Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Three misconceptions: The Six Nations Confederacy at Caledonia RESEARCH NOTES

Sharon Green's Gathering Place is really the website for First Nations Canadian news. Mike Christian's letter is there. Rolland Pangowish's letter to the Globe and Mail is there. The Haldimand Mayor joined a racist mob at the barricades and made some comments her City Council later repudiated. That story is on Gathering Place. Primary sources such as the Confederacy Chiefs' letter to the Governor General, Michaƫlle Jean; David Dennis' letter on behalf of the United Native Nations urging the federal government to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities; the Native Women's Association of Canada press release; the Ongwehonwe Women's Manifesto; a statement by the Ontario Provincial Police, and more are all there.

The three misconceptions are

  • the idea that the Crown's actions are dictated by conquest of First Nations (the Six Nations Confederation was an ally of the Crown and its entitlement to the Douglas Creek lands derives from that alliance);
  • the notion that Caledonia is neither a land-claims issue nor a federal matter (the federal government has a fiduciary obligation toward all First Nations);
  • clan mothers, elders, and the Confederacy Council are not ad hoc "splinter" groups. They are more ancient democratic insitutions than the white man's tenure in North America. Band Councils were imposed by the federal government in 1924.

Hillary Bain Lindsay, "It's Not A Land Claim," The Dominion (April 19, 2006) is a good introduction to the Caledonia action.

The Declaration of Independence is available from a number of sites. I used the one at the Indiana University Law School but had to edit the punctuation to a modern standard so that I could read the script without stumbling.

Anthony J. Hall is the primary scholarly source for the role played by Indian people in American mythology and their transformation into illegal terrorist combatants in the 21st century. See his The Bowl with One Spoon, vol. 1: American Empire and the Fourth World, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is also available from a number of different sites. The copy I used is from the Bill Henderson's Virtual Law Office.

Chief Joseph Gosnell's speech to the BC Legislature comes from the Nisga'a's excellent website. These are the people who carried the can for Aboriginal Land Claims for more than a century.

Kate Harries at the Globe and Mail and Paul Legall at the Hamilton Spectator have covered this story from the beginning, and Rudy Platiel retired aboriginal reporter for the G&M has done some excellent research on the Haldimand Tract.Recommend this Post

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