|This is long. But it shows us how to decipher corporate media stories about us. Kahentinetha Horn MNN Mohawk Nation NewsSIX NATIONS: MACHIAVELLIAN GHOSTS HAUNT CANADIAN MEDIA Where is “Deep Throat” when we need him?
MNN. April 23, 2006. The Canadian media continues to deliberately distort what’s happening at Six Nations. The law and British guarantees to protect our land are completely on our side. We want to show just how tricky and deceptive the corporate media is. Let’s go through the editorial published in the Montreal Gazette on April 21st 2006, the day after the police raid on the Six Nations at Caledonia.
Their heading was, “Enforce the law for natives, too. Authorities are chronically terrified to deal with native truculence and belligerence.”
We agree with the first part. The law should be enforced on behalf of Natives too. That’s what this demonstration is about. Canada has laws against theft and fraud. We want Canada to obey those laws. Why is it alright to steal our land? Why do they call us “truculent and belligerent” when we try to live by the law? Why are the authorities afraid? We haven’t attacked them. They surround us with guns, bullets, pepper spray, tasers, M-16?s, ambulances ready to ship us to the hospital and body bags to put us in when they drive us to their morgues. Who is being belligerent? We have no weapons. We have not made any threats. We are sitting on our land. If they are afraid, it must be of their own ugly faces in the mirror and shadows on the ground. All that weaponry in their hands is not a pretty sight.
The Gazette says we have been “illegally occupying a subdivision construction site”. Since when is it illegal to sit on one’s own land? This is a deliberate attempt to defame us. Such as their claim “In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of native policy” nobody really expects the laws to be applied to aboriginals as it is to everyone else. “Yes, why don’t we get the same benefit of the law as everyone else? Why aren’t we considered innocent until proven guilty? Why is it still open season on “Indians”? Why, in 2006, more than 50 years since Canada supported the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are we being vilified in the Canadian press?
Canadians don’t have to obey American laws when they are not in the United States. The British don’t have to obey French laws when they are in England. Why are we treated different? We aren’t Canadians. We have our own jurisdiction and Britain promised to protect it. Every time we have tried to present our case in a neutral tribunal Canada has refused to participate. It has done everything to avoid respecting the promises made by Britain. Colonialism is supposed to be dead and gone. But Canadian officials continue to conspire to stop us from getting justice.
It’s not as if we haven?t tried to get justice before. We had a lot of international support at the League of Nations in the 1920’s. Canada’s response’ It officially deposed our government, denied us access to our trust funds, set up a puppet band council regime and passed laws to prevent us from hiring lawyers to fight our case. What’s legal about that?
Of course, Canada could not legally depose our government. No more than the Nazi’s could depose the legitimate government of France in World War II. Our legitimate government was and always has been by and for our people according to the Kaianereh’ko:wa. Our traditional Confederacy government always continued. Canada only persuaded a tiny minority to vote in their puppet elections. Now they can?t find enough puppets to fill a band council. The Six Nations Indian Act band council has now publicly decided that Six Nations land claims should be dealt with by our traditional government. The Gazette never mentioned that.
That editorial was meant to defame us and our legitimate struggle to hold onto our assets, to right injustices and to exercise our right to self-determination. The Gazette did not do any research or competent reporting. It did not explain the legal basis of the Women’s trust responsibility for the land, the reason why we are standing up.
The Gazette trotted out a bunch of trite and hackneyed insinuations. It outright lied, declaring that, “There’s not much real evidence” of “legitimate land claims rooted in historic complaints”. What? Check out the League of Nations Archives or Canada’s own National Archives [watch it get burnt down suddenly!]. The latter includes a 1952 memo by the national archivist, A.E. St. Louis. When he was ready to retire, he decided to put his shock over the mistreatment of the Six Nations people on record. There is a ton of work by accredited scholars. Sydney L. Harring stated that a substantial proportion of the litigation in Upper Canada courts concerned Six Nations land.
Our ancestors hired the best lawyers available. But we still couldn’t get justice from a system that was all too willing to accommodate illegal squatters and dip into our trust funds. More recent research includes Brian Titleys’ book, “A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada”. In the 1970?s the late Sally M. Weaver received a Canada Council grant to research the Six Nations situation. Her findings were upsetting and never published. They lie hidden in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room at the University of Waterloo. Royal commissions and other official studies have been done time and again. They all show that the Six Nations have been defrauded. The Law Society of Upper Canada and McGill University borrowed from our trust funds and never paid it back. If Canada believes in the rule of law, why doesn’t it do the right thing?
The Gazette stated that, “courts have been consistently generous, many say too generous – in accepting native arguments”. What judgments are they talking about? To date our arguments have been almost universally ignored, misunderstood or misrepresented. Naturally many might say the courts have been “too generous” – especially if they’ve relied on the Gazette for their information. With such biased media shaping public opinion, no wonder people imagine that we’re a gang of hoodlums.
It’s obvious that yellow press, like the Gazette, is deliberately trying to create the impression that we are a bunch of uneducated criminals. They can’t do this by showing pictures of us beating anyone up. They do heavily cover trials where it is “proven” that we did something “violent” when we defended ourselves from armed attacks. But they can’t plant violent images in their readers’ minds.
The Gazette editorial said: “Ask yourself this: in a province deeply concerned about crimes, gangs, and gun violence, would any other ethnic or cultural group be allowed to shut down a legal construction site for 52 days and counting?” Notice that it didn’t actually say that we had guns or gangs or did anything violent. It couldn’t because we aren’t. It just inserted these images into the middle of its statement about us.
Every time people read about “Natives” they see something about crime, guns and violence. They get conditioned. They start to think that “where there’s smoke, there must be fire”. That’s how they keep the old missionary stereotypes alive. They could steal our land. They could kill us. They could steal our children, because God was on their side. They want you to keep on thinking that they are “civilized” and we aren’t.
But you have to wonder. If the Gazette is really so concerned about crime, why didn’t the Gomery Report on major bureaucratic fraud get full front page treatment? Most of the Gazette’s anemic reporting got shuffled to the inside pages, while the front page ran a feature on the heart wrenching plight of children who are apprehended from dysfunctional parents. That goes on every day. One of the reasons why there’s not enough money for legitimate public work is that too much is being skimmed off by crooks with official government positions.
They are using the same tactic on the Six Nations Caledonia story. Guess what the front page featured the day of the police raid? A new portrait of the Queen!!! As if what happened to us that day did not leave the British monarchy in total disgrace!
Back to that shameless Gazette editorial. Another trick it used to make us look violent was mentioning that an SQ officer was killed in the “Oka affair” of 1990. They didn’t recall that the man was killed by a police bullet when they opened fire on our people, including people who were asleep and a two year old toddler on a tricycle. Talk about selective memory!!!
We do agree with one statement, however, “rewarding bad behavior only encourages more of it”. Right on!!! So we wonder why is the Gazette refusing to do an honest and competent job of reporting? Why is it spreading lies about us and covering up past and present bureaucratic corruption and incompetence? We think Woodward and Bernstein, those reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal, based pm secret informant “Deep Throat”, wouldn’t work there. The spirit of investigative reporting is alive and well. It lives in the hearts of the people. We are getting our tips from latter day Deep Throats! Honest decent Canadians Americans and friends all over the world. You won’t find out what they know by reading the corporate press.
Canadians and Americans, for that matter, are being told bare faced lies. As we write, they are being “fibbed” to by the corporate press that “everything has been resolved” [at Six Nations]. Those shady characters who run Canada want our supporters to stay away from us. We are still here. We’re still ready, and we’re still on alert. We can see the build-up of troops before our eyes. Twenty vans full of armed RCMP have been spotted in Caledonia. This is a life and death situation. The corporate media lies to you.
Tricks the Media Plays to Try to Colonize Your Mind.
1. “There is No Story”.
We knew a lot was happening. We knew high ranking government officials, police, military and courts were involved. We sent everything to the media. They published nothing.
2. When something important happens, the front page features a big photo about something heart-touching that isn’t really news.
Like the Queen’s 80th birthday hat!
3. The media tells you there is only one way of looking at things. (Their way).
When the mainstream media finally said something about the Six Nations issue, it only gave the viewpoint of Henco Industries? and the “government”. They didn’t speak to us or ask us or our supporters why we were there.
4. The media ridicule the issue and any public official who tries to find out the truth and deal with it honestly.
The Montreal Gazette accused government officials of being soft on us and claimed that we live in an “Alice in Wonderland World of Native Policy”. That’s right! They do look at us “through their twisted carnival mirror”! Or down their rabbit hole where they want us to go!
5. The reporters do no research then say there’s no evidence.
Woodward and Bernstein need not apply.
6. The media call for “law and order” and refer to “guns” or “crime” in every third sentence.
Yes, we want law and order. The media won’t tell you that. They don’t tell you that only the cops have guns and only government officials can lie and commit crimes.
7. They claim the courts have been generous when actually they have bent the rules against us.
Canada does not want a neutral tribunal to hear our cases. The current court orders were made when we were not there by a judge who owns property in the disputed area.
8. The media claim that angry “citizens” are attacking the protesters
The media makes ordinary citizens angry by misrepresenting the facts. They’re driving some young hot heads to attack us to justify the presence of the army to carry out state violence against us. They did this during the Mohawk Oka Crisis in 1990. Someone persuaded people to evacuate the sick, elderly and children from Kahnawake. The police blocked the convoy on the bridge for hours, while the rabble-rousing radio stations encouraged crowds of thugs to gather. When the Indigenous people were finally released, they had to drive through a gauntlet of stone throwing hooligans. Cars and windows were smashed. Police stood by watching. One man died of a heart attack. Countless infants and children had glass embedded in their skin. It was fully photographed. Only one man was convicted.
A few years later French-speaking fishermen attacked their Indigenous neighbours at Burnt Church. Government officials used this to deny Miq’maq fishing rights where they had fished since the end of the last ice age.
At Six Nations Caledonia a few misguided youths have been lead to believe that attacking natives is a right. No one says anything about the thousands of peaceful non-native supporters from all over the world who are trying to help us.
9. The paper only publishes one letter to the editor.
That’s it for the Six Nations/Caledonia issue. The corporate papers will only publish your letter if: (a) you have figured a witty way to repeat their editorial line; or (b) you give cliché “red neck” support that’s easy to rebut. That way they can pretend they”ve covered both sides of the issue. The Editorial page articles in the Gazette include, “No cures for traffic woes” and “Marital rescue needed”. Someone fought with his wife over who gets to do the Soduku puzzle!
10. The summary of the week in pictures makes it look like the protests are on some other planet.
On Thursday, April 20th, the Warriors and the Peacekeepers at Kahnawake closed the Mercier bridge for half an hour to mount ten unity flags on top of the bridge for all the world to see. This same bridge was blocked for most of the summer of the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990. It was a big deal for Montrealers. The Gazette ignored the home-town news. It also didn’t have any photos of the protesters blocking the train track between Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s two largest cities. It did show a picture of a South Korean protesters burning a Japanese military flag’ and was the panda in someone’s zoo having indigestion or something?
Welcome to the corporate media’s job to promote the new world order!
MNN Mohawk Nation News
Brothers, Sisters, Friends and Allies: Continue to be vigilant. Send along all your info and ideas. Spread the word. If you can come, bring along perishable food, rain gear, radios, batteries, alternative communications, tents, alternate transportation, tools, clean clothes, towels, etc., any kind of shelter, sleeping bags, cots, lawn chairs, for a long stay. Bring along any alternate media that’s covering the story truthfully. Cameras, camcorders. Signed flags of your nation. Any useful electronics. Medical supplies and anything in case of injuries. Gas masks. Lemons to wash off tear gas. Tell the so-called authorities “lighten up and back off”. Keep up the pressure. Tell the world what’s going on. Organize protests. Hand out flyers. If you have any ideas, send them along to us and we’ll let everyone know. Get support from unions, workers, ordinary people, anybody. Write letters to the editor and see if you can get one in the corporate media. Don’t let them shut out our fire, our spirit. Have bail money and lawyers ready. Keep putting out press releases on and off the ‘net. Get all native organizations and the tribal and band councils to get on board with us. Get support in Mexico, Central and South America, other parts of the world. Native and non-native. We need people who can get through the police and army lines to get supplies to us. Presently the way still open and most can come in. Just Send supplies to c/o Hazel E. Hill, RR #6, Hagersville, Ontario Canada N0A 1H0. By mail, by any courier. They need urgently a wireless laptop so they can send reports and messages hourly, if necessary.