A MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH
INDEPENDENT NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STATE
NO. 31 FEBRUARY, 1980
PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON CAUGHNAWAGA
In 1970, Montreal's Mackay Smith showed future plans for Caughnawaga. To start in 1975. Maps showed high rise apartment and industrial buildings, supermarkets and other developments. With forked tongue he said: "You Indians won't like the polluted air, but you'll have so much money you can buy another reservation."
The hi-rise apartments, industries, supermarkets, banks and other improvements shall not be for Indians. After 1980, following Rene Levesque Quebecois referendum in June, it is expected that Caughnawaga will no longer be a serve but a municipality and white folks shall be allowed to buy lots and properties in the erstwhile reservation, according to municipal laws. The projected industrial development will employ a lot of workers of all races, colors and creeds and they'll be needing the hi-rises, supermarkets and banks. Indians will be hired to build these complexes just as they were hired to build the Empire State building, the one hundred and ten story Twin Towers building, numerous bridges and other structures.
The Caughnawaga band council has recently announced it's going to start building high rise apartments, supermarkets and banks. We know the band council has no such money. It's the white man's 1970 plan for Caughnawaga being implemented. Let us kindly assume that the band council is not aware that they were tricked into thinking the high rise apartments project is their own idea and that they are not a party to this conspiracy to rob the Indians of Caughnawaga of "their last inch of land and last blade of grass." Let us assume that they are unknowingly being used to implement the 1970 plan.
The non-traditional Indian followers of the band council await patiently the coming of the long awaited "provisional government" promised by the band council. They were promised self-determination, sovereignty and self sufficiency. They'll still be waiting while they're being tricked into Canadian citizenship. The same "provisional government" gimmick is being announced in other Indian reservations by their band councils. This new device is a ploy, a red herring across the garden path. The prime movers behind this are the governments, federal and provincial. They are using the band councils (which is a government device) all over Canada to finish off the Indians as a distinct race of people.
The Indians of Caughnawaga have received cards of "Notice of Enumeration" instructing them to vote in the coming federal elections to be held on February 18. This is the first trick of the final drama and it's to entice the said Injuns to vote in the said Canada's national elections. Voting in such elections makes the Injuns citizens of Canada or naturalized Canadians of Indian descent. According to international law, when the Indians do this, they are legally no longer Indians but become legally white people. They become members of the white race by law. This is how the Injuns themselves shall terminate the Indian reservations and make them into municipalities.
The United States entered the second World War two years after it began. Meanwhile, there was a lot of unemployment and many young men went to Canada and joined the Canadian army and served overseas. During the war, Canada held a federal election and gave the United States men in the Canadian army the right to vote. Some of them did. When the war ended and the army was demobilized, the United States citizens who had served in the Canadian forces returned to the United States. Those who had voted in Canada's federal elections found themselves stuck at immigrations. They had to wait from three to five years to regain their United States citizenship and they lost because they voted in a foreign election. They had become Canadian citizens and British subjects. Those who didn't vote continued life where they left off. So, voting in the elections of a foreign nation is serious business. One joins them.
This is a test for Caughnawaga people. How well do they know their rights and their political awareness? Will they become little brown imitation white people or shall they remain Onkwehonwe as they were created to be? The Creator made them Onkwehonwe. If he had wanted them to become white people, legal or otherwise, he would have made them so in the first place. It is the duty of all Injuns to fight to remain Injuns and to survive as Injuns. All the Caughnawaga people allow the bamboozled band council to bamboozle them into the mainstream of Canada society and oblivion as Native Indians?
It is unfortunate that the band councils get paid for being councilors and must cater to the will of the paymasters. Their hands are tied and must lead the people of Caughnawaga like sheep to the slaughterhouse called assimilation or extinction. In brief, they must help in this crime of genocide. However, the people need not be sheep. There are so many fighting people in Caughnawaga. No doubt, the welfare recipients shall be made to vote in the coming federal elections and have to be considered as out of the fight to save Caughnawaga. It is a fact that only ten percent of any population shall fight for their rights. The rest are followers, the aforementioned sheep. They don't want to be involved in any controversies or confrontations. They don't want any trouble. Not every one can be a hero. So, the savers of Caughnawaga do not need all the people. All they need are the fighters. Who fights in the wars anyway ... old men and women? The fighting men and women in their late teens, twenties and thirties shall have to organize the resistance to this final aggression against Caughnawaga.
There is no need for a provisional government in Caughnawaga. There already is a branch of the national government of the Mohawk Nation of the Six Nations Confederacy. They, also are striving toward a restored self- determination, sovereignty and self-sufficiency. They are traditional Mohawks and they shall not be tricked into termination. They shall not vote in Canada's federal elections as they would lose their citizenship in the Mohawk Nation. With others of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Mohawk Nation are a party to the agreements so many years ago in the Two Row Wampum Treaty in which the white man and the red man shall not ever join each other or legislate to one another but shall travel a parallel path through life. The traditional Iroquois Indian elects to respect and honor the terms of the treaties even if the white man doesn't have the strength to do so.
There is a hope for the people of Caughnawaga. Let them return whence they came. Reinstatement in the great, fighting Mohawk Nation. The Christian Mohawks find it hard to go back where they belong because the Great Law is also a religion as well as a government. They do not wish to drop out of the white man's religion. Well, the white man's religion did not save the Christian Injuns from the white man. That should be a cause for reflection.
However, there are some Injuns, this unhumble scribe included, who did not find it hard to drop out of paleface religion. Since the doctrines or beliefs of hell, devils, angels, purgatory, limbo are unprovable, we figure they must not exist. Who accepts anything which has no proof? In any event, they make no sense. The view of crimes as sins which can be forgiven by temporary repentance also raises sensitive eyebrows. God forgives but not the law. Next time you commit a murder, tell the judge and jury that you have repented and that God has forgiven you and therefore they have no right to punish you. Agnostics who want to believe but also want proof, say there's no evidence that Jesus ever lived in real history and not only in a book like Perry Mason, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, etc. Agnostics stay agnostics because no proof has been forthcoming. Taken in this light, it shouldn't be so hard for the non-traditional Indian followers of the band councils to return home. The band council has foiled them, white man's religion has failed them and white man's politics has betrayed them. A wee little hint to the wise ought to be sufficient.
The traditionals shall be encouraged by additions to their number. There will be greater strength to work with. Each person was born with a mind to think with, eyes to see with and ears to hear with. Man is also born with arms and legs to fight with. It is time to use them all. There is a right and wrong way to fight. More than ever, it is a great truth that the man who fights in a certain way is equal to a thousand men. No one has a greater interest than the Onkwehonwe, fighting for survival, to fight in a clever way. My friends, the clever way is right there in front of you.MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH