Louis Karoniaktajeh Hall / Newsletters / Indian Survival Crisis Bulletin No. 27
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GANIENKEH NEWSLETTERS

INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN

NO. 27

JANUARY, 1988
In response to a local Indian radio broadcast of an interview featuring Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons, Chief Leon Shanandoah and Clan Mother Alice Papineau, I was asked to make a few remarks mentioning no names to avoid embarrassing certain folks...even forgot the day of the date thereof...

A KIND AND GENEROUS RESPONSE

Imagine my surprise when a couple of old friends in Onondaga, both chiefs, spoke over the local Indian radio station and said some very unflattering remarks about the traditionals in Kahnawake. They were being interviewed by a member of the local Band Council and a member of the Cultural Center.

The interview and the interviewed all seemed to be of one mind that the Warrior Society are terrorists, goon squad and that they're like the Mafia. One of the Chiefs said the Grand Council didn't sanction the Warrior Society or the Nation Office in Kahnawake. The other chief said later that what they meant was that Grand Council was asked to sanction the Warrior Society nor the Nation Office. The fact is that the Warrior Society has always existed. In the Great Law they're referred to as "the War Chief and his men". Now, there are even women and girls in it, insisting in being given lessons in handling weapons so they'll not be sitting ducks when "manifest destiny" attacks. Formerly, when Indian towns are attacked by the white men, the women, old people, children and even babies were ruthlessly slaughtered. This time, everybody fights. So, now, it's the War Chief and his men, women, etc.

About the Nation Office being sanctioned. That would be a first. The Mohawk Nation Office should be sanctioned by another nation or nations? Anyone needing an office can have one without having to ask for permission. I always had an office. A typewriter, a desk and a slightly sloppy filing system. I didn't ask for permission and I'm not asking.

The Interviewer said the cigarette sales are not being turned over to the government in control. Onondaga Chief said the money derived from the sales be turned over to the government. Didn't say which government. The Canadian government or the Grand Council. The interviewer agreed that the money earned in these various enterprises should be handed over to the government, we suppose her government the Band Council and not the Onondaga Chief's government. Both agreed there should be control. We get the impression from their talk that they both want control and the money. The Mohawk enterprisers should make all kinds of money and hand it over to them and be controlled by them.

The interviewers and the interviewed all agreed that there is no Warrior Society. It just doesn't exist. Yet in 1972, Onondaga yelled for help to the Mohawk Warrior Society here and Akwesasne. Two hundred of us non-existent Warriors responded and sped to Onondaga to help defend the place. Manifest destiny was in the process of extending the highway through the Onondaga rez. We went there to back up the Onondagas. Instead, they backed us up, that is, they were way at the back, even behind the students from the University of Syracuse they had invited to help by demonstrating. We wondered why the Onondaga warriors were not around to defend their land. They say that God helps those who help themselves. The Onondagas were not helping themselves so God didn't help them, but we did. We non-existing, goon squad, Mafia terrorists Warrior Society helped the Onondaga by stopping the road extension and saving their land.

We were milling around the highway when someone yelled, "Here they come. Let's go that way." Down the straight highway about a mile away, a huge bulldozer with a blade as wide as the road, came in the van of the trouble coming towards us. Then I noticed no one in front of us as we marched towards the trouble coming up the road. Everyone was behind us. Me, Eddie who was 71 years old, was one my left and on the other side of him was Richard Oakes of Akwesasne, who led the takeover at Alcatraz. Marching with the Mohawks were some 200 warriors from Tuscarora. Behind them, the 400 students from the University of Syracuse, with their medical students, nurses, stretchers and ambulances for they expected a bloodbath as at Attica the year before when 40 prisoners were killed by the same State Troopers coming up the road with the bulldozers. Then the bulldozers and the road building enforcers disappeared, went back down the hill. Some State Troopers came up and told us that the work was being stopped by the government. During the interview one of the Onondaga Chiefs mentioned that he had "being of one mind power" and didn't need a warrior society. We now wonder why he didn't use it on that highway instead of getting us over there for nothing. The following weekend there was a grand council and as it ended early in the afternoon of the second day, we decided to take in the lacrosse game going on and we saw the Onondaga non-warriors, big strapping fellows, great lacrosse players, strong and rough, overwhelming but too peaceful to defend their own land and people.

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