QUEBEC STATE OF CHILD ABUSE

 

REMARKS

MNN. May 15, 2024. This is about accountability. That is what reconciliation is about. We were given by creation the ability to protect ourselves, our people, the kanien’keha:ka, and all peoples and to love and care for our mother earth. Presently we are trying to find our missing and murdered children. We find that no public institution in Quebec has the mandate to be accountable for state abuse and genocide of children and people.

Our kaianerekpwa teaches us to hold ourselves accountable to our past traditions, our ways that foster dialogue and harmony to create balance and equality: the two row wampum, the dish with one spoon, the kaianerekowa (great peace). We first met the SAQ [Quebec Liquor Board] after writing them a letter in January 2024 about our concerns that the former cemetery on the property of the St. Jean de Dieu Hospital contained our ancestors who were patients there. We always seek to find all our children. Before the beginning of our relationship with the Europeans we held onto the spirit of loving and caring for our children. We find no one accountable for torturing and murdering them. They have benefitted from the genocide. This is a crime against humanity. 

The Duplessis orphans were mistreated and eliminated because of money. Only the corporation’s rights have been upheld, not that of the people. Our way is to hold ourselves to the truth. The Quebec government and its institutions like the SAQ [Quebec Liquor Board] have to be held accountable for their part in criminal actions to our people and to the orphans of all origins. What are we supposed to do when no corporate or religious institution seems to have the mandate to hold groups like the Sisters of Misericorde, the Quebec government and the SAQ accountable for the atrocities that were committed here and from which they are benefitting – the lobotomies, the pigsty cemetery, over which the first SAQ warehouse was built in 1975, transporting bodies in black plastic bags [we have seen the photos] of those bodies found by accident. The SAQ now inexplicably refuses to allow search dogs to survey the area to ensure that no burials or human remains will be destroyed or hidden. Refusing this recommendation from the leading national body of experts in searches for unmarked graves is immoral, unethical and inhuman., and pure evil.

The Quebec government made money changing the status of these children, most of whom were stolen from their families and designated as “mentally retarded”. What happened to us and to them is arguably one of the worst crimes against humanity that occurred in the Western world after the Second World War. The surviving Duplessis Orphans here are primarily witnesses to the horrors and atrocities they experienced which they tried to make public. They have been denied and betrayed every single time. I went to a funeral of three orphans. Hervé’s group doesn’t have enough money to put names on their gravestones. The orphans became family together and we are family with them. Many of them were Indigenous and had been hidden away as orphans, simply taken away, or sold for adoption if they were lucky, used for psychiatric experiments if they were not.

People’s power was taken away so they could not fight back or protect themselves. Our children and families were taken away to disempower us. The SAQ built its warehouse over the cemetery where more than 2000 people were buried. By refusing to let in search dogs who are capable of detecting the zones containing human remains, the SAQ is inferring that it will not account for the wrongs, even if it means infringing on human rights, breaking Federal and international law, and  breaching the ethical framework of a just society. Our ways are different, we respect everyone, we trust true dialogue and strive for understanding.

Yesterday, I asked to stop our meeting with the SAQ after they announced that the search dogs could not be used. The  voice of the orphans was ignored, as was their demand for search dogs to be used as recommended by the top experts in this country to make sure no grave will be desecrated or destroyed. It was very hurtful, insulting and abusive. In our ways we cannot speak with such dissonance. We must have a consensual discussion which is based on truth, peace and complete respect so we can arrive at a complete understanding. When sharp words and dealings happen, we must close the meeting and the parties must come back to the table when our minds agree to understand each other. If that mindset cannot be reached by state institutions like the SAQ, Quebec will have to reckon with the way their dead are being treated. This is very alarming.

SAQ obviously have never had a dog and they show their hatred by disallowing our blood hounds to go onto the land and be good dogs. As Red Foley sings about dogs:

When I was a ladAnd old Shep was a pupOver hills and meadows we’d strayJust a boy and his dogWe were both full of funWe grew up together that way
I remember the time at the old swimmin’ holeWhen I would have drowned beyond doubtBut old Shep was right thereTo the rescue he cameHe jumped in and then pulled me out
As the years fast did rollOld Shep, he grew oldHis eyes were fast growing dimAnd one day the doctor looked at me and said“I can do no more for him, Jim”
With hands that were tremblingI picked up my gunAnd aimed it at Shep’s faithful headI just couldn’t do it, I wanted to runI wish they would shoot me instead
He came to my side and looked up at meAnd laid his old head on my kneeI had struck the best friend a man ever hadI cried so I scarcely could see
Old Shep, he has gone where the good doggies goAnd no more with old Shep will I roamBut if dogs have a heaven there’s one thing I knowOld Shep has a wonderful home

 

mohawknationnews.com

MohawkMothers.ca

kahentinetha2@protonmail.com

AIN’T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG!

MNN. May 16, 2024. Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers: Details on stopping SAQ [Quebec Liquor Board] from starting their construction work on the former site of the former cemetary of St-Jean-de-Dieu “asylum” Tiohtià:ke /Montreal.

 Stab-in-the-back handshake.

SAYUMKI’YA’ASEH

On May 16, 2024, faced with the SAQ’s refusal to let the HHRDDs enter the site to ensure that no graves will be disturbed or destroyed, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers may have no choice but to seek to file the appropriate emergency legal applications, while being prepared to use mediation or negotiation before going to court if work is halted. On May 14, 2024, the Comité des Orphelins et Orphelines Institutionnalisé.es de Duplessis and the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera (Mohawk Mothers) sent a formal notice to the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), demanding an immediate halt to all excavation work on the site of the former pauper’s cemetery of the St-Jean-de-Dieu psychiatric “asylum” in Montreal’s east end. This move follows the SAQ’s categorical refusal to employ historic human remains detection dogs (HHRDD) and other non-invasive techniques recommended by the Canadian Archaeological Association’s Working Group on Unmarked Graves (CAAWGUG), the country’s leading authority on the proper techniques for investigating these contexts.

“The SAQ has ignored our repeated calls to thoroughly investigate this tragic site where Duplessis orphans and Indigenous children suffered abuse and inhumane medical experimentation,” said Kahentinetha, speaking on behalf of the Mohawk Mothers. “Their remains could be buried in unmarked graves that the SAQ is preparing to disturb with no respect for their dignity.” Rejecting the use of HHRDDs, the provincial Crown corporation chose to go ahead with its proposed development project immediately, disregarding the expert’s recommendations and the demands of the impacted communities and survivors, the Duplessis Orphans and the Mohawk Mothers. “This is an insult to the memory of our lost brothers and sisters,” added Hervé Bertrand, representing the Duplessis Orphans. “The SAQ must be held accountable and demonstrate transparency by immediately suspending work until a proper investigation is carried out.”

This formal notice is a response to the SAQ’s neglect of basic human rights and its refusal to promote reconciliation and healing. The groups involved are urging the media to amplify their voices and hold the SAQ accountable on this critically important issue. GBM partner Frédéric Bérard will be representing the Duplessis Orphans. Faced with the SAQ’s refusal to let the HHRDDs enter the site to ensure that no graves will be disturbed and destroyed, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers may have no choice but to seek to file the appropriate emergency legal applications, while being prepared to use mediation or negotiation before going to court if work is halted.

For interviews, further information or access to supporting documents, please contact Philippe Blouin at 514-463-8835 or philippe.enver.blouin@gmail.com.

____________

BACKGROUND & TIMELINE: On January 9, 2024, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers wrote a letter to the SAQ stating that work planned for a new automated distribution center risked disturbing and destroying human remains from the former cemetery known as the “pigsty cemetery”, where more than 2,000 patients from the St-Jean-de-Dieu psychiatric asylum whose bodies were unclaimed had been buried between the years 1870 and 1958. The Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers requested the use of non-invasive technologies, and of qualified, independent experts and cultural monitors during any archaeological investigations, and that a discussion be opened with the goal of discussing an independent inquiry into the history of the people buried in the cemetery, and the potential atrocities that led to these deaths.

The letter of January 9, 2024 reminded the SAQ that, after the Sisters of Providence had exhumed more than 2,000 bodies from this cemetery for unclaimed patient’s bodies in 1967, additional remains had been accidentally found in 1975, during the construction of the SAQ’s first warehouse, showing that the first exhumation had been incomplete. In 1975, these bodies were exhumed by a construction company and moved in plastic bags to a mass grave at Repos St-François d’Assise, without the presence of an archaeologist or forensic expert. In testimony to the Superior Court, Sister Marie-Paule Lévaque admitted that she did not know the exact extent of the cemetery. Then, in 1999, the Journal de Montréal reported another accidental discovery of human remains in a zone quite far from the “pigstry cemetery,” during a new SAQ warehouse expansion project led by SAQ president Gaétan Frigon and then Parti Québécois minister François Legault. The SAQ has been unable to locate or provide a report or any information whatsoever about the bones found in 1999.

Between February and May 2024, a total of eight (8) meetings took place between the SAQ, the Mohawk Mothers and the Duplessis Orphans. The latter two groups learned in April that on the very day of their first meeting, February 23, 2024, the SAQ had privately hired Arkéos Inc. to submit an archaeological permit application to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications (MCC), without consulting the Duplessis Orphans or the Mohawk Mothers. The inventory application submitted by the SAQ and its contractor avoided the requests of the Orphans and Mohawk Mothers for the use of non-invasive technologies specifically designed to detect human remains, such as georadar and Historic Human Remains Detection Dogs (HHRDD) – trained to detect historic human bones at depths of several metres – which are most appropriate when there is a potential for the discovery, disturbance and destruction of human remains.

The Arkéos inventory was not specifically designed to identify and preserve unmarked graves or burials, but rather to identify the remains of material heritage such as buildings, roads and artifacts. Its sampling approach, which suggested that the failure to find complete remains in four (4) trenches dug in certain areas of the site eliminated any possibility of human remains elsewhere, was insufficient to reassure survivors whose loved ones were buried in this cemetery as a result of mistreatment, which included lobotomies.

The Orphans have been calling since 2002 for the exhumation of the bodies buried in the “pigsty cemetery”, the heart of which lies beneath the current SAQ warehouse, to find the evidence of medical experiments and atrocities committed against children. Following the SAQ’s unilateral decision, the Duplessis Mothers and Orphans wrote to the MCC to make additional submissions to ensure that the archaeological permit would take into account the need to use non-invasive techniques to exclude or confirm the presence of human remains on the entire site, but their message was ignored by the Ministry.

Anxious to accommodate the work schedule, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers made a compromise at a meeting held on April 2, 2024, agreeing to work with the contractor selected by the SAQ for an archaeological inventory on the condition that SAQ request and respect the recommendations of independent experts specifically experienced in the use of non-invasive methods and in the search for unmarked graves. At this meeting, all parties agreed to involve Canada’s leading authority on the search for unmarked graves at residential school and on hospital grounds, the Canadian Archaeological Association’s Working Group on Unmarked Graves (CAAWGUG). In an e-mail dated April 4, 2024, the SAQ altered the verbal agreement to request and respect the CAAWGUG recommendations instead to a commitment to hold an information session with the CAAWGUG. As a result of this change of heart, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers had to cancel a traditional condolence ceremony to authorize and inaugurate Arkéos’ research according to Indigenous spiritual protocol.

On April 10, the SAQ finally agreed in writing to suspend work until the CAAWGUG had made its recommendations, and the condolence ceremony was held on April 16, 2024, followed by Arkéos’ inventory. Holding this ceremony was conditional on the involvement of CAAWGUG and a commitment that an independent investigation would be carried out in line with best practices determined by the experts specializing in archaeological investigations at sites potentially containing anonymous burials.

Representatives of CAAWGUG attended a meeting with all parties on May 8, 2024. At this meeting, the SAQ’s contractor, Arkéos, presented a preliminary report “liberating the site” from archaeological restrictions and not recommending any additional measures on site, not including the presence of archaeologists and cultural monitors during the construction work to identify human remains which might be discovered accidentally. It is important to note that the SAQ and Arkéos made this decision despite the fact that only just over half of the bones excavated at the site could be visually identified as being of animal origin, and that no laboratory tests were planned for bone fragments that could not be visually identified.

At the May 8, 2024 meeting, CAAWGUG representatives were finally able to obtain from the SAQ some of the documentation needed to make recommendations appropriate for the site’s context, and indicated that they would be able to provide their recommendations in less than seven (7) days to accommodate the SAQ’s concerns about their project timeline.

On May 9, 2024, reneging on its commitment to wait for the CAAWGUG report, the SAQ announced in a press release that the archaeological investigation was complete, that no human remains had been positively identified on the site, and that work would resume during the week of May 13, 2024. The CAAWGUG shared its official recommendations around the same time as the SAQ’s May 9 press release. In these recommendations, the CAAWGUG called for the use of HHRDD throughout the site and on the excavated bones to detect any human remains, as well as the presence of monitors during all excavation work.

On May 14, 2024, the SAQ held a meeting with the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers to announce that they had decided that the CAAWGUG recommendations would not be followed, that HHRDD would not be used on the site, and that construction would resume immediately without further action. In a press release dated May 15, 2024, the SAQ demonstrated an appalling lack of understanding of the work of the CAAWGUG, which it confused with the broader organization that is the Canadian Association of Archaeologists (CAA), stating that “the CAA is not a professional order, but an association that brings together archaeologists, amateur archaeologists and members of the general public.” This misinformation is extremely worrying coming from a provincial Crown-corporation that acknowledges it has “neither the expertise nor the authority to determine the process of archaeological investigation or analysis of recovered artifacts.” Unlike the CAA, the CAAWGUG brings together fifteen (15) professional archaeologists and scholars selected specifically for their expertise in the search for unmarked graves and burials in humanitarian contexts, such as residential schools. Far from a group of “amateur archaeologists”, the CAAWGUG was recently awarded the 2024 Governor General’s Award for Innovation, which noted that the group “continues to lead the nation with guidance, training, support and assistance for communities conducting searches for children who disappeared from residential schools.”

In its May 15, 2024 press release, the SAQ states, without further explanation, that “regarding the use of HHRDDs, we have referred the matter to the relevant authorities for evaluation. Their conclusions stipulate that this type of method is not appropriate for our site.” Without naming said “competent authorities”, this unjustified rejection of the use of HHRDDs is incomprehensible to the Orphans, the Mohawk Mothers and the survivors of the atrocities that took place at St-Jean-de-Dieu.

While the Arkéos inventory concluded that no human remains were found on the entire site based on samples limited to four (4) trenches, a report published by the U.S. Department of Defense established that HHRDD dogs can effectively differentiate human remains from animal bones (p. 94), even at a depth of 2 metres (p. 44). According to a recent study (Grebenkemper et al 2021, p. 235), HHRDDs have only a 0.06% probability of false positives when two dogs identify a target in the same location. The CAAWGUG, Canada’s leading authority on the subject, considers the use of HHRDD to be appropriate, if not essential, on the entire site and on the excavated bones, with a thorough understanding of the soil composition, as evidenced by the fact that the CAAWGUG does not recommend the use of georadar in its report given its potential ineffectiveness on the site’s clayey soils.

The Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers are taken aback by the SAQ’s refusal to allow HHRDDs to visit the site to ensure that burials and human remains are identified and protected before work begins. Above all, they are shocked that the SAQ would publicly disseminate misinformation. Once construction work resumes without any supervision – which may already be the case, as the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers have not been informed of the work schedule – nothing will be in place to protect the graves, which risk being disturbed, damaged and destroyed forever. Their request to implement, as initially promised, the recommendations that the CAAWGUG specifically identified as critical to identifying any unmarked graves or burials prior to the work is a very basic demand.

Faced with the SAQ’s refusal to let the HHRDDs enter the site to ensure that no graves will be disturbed and destroyed, the Duplessis Orphans and Mohawk Mothers may have no choice but to seek to file the appropriate emergency legal applications, while being prepared to use mediation or negotiation before going to court if work is halted.

*Comité des orphelins et orphelines institutionalisées de Duplessis, 135 rue Therrien Ste-Anne-des-Plaines (Québec) J5N 3B7 *h1bertrand@videotron.ca *Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera B.P. 991 Kahnawake (Mohawk Territory) J0L 1B0 kahnistensera@riseup.net

MEDIA CONTACT Philippe Blouin 514-463-8835 philippe.enver.blouin@gmail.com

Vintage Canadian legend and hippie chick, Joanie Mitchell, has the perfect lyrics in “Dog Eat Dog”:

It’s dog eat dog, I’m just waking upThe dove is in the dungeonAnd the white washed hawks pedal hate and call it loveDog Eat DogHoly hope in the hands ofSnakebite evangelists and racketeersAnd big wig financiers
Dog eat dogOn prime time crime the victim begsMoney is the road to justiceAnd power walks it on crooked legsPrimetime, CrimeHoly hope in the hands ofSnakebite evangelists and racketeersAnd big wig financiers
Where the wealth’s displayedThieves and sycophants paradeAnd where it’s madeThe slaves will be takenSome are treated wellIn these games of buy and sellAnd some like poor beastAre burdened down to breaking
Dog eat dogIt’s dog eat dog, ain’t it Flim Flam manDog eat dog, you can lie, cheat, skim, scamBeat’em any way you canDog eat DogYou’ll do well in this land ofSnakebite evangelists and racketeersYou could get to beA big wig financier
Land of snap decisionsLand of short attention spansNothing is savoredLong enough to really understandIn every culture in declineThe watchful ones among the slavesKnow all that is genuine will beScorned and conned and cast away
Dog eat dogPeople looking, seeing nothingDog eat dogPeople listening, hearing nothingDog eat dogPeople lusting, loving nothingDog eat dogPeople stroking, touching nothingDog eat dogKnowing nothingDog eat dog
Dog Eat Dog

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kahnistensera@sunrise.net

MohawkMothers.ca

GREAT PEACE IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALEST’INDIANS


These words were shared by participants of the 50th Anniversary of the Geniengeh Land Back Celebration that happened last weekend.

MNN. May. 13, 2024. The attempt by McGill University, which is on indigenous land, to move the Palestinian student encampment from McGill through colonial court action cannot happen as they come under the protecto o0g the tree of peace. Should Canadian colonial authorities try to invade them, they will be trespassing on Mohawk land. They pretend to have a legal and moral right to be here. But they do not. According to the great peace, which encircles turtle island, any who follow the great white roots of peace to their source are welcome to sit under the shade of the tree of peace with us. The kahnistensera/council of women is the basis of peace on earth. All life on earth has a right to seek survival and refuge under the great peace, which supercedes any foreign laws brought to turtle island. If their minds are clean and follow the kaianerekowa, they are welcome. Kasastensera kowa sa oiera is the great natural power of creation which gives them the right to seek refuge under the great tree of peace. It is all about kanonkwatsera, which is about love, the most powerful medicine on earth. Every child knows to love a stranger like a friend. Love a friend like family.  All those protecting their people and all life are following the great law of peace. The fire in our minds to survive and be free comes from creation which applies to all life.  
 
Part 1
Kanien'keha:ka at McGill Encampment for Palestine (Part 1)

Part 2

Kanien'keha:ka at McGill Encampment for Palestine (Part 2)

Part 3

Kanien'keha:ka at McGill Encampment for Palestine (Part 3)

Robbie Robertson tells the story: t

The general rode for sixteen daysThe horses were thirsty and tiredOn the trail of a renegade chiefOne he’d come to admireThe soldiers hid behind the hillsThat surrounded the villageAnd he rode down to warn the chiefThey’d come to conquer and pillage
Lay down your armsLay down your spearThe chief’s eyes were sadBut showed no sign of fear
It is a good day to die (It is a good day to die)Oh my children dry your eyesIt is a good day to die
And he spoke of the days before the white man cameWith his guns and whiskyHe told of a time long agoBefore what you call historyThe general couldn’t believe his wordsNor the look on his faceBut he knew these people would rather dieThen have to live in this disgrace
What law have I brokenWhat wrong have I doneThat makes you want to bury meUpon this trail of blood
It is a good day to die (It is a good day to die)Oh my children don’t you cryIt is a good day to die
We cared for the land and the land cared for usAnd that’s the way it’s always beenNever asked for more never asked too muchAnd now you tell me this is the end
I laid down my weaponI laid down my bowNow you want to drive me outWith no place left to go
It is a good day to die (It is a good day to die)Oh my children don’t you cryIt is a good day to die (It is a good day to die)
And he turned to his people and said dry your eyesWe’ve been blessed and we are thankfulRaise your voices to the skyIt is a good day to die
Oh my children don’t you cry (don’t you cry)Dry your eyesRaise your voice up to the skyIt is a good day to die
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - It is a good day to die

 Kahnistensera@Uprising.net

kahentinetha2@protonmail.com

MohawkMothers.ca

DOGS TO SEARCH FOR UNMARKED GRAVES

HHRDD HISTORIC HUMAN REMAINS DETECTION DOGS

TO SEARCH FOR UNMARKED GRAVES AT SAQ QUEBEC GOVT.  LIQUOR WAREHOUSE

***PRESS RELEASE** __FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION___

MNN. MAY. 10, 2024.

May 10, 2024. 

On May 9, 2024, the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) issued a press release announcing that construction work for a new warehouse in Montreal’s east end will soon resume after the completion of an archaeological inventory performed by the firm it hired, Arkéos. In January 2024, the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera (Mohawk Mothers), in tandem with the Comité des Orphelins et Orphelines Institutionalisé des Duplessis, had reached out to the SAQ to ask for measures to protect human remains on a site where the SAQ wants to build a new automated warehouse for wine, beer and spirits.

The grounds upon which this development project is situated have a tragic history. It was used as a mass grave where the unclaimed bodies of thousands of patients of the St-Jean-de-Dieu psychiatric hospital were fed to the pigs called “the cemetery of the ill” or “the pigsty cemetery”. Indigenous patients were present in addition to Duplessis Orphans, who are largely Quebecois children born out of wedlock or from low-income families that were sent to asylums and orphanages. They were abused after being incorrectly re-categorized as intellectually disabled by Prime Minister Maurice Duplessis. They were kept in forced labour, denied education rights, sexually abused and experimented upon. The Sisters of Providence, who ran St-Jean-de-Dieu, said they exhumed the entire cemetery in 1967. But many additional bodies were found after the SAQ bought the land and started to build a warehouse, in 1975. After further construction in 1999, bones were reportedly found that were never confirmed to be non-human.

Since last January, the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera [Mohawk Mothers] and the Duplessis Orphans have met with SAQ representatives to discuss a respectful and thorough search for human remains before any construction work begins. On April 10, 2024, all parties agreed that an archeological inventory would be gathered using the SAQ’s contractor Arkéos provided that the Canadian Archaeological Association’s Working Group on Unmarked Graves (CAAWGUG) would peer-review the reports and provide additional recommendations before the construction begins. A traditional Mohawk condolence ceremony was conducted and then Arkéos’ inventory began.

The SAQ received the CAAWGUG recommendations on May 9, 2024, just after the SAQ announced they would be continuing construction beginning next week, following the completion of Arkéos’ preliminary archaeological report. As the leading national body of experts formed to address the need for research into the mass genocide of Indigenous people at sites like residential schools, the CAAWGUG recommended the use of Historic Human Remains Detection Dogs (HHRDD), and to identify any human bones found by Arkéos on the site. So far nearly half have not yet been determined as human or animal. The CAAWGUG recommended further investigation using archaeological techniques based on their expertise in finding and identifying unmarked graves and burials to be conducted before any development commences. 

In light of the CAAWGUG’s recommendations and according to our agreement with the SAQ, that there will be further discussions before development continues as announced in its press release. We all want to rely on expertise and best practices. We expect to continue the cooperative and respectful spirit of previous discussions. As the CAAWGUG stated, continuing the development without further investigation would risk disturbing and potentially destroying the graves of the most vulnerable of our society. They died of maltreatment while survivors were retraumatized in one of the darkest chapters of our history. Such a decision would be unprecedented in our discussions with the SAQ thus far regarding a respectful and thorough investigation. We would not meet with anyone intent on disturbing the graves of the dead for the sake of commercial development. We are committed to a respectful dialogue and to implementing the advice of the best experts to respect and honor the survivors and the memory of the victims of these atrocities. 

Judy Garland searched for answers to life and finally threw in the towel and sang that “life is just a bowl of cherries”: 

People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about

Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s time that we found out
We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday
Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
You work, you save, you worry so
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go
So keep repeating it’s the berries
The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries
So live and laugh at it allLife is just a bowl of cherries
Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
At eight each morning I have got a date
To take my plunge ’round the Empire State
You’ll admit it’s not the berries
In a building that’s so tall
There’s a guy in the show, the girls love to kiss
Get thousands a week just for crooning like this
Life is just a bowl of, aw, nuts!
So live and laugh at it all!
Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries
box 991, kahnawake, quebec, canada J0L 1B0

PALESTINIAN-MOHAWK SOLITARITY


MNN. May 8, 2024. Karohianoron passes his words to our indigenous relatives of Palestine:

Protesters walking the street, holding signs and Hiawatha Belt wampum.

“Tekaianewà:konke’: Mohawk-Palestinian Solidarity at the McGill University Encampment Shé:kon sewakwé:kon. Karonhia’nó:ron ióntiats. Kanehsatà:ke nitewaké:non tánon wakeniáhton. I introduce myself to you in my language, Kanien’kéha, the language of this land, my mother, which so many of you call home today. My name is Karonhia’nó:ron, my family is from Kanehsatà:ke and I belong to the Turtle Clan.

I’ve just returned from Saskatchewan, where I attended a meeting for Indigenous archaeologists who are working to protect unmarked graves of Indigenous children across Turtle Island. What I bring back with me is a reminder of the importance of nurturing community and political alliances across Indigenous nations. That is why I wanted to be here with you today. I want to make it clear that what I share with you today is shared on my own initiative. I feel very strongly that it is my duty to use the voice I was given to speak the truth, to bring people together, and to call out any injustice that I see happening before me. I echo the support that has been voiced by my cousin Ellen Gabriel, as well as by the Kanien’kehá:ka Kahnisténsera.

It is my understanding that Onkwehonweh have stood in solidarity with the people of Palestine for some time now. We have been learning from each other about how to survive, resist, rebuild, and reharmonize for ages. This is because our struggles are one and the same. As my elder and mentor Kahentinétha Horn wrote nearly a decade ago, “the Zionist butchers massacring Palestinians in Gaza are the same interests that carried out the genocide of 150 million Indigenous people in the Western hemisphere” (Mohawk Nation News 2014).

Know that you are allowed to be here, and we are with you. That McGill University refuses to acknowledge its complicity in, let alone divest from, the genocidal project that maintains the existence of the Israeli state at the expense of the lives of thousands upon thousands of Palestinians unfortunately comes as no surprise to me. As some of you may know, I have been involved in the search for unmarked graves at the site of the Old Royal Victoria Hospital and the Allan Memorial Institute since the summer of 2022. I have seen nothing except the very same violent, denialist narratives being deployed against my people. I have seen the authority of the Kahnisténsera as the caretakers of this land disrespected, repeatedly; I have seen empirical evidence of human remains dismissed, repeatedly; I have seen the lives of my Ancestors and their belonging to this land erased, repeatedly. University administrators have made it very clear that their goal is to ensure that no evidence of unmarked graves are ever found so that they can plow forward with the expansion of their campus.

All the while, they continue to make enunciated commitments to “listen” to Indigenous peoples and pursue reconciliation. This university has spent millions of dollars fighting the Kahnisténsera in court. This battle has been going on for years, and continues to this day. I’m sure all of you here are aware that your tuition moneys are being used to fund the massacre of Palestinians. But did you know that this last December, Provost Christopher Manfredi stated in a university-wide notice that your tuition fees are also being used to support McGill’s efforts to deny the sovereignty of the Mohawk people and the right of the Kahnisténsera to protect the earth and all of her children, past, present and future? (see “Update on the New Vic Project and clarification of salient facts”).

I want to make something very clear: McGill has been illegally occupying Mohawk territory for over 250 years. This institution exists thanks to the theft of moneys meant to be held in trust by the Crown Corporation of Canada on behalf of the Rotinonshón:ni. As such, President Deep Saini’s repeated insistence on McGill’s supreme authority over what can and cannot occur on so-called “campus property” is not only repugnant, but based in a complete lack of understanding– perhaps even a willful ignorance– of the brutal history of this institution. The way of this land is the Kaianereh’kó:wa, and all foreigners are subject to the stipulations of the Teiohate or Two Row wampum. As an invader, McGill University is in violation of both of these. Worst of all, by committing themselves to actively participating in the genocide of Indigenous peoples here and in Palestine, McGill administrators are desecrating the kasahsténsera’kó:wa saoié:ra– that is, the great natural power of creation, and of life on earth. As such, this university and its beloved investors must account for the Indigenous children whose lives they have destroyed by immediately divesting from any and all interests implicated in the genocide of the Palestinian peoples and Kanien’kehà:ka.

Remember that while you are fighting against powers with an affinity for violence and death, you are also fighting for the continuation of natural life. Remember that you are not alone, that you are carrying on the legacy of all of those who came before you, and that you are taking up this struggle in hopes that the children who come after you will know only peace, freedom, and happiness.

To my loved ones who call Palestine their home, know that it is creation that placed you there; that your life is precious, and your bond with Mother Earth is sacred. I wish to leave with you a gift which has framed my understanding of solidarity for quite some time. The closest equivalent to “partnership” or “collaboration” in Kanien’kéha is the word tekaianewà:konke’. It describes the concept of two people walking upon the same path together, and who hold each other accountable to stay on that path. It is my understanding that so many different peoples have come to support the encampment. I’m sure you all have different ideas for how things should be conducted, or how your goals should be pursued. At the end of the day, we each have our own hearts and minds. But you must stay together on this path.

For me, it is the children who keep me in line, who remind me of the horizon we are walking towards together. Do not let anyone corrupt your soul with anxiety, fear, or a lust for power. To reiterate the words of my cousin Ellen: WE ARE ALL PALESTINIAN. Nià:wen’kó:wa, thank you. I lay my medicines down for you and send the strength and resilience of my ancestors your way. Karonhia’nó:ron Rati’niáhton 

Edwin Star asks about “War, what is it good for?” and answers, “Nothing!”:

Edwin Starr - War (Original Video - 1969)
War, huh, yeahWhat is it good for?Absolutely nothing, uhhWar, huh, yeahWhat is it good for?Absolutely nothingSay it again, y’allWar, huh (good God)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, listen to me, oh
War, I despise‘Cause it means destruction of innocent livesWar means tears to thousands of mother’s eyesWhen their sons go off to fightAnd lose their lives
I said, war, huh (good God, y’all)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, just say it againWar (whoa), huh (oh Lord)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, listen to me
It ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker(War) Friend only to The UndertakerOh, war it’s an enemy to all mankindThe thought of war blows my mindWar has caused unrestWithin the younger generationInduction then destructionWho wants to die? Oh
War, huh (good God y’all)What is it good for?Absolutely nothingSay it, say it, say itWar (uh-huh), huh (yeah, huh)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, listen to me
It ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker(War) It’s got one friend that’s The UndertakerOh, war, has shattered many a young man’s dreamsMade him disabled, bitter and meanLife is much too short and preciousTo spend fighting wars each dayWar can’t give lifeIt can only take it away, oh
War, huh (good God y’all)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, say it again
War (whoa), huh (oh Lord)What is it good for?Absolutely nothing, listen to me
It ain’t nothing but a heart breaker(War) Friend only to The Undertaker, wooPeace, love and understanding, tell meIs there no place for them today?They say we must fight to keep our freedomBut Lord knows there’s got to be a better way, oh
War, huh (God y’all)What is it good for? You tell me (nothing)Say it, say it, say it, say it
War (good God), huh (now, huh)What is it good for?Stand up and shout it (nothing)
MohawkMothers,ca

GREAT MEETING, GRAND ENTRANCE @ MCGILL ENCAMPMENT


PREVIEW OF FORTHCOMING GREAT PEACE MEETING 

WATCH FORTHCOMING VIDEO OF THE FIRST GREAT MEETING BETWEEN MOHAWKS AND MONTREAL  STUDENTS.  WE ALL HAVE THE SAME ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM CREATION: TO CARRY OUT THE GREAT PEACE!

MNN. MAY 3, 2024.

May 5, 2024

thahoketoteh reminds the world that the original instructions of creation are for all the people of the world, our house is for all living earthlings our Mother Earth and the kanonronkwatsera/pure love that she exudes, the best medicine on the planet. and all its natural ways. Hear the “House of Healing”:

How many more times do you need to fall down, pick yourself up, shake it off, and put your feet back on the ground. Hear the wind blow, feel the breeze in your face. Come to our house of healing and awake. There’s so much trouble on our Mother Earth. She gives us everything we need with. so little in return. And with the rains, there comes a cleansing. Come to our house of healing. Everything. is in this place… We are all one with our creator. Ooh heal me. Ooh heal me …

 MohawkMothers.ca

kahnistensera@riseup.com

mohawknationnews.com

box 991,  kahnawake quebec canada J0L 1B0

kahentinetha2@protonmail.com

 

MOHAWK KNOWLEDGE KEEPER PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO “PALESTINIAN ENCAMPMENT” @ MCGILL

TODAY, MAY 3, 2024, AT 3.00, KANIENKEKAH WORDS WILL BE. PROVIDED BY TEKARONTAKE, A KEEPER OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, AT THE MCGILL ENCAMPMENT ON MOHAWK LAND FOR ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.

 

MNN May 3, 2024.The kahnistensera Mohawk Mothers wholly support the encampment that the McGill students and professors set up to demand that McGill divests from the ongoing genocide of indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza. 

In 2015 Palestinian students at McGill came to see us to share their concerns that McGill is conducting military research in its “war labs” that were used against Paleistinians. As a result one of the Mohawk Mothers issued a notice of seizure of McGill Universsity on September 12, 2012, which sits on Mohawk Kanienkehaka land. Since then the Mohawk have experienced McGill’s ongoing colonial enterprise both against the Palestinians and Kanienkehaka. 

McGill is now using its students tuition money to appeal a judgment the Mohawk Mothers obtained at the Montreal Superior Court to make them respect a settlement agreement signed with the Mohawk Mothers to allow expert archaeologists to search for the potential unmarked graves of the Mohawk and other relatives used as guinea pigs in medical experiments at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

“Why does McGill continue to invest its money to fight us and other indigenous people throughout the world? McGill has to divest all the money it is devoting to fight against the indigenous rights, dignity and lives here on Turtle Island and in the Middle East. We stand with the encampment and the students are here on our unceded territory with our permission. 

The Superior Court of Montreal also agree they are doing nothing illegal. We Mohawks kanienkehaka have our own legal system since time immemorial, the Great Peace, which promotes non-violent peaceful and egalitarian resolution between all peoples regaredless of their race and color. 

McGill would be better to abide by our way which is on our territory, to avoid sowing more conflict and violence as it is now doing.  

niawen”

As the the students resist and persist to end the wars,  Karonhiatajegeh’s Unity flag flies in the middle of it and we can hear whispers of the students saying “God Bless Louis Hall”, as we know that Karohiatajegeh hears it in the spirit world and smiles upon us. “You are you. I am me. He is he. She is she. When we put our minds together, we are  the people, all children of mother earth. We are one . Celebrate. The power of one mind, participate. The power is the people. Not the money or the war. Let’s raise our voices so they hear us. Let them roar. No more killing of our own family. Let’s give peace a berth. ‘Cause we’re all in this together. We the people of Mother Earth”.

 MohawkMothers.ca

Kahnistensera@Riseup.com

mohawknationnews.com

box 991 kahnawake quebec canada J0L 1B0 kahentinetha2@protonmail.com

LIVE. “LET’S TALK NATIVE” WITH JOHN KANE 4/27/24

 

EXPOSING ONKWEHONWENET ‘TURTLE ISLAND’ LAND CLAIM THEFT. 

Tactics being used to place indigenous people in positions to steal our land through frauds. The broadcast is self-explanatory by two onkwehonweh, John Kane and tekarontake Paul Delaronde. Send this out immediaqtely. 

LTN #581 Live from Akwesasne with John Kane and Tekarontake: LAND CLAIMS!

There will be more information on the next broadcasts.

thahoketoteh explains very main principles of the two row wampum applicable to our lives now. “What a magic place this is, the giver of all life and teacher to all. It starts as a trickle in the hills and continues growing wider on its call. Feeding everything on its path and asking nothing but respect from the biggest tree to the smallest insect. It then becomes a highway of fish, men and beast continuing on its journey that will never ever cease. Chorus: The river of life has many falls, twists and turns and steep walls. We travel down it in our own way. The same has been from the very first day. i’ll stay in my canoe. You stay in your boat. I only  hope you stay afloat. I’ll smile at you. You wave at me and we’ll continue on towards the sea”.

Contact:

MOHAWK MOTHERS DECLARE THE GENOCIDE IS OVER

Please post & distribute immediately. Thank you.

COMMENTS TO QUEBEC SUPERIOR COURT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND TO OBTAIN A SAFEGUARD ORDER ON SEPT. 14, 2023. CASE #500-17-120468-221: Kaheninetha et al v. SQI, McGill University, et all.; and Intervenors Independant Spedical Interlocateur for Missing Children & Unmarked Graves…. 

MNN. Sept. 15, 2023. “Shé :kon Sewakwe :kon. I am Kahentinetha, a Kahnistensera. I’m 84 years old, a great grand mother. Much of what we are doing at McGill and SQI are based on my experience, and that of the people I’ve known.

I was born in 1940. Many of our teachers at the day school I attended as a child were soldiers who just came back from the war. They were in charge and took a military approach to help Canada to annihilate us. They moved from the European theatre and to home grown Canadian war for Indian land, which continues to this day. They are trained killers sent to train the Indigenous children. It was the army managing us. Managing our disappearance. I have known about what was done to our children, to Inuit children too, in some of these hospitals. Children strapped to their stretchers, trapped in caskets. Horrible things. They came to get the weakest and the strongest of us. Intelligence tests at the Allan Memorial Institute to screen us and incarcerate the unruly, of which they studied the mind, to understand how it is that we think, the reasons why we are still ourselves, Onkwehonweh, and never became Canadians.

I’m here for these lost children, to know what happened to them, and who did it, without lawyers and no funds, just using our way against the corporation of Canada.

That’s why I came to the crime site on Mount Royal every day, without pay, to do the words to open the day, to see how things are going, that our ancestors and children are respected and that they are being found. It wasn’t easy. The toilets were filthy. We had to walk through dangerous construction sites, high fences around, and the security attacking us. A nightmare. I was reminded of when my daughter was stabbed in the chest by a soldier in 1990. Genocide is a nightmare that I have been through and that I witnessed. My family was targeted as a traditional longhouse family. Non-Indigenous people often have a hard time understanding that. They were and are still not told the complete story. If we could get the archives we are asking for, if there was a real commitment to transparency for ethnic crimes committed on us in the post-war period, it would help us. 

Justice Moore stated in the injunction that he ordered last October that no party disputed the fact that the investigation must be “Indigenous-led”. The settlement agreement provided that Cultural Monitors appointed by the Kahnistensera must be on the site. Only a fraction of our cultural monitors have received a basic safety training, and certainly nothing that would allow us to securely monitor heavy machinery on the site. We have no real protective equipment to do that. We were expected to use filthy toilets that were on the other side of the site, in an area under construction where they were stockpiling bricks in high stacks, that could fall on us at any time. We were attacked by the SQI’s security guards, and SQI  told us they wouldn’t come back, but we just stumbled on them last Sunday still working there. They were there all the time! I don’t understand how it can be so complicated to understand what Indigenous-led means! It means something that is safe for us to do things our own way, to burn our tobacco, to make decisions together using our consensual decision making system. Now the Defendants say something new that they didn’t even tell us about before starting to drill the site. They say they built another fenced area in between all the other fences, creating an open air prison to put us in and hopefully protect us from rocks flying over and guards insulting us. By any stretch of the imagination this cannot be considered lawful, let alone safe, in any law, Mohawk or Canadian.

Being on the site was not easy in a context where the Defendants apparently do not want us to be there at all. We are facing constant pressure. The slightest attitude that doesn’t fit within non-Indigenous people’s understanding of what it means to be nice was denounced immediately. I was very sorry to learn that Sophie Mayes from the SQI resorted to pulling emails from some service providers that they had contracted who apparently did not like the way us Mohawk women conduct ourselves. I do not want to perpetuate and thus endorse the Defendants’ disturbing use of defamation and ad hominem attacks through quoting non-Indigenous third parties in their submissions. Such accusations are absolutely baseless and reflect the fundamental problem with the way the Defendants unilaterally sign contracts with service providers that end up thinking they work for them, along with non-disclosure agreements and a client-provider relation that excludes the Indigenous people who are the only party that has a vested interest in the credibility of the investigation. When someone like Brian Whiting, department manager at GeoScan, says that he was upset by what I told him when he came to see me last weekend during a GPR survey, he doesn’t say that what I was asking him about is why we cannot access the raw data from the GPR, and why experts cannot get that data and analyse it. He finally admitted that it was because he is under contract with the SQI, and his allegiance goes to who is paying. At the same time, as Kwetiio said before, Mr Whiting’s own recommendations were not followed by the Defendants regarding the unknown anomalies. The SQI and McGill simply decided to ignore them. I know the settlement agreement does not allow them to do that. Nobody on our side of the room would ever have signed such a document.

To finish, I have something to say that I learned after my affidavit was completed, and that I couldn’t include in our submissions. But it happened. An indigenous person called me, who had been contacted by Pierre Major from McGill University, starting a few weeks ago, and again these last days. McGill was searching for a cultural monitor for archaeological work at the Royal Victoria site. This was done without telling us, or involving us, as if McGill wanted to continue their work by hiring their own monitors. The settlement agreement provides that it is the Kahnistensera who appoint the cultural monitors. The person was offered a good salary, a hotel, benefits, and a McGill masters degree. Mr. Major also said a few disparaging words about us, the Mohawk Mothers. We were ‘mean’ women who were not nice to security guards on the site. Aggressive, hysterical women, basically. Obviously the person didn’t believe a word of it. He said he knows how Indigenous woman are. It’s not the first time I’m contacted by people who are approached that way by the Defendants. I ask you to stop this now and show some respect for your elders. I am your elder too. It’s clear to me that the service providers were constantly hearing bad things about us, and became very reactive and apprehensive when we approached them. But the majority of them were very nice and asked us questions, including the two technicians from GeoScan that Mr. Whiting described as upset by our presence. Actually they asked us a lot of questions, and we explained them. They told us about their work to help us explain this to our people. They participated in our ceremonies. The way it should be, very simply, to be real human beings, Onkwehonweh. That’s the way we can truly change our relationship and become free.

I know it’s my right to do this. It’s my responsibility according to the Kaianerehkowa. I am a Kahnistensera, and I declare the genocide is now over.”

 

 

So as Willie Nelson reminds everyone, the party’s over. 

thahoketoteh mohawknationnews@ntk.com  MNN court correspondent

box 991, kahnawake, que. canada J0L 1B0 kahentinetha2@protonmail.com

MohawkMothers.ca

mohawknationnews.com

JUDGE TO MAKE DECISION MONDAY SEP.13/23

PRESS RELEASE 

Please post & circulate immediately.

 

MNN. Sep. 15/23. September 14, 2023. Quebec Superior Court, District of Montreal. Oral submissions by Kahnistensera vs SQI, McGill et al. Judge will make a decision next Monday: REGARDING 20 T0 70 FALSE POSITIVES  FLAGGED BY THREE DOGS & GPR [ground penetrating radar]. Mohawk Mothers. face ‘denialism’, ‘disbanding’ of Expert Panel, and other questionable actions.

Kwetiio,  Bear. Clan: “A grave matter brings me here which. is about to get disastrous. The last time we were here was to discuss the findings, by Historic Human Remains Detection Dogs (HHRDD), of the scent of decaying human remains in front of the wall of the Hersey Pavilion, the Nurses’ Residence of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Since then, in several public releases – and again in Pierre Major’s affidavit filed yesterday – McGill University quotes a study underscoring between 20 and 70 percent of false positives for HHRDD. What McGill doesn’t mention is that this number is exponentially reduced when other dogs alert. At the Hersey pavilion, three dogs flagged. McGill’s communications also didn’t mention was a 12-year-old study, which specifies that dogs become more efficient with further training – and HHRDD have gotten much better since 12 years. They don’t mention either that the study’s sample was only three dog teams, that it was only based on teeth, and that it defined false positives,: “based on alert distance from target, it is important to recognize that these false positives do not necessarily translate to the equivalent of a dog alerting in a blank area”.. They don’t mention either that the dogs in this study were not HHRDD but HRD, which smell recent human remains instead of historic, older ones, and which have an entirely different training. Another study, this one from 2021, that was cited by the Panel of archaeologists but not by McGill, states that “the probability that two dogs would have a false positive at the same box is less than 0.06%”. This is from “Applying Canine Detection in Support of Collaborative Archaeology”, by Grebenkemper et al.

We sent the full exhibit this morning and we brought copies of the relevant pages for all parties. Right in front of the wall of the Hersey Pavilion of the Royal Vic, not two but three dogs alerted. Calling this an absence of evidence is outright denialism and rejection of science. Last time we were here, Mister Justice, the Defendants denied that there was any evidence of remains. Now they are stating the same notion publicly, that no evidence has been found, that the investigation is over. They don’t mention the woman’s dress – that was handled without any forensic care when it was taken out of the ground and that was admittedly almost put in the garbage. They don’t mention the old children’s shoes, all the allegedly “animal” bones, the ball of hair or the very concerning so-called slag, this purple/maroonish substance poured all over a layer of soil, which was apparently used to “sanitize” it, and as we recently learned, perhaps also to decompose organic matter. That we don’t quite know, because the Defendants and their contractors did not deem advisable to study it further.

We were told that HHRDD dogs can detect human DNA even after bodies are decomposed. This has to be looked into. But it wasn’t done, in the absence of the Panel to recommend it. For the same reason we were not able to investigate the horrid fetid smell coming from a layer of soil, that slowly dissipated when it dried in a pile under the sun, nor the smell that came from the pipe protruding out of the Hersey building, exactly where the three dogs alerted.

Denialism is what we are facing. It is sad, sorry, and for us, retraumatizing. Constant gaslighting. The Panel and dog handlers all suggested searching a 10 meter radius around the spot. Ethnoscop asked about entering the building. The SQI refused. End of the story! They claim the investigation is over, there are no remains!  In addition to the 9 potential graves detected, of which we ended up having a (rather botched) report yesterday – not as a report shared with us, but as an exhibit shared by Mrs. Mayes from SQI after the 4pm deadline.

The GPR survey by GeoScan detected a great number of unknown anomalies in the Priority Zone which have never received any attention, even though GeoScan’s report deemed that they could be graves of children or graves without coffins, like our ancestors did. Those anomalies have been entirely pushed to the wayside by the Defendants, and silenced in all their communications. A cluster of potential graves and unknown anomalies is situated immediately next to where the Defendants started heavy excavation work on Tuesday, in defiance of the upcoming court hearing. on Sep. 14/23. Mrs. Mayes’ affidavit also includes another piece of information which we were never made aware of, even though we were the very instigators of this whole process. In Exhibit SMC-15, Mr Whiting, from GeoScan, responds to the SQI complaining that their report suggested the numerous unknown anomalies could be unmarked graves, by saying: “What I usually recommend in these cases is to absolutely approach the “potential” graves as if they are in fact graves, and investigate with full archaeological protocols. In the case of the “unknown” features, these are normally approached with a sampling strategy. In particular I usually suggest archaeological excavation/testing of the closest Unknown features to the features we ID as “potential”, say within a 10 m radius of each potential. If any of the unknowns turn out in fact to be burials, then expand the radius another 5 m and continue testing unknowns until all are negative. There may also be some unknowns or clusters of unknowns some distance away from any potentials that should be tested. Especially if they look rectangular in map view”.

Mr Whiting of GeoScan then suggests drafting a sampling strategy. The SQI do not respond to this professional advice, nor will it ever, as it is now to be assumed, because SQI executives are not experts in searching for unmarked graves, and are not qualified to manage this investigation. In fact all their actions indicate they do not wish it ever happened at all. They refused to share the data with the Panel who asked and who. were jointly selected with them through painstaking negotiations. The settlement agreement specifies that all parties must be guided by the Panel’s recommendations as to who should analyze the data. A clear breach of the agreement. They refused to share it with the Canadian Archaeological Association’s Working Group on Unmarked Graves, the top experts in Canada, for a peer review, as asked for by the Panel too. This is McGill, a world class institution and the SQI, a public body from the Quebec government, doing this. Refusing expertise. Disbanding the Panel, to simply take over the whole process.

It is unexplainable that any credible investigation would operate without project managers who know what they are doing and have expertise. Agreeing on three experts to provide recommendations was the bottom line of the agreement. To stop arguing, and let the experts decide what is the best to way to find, protect and respect human burials on the site of this hospital. This is where some of worst medical experiments in human history took place. We repeat again it: we are here to find our children, to find the truth of what happened, and who is accountable.

Cherry picking which of the Panel’s recommendations they would implement came to define the defendants’ methodology. The Panel asked to carefully excavate GPR targets and sift the soil? The Defendants rather used mechanical excavators rushing through 8 holes in a single day and immediately refilled them back, unsifted. The Panel asked to use S4 Probes in the Soil. It wasn’t done. On July 25th we were literally attacked by the SQI’s security, who grabbed our camera to erase images of their racially charged insults of Indigenous elders on the site. McGill and SQI gave us their best assurances that they would not be there anymore. Last Sunday, who do we see on the site where GPR was being done? The same security guards! After the assault we couldn’t return there for three weeks and the piles of soil excavated around the dog’s target were just left to the rain, unattended. The Panel wrote to say they should be covered.

That’s the value of having a Panel overview an investigation. The Panel also said at that time that it would be necessary to involve a forensic specialist with the Panel to protect the chain of custody of evidence. The Defendants simply dismissed their recommendation, refusing to treat the search for unmarked graves in any credible and professional way. Many other Panel recommendations that were rejected by the Defendants emphasized that it was necessary for the Panel to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations, to adapt to the reality of what is happening on the ground. The Panel reported that it needs “to be informed of the outcome of any related work – Archival research, HHRDD investigations, GPR survey, S4 probe and monitoring. The Panel will review these reports and provide updated recommendations (if warranted) within 1 month of receipt of each report”. A Panel member explained that it was a professional and ethical obligation to follow up on their recommendations.

SQI and McGill decided to manage everything themselves, through contracts and non-disclosure agreements, to be judge and jury, and to manage and argue that somehow it’s a good thing that experts are not involved and have no say. McGill University submits that the agreement has not been breached, that only monitoring was required in the zone where they excavated last Tuesday, and that there is nothing to see. “Just trust McGill”, they said in this Court last October. The Defendants do not dispute, apparently, that the spirit of the agreement was breached many times by them as well as their letters. McGill and SQI suggest that the agreement limited the mandate of the Panel to selecting archaeological techniques, and that they had no say in how they would be applied. Mcgill and SQI would entirely take over the investigation. We strongly disagree with such a distorted interpretation of the agreement. However, the Defendants state that the only way the Panel could come back would be under Section 17 of the agreement, which provides that “if following the execution of the Techniques, there are no graves identified in a given area, the excavation work can begin on a rolling basis, in a sensitive manner with appropriate monitoring that will allow a prompt reaction in the event there is some unexpected discovery, at which point McGill, SQI and the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera will seek the advice of the Panel as to how to move forward.”

The last time we were in this Court after the dog’s finding, McGill and SQI argued that since this was an unexpected discovery Section 17 would apply, and they deferred to the panel asking to excavate a 10 meter radius around the target. A 10 meter radius from which the Defendants somehow managed to exclude inside the building, even though the target is just next to the wall. Now they entirely changed their interpretation, and they say that Section 17 does not apply and that there is no use bringing in the Panel. We could think that they’d rather rely on the expertise of the service providers, like GPR technicians, but that’s not even the case since they dismissed GeoScan’s recommendation to investigate unknown anomalies that are the closest to potential grave anomalies.

The Defendants now suggest that the only “unexpected discovery” that could bring back any sort of expert in the picture would be after a body is found, after a backhoe or an excavator hits human bones. Yet the SQI admitted, in an email by Sophie Mayes shared on August 1st (Exhibit MM-8), that there is no way that the Panel could be involved if a body was found: “If Ethnoscop’s professionals identify human bones on site, the latter will be legally obligated to immediately inform the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Montreal Police Department (including the Coroner). Consequently, in the event of such discovery, neither Ethnoscop, the SQI, the Panel, McGill nor the Kahnistensera will have control over the following steps.” Therefore, the SQI ruled out the possibility that the “unexpected discovery” bringing back the Panel as per Section 17 of the agreement applies to human burials. The only other possible interpretation of Paragraph 17 is that an “unexpected discovery” actually means something three HHRDD alerting on human remains, or Ground Penetrating Radar yielding concerning unanalyzed data like what was unexpectedly found in the zone immediately adjacent to where the Defendants have started excavating Tuesday.

Article 13 has also explicitly been breached. It provides that “SQI, McGill, and the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera agree to be (…) guided by the recommendations of the Panel as to the specialists to carry out the techniques and analyze the relevant data”. The Panel recommended the Canadian Archaeological Association CAA and themselves to analyze the data. The Defendants have simply refused. Article 1 states “that archival and testimonial work will begin immediately and the results of such work will be communicated to the Panel (defined below) on an ongoing basis to inform their work.” Given the termination of the Panel’s mandate, they won’t have time to do this, so the Defendants have breached this article. As they breached articles 2, 3 and 4, where McGill, the McGill University Health Center and the Attorney General of Canada promise expedited access to their archives, “including restricted files.”

Canada is still slowly processing an ATIP request we made more than a year ago, while McGill’s most important files on their psychiatrists’ potential involvement with Indigenous people need approval from the Canadian Army- still now, 70 years from the fact. The McGill University Health Center has provided no record at all, not even finding aids. As Kahentinetha will explain later, article 9, that allow us to appoint Cultural Monitors to oversee the respect of Onkwehonweh protocol on site, has been breached by threats to our security. And finally, by disbanding the Panel, the Defendants breached Article 11, which states that the “The mandate of the Panel is to assess and identify the appropriate archeological techniques to be used on different areas of the site to detect whether there are unmarked graves.”If its mandate is terminated, it is impossible for the Panel to assess and identify the appropriate archaeological techniques, except if we define “to identify techniques” as simply selecting them.

This is what we call a sharp dealing, breaching the spirit of reconciliation. We submit that these breaches to the agreement are prejudicial to all searches for unmarked graves throughout Turtle Island. It will affect all indigenous people for generations to come in setting precedents that will have implications for the overall relationships between us. We have a protocol called the One Dish and One Spoon. It unites all Indigenous peoples and played a huge role in the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701. The story is in the Kaianerehkowa, the Great Path that we follow as the Rotinonshonni confederacy. The Peacemaker Dekanawida showed a big dish, saying that all people share it. It’s our shared territory, our mother, that provides our subsistence. Dekanawida said that when sharing the great dish with one spoon, nobody should use sharp objects, so as to not hurt each other.

Canada has admitted genocide. At the National Gathering on Unmarked Burial in Montreal last week, the Attorney General of Canada said that “we cannot deny and we should not deny what happened in residential schools or their effect on many generations”. Our relationship has to change. Everyone wants it to change. We asked this Honorable Court to help the Defendants, all the institutions that verbally commit to reconciliation, to make that step in the 21st century to truly change the way we live alongside one another. Our duty as Kahnistensera (life-givers) is to caretake the land and the children of past, present and future generations. We are following our own law, the Kaianerehkowa. It is the way we have conducted ourselves since time immemorial to keep peace on this land and to help creation continue and grow. This place, Tiotiake, is our land, where our culture originated. Tekanontak (Mount Royal) and what is now the campus of McGill University contains the remains of one our biggest villages in all the land of the flint, Kanienkeh, our territory. Our people and children were murdered in order to get the land, to cut the connection between us, Kahnistensera, and the land. It is the greatest power: the power of the relationship between a mother and her children. We have the right to accomplish our traditional duties as Kahnistensera. It is not only the appearance of a right, it is our responsibility. The irreparable harm is not only certain to happen in the short term, it was already partially started when the Defendants started excavating, even refusing to wait until the court date. Once they disrupt those pipes which are, as McGill and SQI admitted, PERFECTLY FUNCTIONAL AT THIS TIME, they will necessarily have to excavate the whole Priority Zone area, including where the dogs detected remains. We hope that the damage already done is not too great, but it is certainly not something that anything else than a halt to the work and a reassessment of the situation can buy.

Nothing can compensate the loss of the trust of our people, of all Onkwehonwe, in the responsibility of McGill, Quebec and Canada to protect the basis of our human rights. To halt excavation until the origin of the scent of human remains is found, and until the GPR findings are studied in a serious way is the only honorable thing to do. For these reasons, I ask the court to grant the declaratory relief and safeguard order which will allow us to search for our children in a peaceful, professional, fruitful and therefore timely manner. NIAWEN:KOWA O:NEN

The late Willie Dunn put together words, ideas and laments to remind us to keep going:  O Canada:
Our home and native land
One hundred thousand years
We’ve walked upon your sands
With saddened hearts
We’ve seen you robbed and stripped
Of everything you prized
While they cut down the trees
We were shunted aside
To the jails and the penitentiaries

O Canada
Once glorious and free
O Canada
We sympathize with thee
O Canada 

MOHAWKNATIONNEWS.COM 

thahoketoteh@ntk.com MNN court correspondent

box 991, kahnawake que. canada J0L 1B0 kahentinetha2@protonmail.com