COLD AS ICE
MNN: 18 Dec. 2011. Kashechewan is a Cree community on James Bay. In 2005 half their people had been evacuated due to DeBeers Diamond Mining overloading the sewage system. In 2010 they gave $5,231,000 to eight Indigenous communities, most of which went to lawyers, consultants and the political elite; DeBeers took out $446,020,000.00 worth of diamonds. In 2005 MNN was called in to Kashachewan, just south of Attawapiskat. COLD AS ICE, is a story about three Kanionkehaka who were kept out. We issued an Objection to DeBeers. It’s relevant to the Attawapiskat issue. Please read and understand. MNN Mohawk Nation News.
KANION’KE:HAKA WOMEN TITLE HOLDERS
P. O. Box 991, Kahnawake of Mohawk Territory
(Quebec, Canada) J0l 1B0
Jan. 15, 2006.
PUBLIC NOTICE OF OBJECTION
TO DEBEERS DIAMOND MINE EXPLOITATION
OF KASHECHEWAN CREE COMMUNITY ON JAMES BAY IN NORTHERN ONTARIO CANADA
Re: DeBeers Diamond Mine exploitation of
Kashechewan Cree community on James Bay in Northern Ontario Canada
President, De Beers Diamond Mines; Queen Elizabeth II; Prime Minister of Canada; Governor General of Canada; Premier of Ontario; Indian Affairs Canada; Progressive Party of Canada; New Democratic Party of Canada; Bloc Quebecois Party; UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights; International Commission for Human Rights; Coalition Criminal Court; Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Bono; Ontario Aboriginal Affairs; Supreme Court of Canada; Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada; Health Canada; National Defense; U.S. President George Bush;
International Peace Academy; Royal Canadian Military Institute; Canadian High Commission Trade Office in Johannesburg, South Africa (addresses/emails at end)
We the Women Title Holders of the Kanion’ke:haka are filing an objection to the exploitation of the Crees of Kashechewan by DeBeers, Indian Affairs, Ontario Government and their agents. This private company and these governments have no legal authority under Canadian, international or Cree law to interfere with the indigenous resources involved. We advise you to back off immediately!
Although we are not Cree, we have a duty under the Kaianereh’ko:wa, our constitution, to help all our Indigenous brothers and sisters from the east to the west coast of Turtle Island. We also have a duty as citizens of the world to uphold the equal and inalienable rights of all people and to defend their human rights.
The people of Kashechewan have been deprived of the most basic human rights. There is presently a crisis of E-coli contamination of the water. The Canadian government Department of Indian Affairs caused it and refuses to fix it. This has been going on for 9 years. At the end of October 2005, half of the 2,000 people were suddenly evacuated to southern Canadian cities all over Ontario. They were put in cheap hotels and military institutions. They were deprived of their right to their community, family relations and to have a decent standard of living. Unlike refugee claimants in Canada, they were given no resources to ensure their survival. They had to rely on vouchers and handouts which restricted their freedom. They could not provide for themselves and their families in these alien environments. One family was evacuated to Sault Ste. Marie. When they wanted to go home, Indian Affairs refused to fund their travel. They ended up in a Women’s Shelter in Akwesasne and they’re still there.
On the weekend of January 7th and 8th, 2006, there were three deaths in the community. One young man died of a heart attacked due to stress. Two were shackled in a building that did not meet the most minimal safety standards. The building caught fire and they burnt to death. Both the toxic water and this fire are due to criminal negligence by the colonial government.
We have learned that DeBeers has a deplorable history of mistreating the indigenous people in Africa. Their mining operations have left the earth scarred and the environment irretrievably damaged. The original peoples were removed. Now that the area has been abandoned, they are unable to use it. Currently they are extending their operations to the Kalahari deserts. They removed the Bush Men tortured and confined them to small reserves, when a large territory is needed to survive under those conditions. They stopped them from hunting, gathering and seeking water. Many have died as a result. We are certain that if people knew about this they would be alarmed. This kind of resource theft and human rights abuse is not acceptable in Canada or anywhere else. Yet the Canadian and Ontario governments seem to be facilitating the De Beers operation against the people of Kashechewan.
DeBeers has claimed the Cree’s diamonds and promised to give Canada and Ontario royalties. This has placed Canada and Ontario in a position of conflict of interest because both have fiduciary obligations to the Indigenous peoples. According to Sections 109 and 132 of the British North America Act 1867, the constitution of Canada, the resources are not theirs to give away. The document known as Treaty 9 is invalid. It violates the constitution and international law. Canada does not have a legal treaty with the owners, the Cree People, who are indigenous to the land.
No one can give what they do not have. Canada and Ontario have no legal right to the resources belonging to the people of Kashechewan. When the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources went to Europe to give DeBeers permission, he had nothing to give.
DeBeers plans to completely destroy their environment. DeBeers has seemingly limitless financial and political resources. They have already started an operation a few miles north of Kashechewan at the sister community of Attawapiskat. In order to facilitate the exploitation of diamonds and other resources, belonging to the people of Kashechewan, they plan to built a huge open mine pit larger than the size of Toronto. Accommodations have already been built near Kashechewan with good pure water, though Indian Affairs refuses to provide this necessity to the Crees. Roads, air strips, rock waste dumps, treatment plants, fields for dewatering and mine water are in the works. Obviously this operation and the toxins it will produce will displace the Crees or kill them.
DeBeers exploitation of the people of Kashechewan is doubly reprehensible. First, it involves illegal exploitation of indigenous people. Second, it is for purposes of providing materials to make weapons in this age when war has become illegal.
This is our formal notification that you are to cease and desist all of your illegal operations on the territory of the Crees of Kashechewan
Attached is a report entitled “Cold as Ice”. We assure you that we take the human rights abuses you are engaged in very seriously.
By assuming authority over Canada, the Queen has incurred fiduciary obligations to the indigenous inhabitants of Kashechewan. We call on the Queen to preserve her honor and assert her authority to protect the laws of the Crees of Kashechewan.
Katenies /s/ _____________________________
Katsitsaionhne /s/ _________________________
President, De Beers Diamond Mines, Suite 400, 65 Overlea Blvd. Toronto, Ont. M4H 1P1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, %The Privy Council, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA, UK email@example.com;
Prime Minister of Canada, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canadapm@pm.gc.ca
Her Excellency Mme. Jean, Governor General of Canada, Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, Legislative Bldg., Queen’s park, Toronto, Ont. M7A 1A1 email@example.com
The Honorable Minister of Indian Affairs, 10 Wellington St., Ottawa K1A 0H4
Stephen Harper, Progressive Party of Canada, Ottawa, Canadaharper.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Layton, New Democratic Party of Canada, 279 Laurier Ave., W., Ottawa Canada K1P 5J9 email@example.com
Bloc Quebecois Party, Ottawa, Canada Duceppe.firstname.lastname@example.org
UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights, UN Plaza, S.2914, New York 10017
Rudolpho Stavenhagen, International Commission for Human Rights, Box 16, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland
Coalition Criminal Court, %WFM, 708 3rd Ave., 24th Fl., New York 10017
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 1200 Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0R2
Bono, DATA, 1400 Eye St., N.W., Suite 1125, Washington DC 20005
Gail Beggs, Aboriginal Affairs, 4th Fl. 720, Bay St., Toronto Ont. M5G 2K1
Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Supreme Court of Canada, 301 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0J1 613-995-4330
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6 email@example.com
Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada, Jeanne Mance Building, Tunney’s Pasture, Postal Locator 1921A, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Bill Graham, Minister of National Defence, Major Gen. George R. Pearkes Bldg., 101 Col. By Drive, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0K2graham.email@example.com
U.S. President George Bush, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC 20500 firstname.lastname@example.org
International Peace Academy, UN Plaza, New York, NY
cc. All Media, Pope Benedictum XVI, St. Peter’s Sq., Vatican City, Rome Italy; Canadian Center for Foreign Policy Development,info.ccfpd@dfait/maeci.gc.ca (National Forum on Africa);
‘COLD AS ICE’:
De Beers Diamond Mines does not show its ugly face
to Kashechewan Cree
of James Bay in Northern Ontario Canada
Orakwa Indigenous Enterprises
MNN Mohawk Nation News had sent out two communiqués on Kashechewan water crisis. One described the crisis of E-coli infested water that had infected James Bay community. Half of the 2,000 people were evacuated to Canadian cities far and wide in the province of Ontario. The people were placed in hotels and given vouchers. The other story was about one family who had been evacuated to Sault Ste. Marie and wanted to go home. Indian Affairs refused to fund their travel. They ended up in Akwesasne at the Women’s Shelter. These two stories are reproduced in this report. The real story is about exploitation of this community by De Beers Diamond Mines. This report covers the failed attempt by three Mohawks on behalf of Orakwa Indigenous Enterprises to visit the Kashechewan community in northern Ontario in early January 2006. They wanted to meet the people and get the facts of their victimization by De Beers with the assistance of Indian Affairs Canada and the government of the province of Ontario.
Orakwa, P.O. Box 991, Kahnawake of Mohawk Territory
(Quebec, Canada) J0L 1B0 email@example.com
Table of Contents
- Introduction, 3
- PLAN B – REMOVE AND DISPERSE
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE – the Keshachewan Experiment. 3
3. More to this story than meets the eye, 6
4. MNN: LUST FOR DIAMONDS: INDIAN AFFAIRS AND DE BEERS
“SCROOGE” KASHECHEWAN, 6
5. Leave for Toronto, 9
6. Akwesasne: Trouble at the US-Canada border crossing, 9
7. Constitutional jurisdiction question, 10
8. Planning around the kitchen table, 10
9. Kay, our colleague, 10
10. African connection: Kalahari Bush Men
11. Kirkland Capital of Toronto, 12
12. Kirkland Capital Website, 13
13. Background: Kashechewan situation, 15
14. Zane Bell, 15
15. Observation of John P., 18
16. Chief Leo Friday, 18
17. TREATY 9, 1905, 19
18. Arrival in Timmins, 20
19. Wondering about Rebecca, 21
20. WBAI Radio New York City
21. Rebecca arrives in Timmins, 22
22. What is R.C.M.I.? 23
23. Rebecca blocks the ice road, 24
24. Green Peace and the flooding, 24
25. In the dungeon, 25
26. Meeting with the Governor General of Canada, 25
27. Conclusion, 25
My brother, Frank Taiotekane Horn, a lawyer practicing in Cornwall Ontario, called me frantically describing what was happening in Kashechewan. He had gone there a few times with the traveling court to represent Cree defendants as a lawyer. He gave me several phone numbers of contacts up there. I wrote the following story on October 30th, 2005.
2. PLAN B – REMOVE AND DISPERSE
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE – the Keshachewan Experiment
MNN. Oct. 30, 2005. Kashechewan, a remote northern Ontario Cree community of almost 2000 people has become an international scandal over reports of contaminated water. It’s called a “fly-in” community because there is no road in. One thousand people have been evacuated because of sicknesses created by contaminated water.
Ten years ago Indian Affairs designed a water treatment system where Hollow Creek joins the Albany River which drains into James Bay. James Bay is the southern part of Hudson’s Bay. This is where Kashechewan is located. The two are fresh water rivers flowing into the salt water bay. Fort Albany is a little way up the Albany River.
As they have done in so many other communities, Indian Affairs forgot about little details like health, safety and clean water. The Indian Affairs engineer built the water plant 135 meters downstream from a sewage lagoon. It flows right past the water intake pipe and sewage goes into the drinking water. He forgot about the tide that comes in and backs up the sewage into the drinking water. As a result the water pipe delivers deadly E-coli right into everybody’s kitchen tap.
Health Canada’s solution? Based on their expertise and experience, they told the people to just put more and more chlorine in the water, boil it and then drink it. Almost all have come down with severe skin infections and unknown sicknesses. Was this one of their weird twisted experiments, or what? You don’t need to be an Einstein to know what happened. It’s a disaster!
Last year Indian Affairs, which has never hesitated to throw good money after bad, paid $500,000 for an upgrade. But they forgot to move the intake pipe! In the last six months Indians Affairs has sent in $250,000 worth of bottled water. To try to fix the system the people tied a rope and a wood plank to hold the water plant together.
Lately they have been going to the Albany River and lugging back buckets of water to drink. Even this water is contaminated.
The young people want to revive the ancient custom of taking drinking water upstream before the sewage. They want to move further inland to higher ground. Kashechewan is built on a flood plain with a dike all the way around the community to stop the floods that come with the tides. It was Indian Affairs’ idea that Indians should spend the whole year at a seasonal camp on a flood plain. I wonder if they used the engineers that built New Orleans as consultants! The older people want to stay because they’ve become attached to the location.
Canada’s been sending aid all over the world. Now it’s revealed that the water in 70% of Indian communities is a health risk. It would cost Indian Affairs $1.4 billion to fix all their mistakes. Has Indian Affairs ever sued an engineering firm for incompetence? Or is this Plan B of the old genocide project? Dying race and all that! Tsk! Tsk! Or maybe it’s just a question of giving contracts to political hacks to pay off a few seedy debts, eh! Everybody is in the habit of blaming the “Injuns” for draining the public purse anyway. The whole mess is pretty damn shocking!!
“Kopy Kat Kanada”. Indian Affairs sent in the army and put up some tents. (I’m sure they’d rather go up there than to the Middle East.) In the meantime, Ontario shuffled 1000 to Cochrane, Sudbury and parts unknown. The elders are very upset about letting them leave as they may never come back. They’re getting residential school flashbacks. Everyone is haunted by horror stories about our youth adrift in the south. Indian Affairs works constantly at dissolving distinct Indigenous communities.
They think they can shove us into a non-native community and we can live like everybody else. This relocation strategy will dissolve the community. Relocation has been a disaster every time it’s been tried. Chief, council and everyone are trying to keep the community together. They feel it’s urgent to do something now.
Kashechewan is inundated with media. Almost everyone is getting cameras, microphones and reporters in their faces. It’s the news of the moment. They’ll all leave and no one will hear about Kashechewan again.
It’s another experiment. Move the Indians away from their original constitutional territory onto another Indigenous nation’s land. This separates them from their spiritual ties. Skylnick in her book “A Poison Stronger than Love” proved removals are a big “make work” project for Indian Affairs, who always say, “We’ll make the decisions for them”. The 1960’s experiment on relocating Indians all had to be reversed in the end. Some were relocated to Elliot Lake, the Menominees were terminated, the Innu, were relocated to Davis Inlet. The common thread is that by such removals they lost their land and had to be reintegrated later. Indian Affairs never lets the people decide. They don’t intend to do what’s decent and good for the Indians.
Here’s another slant. What’s really going on here?
The North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA was the crowning glory of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his negotiator, Simon Riesman. They gave away Canadian water to the U.S.
In NAFTA Canada cannot withhold its water from the United States. Americans are depleting their fresh water resources and are demanding the right to get Canadian water. One idea was to divert all the rivers that flow into James Bay into the Great Lakes. Then send it to the Midwestern U.S. to irrigate land Americans have turned into a parched “dust bowl”.
Another plan was to build a dike separating James Bay and Hudson’s Bay. Then James Bay would be drained into the Hudson’s Bay. This would be filled up with fresh water from the rivers that flow north from the Canadian Shield. A huge reservoir would cover the whole area. This would be rerouted south to the U.S., or pumped into the Great Lakes and piped out.
The main U.S. concern is that the Mississippi is no longer viable. The population in California is over 40 million and it’s dry. They desperately need water. Canada has the most, fresh water in the world. The U.S. wants it. The Indians are in the way.
To carry out this plan, all Indian communities on Hudson’s Bay and James Bay will have to be removed before the area is flooded. The Indians are basically in the way. They live on the mouths of all the rivers draining into James Bay. They want the northern indigenous communities to pay for the U.S. environmental catastrophe.
On top of all this, the U.S. is going to get Canada to build the structure which has been designed to make sure the U.S. gets all the benefits. In fact, they already probably have signed documents making it look like the Indians consented. What they’ve forgotten is Sections 109 and 132 of the Canadian Constitution, stipulates, that the Indians have prior interests that supercede that of Canada and its provinces. They have to deal with us first. Hee haw!
There are 100 reserves that they say have contaminated waters. The Indians will all have to be removed. This experiment with the Kashechewan community is only the beginning.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
I asked for comments and assistance and gave the following telephone numbers for people who wanted to corroborate my communiqué: John Wyne – 705-275-4377; Leo Friday – 705-275-4664; Norman Wesley – 705-275-4109, 705-275-4519; Chief – 750-275-4440. “Zane Bell” – 705-286-6118 firstname.lastname@example.org; Ellis Kirkland – www.kirklandcapital.com
3. More to this story than meets the eye
In the meantime, Zane Bell had told Rebecca Friday, the vice-chief of Kashechewan, to call me. She had not seen the story that I had sent out as Zane had not sent it to her.
After talking with her about how bad the situation was and that there was no help in sight, I wrote another story on December 23rd2005. I read it to her over the phone and then sent it out.
4. LUST FOR DIAMONDS: INDIAN AFFAIRS AND DE BEERS
MNN. Dec. 23, 2005. “Quit ‘Scrooging’ them around!” This is what Indian Affairs and De Beers are doing to members of the Cree Nation of Kashechewan. Remember that isolated northern Ontario community on James Bay? That’s where the engineering geniuses at Indian Affairs designed and built a multi-million dollar water treatment plant that spewed filth and sewage into tap waters for nine years, starting almost from the day it was built. “Just put more chlorine in it and boil it”, said Health Canada, when the people said they wanted clean water. They’ve been sick and getting sicker.
In early November 1,000 people, that’s 50% of the community, were evacuated to faraway cities like Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Peterborough, Timmins, Cochrane, Sudbury and Cornwall to save their lives. Since then they have been put up in hotels and given vouchers for necessities, but little cash. This has lead to lonesomeness and other desperate situations. Families have been broken up. They don’t have money to use phones to keep in touch with each other.
About a week ago, Indian Affairs decided to move a family of six, the husband and wife and four children ages 14, 13, 12 and 8, from Sault Ste. Marie to the Akwesasne Women’s Crisis Shelter near Cornwall.
Apparently the couple went drinking one time. Who wouldn’t? The Children’s Aid Society got involved. Without consulting them, they spirited them to Cornwall. No rooms at any inns were found there because of Christmas bookings. They were taken to the crisis center. “There were high fences and high tech gates. It was like a prison with guards. Our people do have to get help for their problems. They were not told anything”, said the vice-chief of Kashechewan. “We were initially told that Cornwall could take 1,000 people. But there wasn’t even room for one family”.
The family was not told where they were being taken. They were as good as kidnapped except there were no black hoods put over their heads. They were never told where they would end up.
The family can’t go home. Their trailer has been gutted and is getting fixed. The water is still no good. It has to be boiled. In the infamous Walkerton water crisis, all the pipes were replaced. In Kashechewan they are only going to sanitize them. They say the water is frozen and can’t be drained. So how are they going to sanitize them? This situation gets worse. Indian Affairs won’t tell the people anything. The water is okay only for bathing and laundry if you’re not fussy about your whites. Ontario Water Works from Red Lake Ontario are up there maintaining and monitoring the water treatment manually. They have to stay there so nothing breaks down.
Indian Affairs won’t fix it because they say funding was accidentally misused. If the community gives it back, the plant will be fixed. It’s impossible. There’s no economy up there. There are no jobs and no income. How can they pay back $120,000? For this they are going to poison and kill everybody! Indian Affairs keeps cutting their budget all the time. No one has made Indian Affairs accountable for their miserable engineering job. For three years they have been asking Indian Affairs for funds to give special training to the native people to be certified to run the plant. No way! This would cut out Indian Affairs jobs! Guess what? The request has never been approved.
The family in Akwesasne would like to go Sudbury to meet up with other members of their family. Indian Affairs refuses because of the crisis they are in. The crisis who is in, the family or Indian Affairs? When you feel so powerless, what are you going to do? Indian Affairs made a unilateral decision on their behavior. Said the vice-chief, “You guys, you think you can do this to my people? If you play dirty, we’ll play dirty too. Your treatment is totally inhuman and we’re going to tell everybody about it”.
Two mysterious strangers, a man and a woman, strode onto the scene. No one knows how they got there or who paid their way. When the people asked what they were up to, they said they were working behind the scenes to help them. The DART team did get a water purifier up there to purify and bottle water from the river. The woman made up a binder outlining their dire situation to get the help they needed. She got Band Council Resolutions to send to government ministers and to the Minister of Defense Bill Graham. The Canadian public was told that everything was hunky dory. But no one responded to their requests. So they phoned and were told they never got the binders.
For three years Indian Affairs was working on an environmental assessment of the area. They consulted the people a few times for half a day with not more than 10 to 15 people. Indian Affairs approved the findings. They gave DeBeers Diamond Mine the right go ahead and start mining. The people did not understand the report and what DeBeers’ interest was. Indian Affairs did not translate the complicated material into Cree syllabic. It is a conflict of interest for Indian Affairs whose fiduciary duty is to protect the people and at the same time try to do business off their backs. The Province of Ontario and the federal government are going to get a portion of the royalties from the mine. The Indians, who own the land, get nothing. They may end up losing their lives because their environment has been damaged so badly.
These two strangers and some community members are on a negotiation team. Guess whose funding this negotiation team? DeBeers! DeBeers gave the team $114,000 to negotiate with them! What do you think of that? The woman attends meetings and speaks on behalf of the Kashechewan people without any people from the community present.
This woman is setting up a meeting in Toronto between the Kashechewan people, DeBeers and Indian Affairs. She even found a lawyer for them from Calgary, Jim HopeRoss. Is this starting to make sense? How do things look when you connect the dots? Who is helping the people of Kashechewan? They don’t have money. Indian Affairs refuses to help these people. They throw them at the mercy of De Beers who pays for the negotiations which is attended by Indian Affairs.
She did make a budget for the vice chief to visit the people who had been deported to the various cities. She got $50,000 to do this.
She also got Jim HopeRoss from Calgary as a lawyer for them. He does aboriginal land claims, oil fields and other resource fights for people from those areas. He told them they had a “win-win” case because they had not been told what Indian Affairs had done before DeBeers arrived on the scene and made their plans with them. Perhaps they should consult the remaining Kalahari Bushmen in Africa as to the tactics DeBeers used to remove them off their lands in order to mine for diamonds – murder, starvation, loss of hunting and gathering rights and deprivation of water, to name a few.
This negotiation meeting at the Delta Hotel on January 3, 2006, at 9:00 am is of great public interest. Three parties are involved. Who do the diamonds belong to? Are they a common gift to humanity, or are they private property? Can they be claimed by De Beers, a private company? By Canada, a colonial state? Or by the people of Kashechewan, the original occupants of the territory who never surrendered their land?
What do you think? Isn’t this an important public question? Remember that DeBeers supplies the U.S. military through their South African mines 60% of the diamonds for their lethal armaments such as bunker buster bombs and diamond dust in the metal to make the tanks shatter proof. Diamond mining contaminates the water table because they water blast the soil to erode it. The water contains chemicals, salts and other environmental hazards. The mind goes down thousands of feet. One in Africa goes 4 miles deep.
MNN Mohawk Nation News
I gave the contact number, Kashechewan 705-275-1043.
Rebecca invited me to go to the forthcoming negotiation meeting in Toronto on January 3rd, 2006. I told her that I could not go alone. We Mohawks traditionally attend meetings as a threesome so that each would give their own insights in the debriefing afterwards. We agreed that we would join them as observers.
5. Leave for Toronto
On Tuesday January 3rd Aroniakon, Katenies and I were supposed to drive to Toronto to stay with Kay Murphy and join the Crees at 7:00 am the next morning. They were to meet with DeBeers Diamonds, Indian Affairs, Ellis Kirkland, Zane Bell and a lawyers invited by Ellis to negotiate. (We were concerned about the lawyer. Our experience is that the lawyer would work for a percentage of the final settlement, usually around 30%.)
6. Akwesasne: Trouble at the US-Canada border crossing
Aroniakon arrived at my house in Kahnawake on Tuesday morning. We had not heard from Rebecca. Aroniakon, without hesitation, said, “Let’s go anyway”. Within a few minutes, we jumped into my car and left for Akwesasne. We went by Highway 138, which is the back road that leads to the US-Canada border crossing at Dundee near Huntington Quebec.
About 2:00 pm we arrived at Dundee crossing. The female U.S. customs officer on duty knew me from my five years of crossing daily to go to work at the Akwesasne casino. Said the female customs officer, “Where y’all going?’ We said to Akwesasne. She said, “Please pull over”. We underwent a thorough one-hour inspection of ourselves and our vehicle. After filling out forms and being asked some stupid questions, Aroniakon asked why we were being scrutinized. She said, “It’s a random inspection”. We accepted that. Finally, we were given back our car and keys and went on our way. We were only about 10 minutes from Katenies’s house.
“Was that a routine check, or what?” I asked Aroniakon as we drove into. Akwesasne. This Mohawk community is right on the Canada-US border at the intersection of New York State, Ontario and Quebec. It’s a jurisdictional nightmare. Katenies lives in the Quebec portion. But you have to go through New York State to get to her place.
We finally pulled up to Katenies’s house. She had visitors. They were all talking about the Akwesasne situation, commenting on various issues, such as the border crossing harassment of Mohawks. They cross daily from one part of their community to the other, sometimes ten times a day. We had just gone through this harassment ourselves.
10. Constitutional jurisdiction question
Aroniakon, Katenies, I, and others had just spent a year on the “constitutional jurisdiction” issue. We successfully raised the question of whether New York State had gotten jurisdiction over our lands since we never gave it to them. So how could they deal with the New York State Tribal council they had set up? Their own entity was ready to sign a deal with them to give away our 9 million acres of land in exchange for a casino. Perplexing, isn’t it?
As a result of our work, we had toppled four of the fraudulent land claims, St. Regis Akwesasne, Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga. New York State and their tribal government in Akwesasne are trying again to resurrect their ploys to settle these phony New York State claims to our lands and to build the casino for the tribal council.
11. Planning around the kitchen table
We sat around Katenies’s kitchen-dining room in St. Regis Village on the territory. We were wondering what to do. Should Angus and I go home or should we go ahead? Finally Rebecca Friday called me on my cell phone. She told us she had cancelled the meeting in Toronto that they were not going down there.
What to do. What to do. She asked us if we could come to Kashechewan? We all said, “Yes”. She would have Air Canada plane tickets at Toronto airport for the next morning at 8:40 am. to fly to Timmins. From there we would catch a CreeBec flight to Kashechewan.
Katenies quickly rummaged around her house for heavy duty winter clothes, long johns, extra socks, hats, gloves and coats. We picked up some money to help defray gas, parking and other costs from one of our supporters on the territory. We still needed a few things like underwear and socks. We were only supposed to be away one day in Toronto. So we planned to cross the bridge from the New York State portion of Akwesasne over to the Canadian city of Cornwall and visit the Wal Mart there. From there we could catch the Trans Canada highway “401” to Toronto. It was a 5 hour drive.
9. Kay, our colleague
Rebecca had warned us it was warm in Kashechewan, only 40 below 0. We arrived in Toronto at 9:30 pm. We actually made good time. We stayed with an old friend, Kay Murphy. She was a longtime volunteer in the office of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native People CASNP for over 20 years. Her small apartment has always been open to Indians. It’s in a high rise in the center of Toronto.
About two weeks earlier she had come with me and my three year old granddaughter to meet Ellis Kirkland of Kirkland Capital. Ellis had shown up in Kashechewan last August 2005 to “help” the people. She worked closely with Zane Bell, an environmental biologist, who had worked previously at Indian Affairs. He had shown up in Kashechewan about one and half years ago as a volunteer??
10. African connection: Kalahari Bush Men
On the drive to Toronto the three of us, me, Angus and Katenies, talked about what we knew about Kashechewan and DeBeers. I had found a book expose on them on the internet which revealed a lot of hanky panky on the part of De Beers in Africa.
On the internet site www.khoisan.org I found out more about DeBeers and their dealings with the Kalahari Bushmen in South Africa. To say the least I found them treacherous and vicious with these people. They had them removed onto reserves and then had them, deprived of hunting and gathering rights and water. So they started to die off. There had been an October 2003 ruling. The constitutional court ruled that the Nama People (Richtersvelders) have a right to ownership of their land and its minerals, despite the fact that they have never been given title deeds and the government had always assumed that they had no rights to it. They were affected when diamonds were discovered there. Botswana and DeBeers were worried. “The ruling that Indigenous People who own land under their own unwritten law have the right to have this upheld inspite of other legal systems which are subsequently imposed by the state had interesting implications for Botswana. If the South African ruling is applied then the Bushmen own their ancestral land as well as the mineral rights underneath their territory.”
This can be looked up – Case CCT 19/03 Alexor Ltd. (1st Appellant) and the government of South Africa (2nd Appelland) vs. the Richtersvelder community and others.
On January 1, 2006 I had sent out an MNN Mohawk Nation News communiqué which apparently went all over the world which I titled “Lust for Diamonds. Indian Affairs and De Beers “Scrooge” Kashechewan. I received an email from AfricaNode to re-send it to them, which I did. Then I asked them,
“Please tell me more about the tactics of De Beers. The Cree People of Kashechewan are having a meeting with them and the Canadian governments on January 3 in Toronto. We need to be prepared. What do you think De Beers and the government are going to do? Also, a woman has come on the scene suddenly. She is saying she advocates for them. We are not sure who this person is. Has this happened with other Indigenous people where De Beers is trying to take over the land for mining? We would appreciate any help you can give us about how these big multi national corporations overcome Indigenous people in other parts of the world. Thank you”.
Then on January 2nd, Ntailan Lolkoki sent me another email, “… and maybe you can have a look on www.khoisanpeoples.org – for similarities.
DEAR TO ALL
THE SAN PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA HAS NOTHING IN COMMON WITH DE BEERS.DE BEERS MAKES MILLIONS OF RANDS HERE IN RSA,BUT WE AS SOUTH AFRICANS DO NOT.THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WORLD MUST NEVER ALLOWED DE BEERS IN THIER COUNTRIES,BECAUSE LOOK AT HOW THEY EXPLOITED OUR COUNTRY(RSA).HERE RSA WE ARE SO USED TO SELL -OUTS,THATS WHY WE TRY ESTABLISH A TRADITIONAL IN EVERY PROVINCE IN THIS COUNTRY.IN SUCH MANNER THERE WILL BE A BOND BETWEEN FELLOW COUNTRY MEN.WE FEEL THAT YOU MUST BE AWARE OF THE DE BEERS.
DE BEERS DID A VERY BAD THING AND TODAY WE HAVE NOTHING.ON EVERY SITE WHERE THERE WERE MINES WITH VALUABLE MINERALS THEY SOLLED IT.THATS WHY WE URGE YOU TO BOICOT DE BEERS.WE FULLY SUPPORT THESAN PEOPLE OF BOTSWANA.
KEEP ON WITH THE GOOD WORK
This certainly gave us food for thought and a lot to worry about.
De Beers’ plans for Kashechewan diamonds
DeBeers plans to have at Kashechewan an open mine pit larger than the size of Toronto, plus clinics, change house, shops, offices, accommodations unit (which has already been build near Kashechewan with good pure water), interconnecting access, haul roads, air strips, security, freight areas, ore process plant, associated workshops, rock waste dumps, primary crushers, ramps, treatment plants, thickening plant, earth moving vehicle workshops, weather road, well field for pit dewatering and mine water.
DeBeers diamonds are used for industrial and military use to overthrow legitimate governments. They are needed for airplane engines, torpedoes, warheads, tanks, artillery, weapons of war of all kinds, bearings for radar and electronics or war, stabilizers, gyroscopes, guidance systems for subs and planes, converting civilian industries into war machines. De Beer controls the world supply of diamonds. In the 1940’s the US needed 6.5 million carats of diamonds. De Beers refused to sell it to them. They had members on the UK War Production Board. De Beers was selling diamonds to both sides, to Hitler and the allies.
11. Kirkland Capital of Toronto
Kirkland Capital seems to be a home office company in ritzy Rosedale in Toronto headed by Ellis Danjier Galea Kirkland. On her extensive and fancy website she purports to be an advisor in establishing international government development strategies, free trade policies and negotiations, international finance, commerce and constitutions, management, trade and technology.
Ellis seems to have everything but modesty. She is originally from Malta, attended schools here and at Harvard, which she was quick to tell me. I went to Harvard too for a semester on Early Childhood Education, which she probably wouldn’t care to know.
My granddaughter and I went to Toronto on November 24th 2005 to visit my friend Kay. The following morning I phoned Zane Bell, who lives in Peterborough, and tried to set up a meeting with him. Thirty seconds after we hung up the phone, Ellis Kirkland called and asked me out for lunch, “I’ll come and pick you up”. She never showed and she never called. Later that day at 4:30 she called again and said she would pick us up at 5:30 and take us out for dinner at the Mandarin. At 6:00 we put on our coats and left. After had finished our dinner, she showed up at 7:30.
She never asked me anything about myself. She’s dark, looks Italian. Malta is a small island off Sicily. Malta which has been involved in banking and shady money deals since the time of the crusades. She did most of the talking about herself and never answered any of our questions. She then stunned us when she said, “I’ve been working for a while on a project with elder Andrew Maracle”.
Kay and I were stunned. Kay said, “We know Andrew very well. How old was this Andrew Maracle you’ve been working with? Is he from Tyendinaga?” (This is another Mohawk community near Belleville and Andrew Maracle was a good friend of both Kay and I).
Ellis answered, “He was young”.
Kay said, “Andrew Maracle died about ten years ago at the age of 84!”
Ellis suddenly changed the subject and refused to answer any questions about her involvement with this dead man. She did say that she had been very sick and that Indian medicines had cured her. This is why she wants to help the Indians. She did not tell us what the sickness was.
12. Kirkland Capital Website
On her website there are no pictures or biographies of those she supposedly works with on her extensive global experience in building cities and governmental infrastructures. She was a NAFTA North American Free Trade National co-ordinator and representative under ‘architecture and a co-signer on June 25, 1994. She was on the Tri-national committee on architecture for NAFTA, for who? Was it for me and you? She was on the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. She was on the Council of Ontario Association of Architects from 91 to 96 and president from 93 to 94. Her license is #4-185.
On her website there are dozens of pictures of her numerous certificates of memberships and accreditations to such organizations as the US National Council of Architectural Registration Board. She was on the Nevada State Board of Architecture of Interior Design and Residential Design, June 26, 1997.
Let’s say at this point, my skepticism about her was being confirmed. Her website under “think tank” has 726 pictures of the Kashechewan community. On January 2nd I picked up the phone at my home and called Ellis Kirkland in Toronto. It rang once and she answered it.
“It’s Kahentinetha Horn here. May I ask you some questions?”
She said, “Of course”.
First she apologized about the discomfort she created at that meeting on November 25th in Toronto. “I was tired and had been in some intense meetings”.
I calmly asked her about her part in the NAFTA agreement, which, “As you know, the Indians in the Western Hemisphere oppose”.
“Oh, I was only on the architecture negotiations. Americans have huge firms and they overwhelm us. Now we can bid on American work on an equal basis, have access to their markets and monitor their behavior in Canada”. She confirmed she knew that it was detrimental to the Indians and that there had been protests over it. As she always does when the going gets tough, she quickly changed the subject and did not answer any more questions. I did not tell her that we were invited to sit in on the meeting with Kashechewan in Toronto on January 3rd. She had set it up with De Beers, Indian Affairs and a lawyer, Jim RossHope of Calgary, she was bringing in.
“Who is advocating for the Crees?” I asked.
“I am”, she said. Then I asked how much she knew of the constitutional jurisdiction question. Nothing! So how could she negotiate on their behalf? She also mentioned that she heard that the Mohawks had aboriginal title to the lands from the East Coast to West Coast of Canada. She has no legal training and the people of Kashechewan have not been given access to any lawyers. They have no internet access. No cell phone. The majority don’t speak English or French.
I verified that the Kaienereh’ko:wa, Great Law of Peace, our constitution, covered all of Turtle Island. I gave her a brief explanation about it. “We have a different way of relating to the settlers”, I told her.
“Yes”, she said, “I am well aware of the Mohawks.” It sounded negative to me. It seemed like Ellis didn’t want to hear anymore or her mind was somewhere else. Suddenly she said, “I have to go now because I have a meeting in half an hour. I have to read something before that”. Then she excused herself and hung up the phone.
13. Background: Kashechewan situation
The project started 20 years ago. Diamonds had been discovered. Canada gave the claim to the diamonds to DeBeers. It wasn’t theirs to give. They did not have a legal treaty with these owners, the Cree Nation who are indigenous to the land. Five years ago the Minister of Natural Resources Canada went to Europe to give permission to DeBeers to start the development program to begin the mining. The first problem was that Indians lived on this land. From De Beer’s experience with the Kalahari Bushmen, they decided to find a way to remove the Indigenous People. They needed the help of those evil monsters, Indian Affairs. The royalties from the diamond mines go to Indian Affairs and to the Ontario government, none to the Indians.
14. Zane Bell
DeBeers had a contact in Canada, Ellis Kirkland and Zane Bell. Zane had worked for Indian Affairs. He was an ‘environmental biologist’, who looked at rocks with a member of Kashechewan. He is tall, blue eyed with a pony tail of very light hair. He says he’s part Indian – Mohawk, Penobscot, MicMac, and some other nation. His wife is also researching her Indian background, which is Ojibway, and several other nations. Quite a mixture, but he still acts like a white man. When I talked to Rebecca Friday of Kashechewan, I said to her, “Deep in your mind and heart, is this man an Indian?”
She replied, “He’s a white man”.
Zane worked for Indian Affairs for a year and a half and suddenly resigned and went to work for Ellis. We were thinking, “Somehow someone got a “finder’s fee” to deliver the Crees to DeBeers. Could it be Ellis or Zane?” A finder’s fee is money given to someone in the community like Jim Ransom or Lorraine White of Akwesasne to help the outside interests or corporation’s project to come into existence on the territory. The finder’s fee-er’s job is to make it happen. So we were wondering, “Who is the “point man” here for De Beers?” The secret finder’s fee is usually given to a band chief or band manager or someone who has authority or influence in the community and is in a position to sell the people out. We weren’t sure who it was, but we kept our eyes open.
Zane knows the area because he’s been going to Kashechewan as a volunteer for a year and half! Hey! This costs money! How can he volunteer to go up there? It’s isolated. There is no road. The only way to get there is to fly or drive on the ice roads in the winter. Airfare costs $400 from Toronto to Timmins return and $900 from Timmins to Kashechewan return. He doesn’t pay for this. “Who does?” we wondered.
We got curious about Zane. After I sent out that article “Lust for Diamonds”, on December 28, 2005, he sent the following email.
“Good article: It should stir up some response. I appreciate your talking to Rebecca, you did get her a little confused but she is learning.
”You are quite right about Indian Affairs. Doug Forbes, the previous Regional Director General of Ontario was the main person sent out to destroy the relationship of the three Cree communities by directing all the negotiating funds only to Attawapiskat (north of Kashechewan) and the other
communities got no funding. The community had to get money from De Beers
just to talk to De Beers. Indian Affairs has squeezed the community over the last 5 years allowing them to go into debt and making sure they did not have funds
to pay the staff. So the band administrator spent money for other things on
staff pay roll.
”Indian Affairs allows the hiring of co-managers, but makes sure they can’t do the job (such as Nabil B.) (As a general principle, it seems the less people do the more they get paid when they work for the Canadian governments). Financial reports are never submitted on time so the spiral continues so they are over 14 million in debt.
”This is the reason I left Indian Affairs after 1.5 years to assist them. (The question still is, who paid?)
They have absolutely no support system. Even the Muskegowuk Tribal Council
which replaced the local Indian Affairs Moosonee Field office and the NAN Nishinabi Aski Tribal Council do not help the local communities. They drain funding from the bands to support themselves and take directions from Indian Affairs who mostly funds the two tribal councils.
(On the plane from Timmons to Toronto Katenies picked up some magazines such as Wawatay News. Almost every other page had a smiling picture of Stan Beardy, the point man on this Council for Indian Affairs. It was getting annoying to keep looking at this phony smiling Jack). Back to Zane’s email.
”This has led the council of Kashechewan to rely on an Iranian consultant (Nabil) to help them. He has done some stuff that I will not say in paper, good or
”So what is left for the community to do?
”I have some other stuff you might want to hear. Hope you had a nice holiday
I left him five messages to call me and he never did. Then shortly after the first email, another arrived.
“By the way, the $114,000 was the funding De Beers started to pay for the
community based negotiation team consisting of Gary Wesley and 8 other
community members, the ex-Chief Andrew Reuben, the current Deputy Chiefs
elder brother and myself as a volunteer. That negotiation team disbanded due to mishandling of the money by the community members. The negotiation team was replaced in May. The Chief and Council asked me to help them. So I introduced them to Ellis Kirkland as she knows how to deal with companies like De Beer’s. (How’s that?)
”The information on De Beers and the Bushmen I introduced to the
community at a community meeting in April and in May. The articles are all
over Kashechewan. The people can’t assimilate this information as yet. But it’s in their minds.
”De Beers refused to advance anymore money to the Band negotiation team until
Ellis forced them to do so due to her ability to make press against them.
”De Beer’s is now partially owned by the Botswana Government. They came to
Canada knowing that Canada already put the natives in concentration camps
and they think they can control the natives like they did in Africa.
”Kashechewan controls the access to northern Ontario.
”Indian Affairs split the reserve into two bands on one reserve in the 50′s when they where looking for the resources in the north, including the big water issue.
”When the De Beer’s thing all started, although they have been in the north
for over 20 years, the president of De Beer’s had a meeting in England with
the Minister for Natural Resources Canada and the next week NRCAN was the
lead agency for the federal CEAA process.
”NRCAN was pushing speed and dealing with Attawapiskat only.
”It was I and my associate Cheyanne Loan a Cree from Quebec that forced the
federal regulators to deal with the other communities. But that is about
all we could accomplish to help the bands deal with the Feds and De Beers.
”It slowed down the activities so far but the province never negotiated with
the bands and the province gave away the land over 45 square miles to De
Beers. No compensation to the communities except Attawapiskat who received
about 20 million which is one day’s profit of the mine and the mine will run
for over 20 years on the first strike. There are over 20 other potential
diamond producing zones De Beers has located and claimed.
On the same day I sent the following email.
“So the negotiation team has to be to the liking of De Beers or they won’t talk to them? Colonialism is alive and well.
“Just what did Ellis do to persuade DeBeers to fork over the funds? Did she have connections or did she work for them sometime in the past? That would be the only way she could have some persuasive powers with them. What did she offer to them so they would pass on the money? Did it go to her or to the People of Kashechewan? What is her relationship to De Beers? Who are her personal contacts within DeBeers who can do favors for her while they work things out the way they want?
So what is it? What is the CEAA process? Did you say that DeBeers paid those they wanted to talk to? Who did they pay – you, Ellis and whoever you selected? Why has the community been left dangling by Indian Affairs who are the fiduciaries? This is a human rights issue which Canada has agreed to uphold. What did that Iranian do and how did he come on the scene? It seems strange that he would appear from nowhere. Are you sure DeBeers didn’t send him in there ahead to massage them for the onslaught that followed?
I asked again for him to call me but he never did.
15. Observation of John P.
Then John P., a Mohawk friend in Toronto sent me this on January 1, 2006. “Sis, you are stating pretty much the same thing I’ve have been telling people since the water crisis came to light down here. When you take a look at when they first discovered that there may be diamonds up there, the length of time it takes to do the geological surveys, analyze the data, then try to do a proper survey in SWAMPLANDS, then factor in just when the water treatment plant was built, it starts to look pretty shady, At least to this Indian, it does. But then again, it’s only some savage, backwoods, heathen, pagan Indians. Who’s going to miss or care about them? Let’s get all the riches and dollars we can from Mother Earth!!!”
So it looks like we aren’t the only suspicious people.
16. Chief Leo Friday
Leo Friday is the Chief of Kashechewan band council. Rebecca is the vice-chief. Rebecca said that Leo has agreed to remove the people and help De Beers.
Ellis came up with the idea to remove the people. She flew up there in August in a De Beers jet. Indian Affairs had moved the Kashechewan people onto a flood plain on the River draining into James Bay. Walls, as high as 20 feet, have been built all around the territory to keep the water out. It’s like the levees around New Orleans. It is a swamp land which is very damp and causes all kinds of problems in their houses such as moss, fungus and other toxic conditions. It’s making them sick.
Indian Affairs doesn’t want to fix the water treatment plant because that would make the place viable. The houses could be fixed up. The idea seems to be to either move the people or to not bring them back to the community.
On January 3, 2006, Leo was supposed to bring the people to Toronto be assisted by Ellis to understand the agreement. Then at the end of the day De Beers was supposed to come in and meet with them and maybe finalize the agreement. Rebecca and the people held a meeting back in Kashechewan and refused to go to Toronto. They told Ellis, “If De Beers wants to speak to us, they’ll have to come here”. Rebecca said that Ellis was pretty upset over this turn of events and wanted to know what brought it about. Leo and Ellis had set up this meeting.
17. TREATY 9, 1905
Canada and Ontario have no rights to anything on this land without a treaty. Treaty 9 is fraudulent. Indian Affairs in 1905 selected the “Head Men” to sign this treaty. The Indian Act council was already in place before the treaty. This violates the constitution of Canada, Section 132 which stipulates that a treaty of surrender of land and sovereignty must be made before the Indian Act or the band council can be put in place in a community. The head men were selected by Indian Affairs. So the signatories were Indian Affairs nominees who were designated to sign away all the land. This is illegal and fraudulent according to constitution of Canada, the B.N.A. Act 1867, international law and the rule of law.
In Treaty 9, Kashechewan Crees were coerced into opening up their land for “settlement, immigration, trade, travel, mining, lumbering,” etc. The Crees were informed they had agreed to “cede, release, surrender and yield to the colonial governments of Canada and Ontario their rights, titles and privileges forever.” This violates Section 109 of the constitution in which Indigenous people have “prior interests” in all lands and resources. These rights supersede that of Canada and its provinces. The settlers allowed the original people the right to pursue hunting, trapping and fishing on their sovereign territory. Indian Affairs promised to set aside reserves of one mile per family. They will allow them to sell their reserve. Their reserve can also be expropriated for public works, railways and roads, etc. with compensation for any improvements if the government should so decide.
The Cree received $8 each at the signing and $4 every year for each family since then. What a bargain for the thieves! We wondered, “Don’t all the other territories involved in Treaty 9 have to agree if there is any change to the treaty?” This agreement is outright genocide and violates the International Convention on the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Canada signed onto this! The Indian Affairs signer was none other than that cad Duncan Campbell Scott.
18. Arrival in Timmins
We arrived in Timmins at 9:30 am on Wednesday, January 4th, 2006, to catch our 10:40 flight to Kashechewan. Rebecca had told us to go directly to the CreeBec Airlines ticket counter for our tickets for the remainder of our jaunt. Leo was supposed to pay for this part of our journey from Timmins to Kashechewan and return to Timmins. There were reservations but our tickets had not been paid. I called the band office in Kashechewan and no one answered. After calling constantly about 20 times, a receptionist answered and kept putting me on hold. Music blared at me while a radio host spoke in Cree. She would not come back to the phone. I would hang up and call her right back. Finally, I told her, “Stay on the phone. I want to speak to Leo”.
“He’s on the phone”, she said. Finally CreeBec who had been holding up the plane for us, had to close the gates and take off.
Finally in the afternoon Rebecca called my cell and told me how distraught she was. She had personally paid for our tickets from Toronto to Timmins on her own credit card. She told us, “Go to a hotel and wait for me. I need to speak to you. It is urgent. Please stay”. She suggested the Bon Aire Hotel in Timmins. “I’ll arrive tomorrow, Thursday, at 6:00 pm and meet you at your hotel room. I’ll call you five minutes before I get on the plane”. This was beginning to sound clandestine, like a mystery novel.
We found our way to Bon Aire. It’s a busy motel. We got two rooms, one for me and Katenies and one for Aroniakon. It was getting pretty cold. The motel was full of Indigenous people who came and went, giving us glances acknowledging us as their brother and sisters. One time I was walking back to my room and came upon two tall Cree girls in warm parkas, one red and one blue. They looked exactly alike. They were standing outside their rooms smoking. “Where you girls from?” I asked.
“We’re from Moose Factory”, they answered. This community is south of Kashechewan on lower east side of James Bay. I had visited this place twice, once in the winter and once in the summer. I knew people there. It is a hard place to get to. We had to drive to Cochrance, took the Polar Bear Express for six hours through wilderness, and finally got there. It was exciting. It is so far north, very few non natives, and then suddenly you arrive in Moosonee, the sister community of Moose Factory. It full of life, people, skidoos, trucks and cars. All the businesses and people are open and friendly.
“Hey, my former son-in-law, Victory Linklater, is from there.
“He’s our cousin”, said the twin in the dark coat.
“Can you tell him that his Mohawk mother is asking about him for me?” I asked.
They laughed, “We sure will. Nice meeting you”. They gave me his phone number and told me he was working for CreeBec Airlines at the airport in Moose Factory. I finished walking back to my room.
There were about 100 rooms set out in a long row which formed an “L” at the far end. We stayed at one of the far end rooms. It was nice and clean. We freshened up and went to nearby Mike’s to eat. We kept talking about what could possibly have happened to our planned trip.
19. Wondering about Rebecca
“Let’s just hope she gets on that flight tomorrow”, said Aroniakon. He was worried about her.
“She wants to tape our meeting so she can play it all back to her people back home”, I said. We agreed it was a good idea.
We wondered about Leo’s relationships with De Beers, Ellis and Indian Affairs. Katenies commented, “They know about us and kept us from going there. That’s what I think. But why?”
We then went back to our room and got on Aroniakon’s computer which we hooked up to the motel internet. We did some research on De Beers and Ellis’ website. We answered our emails. Many responses had come in on the MNN communiqué, “Lust for Diamonds”, offering help and advice. We were encouraged by this.
20. WBAI Radio New York City
The next morning, Thursday, we listened to the Indigenous program on WBAI in New York City on the computer. I had been invited to speak on the Kanehsatake issue. But I had emailed them that I could not. I was away in the great white north. So they set up Pearl Bonspille and John Harding of Kanehsatake for the interview. We are writing a book on their adventures called, “Who’s Sorry Now? The Good, the Bad and the Unapologetic Mohawks of Kanehsatake”. It is a satirical review of how Indian Affairs, the Quebec government and their point man, James Gabriel, were trying to remove these Mohawks off their land to mine the niobium they are living over. Niobium is a mineral that makes steel and other metals stronger and lighter, for armaments and space exploration. For twenty years the Mohawks have constantly resisted these attempts to remove them to the point that Canada organized a raid on their community. So the whole issue got international attention. Their interview was great! They were there. They could speak about the issues with passion.
“Their situation is similar in some ways to Kashechewan, isn’t it, Katenies?” I exclaimed.
“We should explain this to Rebecca to show how this is the m.o. on native people everywhere”, she replied.
Luckily Katenies had all our communiqués on her email archive. She pulled it out so we could read it to Rebecca. This way she would realize others are in the same boat as her.
22. Rebecca arrives in Timmins
Rebecca did call us 5 minutes before she boarded her flight. She arrived at the hotel at 8:00 pm. “I cannot understand what’s happening, but I know something is happening”, said Rebecca. “I need to understand the whole thing”. She felt that getting the information will make her secure.
Over supper, Rebecca started to explain, “De Beers came in the 1960’s. They went to the Dene people in the Northwest Territories in the 1980’s. They came to Attawapiskat three years ago. De Beers and a whole bunch of others have stakes all around James Bay. We were never told anything! And this is our land!”
Aroniakon quietly explained, “In the U.S. there is a big push to open up the Arctic for oil drilling and minerals. It is closer to the US than the Middle East. Canada and the US are fighting over sovereignty”. He explained, “For the past year we have been involved in the constitution jurisdiction issue. This is a land claims issue, a water issue. It’s all about NAFTA. In this agreement the US has taken over Canadian water. In the future the US might annex Canada, taking the border right out and putting everything under their control”.
Rebecca exclaimed, “Did you know that there’s going to be a port built on Hudson’s Bay? I heard about it a year ago. We haven’t been told yet.”
Rebecca said that Green Peace had visited Kashechewan last year. She had asked them, “Why did you come so late? We just found out about the diamond mines. Diversions have been created, such as the health issue from the foul toxic drinking water.”
We asked Rebecca, “Who are the people you are dealing with at De Beers?”
She said, “Jonathan Fowler and Jeremy White who is the Vice President. Other names are Joe Young and Steve White of Thunder Bay Indian Affairs. They work together”.
Finally, we were all tired out and decided to call it a night. But Rebecca, Katenies and I kept talking long into the night. There was so much for us to learn from Rebecca and she needed so much information.
22. What is R.C.M.I.?
We were all up early on Friday morning. Rebecca started recalling some strange happenings with Ellis and De Beers. “About two weeks ago I had to go to Toronto to meet up with Ellis and De Beers. I arrived at the airport. Ellis’ butler picked me up. He was grubby looking and had a small dirty junky car. How does Ellis have someone like this working for her?” Rebecca pondered. He must have noticed that I was looking around and thinking about it. Anyway, the next day, he came to pick me up and he was all dressed up in a snazzy suit with a tie and he was driving a limo”.
I asked her, “Where did you stay in Toronto?”
Rebecca said this was another strange occurrence. She couldn’t remember the name of the place. Ellis told her it was an “Embassy”. It was like a dark gothic museum full of guns and weapons. Finally she remembered, “It was R.C.M.I.” None of us knew what those initials stood for.
After a while we figured it out. It was the “Royal Canadian Military Institute”. But why would Ellis put her up there? Ellis said she was a member and had set up a meeting with them at this place one time.
We looked up RCMI on the internet. Sure enough, there was such a place as the Royal Canadian Military Institute. Rebecca recognized the pictures of the macabre exhibits and furniture. The website said that RCMI does “original research and studies of historic and contemporary defense issues. They are a key component of the ongoing effort to become the leading “think tank” for military and strategic affairs”.
Wow! This was getting stranger by the minute. The head cheese is Col. Brian S. McDonald. They are developing laws and policies to establish martial laws should it ever be necessary. There is an “educational mandate” for something called “Strategy 2025”.
The RCMI website states that RCMI is involved with all kinds of organizations like the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, military colleges, CIDA Canadian International Development Agency, the Navy, Canadian Secret Service, Emergency Preparedness and Response and Department of National Defense”.
They are involved with the Canadian American Strategic Review, Asia Pacific Security, the McKenzie Institute, security and defense programs in universities, Arms Control Institute, Brookings Institute, Bulleting of Atomic Scientists, Global Security.org, Rand Corporation, International Institutes and Associations like the British American Security Information Council, Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, North American Aerospace Defense Command, NATO and, of course, the United Nations.
RCMI’s mission is to deal with the violence of terrorism and horrendous possibility of attacks with weapons of mass destruction.
Ellis told Rebecca, “Kashechewan is going to be the model for other communities”.
23. Rebecca blocks the ice road
Rebecca talked about the agreements for the roads through Kashechewan. They had given them to Ellis and Zane about a year ago and so far there was no feed back from them. “The agreements we are being asked to sign are for new roads to be built right through our community. They are demanding stringent conditions and the compensation goes directly to Indian Affairs, not to us, unless there is something left over. If there is any unrest, we forfeit any bonus payments. De Beers has not consulted the people and the chiefs signed the agreements without letting us know”.
Aroniakon quickly read over the agreements and found a lot of omissions. For one, a fixed sum will be paid for maintenance as long as it is needed by De Beers. “They should pay every year for ever to the community consistent with inflation”, he added.
Rebecca got so mad that she went out and blocked the ice road. Trucks could not go onto Attawapiskat. Then there was a revised agreement. The police will be sent up to stop anyone if they protest any incursions on their own land. “If we object we’ll be arrested”, she said.
The arbitrator to settle any disputes will be selected by them from Ontario. They are benefiting from the mining so how neutral can they be? The community will have no input. “They will contact Ontario Justice Committee and they will determine what is best for us”, she exclaimed angrily. No independent party will be allowed to enter the arbitration process. The entire procedure must be conducted in the English language. The people in Kashechewan do not speak English. They will not understand what is going on!
During our discussions, Rebecca began to validate her thoughts and feelings about what is happening. “No matter what happens, if De Beers offers a deal and you say “no”, they will go to the Ontario Court of Justice. They will favor them because they are all getting a benefit. We are a nation, our laws have to apply. We have to be allowed to bring our own people into this discussion”.
24. Green Peace and the flooding
“Our river, the Nispatio, is going to be dammed and diverted. The province of Ontario secretly approved it without consulting us or getting our approval”, Rebecca told us. “We will be flooded. Green Peace told us that we will have to be removed!” What have they done since their visit to help these people?
25. In the dungeon
After her complaints, she was spirited away to Toronto. Ellis put her up at the Royal Canadian Military Institute. “Was this to intimidate me?” she asked.
Rebecca said something very startling, “That Ellis is very disciplined, like a soldier!” We all commented that every time we had seen her she was wearing black clothes and a black trench coat like those kids wore at the Columbine school shootings.
Aroniakon said, “A very disciplined soldier”. Why was Rebecca brought there?
Ellis told Rebecca, “Don’t use your cell phone. Use only the Embassy phone.” Rebecca didn’t listen. She used her cell. She felt like she was being watched. “I thought I was a guinea pig for this place”. It was full of weapons, ancient and recent. There was even Von Richtoven’s seat from his Fokker plane from the First World War on display in a glass case”.
26. Meeting with the Governor General of Canada
Then something else happened, that bewildered Rebecca. Ellis took her along to meet with the new Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean. Ellis told the Governor General that she wants to make Kashechewan community redevelopment model for the rest of James Bay. The Governor General said she would help Ellis to do this. It would cost a lot which would come from Indian money. They talked about making a model for Haiti at the same time. That’s where the Governor General comes from.
Rebecca said, “Ellis and the Governor General discussed plans to develop the model for James Bay and sell it to Haiti”.
Ellis told Rebecca, “This is a secret meeting and nobody is supposed to know about it”. Ellis also told Rebecca that she was going to take her on a trip to China!
This wouldn’t have something to do with Indian reserves, and Haiti development as tax free havens, would it?
27. In conclusion
In the end Rebecca said, “People are so desperate. They notice things. For the military to be involved this must be a big project. The Dart Team brought water up there”.
“Why the Dart Team? This must be through Ellis’ connection with RCMI”, we suddenly realized.
“It cost $7 million to evacuate our people. Now the water costs $300 a bag of one litre that’s being provided from the army!”
‘People are fighting for jobs. Indian Affairs created this whole situation. They are spending $8 million to renovate badly constructed houses. This is creating fights between members of the community. We need an economy that we have total control over. Indian Affairs, De Beers and the Ontario government have all the strings”.
Rebecca said that, “They don’t want us to know what’s going on outside so we can get information and help. There are a lot of human rights violations going on here”.