A MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH
INDEPENDENT NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STATE
NO. 41 DECEMBER, 1980
PROGRESSIVE INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION
Making the rounds in the Caughnawaga Reservation is a plan deciding the future of the Mohawks residing thereon. It is entitled: "Preliminary Proposal for a Kahnawake Peace and Judicial System, June 1980". The proposal is unsigned. The proposal omits to say if it's directed to the Government of Canada or to the native people. The term "self-determination" is much in evidence. Also there is constant reference to traditional systems. The author or authors appear to be unsure of themselves, which is the case whenever writers wish to be anonymous. They're not sure they're on the right track or that their handiwork shall not be considered smart of knowledgeable.
Nowhere in the proposal is there a reference to the right of the Onkwehonwe (Indians) to nationhood, which is the right of everyone on earth. We all have the right to be members of our own nation. The self-determination proposed is the same as that enjoyed by neighboring Chateauguay, Montreal and other towns and cities. That is, they say they enjoy it. The proposal criticizes the judicial systems of Canada and the provinces, yet intends to copy the same. It is proposed to adopt the Criminal Code of Canada, the Civil Code of Quebec and the Kahnawake Code. The wiseacres of various societies throughout mankind advise against having too many laws. In the case of paleface municipalities, they have to put up with Federal and Provincial laws. Besides these two laws, the proposed Indian imitation municipality shall be blessed by the Indian Act and the added bonus the new Kahnawake Code. Every time the progressive Injun turns around he bumps into some law. All his movements shall be regulated. No mortal was ever more lawful--filled is he to overflowing with law.
Self-determination, white man's style, which is being adopted in the proposal, means the municipal system. The national kind of self-determination is not mentioned in the proposal, so it has to be the municipal system. The proposal laments: "We must remind the Federal and Provincial governments that reserves are not and cannot be regarded the same as a municipality." If the reserve acts like a municipality then it stops being a reserve, just as the rule of nationhood requires that the nation act like a nation. Nowhere does the proposal mention Indian sovereignty and national independence which is the right of every nation in existence.
According to the proposal: "We will pursue the goal of having aboriginal rights enshrined in law and in renewed Canadian Constitution." This means that Indian self-determination shall be under Canadian sovereignty, contrary to rights of nations. Participation in making laws to be legislated in another nation's government such as Canada's Parliament: that is, the rewriting of the Indian Act, or the Constitution of Canada, is the prerogative of the citizens of Canada. It may seem strange to some of the Indians that if they are allowed to participate in the rewriting of the Indian Act, they automatically win citizenship rights in Canada, become naturalized Canadians of Indian descent and no longer legally Indians. The Indian Act shall no longer apply to them. They shall then have to fight for white people's wrights rather than for Indian rights. Participating in the making of the Constitution of Canada brings Indians up to equality with the white people and they became as one body (incorporate). It's known as assimilation. It's the last step in extinction for Indians for them, they shall have joined not only the white nation but also the white race. If you don't believe it, honey, ask an international lawyer.
The proposal calls the Caughnawaga Police Force, "Peace Keepers". The proposal defines "Peace Keepers" as a group of heavily armed Indians forcing laws made by another nation on their own people. Peace Keepers. The correct title is "law enforcers". The Police Force means exactly that. They force political laws on people. Are people at "peace" who are forced to knuckle down to laws made by people of another nation or race? What the police keep is not peace but law and force. Law does not necessarily bring peace. Acquiescence to unjust law, oppression and injustice does not mean that the sufferer is at peace. Just because the acquiescent does not give his authorized oppressor a hard time, it doesn't mean that he is enjoying peace and harmony. When the Indians are not fighting for their rights it could mean that they are in despair that their rights will ever be respected. The Indian people shall be more impressed if the correct title is used, "Law Enforcers." The term peace keepers is making the people laugh.
For some reason, it is felt that the people shall be more apt to get behind the proposal if the term "traditional" is often used. The proposal proposes: "We wish to assert this right to internal self-determination by developing and establishing within the reserve a peace keeping force and a judicial system based as much as possible on the cultural and traditional values of the Iroquois people. Iroquois culture, customs and traditional values under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments? If the ancestors had a sense of humor, they must be laughing fit to be tied up there in Indian heaven. "Internal self-determination." Internal of what? The Indians are being asked to continue languishing deep in the guts of Canada. Enema anyone? If you want to stay small, think small and call yourself a tribe. Continue to be an internal matter.
In the Iroquois days of yore, the traditional War Chief and his men took care of any physical trouble. Since ancient Red Man had no use for money and since money is the root of most crimes, there was very little crime to trouble the ancients. All men were keepers of the peace and it was each man's duty to see that no wrong was committed. It didn't cost a cent. According to the proposal, the "Peace Keepers" shall cost $511,907 a year. The function of the Condoled Chiefs and Sub-Chiefs is to hold councils. As peace chiefs, it's not their job to enforce the law or take part in confrontations or violence. If they wish to take part in a battle, they have to depose themselves first and they have to take orders from the War Chief like any ordinary warrior. After the war has been won and peace chief turned warrior returns home intact, he can then resume his chieftainship duties. The immediate foregoing is the traditional way of "peace keeping." It is a natural way and it works better.
In the recent past, the Indian reserve had only one village constable. He didn't have much to do. Then somebody advised the reserves to go modem. Get into the 20th century. Get a police force. As a natural course of things, the people reacted and the police force found a lot to do. Crime and racketeering became the rule on reservations. Dope peddling, mugging and even prostitution they proudly say. Before the bright idea of getting a police force, the people had to deal only with official oppression. Now they have to deal with some of their own people organized into a force to help their oppressors. As if there weren't enough divisions among the people, officialdom managed to get another and more forceful division, the police force. Indians against Indians some more.
As this proposal is for Peace Keeping and Judicial System, there is no reference to livelihood, economy, roads, housing and education so, we must assume that the planners are leaving to the governments to come through with those services as become self-determination under Canada's sovereignty. The kind of self-determination acceptable to the traditional Onkwehonwe intent on racial survival is the kind free from determination by another race, a repossession of tracts of the Indians' own stolen lands all over Onkwehonwekeh (America), north and south. In these repossessed territories, the Onkwehonwe shall have his own real self-determination, his own government and law devised by himself, such as the Great Law. All the colonized nations of races other than the red race have regained their rights to self-determination in reality and are exercising their own governments and society. It's time the native Onkwehonwe cut the apronstrings from his patronizing Great White Foster Daddy or Great White Mama as the case may be. The Onkwehonwe lived a million years with no help from Big Daddy of Europe.
As necessity dictates, the Onkwehonwe shall have to start by growing their own food, hustled up their own livelihood, create a national income by their own efforts, for that is the lasting kind. As in every disruption of the course of things, the people shall be poor for a while, but by working hard, they shall eventually find themselves living good again without being controlled by strangers.
MESSAGE FROM GANIENKEH