- Parent Category: NFIC Columnists & Contributors
- Category: Dan Beaton
- Published: 22 September 2007
Mohawk Wisdom in Caledonia and the World
Story and Photo by Danny Beaton
News From Indian Country
Ultimately we want to leave a legacy for our future generations by thinking ahead. Its all about our future generations, the unborn, our family, showing them that we made a commitment to the environment, to the land. We fought for it. Thats how we got here in the first place. Thats why weve been here camped along the Grand River for the last 200 years.This has affected every human being on the planet. If we dont harmonize ourselves, living in peace, all the principals that the Iroquois Confederacy stand for, all the laws we stand for is about keeping the great peace.
Thats why when we talk about the environment we are talking about everybodys rights. The vast majority of people, including non-Native people support what we are doing, they understand the struggle has always been going since day one. The media are selling newspapers because of the violence, the confrontation. I think people arent stupid because they realize how important it is to protect the environment, our Sacred Mother Earth. Its not just the Grand River, its everywhere, theres a problem of land theft all over the world.
That roadblock in Caledonia represents justice for the whole world. We are saying no more development, we are saying no more polluting our rivers, we are saying no more giving us poison. Enough is enough, that was enough. Its been a topic of conversation around our dinner table since I was a little kid, Danny. We are living our prophecies now really, because all of this was prophecised by the elders ages ago. That this world would come to this and how things would come to be. We are living the future of our elders. The writing was always on the wall, everybody knew it was always there.
The newspapers are anti-supportive, its anti- Natives, its a group of protestors, its all one sided, its a group of Aboriginals, finally after one year they are calling us Six Nations. Saying we are a small group of protesters. Its probably what the OPP thought when they came April 20, 2006, for the raid, they thought we were a handful of protesters but they didnt realize the Six Nations were backing us. The people who were arrested at the beginning were Palestinians, Cree, Mohawk, and non-Native supporters. The answer for this problem is by the government to honour our treaties, honour our commitment to the environment, honour our elders, honour our Chiefs, and most of all honour our Clan Mothers.
We have a government, we have treaties in place for Douglas Creek. The government hasnt honoured any of those treaties. We are the Iroquois Confederacy government, we have treaties with Canadas government. We have all our Wampums where our treaties are written, thats where they are remembered. We have showed the government our Wampums and explained our Wampums, how our government works. And explained how our true government of democracy works with consensus. Where everyone has their say. Its not a popularity contest, like the democratic system they have now in Ottawa. The government cant resolve it because it would cost them too much.
You are looking at millions of dollars a year in revenue alone in taxes along the Haldimond Track. What we are talking about is the Haldimond Track. The Iroquois have agreements that predate the Haldimond Track. What I am saying if they honour the Haldimond Track Treaty its going to cause a domino effect. This would involve all the cities and towns along the Grand River including the whole city of Caledonia, the whole town of Brantford, Kitchener it goes along the whole river, its quite a big area. Its massive, its huge and thats what the Haldimond Deed covers. Like I said we have agreements that pre-date the Haldimond Deed. The 1701 agreement, thats all of Ontario plus New York State and parts of Pennsylvania as well Danny, I dont think the government is going to honour that. If it was anything west of Ottawa thats what the 1701 agreement covered. All we are trying to do is make politicians come clean now. This is our responsibility, to look after the land. This is Mother Earth, this is where we all come from, this is our culture, guardians of the land. Honouring Mother Earth, honouring the Native people and honouring Native struggles, our commitment to Mother Earth.
They cant break that bond that we have, its something that were tied to. Theres nothing they can force upon us. The Canadian government cant impose laws and regulations and impose violence on us. They beat us up and it didnt change things. Were still here and we are more determined to protect our childrens future. Were still fighting, were not done and we might never be done as long as there is Mother Earth. My dream is world peace, people living in harmony with natural justice. People doing whats right, living by whats right. People living with the truth. Theres justice and karma out there thats natural, that snap back and bite you in the butt.
Thats whats happening now, Mother Earth is wounded, she cant do what she used to. All we have to do is watch the weather, the universe is speaking on behalf of Indigenous peoples. If we dont change our ways and stop polluting the planet, its going to destroy Mother Earth, Mother Earth is suffering, theres too many people taking from her. We can only take so much before nature suffers. Millions of people are immigrating out this way, immigrating to the green lands, were losing the agricultural base here. New subdivisions are piling up, people are piling up, on top of each other, beside each other isnt a harmonious way to live in the country. Its adding to the pollution of the air, everything is getting polluted by overpopulation. Over- population is polluting Mother Earth. To us the fight isnt with ourselves, its the powers to be to understand that you cant eat money, money isnt everything, you have to look at our lifestyle. You have to look at the way of life for all humans, in Canada the people can be the catalyst for the environment, but its not happening. Because they are not listening to the Aboriginal people here, the Native people here. We are the heartbeat of the environment.
My family have been here in Six Nations, seven generations along this Grand River. Everybody has seen the development, weve been pushed and pushed and pushed. Now were on a little patch of territory. Weve been pushed back to a tiny patch. We can no longer hunt and do what we need to along this river which was our sustenance. The river is heavily polluted, with all the cities dumping their sewage into the river, tire plants, all the development is dumping raw sewage into the river. You cant eat any of the fish anymore.
After all the years of pollution along the Grand the fish are heavily contaminated. It all goes back to the Great Lakes, the contamination is basically affecting everyone, not just Native people. Everyone should be speaking out. What happens to Six Nations People happens to everyone.
One day there will be no land here, there will be no water, only sand, it will be made into a desert, barren, no trees, no nothing. We have been ignored, our pleas have been ignored, we have been asking the government to be accountable to the people and to the environment, to Mother Earth. But weve been ignored. Thats why there is an explosion of all these forces, its died down this winter but spring is back and were organizing. We want to be heard, we have been sleeping outside on the roadblock for 1 year. Real issues are affecting all of our childrens future, hopefully more people will understand our plight and be enlightened.
Thank you for listening.
On The Net: http://www.dannybeaton.ca/reviews.asp
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