Jeff Green | Jan 17, 2008
Letters - January 17, 2008
Back toHomeLetters - January 24, 2008 LettersDecember 20From the Algonquin Frying Pan to the Mohawk Fire, Jennifer Tsun, Nishnaabe Kwe, McDonalds CornersThumbs Up to Central Frontenac Road Crews, Marcie WebsterRunning Lights Don't Turn on Tail Lights, Bob MacPhersonFrom the Algonquin frying panto the Mohawk fire
From the beginning, the Crown, Ontario and agents wanted the farcical mediation meetings to be held behind closed doors. Did they want to isolate the Ardoch and Shabot Algonquin "leadership" to make secret $deals$ over a supposed uranium mine? According to Indigenous law, such meetings that concern the people should be open to the people, as the Algonquins have repeatedly insisted.
Suddenly, Ontario says the meetings are open to the public but now they are to be held in Kingston, outside of Algonquin territory, two hours away from the affected community. Moving the mediation out of Algonquin territory is also a breach of Algonquin law.
However, this is a clear case of the proverbial "Out of the frying pan and into the fire!" Kingston is in Mohawk territory!
Why, we must ask, would the meetings be moved to Kingston? For whose convenience?
The new location was certainly handy for the Mohawks, perhaps too handy. When they changed the venue, the mediation team knew Kahentinetha Horn of MNN was planning to attend - Randy Cota and Bob Lovelace had invited her!
(In July 2007, the Algonquins sent a wampum to the Mohawks seeking their help in the blockade against uranium mining at Robertsville. Nuclear development on Algonquin land would affect Mohawk communities downstream. This official nation-to-nation agreement is ongoing.)
The mediation team was surprised to see a large delegation of Ongwehoneh women and men from the four Mohawk communities of Kahnawake, Kahensatake, Akwesasne and Tyendinaga.
The mediation team was even more shocked to hear Elder Kahentinetha speak in Mohawk to open the meeting according to Ongwehoneh customs and protocols. Ardoch Algonquin Negotiator Bob Lovelace sought to ignore her and defer to one of the Mohawk men. The Mohawks were not about to let the farce continue without exposing it for what it is.
The details of the derailed meeting are best described by those who were there. MNN has published an informative report that can be accessed at www.mohawknationnews.com. The outcome will become more apparent in the days ahead.
One thing's for sure from where I sit.
Mohawk people have tried to help us Algonquins over and over again since the uranium crisis began last June at the Robertsville mine site. From the Mohawk warriors who came to put their lives and liberty on the line at the mine site to Mohawk elders like Kahentinetha who publish the MNN articles in support of the Algonquin struggle, they have given their time and resources to us.
Yet I have been told that people in this community have been warned not to talk to Kahentinetha and not to talk to me. This is colonialism, intimidation and outright gangsterism. This is not the Nishnaabe way.
Indigenous people all over Turtle Island are renewing their alliances. The Mohawks are our nearest neighbours down-river and long-time allies. They have much wisdom and expertise to share with us. They cannot take over our land or ways according to our laws. They simply want to stop any desecration of the Earth such as a uranium mine would create. Together we must protect the Earth for the future generations.
Gratitude is an essential Nishnaabe principle. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mohawk women and men who took the time and had the courage to stand up for our rights. Nia:wen and Chi miigwetch.
Jennifer Tsun, Nishnaabe Kwe, McDonalds Corners
(Editor’s note: According to the leadership of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Kahentinetha Horn had not been invited by them to the mediation meeting in Kingston.)Thumbs Up to Central Frontenac Road Crews
Just wanted to pass on a "BIG THUMBS UP" to the Central Frontenac Road crew that has been working on the Townline Road. I have lived on this road for the past 13.5 years and I have never been as impressed as I am today with the plowing, sanding or grading that has been done in the pastseveral months. You are making my roads passable this year for my children to ride the bus safely and for me to get to work. I don't know what has been done differently this year than in past years, but please keep up the good work.
Marcie WebsterRunning Lights Don’t Turn on Tail Lights
On Monday during the snowstorm, my friend Greg and I were watching the traffic and we noticed something that concerned us. The newer cars all have running lights, and so most of the cars were traveling along with headlights, but without any taillights on. They disappeared into the snow as soon as they were past, especially if the car was a light colour.
Perhaps people don’t realize that their running lights are just headlights, and if they don’t actually turn their lights on, they have no taillights.
So I just wanted to give people this safety tip: in bad weather, always turn your lights on.