Six Nations

Hi folks (such folks as still check in here after so long).

Another month has passed in silence. So, too, the second anniversary of the Killing Train. I might be coming back to the world though, slowly. For example, I got out the other day to head to Caledonia and visit the Six Nations Blockade. Here’s the article on ZNet.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

3 thoughts on “Six Nations”

  1. Hi Justin,
    Thanks for

    Hi Justin,
    Thanks for writing about the Caledonia blockade and occupation by the Six Nations. The issues it raises are important. As important are its revelation of the sorrowful attitudes of too many Canadian citizens to the Indigenous peoples. Many of the quoted reactions from Caledonians is, “We all got along so well before and now they are just making people angry.” This seems remarkably similar to the stereotypical reaction of a white Southerner at the time of slavery to slave rebellions.

    While to my knowledge, no news coverage has been blatantly and overtly racist, the subtle undertones are there. An April 25 story in the Hamilton Spectator by Daniel Nolan on the protest by white Caledonians at the Six Nations blockade is indicative of this.

    Nolan refers to the protesters as “citizens” and the Six Nations occupiers as “protesters.” His efforts to do so make some parts of the story rather confusing. It is entirely nature to consider the participants in the march as the protesters. So sentences such as, “The protesters say the land belongs to Six Nations…” naturally leave the reader confused.

    But of course the media has long vilified “protesters” as undesirable rabble-rousers simply venting an unjustified anger against the will and well-being of the majority. As such, it would be unacceptable to characterize the righteously angry Caledonian “citizens” as protesters.

    Coverage also selectively reported on the chants and shouts of the protesters. Nolan quoted, “Let us though” and their urging to “open the road.” Yet, observers of the demonstration, both the beseiged occupiers and Caledonians who do not support the protesters, report much more hateful and racist shouts emerging from the crowd.

    It is also important to note the police’s reaction to the crowd’s action. Opponents of the Six Nation occupation consistently argue that the Mohawk are only being allowed to continue the occupation because they are Aboriginal and that if anyone else did this they would be rightfully arrested and removed from the land. Yet, if anyone other than a bunch of middle-class white people waving Canadian flags had aggressively confronted the police they would have been violently attacked. If it had been Indigenous people, who knows what would have happened.

    I think the most important issue that this matter has raised is that of the band structure vs. the Mohawk’s traditional Clan Mothers ruling structure. While the Six Nations have not succeeded in having the land returned to them, they have succeeded in having their traditional leaders involved in the negotiations and not simply the semi-illegitimate band leaders. These leaders are the result of an imposed system not of their choosing. They initially expressed their disapproval of the occupation, but have since been rendered largely silent or weakly supportive, most likely out of recognition that any other response would earn them harsh condemnation from the majority of the Six Nations people.

    I hope you continue to follow and blog on the story.


  2. what read in the tabloids is
    what read in the tabloids is messed up, native got gank protest now we locked up, statisized, catagorized, and got the fed numba, how do we police the police, six nations land sold or leased, government says sold natives say leased, old papers marked wit an X, government still making up shhhh, whats next, nutin still the same rape effect from the posted up industries, torn apart native family tree, still wanna make more, more for the white pockets getting laced, there plan is to take out the native race, to every native man anywhere and everyplace, pick up arms, and stare the white man in his face, wait till he does something then you take his place, put the mark on your sheild or where ever you write it stand as one first nations united…Dallas Swain

  3. The Canadian government
    The Canadian government wants to send us a message that if we ever again lift our heads and demand our rights, they and their goons are coming after us with overwhelming military force. They want to show us they are the conquerors and we are the conquered. They want to tell us we have no rights and, even though we are in the right, they are taking our land and resources away from us anyway.

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