Jan. 13, 2014. It was a warm day in October 1965 when Scott Young, of the Globe and Mail, spoke to an elder and I In Toronto. We had just arrived from Kahnawake for a 3-day conference, the “iroquois Speak”, at the Royal York Hotel. We had struggled to get there in an old car. The passenger door was tied on with a wire hanger. No promotion of the event. Only letters were sent out to our Haudensaunee brothers and sisters. The same letter was sent to all mainstream media. Only Scott Young of the Globe & Mail showed up. NEIL & CHIEF

Scott Young listened to us for 14 hours. We invited everyone to come. He wrote a very favorable story about our effort and published it in the Globe & Mail. scott-young-article1Then arrived traditional elders and many curious young Indigenous from all Six Nations on both sides of the “imaginary line”. The elders sat at a long line of tables in the large meeting hall. Every day more arrived. We talked about history, the Two Row, the Great Law, Indigenous-British-French relations, Canada’s illegal Indian Act. It was a historic meeting in Toronto that hadn’t been done in a long time!

When the conference ended, everyone went home, including the elder and I. A short time later the Royal York contacted me and asked me to pay the bill. No one had money. I advised them to send it to the Department of Indian Affairs who were holding all our money in trust. The bills kept coming to me. I forwarded them to the Minister of Indian Affairs, Arthur Laing. He finally paid it. 

At that time that Scott wrote the article, his son Neil Young, was 18 years old and just starting his song writer career. He lived in Toronto and probably remembers that meeting his father wrote about. 

Harper's legacy.

Harper’s legacy.

Over the years we’ve raised the exact same issues. We were kept invisible by design. Our children were being murdered in residential death camps, while the corporate settler schools were teaching their children that we Iroquois are extinct.  

Yesterday the Prime Minister’s Office responded to Neil Young’s press conference on the Athabaska tar sands. This artist must have hit a nerve of the military industrial complex. 

Neil & ScottNeil’s father, Scott’s article so long ago in the Globe & Mail helped the Indian cause. His exposure to the Great Law opened his mind. Obviously his son was listening. Neil shows that he is a lot like him: “Old man take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you were. Old man take a look at my life, I’m a lot like you were.” Neil Young. “Old Man”.

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  1. The magic of music, you can listen to a song in a far away land, love it without knowing the story behind it. Then something tell you readnthis story and that song you have loved for so long becomes something real. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU

  2. I grew up in Brewerton, New York on Oneida Lake. The Iroquois had lived there, and in spite of progress their Spirits still spoke there. . Even though I did not know it at the time. I was blessed,and they filled me. They gave me a love and respect for nature and love of all things living. As I grew, the only policies that made any sense were the one that they, and all Native Americans had always lived by. The Articles of the Confederation of the Iroquois was the model for our (US) Constitution. WE should have listened to them then, and really need to listen to and embrace their wisdom now, more than ever.

  3. Beautiful article. So sad only one showed up to write up the story…but in the long run, it was the right one. Neil is doing the work now!

  4. I confess I am not up to date on all of the things Mr. Young is trying to do. I do know that from reading his books and also hearing him speak on many recorded interviews, he is a thoughtful and very smart man. I also know he has a warm and caring heart. I just want to say that Neil as no one has all of the answers but he has knowledge of the situation concerning the tar sands , Indians, how they are being treated and how it is affecting the environment. I am tired of hearing comments from people saying I don’t listen to singers, he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about etc. As I admitted I just started to follow all of this and my mom is sick etc. but I will get up to date when I have time . I do know that Mr. Young is not like so many actors that get in to politics and mostly do not know what they are doing and or just want people to vote for who they want in office because they can sway their fans. Mr. young has the knowledge, the means and no ulterior motive for helping except for wanting a cleaner environment as hopefully we all do and because he truly cares about people and how they are treated. I am sorry for all of the grammatical errors as I wrote this kind of fast but I am just very tired of seeing Mr. Young being bashed for trying to do good. One last thing of course this is pertaining to comments by posters on other sites on this issue or maybe in regards to comments about this one I just haven’t read comments on this article yet. Also I have always enjoyed Mr. Young’s music and the meaning behind a lot of his songs but I do not hero worship him or any man, so that is not my reason for writing this by any means. Most Respectfully, Becky.

  5. Neil Young is by far my favorite musical artist hands down, I have Abenaki blood in my heritage and I have enjoyed Neil Youngs lyrics since the late 60s,

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