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Editor: Rastewenserontah Diome
ISSUE: No. 40, March 15, 1969
(Chief Peter Diome)
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE K A N O N S O N N I O N W E
KAHNAWAKE BRANCH OF THE SIX NATION "IROQUOIS" CONFEDERACY
WORLD'S FIRST CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT BASED ON:
There has been all sorts of controversies and declarations made by some lawyers and jurists of dubious character who have tried to lead us, of the Six Nations "Iroquois" Confederacy to believe that we are British subjects rather than being sovereign Confederate Nations. Let me quote a letter of a French Governor who upon a negotiation with Iroquois Chiefs in exchanging French for "Iroquois" prisoners. British Governor, Clinton, claimed, the French had no right to make such negotiation with the "Iroquois" whom he considered as British subjects, and here is what the French Governor wrote to Governor Clinton in 1748: "That neither the treaty of Utrecht, nor any other similar one can make the "Iroquois" subjects of Great Britain. They claim to be free, as they declared an infinite number of times and as their conduct and yours towards them proves, inasmuch as for 150 years they have concluded peace and made war independent of you, and often in opposition to you, without your having attempted to force them to obey you. The Plenipotentiaries of Utrecht could not then legitimately subject them to you. The English are too well read in the laws of nations not to appreciate this truth. (N.Y. Dc, 6 P. 496).
The above letter is one of the many testimonies which prove the "Iroquois" Confederacy as being sovereign Confederate Nations, of course the Indian Affairs Branch claims that we are not. That may be true of the Indians who vote and support the Indian Act of Canada, but, is not true of the Six Nations "Iroquois" Confederacy, although the Indian Affairs Branch claim that our land is vested to the British Crown, is simply presumptuous, for the fact that the Kanonsonnionwe or "Iroquois" Confederacy as title holder of the land have never at any time surrendered the said land to any of the European displaced persons who are actually squatting on our land. Here is another important letter from Sir William Jonson in 1749 to Governor Clinton:
"Your Excellency is plenipotentiary with the Indian who, though called subjects, are a foreign people, and are to be treated with as immediately from the King, of His Majesty's Governor." (N.Y. Doc. 6P, 540) May I ask, by what right Her Majesty's government in Canada have to claim us as their wards?
The interesting part about our Confederacy being still an entity is due to the fact that our fellow People of the Longhouse of the Grand River Country never ceased to hold their Council Fire burning in all those years. They were tenacious enough to continue on, even after Her Majesty's government in Canada ordered the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to force them out of their Council House, in 1924, they nevertheless continued to hold their monthly council and have kept the minutes of those councils.
We people of the Confederacy, across Canada and the United States, have to be thankful to those people. When we Mohawks and other nations of the "Iroquois" Confederacy need to have Rotiyaner installed, we make a request to the original Five Nations Confederacy of the Grand River Country in Ohsweken and they come to officiate.
We Mohawks know that, in the past our ancestors have apostated to the White Man's religion and his laws, therefore had alienated themselves from the Kayanarakowa - The Great Law - founded by Dekanawideh, but now that we are reinstated we must keep in mind that we must work with one heart and one mind towards the unity, not only among the "Iroquois" Confederacy, but among our traditional Native brothers of the Americas. We must keep connected with them through the "Buck Skin Heritage Treaty" made last June at Akeenah, Oklahoma.
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There has been a lot of misunderstandings with the White Man and even with our Christian brothers for refusing to vote on elections, referendums and plebiscites. Unlike the White Man's system, ours is not the majority system, but the unanimity, which means when a delegation is sent somewhere, they are representing the unanimous will of the people of the Longhouse.
On February 22nd, there was a form of referendum in Caughnawaga to decide on a matter of a decision to be made whether in Kahnawake we should have a multi-confessional united school (Heaven forbid!) where the Roman Catholic would run supreme by having their own two administrators, and their Catholic nuns teaching our Protestant brothers and our own "Iroquois" children. We refused to take part in the voting, but a delegation composed of "Iroquois" Confederate people went to Ottawa to Mr. R.F. Davey, Director of Educational Department (Federal) of Indian Affairs, 400 Laurier Avenue, Centennial Building, and Mr. Robert (Bud) Simpson, M.P. Churchill, P.C. at Parliament Building, Ottawa and explained that we did not wish to accept a unification of a multi-confessional school, and while we did not mind having our children in the United Church school but we nevertheless preferred a Kahnawake United Neutral School in order to have our children grow up in unity rather than to have them as they are now, growing apart due to the difference of religion, and one must realize that politics and religion have bred the best haters among people. Tom Paine.
While on the delegation we left several copies of the briefs from the Protestants and our own to the above gentlemen. We were also told that, the Quebec Government had no final jurisdiction on Native's education. We, of the "Iroquois" Confederacy certainly confirm such statement made by the Federal M.P.'s because, although our Kahnawake "Iroquois" Reserved Land geographically is situated in Quebec, it is not Quebec territory. Therefore, their Quebec Provincial Police or any police that would be under their jurisdiction, are not legal. The same goes for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who at any time, never had judicial jurisdiction over the Natives, except on intoxicating liquor laws. That law was accepted by our forefathers because of the abuses made on the Natives by the Whites.
According to the so-called new Indian Act of 1951, the Federal Government had transferred their judicial jurisdiction to the provincial governments, which was absurd, because, how could they transfer a power they did not have?