|At the request of various interests, this has been reposted to register our objection to the Haudenosaunee Task Force on Border Crossing representing us in “talks” with the US and Canadian colonial governments. We also provide more contacts at the end for you to put pressure on those who are making deals with the colonists over our heads.
“IMAGINARY LINE” ISSUE FOR ALL ONKWEHONWE OF NORTH AND SOUTH TURTLE ISLAND
We Onkwehonwe, also known as “Indigenous” people, have an inherent right to traverse Turtle Island. When human beings first appeared, Creation gave us the original instructions to be respectful, to live in harmony with the rest of the natural environment and to always adhere to the original ways.
The Haudenosaunee Task Force on Border Crossing [made up of Curtis Nelson, Oren Lyons, Leo Henry, Paul Williams, Darwin Hill and others] was set up without consultation with us. They appear to be cooperating with the colonists who want to issue “smart cards”, something like a credit card. Everything about us will be on that card. This is another straw to try to break the back of the Onkwehonwe.
Many of us who have been active and concerned for a long time found out for the first time this past weekend this committee was set up. They’ve already met with U.S. Homeland Security and Canada Customs and Immigration to work out compliance with colonial terms. We have not been allowed to question this committee. We resist their attempts to pressure us into accepting the colonial timelines and the proposed card which is a de facto recognition of the “imaginary line”.
We Onkwehonwe face the US-Canada-Mexico border almost every day. Our nation-to-nation relationship with the colonists is through the U.S. President and the Her Majesty the Queen of Canada. It is governed by the principles of the Two Row Wampum Agreement. One condition of tolerating the presence of the colonists was that we would continue our pre-contact right to conduct trade and commerce and travel anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.
Jay Treaty (proviso)
The Jay Treaty of 1794 is a third party agreement and can have no binding effect on us. Traveling around on our homeland is a birthright, not a “privilege”. Colonists cannot interfere with our crossing of their imaginary line they call the Canada-U.S. and U.S.-Mexico borders. The Jay Treaty created the imaginary line on the 49th parallel. The Iroquois Confederacy said at the time, “It is for you, not for us”. The Confederacy would not agree to this as we were looking out for all Onkwehonwe, our friends and allies. The line between the colonies of Mexico and the U.S. was created by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. These lines allowed the colonists to illegally implement privileges and tariffs.
Article III of the Jay Treaty is a violation of international law.
“the right of aboriginal peoples (people indigenous to Canada and/or the US) to trade and travel between the United States and Canada, which was then a territory of Great Britain. This right was restated in section 289 of the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act: Nothing in this title shall be construed to affect the right of American Indians born in Canada to pass the borders of the United States, but such right shall extend only to persons who possess at least 50 per centum of blood of the American Indian race.
The Jay Treaty was made between two colonial corporations, Britain and the United States, to provide privileges for the colonial subjects. It did not include our political position. It contradicts itself when it stipulates that it would not be “construed” to affect who is and who is not an Onkwehonwe. In fact, it stipulates that this article applies to those who are “naturalized”. So an immigrant who becomes an American, Canadian or British is subject to the rules and privileges of the “corporation”.
Colonists and their “Indian” representatives speaking to band or tribal councils or incorporated “Indian” entities is not consultation. Once they thought they had pacified us and diminished our population, the colonists put these restrictions in place without informing, consulting or getting our consent. Now new restrictions are being imposed according to their “might makes right” paradigm.
We will tell the colonizers what we want, not what they want us to do. It tells us we can travel with personal belongings, not with “bales”. They wanted to extinguish trade and commerce between all Onkwehonwe. “Bales” referred to the fur trade. It meant anything that is more than one, and could not be resold. They set up a system of extortion to interfere with our ancient rights to sustain ourselves. It was similar to the killing off of all the Buffalo on the Plains.
The colonists have demonstrated their disregard for universal human law. Every human has the right to their existence, their own nationality, their land and their government.
The colonizers are trying to blackmail us into recognizing their borders between Canada, U.S. and Mexico. We have our own territories, our own understandings and respect for each other. We did not need standing armies to protect the borders of our territories because we practiced respect for those who inhabited the particular area. We still do.
Passports and Citizenship
Canada and the U.S. are trying to push us into getting Canadian or US passports to restrict and control our movements. We have a right to maintain a connection to our Onkwehone people throughout the Western Hemisphere. The colonizers are trying to class us as American or Canadian or Mexican “Indians” by illegally and violently forcing us to alienate ourselves from our birthright. They cannot make us something we are not. Today they tell us we need a card. Next they will tell us we need a mark on our forehead.
We are not members of any of these colonial entities. We cannot carry passports of foreign corporations of which we refuse to be members. These colonists are trying to make us commit an illegal act. As independent Indigenous peoples we have a right to deal with such issues based on our own laws. The colonizers are bound by agreements they have entered into such as the UN Charter of 1948 and the International Covenant on Cultural and Political Rights.
The concept of “citizenship” does not exist for us. We are Kanion’ke:haka, not citizens. A “city” is a corporation which one becomes a part of with privileges that can be taken away by the hierarchical governing body. No nation has a right to denationalize another nation.
There is no consistency as to what ID the colonists want. When we produce ID they punch our name into the computer and information comes up on that screen. Now they are pushing for us to have a specific ID which they will decide on and authorize. The advisors of the colonists are conforming and misleading our people. The colonists have already made a decision and are relying on the ignorance of our people to implement it. This violates international law because we were not genuinely consulted. Our laws do not allow us to give away the birthright of our children and future generations.
We have a right to decide how we will be identified. Phil Fontaine of the AFN [Assembly of First Nations] has suggested that we use their government-issued “Indian status cards”. Many Onkwehonwe don’t have such a card. A lot of imposters do.
The colonists want the micro chip in the card to contain our DNA, retina scan and finger prints. They will put this into a data base where a satellite GPS tracking system will know our whereabouts at all times. The European countries have rejected this and still require paper passports because the U.S. recommendations violate human rights.
Today the colonial governments are forcing us to shoulder the burden of threats to their national security by bringing us under their rules. Why should we? We’ve never carried out terrorist threats or acts of violence anywhere in the world.
More and more these border guards are bullying our people, trying to ensnare and control us. Intimidating tactics are being used to entrap our people into doing something that will give them a reason to detain or charge us. Cavity searches are being carried out by the customs goons which violates human rights.
The Two Row addresses the jurisdiction issue. We never surrendered our jurisdiction over ourselves or our land. Legality requires proper procedures. If they have cause to stop one of our people they can do so according to the Two Row Wampum Agreement. They can turn them over to us. It is our responsibility to deal with those who are in violation or committing a wrong and to restore the peace between our peoples.
The colonists have no right to order us to have these pass ports or anything by January 2008 or anytime. We will tell them whether we will do something or not. To follow the rule of law, the protocol is for them to meet with us. We must polish the Silver Covenant Chain and dust the Two Row Wampum. The Two Row Agreement governs our nation-to-nation relationships with the colonizers through their heads of state.
We Onkwehone are here to fulfill our duties and responsibilities as the Indigenous sovereigns of Turtle Island. The colonists are trying to kidnap our people from our canoe and force us to row their boat. We are being held hostage against our will in violation of the Two Row Wampum Agreement. We can only leave our canoe by our own free will. Those being forced to live under the illegal Indian Act and federal Indian law system are hostages forced to live under an alien social, economic, political system.
When times get rough the colonizers use these violent tactics to try to control us and make us lose confidence in ourselves and our traditional system. In the past when they could not defeat our people, they destroyed the things we needed to sustain us. They disconnected us from our mother, the earth. She is always there to sustain us. We continue to stand by her to protect her.
We are not afraid to defend our birthright and to protect the next generations. Onkwehonwe throughout the world are presently fighting to protect our children, our people and our land. This entire process to undermine us is a continuation of the genocide that the colonists initiated 500 years ago. Only the names and faces in the corporation have changed.
Kahentinetha Horn firstname.lastname@example.org
**Send your comments to anyone or any entity that you think is affected or should be concerned. Ask them about the action they are taking or know is being taken to protect Onkwehonwe independence:
Canada-US line: Haudenosaunee c/o email@example.com;
Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force firstname.lastname@example.org
Ganienkeh Territory email@example.com
On the US-Mexico line: International Indian Treaty Council http://www.treatycouncil.org