Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor, regarding: control over Onkwehonwe on Reserves.
February 5, 2012
The Law (Kaieneresakowa) clearly states that “those who wish to destroy the Great Peace shall be deemed guilty of Treason and called Enemies. It shall be the duty of the Chiefs of the League to warn the offending people. They shall be warned once then driven from the Territory”. The offending People or Nation will lose their right to stand under the Great Tree. The loss of that right includes any association to, any part of, all privileges of the League of the 5 Nations Confederacy, including Treaties and agreements made by such Confederacy.
The Kaieneresakowa is a Democratic Equality based Government. There is no other like it in the world. The Laws have been set so that no individual solely holds the power. Above the Tree is where the Creator resides. From the tip of the very Tree to the bottom of its long leaves is the domain of all the Entities of the World. The Entities that we gives thanks to everyday and the ones that provide for us. Without them we would not be able to survive here on Earth. Under the long leaves stand the people, who are sheltered by The Great Tree. While the People stand under The Tree, they are all Equal and no one person is greater than the other. The chiefs are the mentors and protectors of the people. The Government of the Five Nations Confederacy has survived through many injustices caused by the Europeans need to be at the Top, or to put it simply, Individualism.
Upon first contact, we were introduced to individualism, (whereas the Kaieneresakowa is equality and communal based), setting the standards of living that we see today. The laws that are implemented today stem from the Individualism of the Colonial European Governments and have no basis in equality, therefore it has no intention toward peace. There is no longer community, or communal living, when we do not help anyone past our yards or regard one person as allowed to make a living through a permit granted, while others cannot. This creates inequality and goes against the Peace. Amendments to the Indian Extermination Act have given the European Governments the ability to carry out the total assimilation of our people. The vehicle used for the White Paper 2 total assimilation policies, comes from within our own Reserves. Negotiations toward the Indian Extermination Act is currently under way, making amendments and constructing policies to Justice, Membership, Lands, Tobacco and Tax collecting of non-natives who shop on our Reserves. Look around it has already begun. The white paper policy is aided through the disguise of a community decision process, based on the use of the Kaieneresakowa, phrases and wording that is meant to bait unsuspecting people to believe it. Some prefer the inequality that non-white people have which gives them power over another. They feel the power of being placed above others, comparable to being placed somewhere at the top of the Tree of Peace. Throughout history, non-natives have made it clear that they do not like anyone else who does not act like they act or do what they are told to do. From the first appearance of Jesuits and court jesters, we have been brain washed to believe what we believe, for the sake of money, land and wealth for the king(s) and queens of Europe.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was a treaty which gave acknowledgement to our nationhood, along with free trade from nation to nation. They go their way and we go our way. This was an acknowledgement achieved by the 5 Nation Confederacies. Since that time, numerous native and non-native people systematically put themselves in the place of the Confederacies, and negotiated those agreements between the two nations, away. Tell me how it was possible for two people of the same nation to negotiate away something on your behalf? How would it be possible for me to go anywhere and proclaim that I am Barrack Obama or Steven Harper and make deals without either having to be present? I think it would be damn near impossible, don’t you? It would be like the United States making an agreement with North Korea between him and his Secretary of State, seeing that the secretary of state was negotiating for North Korea. It would never happen and would be against their Laws. So why is all that had been negotiated, without the 5 Nations Confederacy present, not declared null and void, a miscarriage of justice? The Indian Extermination act was never an agreement made with the confederacy, including any other agreement after the Royal Proclamation, land and otherwise.
The outline of the Indian Extermination Act is clear; follow that non-native way become civilized and a citizen of the Country you follow. The truth is, follow the Federal Government in the Extermination of you, or stop that process and remain onkwehonwe with your original Government. The non-native authors of first contact wrote a lot about our balance, equality and communal way of living. The Kings, Jesuits and colonial despots of the day called this heathen barbarism, and set out to change our ways. There has been a big change in our people, from then (defending the peace) and now (inequality, wards of the Federal Government). Why on earth are we collecting taxes for these people? Central to the Royal Proclamation was the concern that Natives were being exploited in their dealings with European Settlers and Colonial Officials. It recognized a duty on the part of the crown to act as protector. Over time this has evolved into a fiduciary relationship, whereby the Crown acts as Trustee of natives and with the duty to act within their interests. Boy, I guess the Indian Extermination Act changed all that, because all the land is gone and there is no money. So why are we following them and still allowing them to do this to us? It must have something to do with inequality and wanting to be at the top, which are not onkwehonwe. I hope that the light comes on before it’s too late for our Grand Children, the ones we are supposed to protect, and the faces yet to come.
Nia:wen kowa setewatahonsatat.
Cathy Konwahseti Montour