INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN
NO. 27 JANUARY, 1988
In response to a local Indian radio broadcast of an interview featuring Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons, Chief Leon Shanandoah and Clan Mother Alice Papineau, I was asked to make a few remarks mentioning no names to avoid embarrassing certain folks ... even forgot the day of the date thereof...
A KIND AND GENEROUS RESPONSE
Imagine my surprise when a couple of old friends in Onondaga, both chiefs, spoke over the local Indian radio station and said some very unflattering remarks about the traditionals in Kahnawake. They were being interviewed by a member of the local Band Council and a member of the Cultural Center.
The interview and the interviewed all seemed to be of one mind that the Warrior Society are terrorists, goon squad and that they're like the Mafia. One of the Chiefs said the Grand Council didn't sanction the Warrior Society or the Nation Office in Kahnawake. The other chief said later that what they meant was that Grand Council was asked to sanction the Warrior Society nor the Nation Office. The fact is that the Warrior Society has always existed. In the Great Law they're referred to as "the War Chief and his men". Now, there are even women and girls in it, insisting in being given lessons in handling weapons so they'll not be sitting ducks when "manifest destiny" attacks. Formerly, when Indian towns are attacked by the white men, the women, old people, children and even babies were ruthlessly slaughtered. This time, everybody fights. So, now, it's the War Chief and his men, women, etc.
About the Nation Office being sanctioned. That would be a first. The Mohawk Nation Office should be sanctioned by another nation or nations? Anyone needing an office can have one without having to ask for permission. I always had an office. A typewriter, a desk and a slightly sloppy filing system. I didn't ask for permission and I'm not asking.
The Interviewer said the cigarette sales are not being turned over to the government in control. Onondaga Chief said the money derived from the sales be turned over to the government. Didn't say which government. The Canadian government or the Grand Council. The interviewer agreed that the money earned in these various enterprises should be handed over to the government, we suppose her government the Band Council and not the Onondaga Chief's government. Both agreed there should be control. We get the impression from their talk that they both want control and the money. The Mohawk enterprisers should make all kinds of money and hand it over to them and be controlled by them.
The interviewers and the interviewed all agreed that there is no Warrior Society. It just doesn't exist. Yet in 1972, Onondaga yelled for help to the Mohawk Warrior Society here and Akwesasne. Two hundred of us non- existent Warriors responded and sped to Onondaga to help defend the place. Manifest destiny was in the process of extending the highway through the Onondaga rez. We went there to back up the Onondagas. Instead, they backed us up, that is, they were way at the back, even behind the students from the University of Syracuse they had invited to help by demonstrating. We wondered why the Onondaga warriors were not around to defend their land. They say that God helps those who help themselves. The Onondagas were not helping themselves so God didn't help them, but we did. We non-existing, goon squad, Mafia terrorists Warrior Society helped the Onondaga by stopping the road extension and saving their land.
We were milling around the highway when someone yelled, "Here they come. Let's go that way." Down the straight highway about a mile away, a huge bulldozer with a blade as wide as the road, came in the van of the trouble coming towards us. Then I noticed no one in front of us as we marched towards the trouble coming up the road. Everyone was behind us. Me, Eddie who was 71 years old, was one my left and on the other side of him was Richard Oakes of Akwesasne, who led the takeover at Alcatraz. Marching with the Mohawks were some 200 warriors from Tuscarora. Behind them, the 400 students from the University of Syracuse, with their medical students, nurses, stretchers and ambulances for they expected a bloodbath as at Attica the year before when 40 prisoners were killed by the same State Troopers coming up the road with the bulldozers. Then the bulldozers and the road building enforcers disappeared, went back down the hill. Some State Troopers came up and told us that the work was being stopped by the government. During the interview one of the Onondaga Chiefs mentioned that he had "being of one mind power" and didn't need a warrior society. We now wonder why he didn't use it on that highway instead of getting us over there for nothing. The following weekend there was a grand council and as it ended early in the afternoon of the second day, we decided to take in the lacrosse game going on and we saw the Onondaga non-warriors, big strapping fellows, great lacrosse players, strong and rough, overwhelming but too peaceful to defend their own land and people.
A year later we had evictions here and the provincial police descended on us like a ton of bricks. Lorraine Montour called up Billy Lazore in Onondaga and asked for some warriors to come help us defend ourselves. Billy said they don't have any warriors and they don't believe in that anymore. Lorraine said, "Hey, wait a minute! You called us for warriors to help you last summer and we sent 200 warriors." Billy hemmed and hawed not knowing how to explain that when the Onondagas need help we have to go and help them, but if we need help they don't have to help us. The puzzle was solved a couple of years later when the Onondagas were telling the world that they were now a "Peace People" and had buried their weapons and shall never again fire a gun at any body. Some one in the admiring audience said that there are times when a nation has to fight. "What will you do then?" The wise Onondaga Chief said: "If any fighting has to be done, the Mohawks will do the fighting." That's when we found out we were the patsies being used where and when needed by the wise Onondagehaga. I was present when Chief Billy Lazore was asked what if enemies came with guns to kill everyone during a religious ceremony. Billy said: "That's when I'll meet our Maker." Meaning they'll not even defend their lives. Theirs is a death wish religion.
During the interview, both Onondaga Chiefs said they are the leaders. How can such weak people be leaders? They can't even lead us into temptation. Granted, they are leaders of the Onondaga people, but not the Mohawks who have their own Chiefs. Karl Marx, writing in 1848, told the world revolutionaries not to associate with weak people as they are fear ridden and "can infect you with their fears". The Warrior Society has the thankless job of removing the fear from the Six Nations people who have buried their weapons. They go around making nice peace speeches and using a replica of the Two Row Wampum telling the world how the white and red men made an agreement to keep their laws, government, religion and customs in their respective vessels, the canoe in the case of the Iroquois and in the ship of sails in the case of the white men. What they don't ell their audience is that Handsome Lake reached into the white man's ship and took out the white man's religion and adopted it as his own for the doctrines adopted by Handsome Lake are Christian doctrines and not only that, by are unprovable. Our recommendation is that they put the white man's religion called the Handsome Lake Code back in the white man's ship and stop violating the Two Row Wampum Treaty.
It's one of the lessons of history that people who give up the struggle decrease in number, grow weak, die out and become extinct. People who continue to struggle, increase in number, grow strong and achieve survival. Burying their weapons is burying their fighting spirit and as a result they stop struggling. A ten year study was made to determine why nations and great civilizations of the past became extinct, some of them numbering in the millions. The biggest single cause is "giving up the struggle". The best known peace people are the Hopi. They stopped struggling not too long ago. One hundred years ago they numbered over 100,000. About forty years ago, they were down to 30,000. Last we heard of them, there are only 7,000 left. The Onondagas trying to out-Hopi and Hopi may beat the Hopi to extinction. They're down to only 900 from last reports. When the Iroquois were great and mighty and the Mohawks were the mightiest of them all, they were the least in number, now their number is up to more than 50,000. Why are the Onondagas decreasing and the Mohawks increasing? The Onondagas buried their weapons and their fighting spirit. The Mohawks did not bury their weapons and they are fighters, always were and always will be. Our advice to the Onondagas is to unbury their weapons and to be fighters again and to relearn the original Iroquois language still spoken by the Mohawks. Nothing wrong about being strong. All Indians should strive to become strong, not to be weak and become extinct.
The Great Law in Wampum 59 provides that when any or all of the Chiefs go on the wrong path not vouched for by the people, the women of the nation shall warn the Chiefs three times to return to the right path. If the Chiefs pay no heed to the warning, then the matter shall be taken to the General Council of the women of the Five Nations. If the Chiefs warned three times again fail to heed them the case falls into the hands of the men of the Five Nations. If the Chiefs heed the warnings all's fine, but if they ignore the warnings, the men may decide to depose the Chiefs or to execute them. This shows that the power and authority is vested in the people of the nations and that the Chiefs are the voice and will of the people and not vice versa. This is the reason (one of them) some of the Chiefs are saying there are no more warriors and even the war chiefs are being put aside. Who's going to correct or depose the erring chiefs if the War Chief and his men are abolished? They can no go on the wrong path and break any or all the laws. It's all up to the people. They can correct all the wrongs and the War Chief and his men, the Warrior Society, shall carry out and enforce their decisions.
End of radio broadcast. We can only assume that some outside influence is at work trying to corrupt the chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy. We have seen open violations of the Great Law even in the Grand Council itself. We are told not to wash our dirty linen in public. When two of the most lightly regarded chiefs speak on the radio in a dictatorial manner and wash "our dirty" linen, it may be time to air the whole dirty mess. I personally stopped attending Grand Councils in 1976 when two groups appeared on a mission to form an alliance with the Six Nations, an Oglala Sioux and a Chippeway group from Ontario. When they stated their mission, Handsome Lake preacher Huron Miller said: "Good! We'll put them under our wings." The Sioux spokesman said "We don't want to come in on the cradle board." The two groups didn't return. The Handsome Lake folks can't even protect themselves, how are they going to protect others? Deganawida wanted all Indian nations in the confederacy to be equal.
INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN