Kahentinetha Horn, a lissum Indian, forecast an Indian in the future of every University of Toronto student who jammed Hart House art gallery yesterday to hear her talk on the arts and culture of contemporary Indians. Miss Horn prophesied that in 35 years, Canada’s Indian population would be 1,800,000 – or roughly one out of every 25 persons. would be an Indian, she said. “You are the privileged of the privileged”, she told the students. “You are the 82 per cent of the future leaders of Canada” – I represent the despairing 1 per cent who are multiplying rapidly in Canada. Now is the time you must learn about Indians to help us achieve our main goal.” The first goal of Indians is to be able to support themselves, she said. On each Wall of Hart House gallery hung paintings by Norval Morrisseau, Ojibway Indian from Beardmore, Ont. “They conveyed a message of the past”, Miss Horn said. “Such art flows through the blood of my brothers and sisters – but most of the benefits reaches the white man’s salons?” While Indian culture certainly encompasses significant art form, the arts of Indians have leaned more to warfare and politics, Miss Horn said. “For 20,000 years, the Indians have had a struggle to survive the forces of nature. The cultural arts come only with leisure – after survival.” The greats of her ancestors, the Iroquois, were related to politics and warfare. The United Nations concepts are modelled on the Iroquois Confederacy, for example. Their arts of warfare are the reasons the students speak English today instead of French, she said. That’s why you have Prime Minister Pearson as leader instead of President de Gaulle”. Most Indians, Miss Horn said, are unemployable. “I’m afraid technical sciences will keep Indians unemployable. We haven’t time to think about our arts. We have to keep our people alive. How to keep our women alive, for example, past the age of 45. Why does one out of 10 of our babies die before the age of 4? Don’t ask me why; nobody has ever researched the reason. It’s just a statistic. We need housing, medical care, community planning, training and education. We need an interest in welfare – there’ll be one of us in thec future for every one of you.
Note to readers: The population of indigenous people in Canada today is 1.800,000.
Update on next steps – Mohawk Mothers vs SQI et al.
Please post & distribute.
On Thursday October 27, 2022 at the Quebec Superior Court, Montreal District, the Kanien’kehá:ka Kahnistensera (Mohawk Mothers) made history as Justice Gregory Moore granted an interlocutory injunction to immediately halt “any excavation in furtherance of the redevelopment of the Allan Memorial Institute or the Royal Victoria Hospital” until the parties have completed discussions regarding the best archaeological practices to be used.
This landmark decision was the first time in Canada that self-represented Indigenous people won an injunction without using attorneys and based on their own governance system, the Kaianerehkowa (Great Peace). In court, the Mohawk Mothers were facing numerous adversaries including top lawyers from McGill University, the Société Québécoise des Infrastructures (SQI), the McGill University Health Center (MUHC), the Royal Victoria Hospital, the City of Montreal, the Attorney General of Canada and the Attorney General of Quebec.
Kimberly Murray, the Independent Special Interlocutor appointed by the Federal government to determine a new legal framework to address the unmarked graves of Indigenous children that are currently found throughout Canada, also joined the case as a “friend of the court”, represented by lawyers Julian N. Falconer and Daniel Worme.
Justice Moore’s court order was issued on the basis of the plaintiffs’ (Mohawk Mothers) concerns that Indigenous children were used as test subjects in medical experiments at the Royal Victoria Hospital and were buried on the site scheduled to be redeveloped. These concerns were based on both archival evidence and witness accounts, including the first-hand account from Lana Ponting, an 81 year old survivor of the CIA-funded MK-Ultra mind control experiments that took place at the Allan Memorial Institute, the Royal Victoria Hospital and McGill University’s department of psychiatry. In addition, the Mohawk Mothers pleaded that the land is the exact location of the precolonial Iroquoian village of Tekanontak (Mount Royal), and was used as a burial site before the arrival of Europeans, which warrants the necessity of using appropriate archaeological means to preserve the history of Iroquoian peoples.
Throughout the hearing on October 26th and 27th, the defendants and promoters of the redevelopment project used an array of technical and legal arguments that attempted to convey the idea that the plaintiffs were
(i) in the wrong forum to lay their claims as other administrative processes exist for such questions in the province of Québec;
(ii) that the promoters have not broken any laws and are respecting the Quebec Heritage Act, which the plaintiffs ask to be declared unconstitutional at the future merits stage of the court proceedings, because it considers Indigenous heritage as the property of Quebec and does not include any mandatory consultation of Indigenous people regarding their heritage;
(iii) that most of the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs and the Special Interlocutor Murray, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, was not eligible for technical reasons; and
(iv) that the six plaintiffs did not represent the Mohawk people – which the plaintiffs esteem as there is no “power of attorney” in Indigenous culture, where every individual is free and self-represented.
The Mohawk Mothers emphasized that it is their cultural duty to caretake their traditional territory and the children of past, present and future generations. They also argued that allowing excavation work on the site would cause irreparable harm to their identity, history, and trust as Indigenous people. They also stressed that the situation was urgent because all the other existing means to make their concerns heard were exhausted to no avail. As a matter of fact, the shovels had already broken the ground two days before the hearing with archaeological excavation starting in front of the hospital’s Hersey pavilion – an act which became illegal when the court ruling was issued.
Justice Moore’s ruling, available online, acknowledged that the balance of convenience favored the plaintiffs, who would “suffer irreparable harm if the excavation work is not suspended for the time it takes to develop an appropriate archaeological plan to identify any unmarked graves”, following the best practices determined by the Canadian Archaeological Association. The ruling thus invited the parties to “speak out of court to settle their differences on an amicable basis”. The promoters were reminded of the Royal Victoria Hospital re-qualification project that the Call to Action 76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission encourages “public and para-public institutions like McGill University and the SQI” to respect the following guidelines:
“i. the Aboriginal community most affected shall lead the development” of the investigation;
ii. Input must be sought from Survivors and Knowledge Keepers in developing those strategies;
“iii. Aboriginal protocols shall be respected before any invasive technical inspection and investigation of a cemetery site”. The ruling also ordered the defendants to fund the investigation.
Throughout the next months, the Mohawk Mothers will thus be working on developing an archaeological plan which they will submit to the other parties for review one month before the next case management conference with Justice Moore, in January or February 2023. The plan will follow the best practices determined by the Canadian Archaeological Association for searching unmarked graves, drawing on non-damaging remote-sensing technologies to assess what is under the soil without disturbing the remains, and basing the investigation on archival research and interviews with survivors. Kanien’keha:ka longhouse protocols will be followed throughout the process, which will also involve traditional knowledge keepers from other Indigenous peoples, whose own protocols regarding burial sites must also be respected. The Kahnistensera are looking forward to developing a comprehensive archaeological plan which will do justice to their families, ancestors and to all survivors of colonial violence.
The humming of Sam Cooke’s “It’s been a long time coming/ But I know a change is gonna come” resonates across Tekanontak, as the Kahnistensera’s legal endeavor makes changes for the children yet to come never to be denied anymore. Fear will be overcome, and the path will be cleared for Onkwehonwe to live in peace on their our land, as creation intended.
[Chorus] Don’t take your guns to town son Leave your guns at home Bill Don’t take your guns to town
[Verse 2] He laughed and kissed his mom And said your Billy Joe’s a man I can shoot as quick and straight as anybody can But I wouldn’t shoot without a cause I’d gun nobody down But she cried again as he rode away[chorus]
[Verse 3] He sang a song as on he rode His guns hung at his hips He rode into a cattle town A smile upon his lips He stopped and walked into a bar And laid his money down But his mother’s words echoed again[chorus]
[Verse 5] Filled with rage then Billy Joe reached for his gun to draw But the stranger drew his gun and fired Before he even saw As Billy Joe fell to the floor The crowd all gathered around And wondered at his final words
[Chorus] Don’t take your guns to town son Leave your guns at home Bill Don’t take your guns to town
QUEBEC SUPERIOR COURT DECISION – JUDGE GREGORY MOORE. OCT. 27, 2022. THE ORDER :
MNN. Oct. 28, 20220.We are happy to announce yesterday’s successful court decision for the Mohawk Mothers in #500-17-120-468-221 kahentinetha et al v. Societe quebecois des infrastructure et al. This landmark decision halts all excavation work at the Royal Victoria Hospital site. This is the first injunction granted to self-represented indigenous people based on our way of representing ourselves, using our great peace to achieve concensus. The judge decided that the two parties shall spend 4 months together to do this but will convene out of court to determine together the best archeological practices to respect the land and remains.
Judge Moore decided that both parties will use good relations and dialogue to achieve concensus the way kanienkehaka achieve it in the longhouse.
Mohawk Mothers will continue to represent ourselves.
Kimberly Murray, the newly appointed Interlocutor on Unmarked Graves in the case is forming a new legal framework for dealing with unmarked graves and the genocide of our children.
We have demonstrated a strong possibility that our children and others were experimented on and murdered at Royal Victoria Hospital. This ruling is a start in the right direction towards a new legal framework consistent with the two row wampum and kaianerekowa.
This is a turning point on Canadian legislation so indigenous people and the legal system can foster a new relation based on respect and dignity. Once McGill is transformed by this new relationship with onkwehonwe, other institutions will take inspiration and also be transformed.
The court decision will be posted on Mohawk Nation News as soon as it is available. If they understand our process, we will come to one mind. The judge saw that it is time to find another way to deal with what happened to our children by using this ancient process of the longhouse.
Shorty Long “Here Comes the Judge”Niawen to everyone who helped us accomplish our duties and responsibilities as kahnistensera.
Shorty Long sings, “Here comes the Judge”: Here ye, hear ye, the court’s in session, the courts in session. Now here comes the judge. Here comes the judge. Stop eating that fudge, cause here comes the judge. Dont nobody budge, cause here comes the judge. Judge Shorty is presiding today and he don’t take no stuff from nobody. No kind of way. Hey boy take off that hat. Where do you think you’re at. I know were you’re gonna be if you don’t heed my plea. Court’s in session. Order in court. Now court can’t nobody smoke cause here comes the judge. Here comes the judge.
She:kon everyone. We are bracing for the hearing tomorrow at the Quebec Superior Court while the excavators and backhoe are already digging up our land at the Royal Victoria Hospital. We want to thank everyone that supported us in our struggle to protect our land and children. We will post updates shortly. Stay tuned.
p.s.: I have been notified that I have made a factual mistake at a recent speech at Concordia by stating that the minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Mark Miller had served in the Canadian military in the Oka crisis. While Miller was effectively an infantry commander in the Canadian Army Primary Reserve, he was not present in Oka as he was 17 years old and his military duty was allegedly peeling potatoes. I was misinformed, and if the Prime Minister and the Pope can apologize, so can I. kahentinetha
As Late Kurt Cobain apologized for leaving this world,
What else should I be? All apologies What else could I say? Everyone is gay What else could I write? I don’t have the right What else should I be? All apologies
We are due in quebec superior court at 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 for our attempt to get an injunction to stop the excavation of McGill’s Allen Memorial Institute and other areas of tionni tiotialkon and tekanontak, now called Mount Royal, where there are serious suspicions of unmarked graves of our indigenous children.
This is a book about Louis Karonhiaktajeh Hall of Kahnawake and other areas of kanienkehaka’onwe. Niawen’kowa.
MNN. Oct. 16, 2022. Sego. This is an important notice regarding the solidarity actions with the Mohawk Mothers that happened this week and the demonstration tomorrow. We knew nothing about this.
The SQI has written to the Judge reporting that the offices of Arkéos were vandalized this week by people claiming to act on behalf of the Mohawk Mothers.
We are being held accountable legally of all such actions at this time, as the opponents are trying to construe us as criminals before the Judge with less than two weeks remaining before the hearing at the court on October 26, 2022.
As the plaintiffs in this matter we are being falsely considered as prime suspects in organizing these actions, thus risking police searches and prosecution, even though we have absolutely nothing to do with any of this. We remain in Kahnawake and work full time on court matters. We were not even aware that a demo was being organized. We greatly appreciate tokens of solidarity and demonstrations, but we ask you to be mindful of the dire legal repercussions for us, and the high risk of jeopardizing all the work we have invested for more than one year to obtain an injunction, which could be ruined, as well as the hope of our families to know the truth and get justice.
We invite you to consult our statements on Mohawk Nation News since last November 2021 to understand our position of peace and respect. We remind you all that skennen, peace, is one of the three pillars of the Kaianerehkowa (Great Peace), which has been and remains the way of Anowarakeh (Turtle Island) since time immemorial. It would harm us a lot if anyone was hurt, because our one and only objective as onkwehonwe and kahnistensera is to caretake the land and find our children in accordance with the Kaianerehkowa Kanien’keha:ka
Shé:kon We have been notified that a number of actions have taken place this > week at the dig site and the offices of Arkéos. The SQI is accusing us of instigating them. We hereby unequivocally deny any knowledge of what > may have happened. We have absolutely nothing to do with any of this. These are false accusations causing prejudice to our legitimate concerns regarding the unmarked graves of our children. We stress that as the caretakers of our land and children, we are bound to follow the > kaianerehkowa, which includes skennen, peace, as one of its three > pillars. We advocate for the truth to be known, for the land and > children to be protected, and for skennen, peace, to be respected at all times. We refute all false accusations and misinformation by anybody trying to cause prejudice to our legal process to halt the excavation of the unmarked graves of our children. O:nen kanien’keha:ka kahnistensera, Kahnawake