Thursday, May 25, 2006

MNN "Poor sports" in Ontario. 6 Nations "shut out".

If there’s someone out there who can stop this bad sportsmanship from spreading, this is a time for action. Just do it. Thanks. Kahentinetha Horn MNN


MNN. May 25, 2006. The first sign that rot is spreading to the core of community relations in rural Ontario came when a team of 11-year lacrosse and 7 and 8-year old baseball players were ostracized. The Caledonia team refused to play against our kids on either Six Nations or Caledonia diamonds. Another town, Fisherville, won’t come down to Six Nations to play our kids either. Meanwhile we are paying $200 an hour to play lacrosse in the Caledonia Arena. When our team showed up yesterday at the regular time, the Caledonians locked us out.

There are two court actions which could be brought because of these events. A complaint of racial discrimination could be made in the Ontario Human Rights tribunal and an action for breach of contract could be brought into small claims court.

We don’t know who initiated this petty snit. We do know that the instigators of the “Bread and Cheese Fight” were not members of the Caledonia community. Our contacts in Caledonia did not know them. However, their m.o. was recognizable to Indigenous people on other parts of the country. They’ve been seen before in the thick of the fray in other attacks on Indigenous nations. There is a strong suspicion that these trained instigators may be part of covert state funded operations. We saw it at Lasalle and Chateauguay in Quebec.

We ran into it in 1974 when the Indigenous caravan arrived in Ottawa to demonstrate on Parliament Hill. We were all gathered there and the riot police was called in. We wondered why they were there because we were all peaceful. We noticed a few non-natives in our midst with heavy-ladened backpacks. Suddenly these guys reached into their bags and pulled out iron tools, rocks, handles and even small axes. They threw them at the police and then took off. The police attacked the crowd and we all got beaten up. Paddy wagons were already there. It was a set up.

Canada refuses to follow international law by dealing with us on a nation-to-nation basis. Canada does not respect proper communication. Every time there is a problem, it turns into a confrontation and armed forces are sent in.

In 1990 the Mohawks of Kanehsatake were refusing to let the nearby town of Oka to build a golf course over our ceremonial sites and burial grounds. On July 11th a paramilitary Quebec Police force opened fire on the defenders at Kanehsatake. To stop the blood bath that was obviously possible, we closed down the Mercier Bridge that goes over the St. Lawrence River from Kahnawake to Montreal.

The people of Chateauguay, a bedroom community right next to Kahnawake, were angry. They had rioted against our people in the same way that the Caledonians tried to attack the Six Nations people. Night after night they would gather at the edge of our territory on the other side of the barricade. They would burn our effigy, make threats and set off fires and loud firecrackers which sounded like guns.

We sat calmly on our side of the barricade and watched. They wanted to come into Kahnawake to attack us. At the same time they would scream in French, “Bring in the army”. We heard persons purporting to be the KKK were there too, instigating fights between the rioters. The Quebec police withdrew and the RCMP came in. Then the instigators turned the crowd against the RCMP, beating them up and throwing bricks at them. Twelve were injured. That’s when the Canadian army came in and the Chateauguay people clapped and screamed with joy.

Even though the misbehavior such as riots, civil unrest, vandalism, threats, attacks on the police and each other was going on among the non-native people, we got goy surrounded by the army. They refused to let any people leave our community to get food, medical supplies or anything we needed. We set up about 5 eating centers on the territory. After a while we ran out of gas. We all had to walk, ride bikes, bring out roller skates or whatever mobility we could find. It was surreal. For about 2 months it was quiet, without traffic. We were alone without any non-natives in our midst. Our supporters were not allowed to come in to bring provisions to us. When they weren’t caught by the citizens’ vigilantes of the nearby towns, they managed to sneak in by water and even dropped some by aircraft. In the end we had to open up the bridge because we were running out of food.

What is happening to the children’s sport teams at Six Nations is nothing new to us. This happened after the Mohawk Oka crisis of 1990.

After the crisis was over, the surrounding towns changed their schedules so that our kids could not compete. We had put a lot of money into their communities for hockey, lacrosse, football, wrestling, baseball, you name it. We are big sports fans. When the kids play, the whole family supports them. When our kids were stopped from competing, of course, the Indigenous crowds diminished dramatically. The arenas started to lose money.

Also, we stopped shopping in Chateauguay. Businesses started to go under. The situation got so bad, in a fit of desperation the town of Chateauguay even tried to sue us for $25 million for not shopping there. Good luck! They didn’t get anywhere on that one. 16 years later they have not completely recovered. There’s still a big division between the people over there. The moral of the story is that this silly snits can snowball. They can bring economic ruin to whole communities.

Whether or not the people of Caledonia or Fisherville are being suckered by megalomaniacs who have infiltrated the Canadian government, the effects of their boycott may prove devastating for their communities in the long run.

We suspect that that Caledonia is being incited to do this. It is obvious that someone’s interest is being served by turning non-natives against natives. It is equally obvious that it will do nothing for Caledonia or Fisherville in the long run. We hope our friends will not buy into this nonsense. Some of their kids are playing on Six Nations teams. We know who are our friends are. Let’s get back to being good sports.

Six Nations has produced a lot of elite native athletes. This is something that concerns all young people. This is a time when elite athletes, native and non-native, could take a stand to promote good sportsmanship.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

3 comment(s):

So let's get this straight:

You block our roads, shut down our power, say you'll never shop again in our town, call us KKK and racist and yet you're mad that we won't drive the kids out to Ohsweken to play ball this season.

You hold a town hostage and then you want to play with us.

The people of Six Nations do not seem to want to face the colonialists at the grocery store, but somehow the ball diamond is okay?

Theoretically it shouldn't involve the kids, but you know how us racists are!

You are hilarious.

By Blogger localyokel, at 4:57 PM  

Hey yokel,
You're missing the point - again.
The barricades were only ever erected as responses to violent attacks - from the Canadian State (i.e. the OPP) and then from non-indigenous people living in Caledonia. They were not meant against the colonial population, rather to protect the Reclamation from colonial attacks.
The First Nations people have time and time again tried to de-escalate the situation and to stress that their problem is with the federal gvt. not their neighbours in Caledonia. (If this were not the case the barricades would still be up!)

You are basically saying that you were inconvenienced by their struggle for their land and so escalating the conflict and racializing it is appropriate.

This is symptomatic of the entire dynamic. First Nations people erect barricades in self-defense against the State. Settlers erect racist barricades against First Nations people. And in their mind, these two acts are somehow on a par with each other...

By Blogger kersplebedeb, at 11:56 PM  

Do I agree with the silly little barricade that the Caledonians!!!! Do I hurl racial!!!

There are two sides to what happened on Monday.

I believe you actually visited the site, and saw everybody all peaceful and loving. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but a lot of people in Caledonia feel that the protesters, especially Janie Jamieson and Clyde Powless actually instigated some of the violence that occurred on Monday because in actual fact they never really wanted to the barricade down and were just looking for an excuse to put it back up.

Go to the the Autonomy and Solidarity web site and watch the video. You will see Clyde and Janie trying to go through the crowd. You might ask yourself. Why did they feel the need to go through the crowd? Couldn't they have exited into Douglas Creek and taken the new road that the protesters have built with literally tons of gravel right on top of their "sacred burial ground containing over 3000 ancestors" back out to the rez. Could they have possibly been antagonizing the people at the barricades? (They certainly had things in order to quickly dig up the road? or does everybody keep a backhoe handy in case of an emergency?)

You are probably sick of reading this but I ask you to bear with me for one more instance of being taunted.

The barricade on the Caledonia bypass was located on the south side of the river on the reserve.

Somewhere along the line, the natives brought the barricade to the north side of the river right over top of Hwy 54 and also spray painted on the bridge. Why do you suppose they did this? Could it have been for media attention?

It seemed like if everything was quiet for a while, the natives would instigate something to rile up the nonnatives and get themselves back in the this Handsome Lakish?

Do you know how many gawkers were down at the barricades as opposed to people that actually threw racial slurs? People were coming in from all over the place that day to see what was going on. Caledonia has approximately 10,000 urban people. I don't know how many people were actually there on Monday...I don't think there were that many until the road got dug up. My 80 year old parents were there early in the morning to see what was going on. So initially in the morning you have 200 people at the barricade. Possible 10 that might actually hurl a slur and you have 9800 people who stay home. Yet we are all branded as racists.

What I am trying to say here is that the protesters are not all sweetness and delight as Hazel Hill would lead us to believe in her emails to the masses.

Of course, I am biased...aren't we all. Yet, I have tried to look at this situation with a critical eye.

I am going to educate myself on the residential schools, although I don't think that anyone born at Six Nations in the last two generations actually went to one....but I am reserching that further and I am going to read the treaties. However, I also don't think that the nuns should have hit the "white" kids either or that the priests should have had sex with the alter boys. of the most distressing things I have learned is just how bad politically things are on the reserve. They are one of the richest reservations in Canada and yet they fight amongst themselves terribly.

As a Canadian, I can't politically support the Haudesaunee. They are a religious group as well as political which if in power would disenfranchise a whole segement of their population. Do I feel that the government should have taken away their right to practice their customs and religion...absolutely not!

As to this particular land claim, do the paper trail yourself. Talk to Kathleen Lickers at the Six Nations Band Council. This was a done deal. Six Nations Band Council wasn't objecting to the subdivision because they knew that they did not have legal recourse. They were going after an "accounting" of the money.

Do I think that Caledonia needs another Do I detest subdivisions and have never lived in one...yes. However, Henco would not be building them unless someone was buying them.

Barricading the road for a few days is a protest...barricading it for a month is picking a fight.

Complaints about CHML and CH TV. At first, the nonnatives felt that CH was totally biased and then the natives felt that CH was totally biased. Isn't that an indication that they are doing their job when everybody is mad at them?

You have been reading extremely biased accounts of what has been happening from K. Horne and Hazel Hill. I am here to tell you that there is another side.

I am desperate for somebody to indicate that they take K. Horne with a grain of salt because as one person on another blog wrote..."her writing is like reading a poor Hollywood script".

Don't kid yourself the barricade is now only down because some idiot blew up the transfomers and I don't really think either side want to see a further escalation.

By Blogger localyokel, at 12:16 PM  

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