An Historic Opportunity for the Mohawk Nation

by Doug George Kanentio

On June 1 the US started exercising its law enforcement muscles by trying to impose new border crossing rules for passports and federal identification on all Native people with the citizens of the Mohawk Nation a particular target.

The Americans are betting that if they can muzzle us the other pesky redskins will fall in line.

Never mind that they will have breached the spirit and letter fo the Jay Treaty or violated our aboriginal rights. What they plan to do is creat Fortress America at our expense. 

In the past, we have reacted to these kind of anti-Mohawk tactics by organizing the people and demonstrating our opposition to these laws.

We have risked our well being, our freedom and at times our lives in defense of our heritage and what we believe to be those cultural, political and judicial elements which make us distinct.

It is not the time to make fatal compromises for if we do what is left of our status as a people will be lost.

The end result will be taxation and regulation from the outside. Once this happens having a casino or a tax free business won't mean much since the US and Canada will control virtually every element of our lives.  

Our leadership, as facgtionalized as it is, must see the dangers ahead and put aside their self interests, at least for the time being. They need to act swiftly and put the US on notice the Mohawk people had no part in these new rules and refuse to abide by them.

Just as we rejected US citizenship in 1924 (and we must be ever grateful to those

leaders from that time for doing so) we must state clearly that the US does not have the right to determine how and when, why or where, we travel through our ancestral territory.


Our leaders can call together all Mohawks in an historic display of our collective will.  Our councils at Akwesasne need to reach out to the Mohawks of Wahta, Kanehsatake, Kahnawake, Tyendinaga and Oshweken as they will be effected by what we do here. And make no mistake, it is the Mohawks who have the power to defend the aboriginal rights of us all.  It is up to the Mohawks to stand tall.

The people are ready. We can make use of our extensive communications network to inform the people-which is why we created these tools in the first palce. We can have live broadcasts of a council of the people from within the Mohawk Nation longhouse, transmitted via radio or over the internet. We can have our writers and newspaper editors on call to print the results of such a session. We already have runners prepared

to call the people together and now is the time.

By using our creativity and the power of clear thinking as proscribed in the Great Law of Peace we can arrive at a joint position which may then be given to the US and Canada.

It is obvious the Canadians and Americans are apprehensive about us. They may well have contingency plans to use massive force if we reject the June 1 regulations and engage in acts of defiance. We can handle

this. We have a world stage.

We can shame President Obama and Prime Minister Harper into honouring their treaty obligations.  We must not break ranks or roll over and accept this assault on our Nation.

But we must also act with peace foremost in our minds. We must not fly the blood red death's head banners some call the "warrior flag" but use the more powerful purple and white banner of the Haudenosaunee. And we must not allow the smugglers to use this and take advantage of our struggles.  The labelling of the Mohawks as criminals is just what the

external media has done with the politicians following suit and using this as an excuse to put the clamps on us.

We can make history in a way which brings pride to our children and honour to our leaders.  It is for our leaders to show us they also have the will to fulfill their duties on behalf of the people.