

According to the Two Row Wampum Agreement between independent nations, the Confederacy has the responsibility to investigate the incident before commenting on it. If the five non-natives are at fault, they must be turned over to the colonial authorities to be dealt with. If the Indigenous youth have any culpability, the Confederacy and its people will deal with it.

On the other hand, if any member of the Confederacy wipes their hands of responsibility for its people and turns them over to the colonial authorities, then the Royaner has violated wampum 58. Those indigenous people who follow foreign laws have alienated themselves from their nation. They forfeit their title and the gustowi falls from their brow. The office shall always remain with the people.

Should the Royaner choose to submit himself or his people to foreign laws, they are no longer in but out of the nation. Persons of their class shall be called, "they have alienated themselves". They shall forfeit all birthrights and claims of the Confederacy and to the territory.

These sanctions on the "Royaner" are not imposed without warning. Now that the facts of the situation are known then someone must take the time to warn the "Royaner" of their duties. The clan mothers have the duty to correct any erring Royaner who deviate from their duties according to the Kaianereh'kowa/Great Law of Peace. If the Royaner don't support the youth or the people, then the women have to step in.

On-going talks have put development at a standstill. These non-native developers are intruders, instigators, trespassers and law breakers. Mayor Marie Trainor of Caledonia went later to the construction site. Many have noticed that whenever the Six Nations makes any headway in the talks, a diversion like this sometimes happens.

The Indigenous youth had a right to question these men who were trespassing. The Galtieri family were trying to make a political statement. It ended with our boys getting ambushed inside the house and the boys acting in self-defense as they should.

According to the Kaianerehkowa, each indigenous person has the duty to protect the land. If they could have, these boys could have gotten our own authorities to the site. The indigenous people with the chiefs could have gone there to remove these intruders and the youth could have avoided being ambushed.

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