Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Letter to the editor:


Greetings Editor,

I am writing this open letter to the community of Akwesasne in hopes of opening their eyes to what is happening with their rights being either ignored or taken away.

I can see what is happening within the Council of Akwesasne and how it is being manipulated by the Canadian government to assimilate Indians to becoming Canadian. Do not let your chiefs tell you that they are going to protect your rights, freedoms, and customs when I know firsthand it is not true.

They tell you that they plan on keeping parts of the Indian Act when the self-government agreement is signed like section 89 that protects your lands and property from seizure when in fact they allowed many community members to have their property stolen already and did not lift a finger to stop it. They are passing MCR’s allowing such events to occur. Check your monthly newsletter.

Provincial law is here and Council is benefiting from it every time they hold their Mohawk Court. Why aren’t community traffic by-laws being enforced? Why pass by-laws at all if they are going to be ignored anyway. Why didn’t the community vote by referendum on this court and “the good standing policy”? Why was your right to vote on important issues taken away? Once something is taken away it is almost impossible to get it back.

Community members contact my husband with horror stories about not being given services because they owe a fine to this Provincial traffic court. So unless they pay the Provincial fine they are no longer in “GOOD STANDING” and are denied benefits that are supposed to be unconditional to members. Why is it only my husband that is fighting to protect every Status Indians rights guaranteed to them under policies and laws of the Canadian government? You should be worried that you are not entitled to the same rights as non-natives!

My husband Lloyd Benedict is getting weary from being ostracized from his community that he served for many years, and yet council uses his father’s name to continue with their abuses. I have another quote that Ernie Benedict borrowed and used to say to me. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Or you could use one that one of your grand chiefs used one time. “Indians are like a bucket full of crabs every time one almost succeeds another one pulls him back down to the bottom of the bucket.” Some of you know who said that one; it is not hard to figure out.

All I am asking you is to defend your neighbour, otherwise it is like committing the abuse yourself if you stand idly by and watch. I think that quote is from Elie Wiesel a Holocaust survivor.

Nia wen,

Donna Benedict


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