One would think that Six Nations bundled together would signify unity and a shared vision.
And yet there are deep rifts within our community. Our staff had a wide ranging conversation this week about the benefits and dangers of bringing diverse and, in some instances, opposing groups together to try and clarify the issues that divide our community.
Despite our best efforts, the conversation left matters unresolved.
Our goal was to consider a platform upon which people with differing opinions and from opposed groups could come together and inform the public about their perspectives on vital Six Nations issues.
Although we have all attended many meetings, information sessions, and councils within this community, desire to see agreement and positive steps forward always seems to stray into the forlorn depths of hopelessness and division.
But while we speak of difficult circumstances and divisive episodes in our community, we do have something positive to say.
Despite all the divisions, unity is growing amongst our People. At Kanonhstaton, some very brave and concerned women took into their hands the responsibility to take action for the protection of the future generations. We came together to protect our children and the children of the future through the defence of our lands and the sustenance inherent to it.
While it is very easy to be critical after the fact, the experience of Kanonhstaton showed our peoples’ stalwart conviction to act according to the principles of the Kayenhera:koa.
The actions of these women brought about an unheard degree of unity among the people of Six Nations and Onkwehon:we people across Turtle Island.
Our peoples greatest hopes, wishes and desires, have always been to see a unified vision amongst the Onkwehon:we. United we stand, divided we are turned against each other and are overcome by our enemies.
So then the question becomes: what must now happen to encourage further unity among us – especially when we disagree about so much? Will we ever be able to have a forum in which material can be presented, a dialogue that is both informative and courteous, without people coming to the meeting with their eyes and ears closed and negating the very reason for gathering together?
We know from our history that our ancestors overcame much worse divisions among the five nations when they established the Kayenhera:koa and created our confederacy of nations. Recent evidence provided by the Idle No More movement and the anti-fracking protests in Elsipogtog seems to suggest that unity and cohesiveness among the Onkwehon:we is still possible.
Once again, we seem to need a catalyst to awaken those of us that keep falling asleep.
Without it we become lulled into a sense of false security that someone, anyone else, will stand up and make the required sacrifice to keep us Onkwehon:we from being fully assimilated by the corporate order.
We need only to look to the anti-fracking movements taking place across Turtle Island to get a feeling of responsibility.
A sense of unity with all our Onkwehon:we brothers and sisters is building. We must come together to prevent the irreparable and destructive damage being done by SWN Resources Canada, Mooncor et al.
Again, we have the duty to protect our children and their progeny for the benefit of all humanity.
Our responsibility is to safeguard Mother Earth and all our relations. So while we may get a bit disheartened when we hear criticisms being bandied about, we need only to remember. Remember who we are as Onhkwehonh:we. Remember. This is a time of coming together.
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