Kahnawake FN evicting non-Natives

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Ghislaine
Kahnawake FN evicting non-Natives

I am a firm supporter of FN self-government, but [url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/natives+being+evicted+from+Kahnawake... this [/url] seems to be a violation of a FN person's right to marry or partner with whomever they choose:

 

Quote:

Saying there are too many non-natives living in Kahnawake, the local band council has issued eviction notices to 25 residents, giving them 10 days to leave the Indian reserve on Montreal's South Shore.

About 25 non-natives - mostly white people involved in relationships with Mohawks - are being asked to leave the reserve because Mohawk law does not allow them to live there, said Joe Delaronde, press attaché for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.

n 1981, the community announced a moratorium on mixed marriages, which meant that non-natives who married Mohawks after that year would no longer have the right to live on the reserve. Any non-native who had married a Mohawk before the moratorium is still permitted to live on the reserve.

In the 1980s, some Mohawks contested the policy before the human rights tribunal, but lost. The courts have ruled that Mohawks can make any membership policy they deem necessary for their survival as a people.

"We're very concerned about protecting our identity because at a certain point, the Canadian government will look at us and say: 'You are not even Indians,' " Delaronde said.

"We are very proud of our heritage and protective about it. We don't have a whole hell of a lot of it left. This is part of revitalizing the community."

The band council decided to act after receiving complaints from Indians who feel that too many non-natives are living on the reserve.

"We are responding to what the community wants," Delaronde said.

Although Mohawk law says that non-natives can't live on the reserve, they are allowed to visit and stay overnight, he explained.

"Sleeping over or staying for a week is a whole different situation," he said.

 

I wonder if any of the FN people involved will bring a new human rights complaint forward?

 

 

 

 

E.Tamaran

FN land for FNs ONLY! Every one else should leave. Fuck can;t there be one place where the FNs are master and not slave? And this whole intermariage bs is just a lame excuse to overwhelm the land mixed blood. Fine, marry a white or chinese whatever, but then don't expect to live on the Rez. And if they don't leave voluntarily then they should be rounded up and forced off. Remember the "human rights" laws don't apply on sovereign FN land.

Unionist

Ghislaine, this is an issue which First Nations people must settle and determine themselves. Any interference by others - including "human rights complaints" under a different jurisdiction - would deny the inalienable right of FN to self-determination. I think we've done enough damage, to last an eternity, by trying to impose our so-called "superior" values on them. It's their call.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ghislaine, this is an issue which First Nations people must settle and determine themselves. Any interference by others - including "human rights complaints" under a different jurisdiction - would deny the inalienable right of FN to self-determination. I think we've done enough damage, to last an eternity, by trying to impose our so-called "superior" values on them. It's their call.

 

 

Well said

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

Ghislaine, this is an issue which First Nations people must settle and determine themselves. Any interference by others - including "human rights complaints" under a different jurisdiction - would deny the inalienable right of FN to self-determination. I think we've done enough damage, to last an eternity, by trying to impose our so-called "superior" values on them. It's their call.

 

But, as the article points out,  there are FN people who now have to choose between their partner and giving up any access to FN land. Isn't this an infringement on their self-determination? 

Unionist

Uh, no. Self-determination is for the nation. Individuals who don't like what the nation is doing can dissent, lobby, organize, leave - they have options. Denying the rights of the nation isn't one of them.

And even if it were an infringement on some individual's rights, that's for the tribunals of that nation to decide. Not you. Not me. Not Canadian tribunals.

 

Al_Ar_Bee

While I believe that massive reparations are owed by the Canadian, French and British states to the First Nations of Canada for the enormous theft that has occurred over the past 300-odd years as well as compensation being owed for the indignities that have been visited upon the First Nations during the same period, I cannot see how this exclusion does not constitute racism.

To claim that this is imposing “our” values is to ignore that Europeans who arrived from various monarchies in Europe had no democratic or human rights values until they learned them from the Iroquois Confederacy. This turning to racism on the part of First Nations is a betrayal of that tradition of participatory democracy poineered by the Iroquois. However the act is understandable given how viciously the Kahnawake along with the rest of the original people of this land have been treated. Thus it should certainly not be the role of Canadian State institutions to impose their human rights legislation on First Nations band councils.

First Nation and non-First Nation Canadians have both become embroiled in a pathological struggle for dignity that has become undignified for all parties. Human dignity is not a rare commodity that we have to wrest from each other in order to stand tall. First Nations cannot recover their dignity while mired in poverty irrespective of how pure they keep their race on the reserves.

So long as corporations (the successors to the Hudson's Bay Trading Company and their imperial ilk) control the affairs of Canada through their political stooges, the injustices that are centuries old will continue. We need a dialogue of the people freed from control by the elites and not Apartheid to restore dignity to the First Nations and all the other ordinary folk who live on this land called Canada.

Joey Ramone

E.Tamaran wrote:

And this whole intermariage bs is just a lame excuse to overwhelm the land mixed blood. Fine, marry a white or chinese whatever, but then don't expect to live on the Rez. And if they don't leave voluntarily then they should be rounded up and forced off. Remember the "human rights" laws don't apply on sovereign FN land.

Charming.  This racist crap, in support of evicting women and orphans from their homes, has no place on a "progressive" discussion board.  Not that it should matter at all to this discussion, but I am Aboriginal and an activist for Aboriginal rights.

E.Tamaran

E.Tamaran wrote:

Joey Ramone wrote:

E.Tamaran wrote:

And this whole intermariage bs is just a lame excuse to overwhelm the land mixed blood. Fine, marry a white or chinese whatever, but then don't expect to live on the Rez. And if they don't leave voluntarily then they should be rounded up and forced off. Remember the "human rights" laws don't apply on sovereign FN land.

Charming.  This racist crap, in support of evicting women and orphans from their homes, has no place on a "progressive" discussion board.  Not that it should matter at all to this discussion, but I am Aboriginal and an activist for Aboriginal rights.

 

It's not "their homes". The land is FN land. If the FN leadership decides that only FN peoples should live on it then I support them 110%. No other group has any "right" to live on FN territory. Deal with it.

E.Tamaran

.

Joey Ramone

Deal with what? Despotic, ethnically cleansed bantustans instead of real sovereignty based on First Nation's inherent rights and respect for at least minimal human rights?  That's a perversion of everything the indigeneous rights movement stands for and an ugly attack on people who are, for the most part, pretty poor, instead of fighting the real enemy.  In simple slogan terms: divide and conquer.

E.Tamaran

Oh come on...Ethnic cleansing?! Look, in Uganda they kicked out all non-Ugandans mostly South Asians in a violent way. Same in Serbia with the Muslems. Non-FNs being asked, politely, to leave. They don't have any right to live there anyway. The FNs aren't savages, like the way the Serbs and Ugandans were about it. In fact, the FNs have been extremely calm patient, considering the 500 years of brutality they've suffered.

Kaspar Hauser

E.Tamaran wrote, "The FNs aren't savages, like the way the Serbs and Ugandans were about it."

 

Putting aside the Serbs for a moment, do you think that it's anti-oppressive or anti-racist to refer to Africans as "savages"?

Kaspar Hauser

Yeah...you posted while I was editing what I had written.  I left the Serbs out because, historically, the term "savages" has been used to dehumanize colonized populations...specifically aboriginal and African populations, rather than Eastern Europeans. 

 

You said that "The FNs aren't savages, like the way the Serbs and Ugandans were about it." You didn't say that "FNs aren't acting savagely, the way that Serbs and Ugandans acted," (though even if you had, the word "savagely" would still have been problematic). You said that FNs weren't savages, implying that the Serbs and Ugandans were savages, rather than that their actions were savage.

 

And, while you're calling people like Africans "savages", you're also saying that "And this whole intermariage bs is just a lame excuse to overwhelm the land mixed blood. Fine, marry a white or chinese whatever, but then don't expect to live on the Rez. And if they don't leave voluntarily then they should be rounded up and forced off. Remember the 'human rights' laws don't apply on sovereign FN land." You are explicitly promoting ethnic cleansing, regardless of the "human rights" of the "mixed blood" people you're targetting.

E.Tamaran

It's not ethnic cleansing if it happens on FN land, because only FNs have a right, a legal right, to live on that land! Fuck, what don't you understand about that?

E.Tamaran

Michael Nenonen wrote:

So, Ugandans are "savages"?

Nice that you omit Serbs in your obvious attempt to stir some racial controversy regarding the forced and violent expulsions in Serbia and Uganda. Perhaps you consider Serbs to be savages? I don't know, I'm just asking.

Anyway, the acts perpetrated by the Serbs and Ugandans were savage, as I clearly stated. I don't believe Serbs and Ugandans are inherently "savage".

Edit: Ha, I caught you before you could change your original post. Your original words are saved above for everyone to see.

Al_Ar_Bee

I agree with Joey Ramone: This discussion is a symptomatic consequence of a successful divide and conquer tactic originally employed by the colonizing imperialists and continued with consummate vigour by their settler state heirs.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 Wading in for a brief comment. I've talked with FN people who are from there or have some connection through family and friends, who are supportive of this particular reserves policies which do have history, those that are not and many who sit somewhere between the two. What was common between all was that the issue is complex, there's more going on then just what this 'news' talks about and recognition that whereever they personally stand on the issue that much of the conflict stems from the colonial imposition ie the Indian Act of who is entitled in it's view to be an "Indian" and how it's play out since it's implementation in the social fabric of some communities.  Yes it's protectionist and most that are supportive of it have no problem saying so, like the quote states in the article. 

I think it simplifies it too much to just suggest that it's just racism or prejudice that motivates it. At least thats not what I took away from those that I have talked about this with.       

Kaspar Hauser

E. Tamaran: So, when Israelis claim to have sole right to a certain chunk of Palestine, or when Serbs declare that they have a sole right to a certain chunk of the former Yugoslavia, we should simply accept those claims and turn a deaf ear to the other people who live on that land who state that they have a right to reside there? 

Do "mixed bloods" get any say in who is or who isn't First Nations, or are their voices dismissed a priori? How are you going to go about determining racial purity on First Nations land, E.Tamaran? Are you going to be drawing up family histories to determine the degree of non-Native blood people who currently live on the Rez possess? 

By the way, I should point out that I'm not, at this point, criticizing the actual policy being considered, but rather E.Tamaran's stated position on it. The policy itself may be ethically sound, but E.Tamaran's position clearly isn't.

E.Tamaran

I won't be drawing up any lists because I don't live there. I fully support the FN leadership in any decision it makes regarding the settler problem. Remember, life was pretty good for FNs before the settlers came.

Sven Sven's picture

Michael Nenonen wrote:

E. Tamaran: So, when Israelis claim to have sole right to a certain chunk of Palestine, or when Serbs declare that they have a sole right to a certain chunk of the former Yugoslavia, we should simply accept those claims and turn a deaf ear to the other people who live on that land who state that they have a right to reside there? 

Are those valid analogies?  I don't know.  But, either way, I would very much like to hear E. Tamaran's views on them.

Kaspar Hauser

E.Tamaran: But you said that "And if they don't leave voluntarily then they should be rounded up and forced off." That sounds to me like you're stating your own preferences for dealing with the "settler problem"...a term that's a little less charged than the "mixed blood" problem you referred to earlier. So it seems a little disingenuous to now say that you're simply going to support the leadership in whatever decisions they make. What I'm asking for is that you expand on the preferences you have already introduced into this discussion. How should these leaders, in your opinion, go about deciding who should be "rounded up and forced off" the Rez? How should they decide who has "mixed blood", or how much "mixed blood" excludes a person from having a voice in the Nation?

E.Tamaran

Sven wrote:

Michael Nenonen wrote:

E. Tamaran: So, when Israelis claim to have sole right to a certain chunk of Palestine, or when Serbs declare that they have a sole right to a certain chunk of the former Yugoslavia, we should simply accept those claims and turn a deaf ear to the other people who live on that land who state that they have a right to reside there? 

Are those valid analogies?  I don't know.  But, either way, I would very much like to hear E. Tamaran's views on them.

Remember what forum we're in. I'm very close to asking a moderator to intervene. This is supposed to be a safe place to discuss FN issues. You want my views on Israel, ask me in the international forum. BUT NOT HERE!!!!

ygtbk

This will obviously strike some posters as naive, but I think it's pretty hard to argue, consistently, that a right to self-determination for a group takes precedence over human rights for individuals. Godwin's Law, you know?

E.Tamaran

ygtbk wrote:

This will obviously strike some posters as naive, but I think it's pretty hard to argue, consistently, that a right to self-determination for a group takes precedence over human rights for individuals. Godwin's Law, you know?

Not really. The right wing wants to institute private ownership rules for land on FNs. Something about the individual will take better care of the land than some heartless FN council, or be able to get loans from the mege banks. What they really want is to see the FN broken up over time as it's eventually sold off by the individual owners. That's certainly one case where Group rights must take precedence over Individual rights.

ygtbk

E.Tamaran wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

This will obviously strike some posters as naive, but I think it's pretty hard to argue, consistently, that a right to self-determination for a group takes precedence over human rights for individuals. Godwin's Law, you know?

Not really. The right wing wants to institute private ownership rules for land on FNs. Something about the individual will take better care of the land than some heartless FN council, or be able to get loans from the mege banks. What they really want is to see the FN broken up over time as it's eventually sold off by the individual owners. That's certainly one case where Group rights must take precedence over Individual rights.

My point was with respect to human rights, not property rights. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Kaspar Hauser

ygtbk: I think that you're making the mistake of judging intimacy-based cultures according to the criteria specific to integrity-based cultures, a distinction outlined by Professor Thomas Kusalis in his book, Intimacy or Integrity: Philosophy and Cultural Difference (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002)

 

Kusalis argues that integrity and intimacy are the two basic and discernible perspectives underlying human cultures. For any given culture one of these perspectives will be dominant, shaping the way people in that culture think, learn, and behave. While the integrity perspective dominates Europe and its colonies, I believe that the intimacy perspective shapes many of Canada's First Nations cultures. The differences between these perspectives are profound.

 

Kusalis writes that "integrity means being able to stand alone, having a self-contained identity without dependence on, or infringement by, the outside." Integrity cultures associate objectivity with publicly verifiable empirical observation and logical reasoning. These cultures value intellectual and conceptual knowledge over intuition and embodied knowledge-that is, knowledge that comes from body-awareness. For integrity cultures, knowledge is separable from both the knower and the known, and therefore the process of learning doesn't change either in any significant way. The integrity perspective values knowledge whose ground, or underlying justification, can be clearly articulated. This is the kind of knowledge that can be found in textbooks and be taught by instructors who barely know their students.

 

The integrity perspective also governs how members of these cultures view relationships. In integrity cultures, relationships are believed to exist solely in the spaces between people and things. Thus, from this perspective, relationships don't penetrate their members in a way that would compromise their individual identities. Because relationships are seen as being external to the members of the relationships, the whole can never be greater than the contribution of its various parts.

 

Ethical thought within integrity cultures is shaped by impartial rules about rights, responsibilities, and social contracts. Metaphysically, the integrity perspective is expressed through atomism and a dualism that sees opposites as irreconcilable.

 

Intimacy cultures, on the other hand, operate on very different principles. Whereas integrity cultures focus on individual autonomy, Kusalis writes that "intimacy is most essentially a sharing of innermost qualities."

 

Like their integrity counterparts, intimacy cultures value objectivity, but they view objectivity as being personal rather than public. Kusalis illustrates this point with the example of sporting events like gymnastics and diving. These events can only be judged by experts who have an intimate knowledge of their aesthetic and stylistic dimensions. Because the experts' judgments in these events tend to deviate by no more than five percent they can be considered objective, but this objectivity isn't accessible to non-experts. Such personal, objective knowledge is at the core of intimacy cultures, and experts, masters, and elders are its revered repositories. Intimacy cultures also value intuitive and embodied knowledge far more highly than conceptual and intellectual knowledge. Knowledge, in this perspective, changes the knower and the known by bringing them together. This is the kind of knowledge that can only be imparted through empathic relationships between teachers and students, and whose ground can never be easily described.

 

Intimacy cultures view relationships as existing in overlapping spaces shared by their members rather than in the spaces between them. For this reason, relationships modify the identities of their members. Rather than being simply the sum of its discrete parts, the whole from an intimacy perspective exists within each of its parts, just like a hologram.

 

In contrast to integrity cultures, ethical thought in intimacy cultures is guided by situational responsiveness informed by discourses of love and compassion. Society, in this reading, isn't the sum total of individual social contracts, but instead an organic unity. The metaphysics of intimacy cultures are expressed in holographic paradigms that view reality as a web of interdependent processes, and by theories of the interpenetration of opposites such as in the yin-yang model.

 

Both perspectives have their virtues and vices. When taken to its extreme, the integrity perspective generates alienated and anarchic egoism, while unrestrained intimacy can produce totalitarian groupthink. Of course, no culture is purely one or the other. An undercurrent of intimacy flows beneath integrity cultures, just as an integrity undercurrent runs beneath intimacy cultures. Normally, these undercurrents help contain the dominant perspective and prevent its excesses.  

 

Despite these undercurrents, Kusalis believes that intimacy and integrity are essentially irreconcilable in the same way that the grammars of different languages are irreconcilable. To successfully resolve conflicts between integrity and intimacy cultures, people have to become culturally bilingual: we have to be able to speak the languages of both intimacy and integrity. This is difficult, because these perspectives differ so radically on so many levels. For someone entrenched in one perspective, the other can seem utterly nonsensical and perhaps perverse. The language of "human rights" in an intimacy based culture may, indeed, be inappropriate. That's not to say that criticisms of the abuse of individuals can't be raised in intimacy based cultures, but they would use a different kind of language, one focused on relationships rather than rights.

 

NorthReport

Fascinating Mike and very insightful.

Al_Ar_Bee

Michael Nenonen wrote:

ygtbk: I think that you're making the mistake of judging intimacy-based cultures according to the criteria specific to integrity-based cultures, a distinction outlined by Professor Thomas Kusalis in his book, Intimacy or Integrity: Philosophy and Cultural Difference (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002)

 

Kusalis argues that integrity and intimacy are the two basic and discernible perspectives underlying human cultures. For any given culture one of these perspectives will be dominant, shaping the way people in that culture think, learn, and behave. While the integrity perspective dominates Europe and its colonies, I believe that the intimacy perspective shapes many of Canada's First Nations cultures. The differences between these perspectives are profound.

 

Kusalis writes that "integrity means being able to stand alone, having a self-contained identity without dependence on, or infringement by, the outside." Integrity cultures associate objectivity with publicly verifiable empirical observation and logical reasoning. These cultures value intellectual and conceptual knowledge over intuition and embodied knowledge-that is, knowledge that comes from body-awareness. For integrity cultures, knowledge is separable from both the knower and the known, and therefore the process of learning doesn't change either in any significant way. The integrity perspective values knowledge whose ground, or underlying justification, can be clearly articulated. This is the kind of knowledge that can be found in textbooks and be taught by instructors who barely know their students.

 

The integrity perspective also governs how members of these cultures view relationships. In integrity cultures, relationships are believed to exist solely in the spaces between people and things. Thus, from this perspective, relationships don't penetrate their members in a way that would compromise their individual identities. Because relationships are seen as being external to the members of the relationships, the whole can never be greater than the contribution of its various parts.

 

Ethical thought within integrity cultures is shaped by impartial rules about rights, responsibilities, and social contracts. Metaphysically, the integrity perspective is expressed through atomism and a dualism that sees opposites as irreconcilable.

 

Intimacy cultures, on the other hand, operate on very different principles. Whereas integrity cultures focus on individual autonomy, Kusalis writes that "intimacy is most essentially a sharing of innermost qualities."

 

Like their integrity counterparts, intimacy cultures value objectivity, but they view objectivity as being personal rather than public. Kusalis illustrates this point with the example of sporting events like gymnastics and diving. These events can only be judged by experts who have an intimate knowledge of their aesthetic and stylistic dimensions. Because the experts' judgments in these events tend to deviate by no more than five percent they can be considered objective, but this objectivity isn't accessible to non-experts. Such personal, objective knowledge is at the core of intimacy cultures, and experts, masters, and elders are its revered repositories. Intimacy cultures also value intuitive and embodied knowledge far more highly than conceptual and intellectual knowledge. Knowledge, in this perspective, changes the knower and the known by bringing them together. This is the kind of knowledge that can only be imparted through empathic relationships between teachers and students, and whose ground can never be easily described.

 

Intimacy cultures view relationships as existing in overlapping spaces shared by their members rather than in the spaces between them. For this reason, relationships modify the identities of their members. Rather than being simply the sum of its discrete parts, the whole from an intimacy perspective exists within each of its parts, just like a hologram.

 

In contrast to integrity cultures, ethical thought in intimacy cultures is guided by situational responsiveness informed by discourses of love and compassion. Society, in this reading, isn't the sum total of individual social contracts, but instead an organic unity. The metaphysics of intimacy cultures are expressed in holographic paradigms that view reality as a web of interdependent processes, and by theories of the interpenetration of opposites such as in the yin-yang model.

 

Both perspectives have their virtues and vices. When taken to its extreme, the integrity perspective generates alienated and anarchic egoism, while unrestrained intimacy can produce totalitarian groupthink. Of course, no culture is purely one or the other. An undercurrent of intimacy flows beneath integrity cultures, just as an integrity undercurrent runs beneath intimacy cultures. Normally, these undercurrents help contain the dominant perspective and prevent its excesses.  

 

Despite these undercurrents, Kusalis believes that intimacy and integrity are essentially irreconcilable in the same way that the grammars of different languages are irreconcilable. To successfully resolve conflicts between integrity and intimacy cultures, people have to become culturally bilingual: we have to be able to speak the languages of both intimacy and integrity. This is difficult, because these perspectives differ so radically on so many levels. For someone entrenched in one perspective, the other can seem utterly nonsensical and perhaps perverse. The language of "human rights" in an intimacy based culture may, indeed, be inappropriate. That's not to say that criticisms of the abuse of individuals can't be raised in intimacy based cultures, but they would use a different kind of language, one focused on relationships rather than rights.

 

 

So, at the end of the day, how do we become a culturally bilingual nation giving full respect to both intimacy and integrety based cultures without respectful dialogue? Rather than the choice between absorbing the First Nations into the White Man's society or creating ethnocultural Bantustans, perhaps we should be attacking the insularity of the hegemonic culture in Canada and forcing the establishment to recognize the right of First Nations’ cultures to be equal participants in defining Canadian culture. This "two solitudes" mumbo jumbo we hear so much about, the English and the French parallel heritage that is supposed to define Canada, should be scrapped in favour of a more inclusive recognition of what the defining forces of an ideal Canadian society should be. Or perhaps we should aspire to a “non-country” that accords full rights and respectful recognition of the full extent of our diverse heritage. As it is, the treatment of First Nations is the single most spectacular shortcoming in the implementation of our multi-cultural policy and therefore the issue oif the First Nations is the obvious place to start in re-invigorating multi-culturalism. This multiculturalism need not exclude the rights of nations to self-determination.

 

Unionist

Whatever all that means.

There can't be "partnership" among groups in defining Canada - not English and French, nor FN and everyone else. Québec has national rights (recognized by the Canadian courts and by Parliament, to a significant degree) which must be respected. So do the First Nations. These include the right to sovereignty, within or outside of Canada. But their rights are confined to their own nations, their lands, their people, their laws, their language, their culture, their governance - not some "special status" vis-a-vis other Canadians in the governance of Canada or the "definition" of Canada.

ygtbk

So do humans have human rights, full stop, or do you have to ask the local government whether you're even allowed to ask that question? I would have thought that the progressive answer was obvious, but apparently not so. 

Unionist

Could you be more specific? Which rights are you talking about? And do you mean individual human rights, or rights of groups? Progressive people aren't libertarians or rugged individualists. We don't believe in "property rights", for example. We don't believe in the "right" to buy and sell firearms. We don't believe in the "right" to say whatever you want, regardless of the impact on others. And we certainly don't believe in the "right" of one country or people to dictate "morality" to another. That's why, to return to the subject matter of this thread, non-FN people and institutions should be very careful before intervening in a sovereign FN matter.

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Al_Ar_Bee wrote:

 

To claim that this is imposing “our” values is to ignore that Europeans who arrived from various monarchies in Europe had no democratic or human rights values until they learned them from the Iroquois Confederacy. This turning to racism on the part of First Nations is a betrayal of that tradition of participatory democracy poineered by the Iroquois. However the act is understandable given how viciously the Kahnawake along with the rest of the original people of this land have been treated. Thus it should certainly not be the role of Canadian State institutions to impose their human rights legislation on First Nations band councils.

 

 

 I missed this upthread and have sat here debating whether to comment and how exactly to get what I mean to say right. I think because it's unclear and comes across as a bit of mishmash to me.  I can read a couple of different ways.   You've charged that 'First Nations' have turned to racism which is a broad brush descriptor and then refered to the betrayal of Iroquois Confedercy which is not "First Nations' but a reference to specific nations.  "First Nations" cannot betray something they never participated in the first place so the point doesn't make much sense.   Or by "First Nations" are you refering specifically to the people in question?  If so are you aware that Kahnawake is Haudensaunee (Iroquois) and therefore are saying pretty much that they are betraying there own traditions and history and turned to racism. Understandable or not that's a pretty big thing to say if thats the meaning.

If it is the latter or something similar to the latter, heck even if it's something close to the former then I will put a point of argument out that I have been given by some of the very people who do support this particular policy in some form. Namely that this action is actually an extension of the Great Law, which the Confederacy was formed on, that does give them the sovereign right to make determinations of who on an individual basis as well as on a nation to nation basis is part of the Confederacy or particular nation that makes up the Confederacy. So therefore not a betrayal but a taking back of the powers of that law, that the Canadian state has attempted to strip away.

Sven Sven's picture

As a general principle, does national sovereignty mean that a country or nation (whether it's the Kahnawake, Japanese, Swedish, Palestinian, Ugandan, or any other nation) has a sovereign right to maintain ethnic purity of the nation?

I think any nation has a right to admit or bar entry to persons wishing to enter that nation.  But, is that an absolute right?  I suppose there wouldn't be a lot of argument about a nation not wanting to admit convicted felons into the nation.  But, what about a national policy to exclude people of other ethnicities?

Pogo Pogo's picture

The human rights issue had already been addressed:

"In 1981, the community announced a moratorium on mixed marriages, which meant that non-natives who married Mohawks after that year would no longer have the right to live on the reserve. Any non-native who had married a Mohawk before the moratorium is still permitted to live on the reserve.

In the 1980s, some Mohawks contested the policy before the human rights tribunal, but lost. The courts have ruled that Mohawks can make any membership policy they deem necessary for their survival as a people."

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

It would be wise for non-FN babblers' to leave some space for FN's to comment.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

First Nation communities are for First Nation people....Having said that,I find it interesting that in the 1980's,Mohawk women were banished from the reservation for marrying non-Native significant others while Mohawk men were free to live on the reservation with their non-Native wives.There shouldn't be a double standard.

People are free to marry or bed anyone they like....Mohawks from Kahnawake all know that white girls throw themselves on their men.Joe Delaronde has a point...Native blood is drying up and the survival of their community relies on the Mohawks to keep their culture and very existance alive.

I see nothing morally wrong with protecting one's identity or survival.

Al_Ar_Bee

Unionist wrote:

Whatever all that means.

There can't be "partnership" among groups in defining Canada - not English and French, nor FN and everyone else. Québec has national rights (recognized by the Canadian courts and by Parliament, to a significant degree) which must be respected. So do the First Nations. These include the right to sovereignty, within or outside of Canada. But their rights are confined to their own nations, their lands, their people, their laws, their language, their culture, their governance - not some "special status" vis-a-vis other Canadians in the governance of Canada or the "definition" of Canada.

I recognize the right to self-determination but it is not quite that simple. Who defines what land belongs to whom. In reality it will be courts of the Canadian state and the legitimized force of the Canadian state that is the final arbiter. That hardly guarantees a fair outcome. Then once we've sorted out all the rights to sovereignty of the First Nations who are on their sovereign land, what about all those First Nations marooned in the white city and generally mired in poverty while being denied rights on First Nations territory. Quebec's rights are still defined by the Canadian state which even gets to decide what the wording of their referendums is allowed to be.

 

and

Unionist wrote:

Could you be more specific? Which rights are you talking about? And do you mean individual human rights, or rights of groups? Progressive people aren't libertarians or rugged individualists. We don't believe in "property rights", for example. We don't believe in the "right" to buy and sell firearms. We don't believe in the "right" to say whatever you want, regardless of the impact on others. And we certainly don't believe in the "right" of one country or people to dictate "morality" to another. That's why, to return to the subject matter of this thread, non-FN people and institutions should be very careful before intervening in a sovereign FN matter.

A discussion on a forum like this one at rabble hardly constitutes intervening in sovereign FN matters.

Diverse cultural identities and sovereignties aside, we are ultimately all human beings inhabiting one planet. If I do anything to favour my group at the expense of the rest of humanity, I am ultimately harming my own group as well. If I do anything to benefit myself or my family at the expense of the rest of the human family, I am ultimately harming my family and myself for I have set up a competitive process that will ultimately be harmful to all. Only when I act on the proposition that my primary responsibility is to all of humanity, can I safely turn to my own particular needs. This is the basis for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UDHR is by no means a perfect document but the idea that we have to have a universally accepted set of rules that is universally recognized is an important one. All of the varied cultures and individuals on our planet have to have an equal role in negotiating what we will all accept as universal human rights. If we cannot accept the idea of universal principles, we cannot hold any one to account for what they do to others.

Political structures are generally power structures and it is to ensure that those with power don't behave with impunity that we need a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The current declaration was largely drawn up by the former by the dominant countries of the global economy at the end of WWII (the former colonial empires and their allies) and enshrines “property rights” which I find problematic. It needs to be renegotiated to reflect more accurately the interests of the majority on Earth rather than the Western power elites, but it needs to be respected and in effect while it evolves. It is in this sense that I think there needs to be respectful engagement across cultural, ethnic, language and political groupings within Canada to reach an eqitable arrangement for sovereignty both inside and/or outside the present Canadian state.

milo204

seems to me the main problem here is the canadian governments position regarding status: 

"We're very concerned about protecting our identity because at a certain point, the Canadian government will look at us and say: 'You are not even Indians,' " Delaronde said.

if canada wasn't trying to find an excuse to strip fist nations of their rights all the time, this most likely wouldn't be an issue.

 

Al_Ar_Bee

alan smithee wrote:

First Nation communities are for First Nation people....Having said that,I find it interesting that in the 1980's,Mohawk women were banished from the reservation for marrying non-Native significant others while Mohawk men were free to live on the reservation with their non-Native wives.There shouldn't be a double standard.

People are free to marry or bed anyone they like....Mohawks from Kahnawake all know that white girls throw themselves on their men.Joe Delaronde has a point...Native blood is drying up and the survival of their community relies on the Mohawks to keep their culture and very existance alive.

I see nothing morally wrong with protecting one's identity or survival.

Is identity a “blood” issue? I really don't believe there is any such thing as racial purity except in the minds of racists. The issue would seem to me to be one of preserving cultural traditions that are dynamic and changing with time. The schools on Kahnawake and the lessons of the elders would seem to me to be the way of ensuring the survival of a cultural identity. If a Mohawk man or woman marries someone from off the reserve and brings their spouse to live with them on the reserve, the children of that marraige can be brought up within the cultural traditions and be fully part of the Mohawk Nation irrespective of what their bloodlines are.

Long before any outsiders appeared from Europe, a dynamic culture evolved over hundreds of years here and was perpetuated by education. White education attempted to destroy that culture while still maintaining a racist divide. Traditional education is now attempting to restore that culture and it saddens me that there are racist elements in the response to the threats posed by the white racist culture. While the band council has legal rights in accordance with Canadian law to make these decisions, it is an unfortunate decision which ultimately will not serve the Mohawk Nation well.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Please do not call FN's response to white racist culture, racist.  It shows a deep misunderstanding.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Al_Ar_Bee wrote:

Long before any outsiders appeared from Europe, a dynamic culture evolved over hundreds of years here and was perpetuated by education. White education attempted to destroy that culture while still maintaining a racist divide. Traditional education is now attempting to restore that culture and it saddens me that there are racist elements in the response to the threats posed by the white racist culture. While the band council has legal rights in accordance with Canadian law to make these decisions, it is an unfortunate decision which ultimately will not serve the Mohawk Nation well.

 

Just wanted to clarify what I was respondng to.  And reread the first sentence quoted.  And then rethink the rest of what you wrote.

 

 

Al_Ar_Bee

ElizaQ wrote:

 I missed this upthread and have sat here debating whether to comment and how exactly to get what I mean to say right. I think because it's unclear and comes across as a bit of mishmash to me.  I can read a couple of different ways.   You've charged that 'First Nations' have turned to racism which is a broad brush descriptor and then refered to the betrayal of Iroquois Confedercy which is not "First Nations' but a reference to specific nations.  "First Nations" cannot betray something they never participated in the first place so the point doesn't make much sense.   Or by "First Nations" are you refering specifically to the people in question?  If so are you aware that Kahnawake is Haudensaunee (Iroquois) and therefore are saying pretty much that they are betraying there own traditions and history and turned to racism. Understandable or not that's a pretty big thing to say if thats the meaning.

If it is the latter or something similar to the latter, heck even if it's something close to the former then I will put a point of argument out that I have been given by some of the very people who do support this particular policy in some form. Namely that this action is actually an extension of the Great Law, which the Confederacy was formed on, that does give them the sovereign right to make determinations of who on an individual basis as well as on a nation to nation basis is part of the Confederacy or particular nation that makes up the Confederacy. So therefore not a betrayal but a taking back of the powers of that law, that the Canadian state has attempted to strip away.

 

Are you saying that the Great Law would not allow a member of the Six Nations to bring a spouse from outside into the group? If you are correct then I have misunderstood the spirit of the Great Law of Peace and stand corrected.

However, when I consider these lines from the introductory paragraphs of the Iroquois Consitution:

2. Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace,
one to the north, one to the east, one to the south and one to
the west. The name of these roots is The Great White Roots and
their nature is Peace and Strength.

If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall
obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their
disposition to the Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the
Roots to the Tree and if their minds are clean and they are
obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Confederate
Council, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the
Tree of the Long Leaves.

it would seem to me that any spouse of a Mowhawk would, in accordance with the spirit of the Great Law, be welcomed into the band if they embraced the laws and customs of the band. By participating in the customs and traditional practices of the band and by allowing their children to be raised within that band's cultural traditions, the group identity would be strengthened and the culture live on into the future. Why is there this need for a racist solution?

Al_Ar_Bee

milo204 wrote:

seems to me the main problem here is the canadian governments position regarding status: 

"We're very concerned about protecting our identity because at a certain point, the Canadian government will look at us and say: 'You are not even Indians,' " Delaronde said.

if canada wasn't trying to find an excuse to strip fist nations of their rights all the time, this most likely wouldn't be an issue.

 

Exactly!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Al_Ar_Bee wrote:

 

Are you saying that the Great Law would not allow a member of the Six Nations to bring a spouse from outside into the group? If you are correct then I have misunderstood the spirit of the Great Law of Peace and stand corrected.

However, when I consider these lines from the introductory paragraphs of the Iroquois Consitution:

2. Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace,
one to the north, one to the east, one to the south and one to
the west. The name of these roots is The Great White Roots and
their nature is Peace and Strength.

If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall
obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their
disposition to the Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the
Roots to the Tree and if their minds are clean and they are
obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Confederate
Council, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the
Tree of the Long Leaves.

it would seem to me that any spouse of a Mowhawk would, in accordance with the spirit of the Great Law, be welcomed into the band if they embraced the laws and customs of the band. By participating in the customs and traditional practices of the band and by allowing their children to be raised within that band's cultural traditions, the group identity would be strengthened and the culture live on into the future. Why is there this need for a racist solution?


Racist solution indeed. Let FN's speak for themselves.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I also commented because I don't think this thread was made in good faith. 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

Could you be more specific? Which rights are you talking about? And do you mean individual human rights, or rights of groups? Progressive people aren't libertarians or rugged individualists. We don't believe in "property rights", for example. We don't believe in the "right" to buy and sell firearms. We don't believe in the "right" to say whatever you want, regardless of the impact on others. And we certainly don't believe in the "right" of one country or people to dictate "morality" to another. That's why, to return to the subject matter of this thread, non-FN people and institutions should be very careful before intervening in a sovereign FN matter.

 

That was rather a long non-answer to my question. For what it's worth, I think that all the classical "negative" rights apply, to individuals. Perhaps there's a good example of a group right that's not just a restriction on individual rights, dressed up. What rights do you think individuals have? 

I also think that making the argument all about sovereignty, without addressing the obvious discrimination issues, is very dodgy. When progressives make arguments that would have been at home in the U.S. South during the segregation era, or in South Africa during the apartheid era, there's something strange going on. 

Ghislaine

milo204 wrote:

seems to me the main problem here is the canadian governments position regarding status: 

"We're very concerned about protecting our identity because at a certain point, the Canadian government will look at us and say: 'You are not even Indians,' " Delaronde said.

if canada wasn't trying to find an excuse to strip fist nations of their rights all the time, this most likely wouldn't be an issue.

 

I think this is the real root of this. First Nations may have acheived some small limited amounts of self-government (to varying degress), but it is still the federal government that determines whether someone is "Indian" enough for status. I have experience delivering government programs and determining whether someone can be considered Native is an extremely convoluted process requiring examination of the family tree.  Families exist where some or no children have status, while one parent does and another doesn't.

The roots of the current situation lie in the racism of the Indian Act and related policy.

Le T Le T's picture

Just so people know, "the band" and the Confederacy (some one was refering to The Great Law) are not the same thing. Just siding with the band council's decision is as colonial and medling as "fighting for the individual rights" of people from Kahnawake. I would encourage people to review the Two Row Wampum, which outlines the relationship that the Haudenasaunee and settlers have. I would also remind people that history has shown that the people of Kahnawake and other Haudensaunee communities have done a much better job of holding their colonial band council governments accountable for decisions than, say, Canadians do with our colonial governement. As much as it goes against so many people's progressive white liberal tendancies, the natives do not neeed our help!

Stargazer

I agree Le T. The problem is that the kids from these white/FN marriages are mixed, just like me, and a hell of a lot of other people I know. These kids are to be turfed off the land because they aren't full? I can't get on board with that policy. It isn't my nation so I have no say but I think turfing the kids and wives or husbands of full Mohawks is not going to do any good in the long run. These kids, regardless if they are 100 percent pure or not are FN kids. Not white kids. That's how I see it anyways. And what is to happen to them? Where are they going to go to learn their FN culture? Not to mention the deep divide this creates between "full blood" and mixed kids, of which there are many.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Al_Ar_Bee wrote:

ElizaQ wrote:

 I missed this upthread and have sat here debating whether to comment and how exactly to get what I mean to say right. I think because it's unclear and comes across as a bit of mishmash to me.  I can read a couple of different ways.   You've charged that 'First Nations' have turned to racism which is a broad brush descriptor and then refered to the betrayal of Iroquois Confedercy which is not "First Nations' but a reference to specific nations.  "First Nations" cannot betray something they never participated in the first place so the point doesn't make much sense.   Or by "First Nations" are you refering specifically to the people in question?  If so are you aware that Kahnawake is Haudensaunee (Iroquois) and therefore are saying pretty much that they are betraying there own traditions and history and turned to racism. Understandable or not that's a pretty big thing to say if thats the meaning.

If it is the latter or something similar to the latter, heck even if it's something close to the former then I will put a point of argument out that I have been given by some of the very people who do support this particular policy in some form. Namely that this action is actually an extension of the Great Law, which the Confederacy was formed on, that does give them the sovereign right to make determinations of who on an individual basis as well as on a nation to nation basis is part of the Confederacy or particular nation that makes up the Confederacy. So therefore not a betrayal but a taking back of the powers of that law, that the Canadian state has attempted to strip away.

 

Are you saying that the Great Law would not allow a member of the Six Nations to bring a spouse from outside into the group? If you are correct then I have misunderstood the spirit of the Great Law of Peace and stand corrected.

 


it would seem to me that any spouse of a Mowhawk would, in accordance with the spirit of the Great Law, be welcomed into the band if they embraced the laws and customs of the band. By participating in the customs and traditional practices of the band and by allowing their children to be raised within that band's cultural traditions, the group identity would be strengthened and the culture live on into the future. Why is there this need for a racist solution?

No that's not what I'm saying it does in terms of specifics. It's not about specifics because it's a hella lot more complex then just interpreting some lines, in an idealist fashion of an internet google search and passing judgement on what for most here are nameless people. My point was about the powers of soveriegnty and determination that are inherent in the law and your charge that it is a betrayal and they've gone racist. My point is only that there are other ways of looking at it, some actual people look at differently and that jumping to a charge of 'betrayal' and 'racism' as a result of what you might think....'or seems to me...' isn't a great thing. Can we get anymore paternalistic here. Ugh.

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