A Birthday?

Last week the community learned the director of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) believes that the Two Row Times is the newspaper of the Elected council. That is what they want people to believe.

Wasn’t HDI an official body created to fairly represent the whole community? We as a media outlet have tried repeatedly to get as much information from HDI as we could but were regularly pointed to their website and that’s it.

The latest tactic to silence the media is similar to Trump’s America and it is affecting us right here.

To set the public record straight, we say the Two Row Times is everybody’s newspaper. Everybody includes those of us who work for HDI, Elected Council and even Canada.

We publish in the Spirit of All Nations —all people. We celebrate diversity of opinion and taste. The Two Row Times has published articles in the past that our editor didn’t personally agree with but in the name of diversity we did it anyway and I’m glad.

That’s what the Haudenosaunee should be famous for, hearing the other side out. The very first council sat families who had violently killed each other yet they were able to put that aside for the future generations — for us. Why can’t our families sit down and work everything out like that one more time?

Instead of obsessing over negativity we have the opportunity to decide today to create an atmosphere of kindness. It happens little by little when we choose to build each other up instead of breaking each other down. Be intentional, day by day.

Despite the cruel lessons we learned from residential school and colonialism, kindness is woven into our DNA. Look how patient and how kind we have been to our visitors the Canadians.

Instead of wishing Canada a happy birthday, let’s imagine a letter hand delivered to Buckingham Palace:

Dear Queen Elizabeth, friend, ally and European equivalent to all the regular Haudenosaunee woman (that’s how I would start),

It has come to the attention of the Six Nations people that your constitutional monarchy, which you call Canada, has aged another year. We are not sure if it was birthed in 1867, 1931, or 1982 but we urge you to inform your citizens about the true nature of our historic relationship. We also demand to be released from this Indian Act which has nothing to do with us and instead be given full authority over our own trust accounts, lands, economy and future. At that point we can sincerely wish your country Happy Birthday.

Would that be a good letter, or no? Submit what you would write to the Queen on July 1 to tworowtimes@gmail.com.


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