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Mohawks respond positively to Iroquois Diplomacy on USA-Canada border.

Written by Subject: Activism
As posted by Powell here:
there is an ongoing dispute between the Mohawk Nation and the USA regarding border security. Not only does a portion of Mohawk sit on the border but many tribes with whom Mohawk have deep familial, historical, cultural and linguistic ties to lie across the border in present-day Canada. This dispute has resulted in the closure of several border crossings.
Many of these people cross and re-cross this border several times a day in the conduct of normal life and business. And there is certainly a great cultural antipathy between federal border guards in the USA and Canada and these simple indigenous peoples who pretty much want what we all want: to be left alone.
Armed police and military forces on what is by treaty, their sovereign land is not only massively intimidating to these people, it violates the spirit of the treaties and the teaching of peace.
Below is a press release from Mohawk that details this and invokes the specific Wampum in which this understanding is codified. 

MNN.  June 3, 2009.  Canada has always known that we were against putting guns in the hands of the border guards in the middle of our community.  The US and Canada have abandoned their border checkpoints at Cornwall Island in the St. Lawrence River.  The New York State Police and Cornwall City Police have closed down the bridges.  We can't easily get on or off the island or go about our normal lives.  In fact we are imprisoned.  

Canada created propaganda against us to provoke a confrontation and then an assault.  Then the guns were to be put into the middle of our community.  We think  other indigenous communities might be next.  Prime Minister Harper just announced a policy that he was going to generously fund those Indigenous who cooperate with resource development and extraction.  The rest  of us will just have to sink or swim.    

We are being isolated on the island.  Our trade and commerce with each other is being deliberately crushed.  This is having a dire impact on our ability to feed our families.    

About $100 million worth of construction is planned around Cornwall and on the island for a humongous international commercial transport depot.  We would never approve this.  

Respondents around us think that the customs facility should be moved off Cornwall Island.    Others think a joint Canada-U.S. customs facility should be built on the south side.  People on the US side like to have guns to control and scare people.  Canadians generally don't the same necessity for them.  Those CBSA guards who are being given guns have made it clear that they don't like us.  They are dangerous.      

Both the US and Canada have set up tribal and band councils in our communities.  In this case these councils have turned out to be loyal to us.  Canada would like to bull doze an agreement with them.  They refuse to sign any agreement because they know how it will hurt us and our families.  This issue has brought everybody together.    

We are standing together against our oppressors.  Their idea of cooperation is to co-opt our so-called leaders.  When Champlain first met us, he shot our Royaner and Otiyaner without any questions asked.   In 2009 these bullets never disconnected us from our land.

The Two Row Wampum agreement is being violated.  There are two paths that shall never cross.   In any negotiation the colonists would have to be truthful and honorable with us.  

Canada's battleship diplomacy is intimidation with the threat of military deployment.  They have put an embargo on us to starve us out and make us surrender.  This approach will not lead to a lasting settlement.  Canada wrongly thinks they can only use force and threats.  After 500 years we've never violated who we are.  They don't want to sit down with us.  They are afraid to see our full valid legal position that we never surrendered our sovereignty or identity on Great Turtle Island.  

Armed force is building up and to make us give in.  Slimy Canada is provoking the stalemate on behalf of their international bankster bosses.  Their hired public relations guns are creating the myth that we are dangerous.  Racial taunts, assaults and interrogation of our youth, some as young as 18 months old by the guards, have escalated.  

We are a communal people and have no leaders.  We have to consult each other and everyone.  Secret agreements are forbidden and cannot be supported by us.    When we are threatened, there can be no negotiation.  The British knew this.  This was the blueprint for the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and all treaties on Great Turtle Island.  

We never jump into negotiations.  We always went for a long lasting agreement which would stand for hundreds of years.  We made sure both sides understood each others position.  Sometimes we said nothing for weeks or months at a time.  Then we  talk.  Otherwise negotiations are flawed.        

Every time these invaders came to us, they had guns or something to take our lives.  In Akwesasne, there is nothing to negotiate.  To put the guns to our heads or not to put the guns to our heads, is the question before the colonists.  Threats of force are being hurled to make us give up freedom and our land in order to stop them from harassing or killing us.

Our neighbors agree with us.  The US and Canada created this demilitarized zone that we are caught in.    They can open it or keep it closed.  The guns issue is a cover.  Canada's institutions and para military organizations have been infiltrated.   Canada wants to cut the Mohawk Nation down to size because we are standing up against the US takeover.  

Our question is when will the colonists become human beings?  If you can't talk fairly with us, you should immediately return everything you took from us.  You should take your guns, leave us alone and stop trying to be like violent Americans.

Contact:  Rotiskenekete 514-269-1400; Chief N. Benedict 613-551-5421 613-938-8145, go to  Chief Wesley Benedict 613-551-2573; Larry King 613-551-1930; Chief Joe Lazore 613-551-5292.  

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1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Jet Lacey
Entered on:

Great article.  It reminds me of home.  I'm from Plattsburgh, NY, about an hour from there.  That conflict has been going on for some time now.  An old buddy of mine named Gar was the one who shot at the NY State Police helicopter back in the late 80s or early 90s.  He went to prison for a good stretch over that one. 

This is all about money, as it always is.  The Rez lies on the international border, with a portion of it in the U.S. and a portion of it in Canada.  For years the Akwesasne Mohawks have traded Tax-Free tobacco pretty much unchecked between the border, mainly by using Cornwall Island as a legal path.  NY and ONT have made it abundantly clear that they want their piece of that action.  If you don't do their bidding, they make you comply at the business end of a gun, like they always have to the Native peoples here and everywhere else for that matter. 

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