Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Report to Grand Council on the Vatican and the Universal Periodic Review


May 19, 2018


On April 28, 2018, the Haudenosaunee Delegation was bundled at Onondaga. The purpose of the trip was to meet with the Vatican to request the Vatican and the Pope to address the issue of the Papal Bull known as the Doctrine of Discovery.

The first part of the Vatican visit is to educate the attendees on Haudenosaunee beliefs and structure, but to also inform the Vatican delegation of the current issues the Papal Bulls still have on indigenous peoples, especially with actions to reclaim Haudenosaunee lands. Secondly, the delegation will request an apology for residential school actions by the Catholic Church.


• Haudenosaunee Delegation

• Youth Delegation from St. Paul Minnesota consisted of 9 Youth with 5 Adults. Also travelling with the Youth Delegation was Gwendolyn Kates, Photographer/Documentarian and Bob Miller, Professor of Law and an Italian translator.

• Dr. Flamina Gioveneli, Undersecretary (Study and Research)

• Fr. Augusto Zampini Davies, Area Manager (Faith and Development)

• Fr. Paulo Cesar Barajas Garcia, Officer (Administration)

• Dr. Alessio Pecorario, Officer (Faith and Development)

• Dr. Livia Stoppa (Faith and Development)

• Dr. Mathilde Montovert, Intern

After introductions, the Youth Delegation presented at the beginning of the meeting. The Youth talked about historical trauma, Indian suicide rates, which are 4 times the national average for youth; life expectancy for Indian population is the lowest in the U.S. and is the 2nd lowest in the world. With the implementation of cultural programs for language and native spirituality, ideation of suicide has been reduced. The Youth have a foundation.


At the end of the very articulate presentation by the Youth, one of the youth representatives asked Fr. Davies to respond to their requests and to assist them to recover their identity and culture. One youth in particular challenged Father Davies to ensure there is transparency for initiatives regarding the youth's concerns. The Youth also asked that the Doctrine of Discovery "be abolished."

The church answered by saying it will take time to have good answers which will result in good dialogue.

Again, the youth stated that the Doctrine of Discovery is in place (and the church is saying it is not in place) - why is the [rescinding of the Doctrine of Discovery] not transparent to the rest of the world? How long will it take?

From the Church's perspective, the Doctrine of Discovery is not in place in Canada and in South America.

The Youth Delegation stated that people benefitted from the Doctrine of Discovery and we, (Indians) suffered from it. She urged more collaboration, education and awareness.




Ohenton Karihwatehkwen


How Ceremonies Came to the Haudenosaunee

Form of Governance

Two Row Wampum




After the Youth Delegation presented, a short break was taken and we reconvened at 10:45. Fr. Augusto Zampini Davies showed a short clip of the Pope Francis.

At 11 a.m., the Haudenosaunee presented the agenda. Roiane Howard Thompson began the meeting with the Vatican Representatives by reciting the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen. An explanation of the Thanksgiving Address was given in English.

After the greetings from the Haudenosaunee, Iothore presented on how the ceremonies came to the Haudenosaunee: Great Feather Dance, Atonwa, the Drum Dance and finally, the Peach Bowl ceremony.

Kenneth Deer had a powerpoint presentation and he highlighted the areas Iothore was addressing.

Iothore also explained to the delegation the concept behind the Two Row Wampum and that the colonizers agreed to these principles.

It was impressed upon the people at the meeting about the "Things to Come" as foretold in Kariwiio with explanations by Iothore.

• Mind Changers

• Bible

• Same Creator/God

• Stringed Instruments

• Playing Cards

Rotiianeson Dehaya'tgwa:ih Frieda Jacques recited the three bare words for the Vatican delegation.

The powerpoint presentation highlighted "Our Argument for rescinding the Papal Bulls that make up the Doctrine of Discovery." As well, the "Haudenosaunee's seven points toward reconciliation as submitted by Dr. Antone" was reiterated to the Vatican representatives.


Father Davies asked that his response not be recorded. He opened with his question on How can we become a loving and caring family: listen to the cry of the Earth, to the poor and to the dispossessed? This is a problem we all have.

The Vatican wants to listen and learn. He learned from the youth present and how important and meaningful names are. He also was impressed about the Creator and how everything is a gift from God–the same is in the prayers of Pope Francis.

Father Davies also committed to studying the points presented in the powerpoint presentation. The Church will respond to the points and is grateful this is more structural than the meeting with Father Tomasi. (Tomasi retired.)

Dr. Allesio said this meeting was a privilege to listen to the testimonies and the statement [by Iothore] on preventing conflicts.


There are 2 levels of approach.

1. Personal and an emotional dialogue

2. A level that is more concrete and difficult, but feel we are not wasting our time.

Father Davies is from Argentina and he feels he is not a European invader. He works on issues such as genocide, women, exclusion of people and damage to the Earth.

He agrees that historic trauma must be healed and that the prophecies [Iothore stated] reminded Fr. Davies of the old testament. The question is: how to work together to heal the trauma: fight oppression, destruction of the land and fight poverty. Church is not the same as Christians: Missionaries did terrible things. This was denounced. We cannot justify stealing the lands [from Indians] because this is not the tradition. Pope John Paul asked for forgiveness. Pope Francis loves everyone. We asked for forgiveness. We believe this is not part of the current church. If this can help to heal, we can discuss the healing process.

Frieda Jacques: We need help because they use the Doctrine of Discovery in 2005 in the law: Oneida v Sherill in the Supreme Court.

Father Davies stated the Church knows this but we [the Church] are not the U.S. government. The new Constitution in the Church is 1. Light of the People and Joys & Hopes of the People. The Pope works alongside the Conference of Bishops. Fr. Davies said we can help you with this (how to work with the Bishops). A proposition was made to get the assistance of the United Nations. The Church is a State and not just a religion.

Kenneth Deer discussed the Council of Bishops and that Prime Minister Trudeau asked for an apology for residential schools. The Council of Bishops recommended to the Pope that he not apologize.

Iothore impressed upon the Church that the Haudenosaunee does not want the same future as us. If the U.S. is wrong, they are the ones who have to change: they cannot convert themselves.


There are 124 countries registered with the United Nations. Of the 124, 112 Nations submitted comments to Canada's Periodic Review at the 30th Session. The following highlights the prevalent issues from most countries:

• Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

• Ensure access to health care, welfare, housing, food and water for Indigenous people.

• Ensure Indigenous people have access to justice.

• Protect Human Rights.

• Sign onto the treaty against torture.

• Sign the protocol on the rights of people with disabilities.

Canada promotes itself as a major human rights leader. However, the outcome of numerous UN human rights procedures paints a completely different picture. And despite the fact that Canada consulted with over 280 civil society organizations and Indigenous groups for the report's draft outline, it is not known to a wider audience that Canada has been criticized by every single human rights treaty body or human rights procedure-in particular regarding the treatment of Indigenous Peoples and the violation of their aboriginal rights. (Excerpt from Press Release May 7, 2018 by European Alliance for the Self Determination of the Indigenous Peoples.)

(L-R) Faithkeeper Marshall Abrams, Hayenthwas, Eel Clan, Onondaga, Clanmother LuAnn Jamieson, Shage'jyowah, Hawk Clan, Seneca, Delegate Joyce King, Tekahnawiiaks, Turtle Clan, Mohawk, Chief Howard Thompson, Oner'kowah, Wolf Clan, Mohawk, Clanmother Freida Jacques, Dehaya'tgwa:ih, Turtle Clan, Onondaga, Coordinator Dr. Kenneth Deer, Atshenhaienton, Bear Clan, Mohawk.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice Canada presented with Jeff Moore (Public Safety) and Mark Potter from Global Affairs. Minister Raybould is from North Vancouver Island, Eagle Clan. Her father is a Hereditary Chief.

Canada states there is transformative changes: in Human Rights through the Bill of Rights; 94 calls to action for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015); launching an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; the unqualified endorsement of UNDRIP, the Wage Equity Act (2018) and immigration detention services for mental and medical health with alternatives to incarceration.


• The Vatican made a commitment to read the issues, analyze the statements (8 points) and respond.

• The Vatican will assist the Haudenosaunee delegation to arrange a meeting with the Council of Bishops.

• The Haudenosaunee Delegation to the UPR was the only indigenous presence at the United Nations in Geneva for the 30th Session.

• Justice Minister Raybould made a commitment to Iothore to address the issues of border-crossing.


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