The outstanding turnout this week proves that Six Nations families are super enthusiastic about Victoria’s Bread and Cheese. Were you aware that not everyone loves Bread and Cheese? At the Two Row Times we do our best to appreciate and understand both sides of any conflict.
Of course there is a whole spectrum of beliefs and we all have our own way of balancing our views. Whether or not you are Longhouse, Christian, Elected Council, Confederacy or Mohawk Worker – the people of Six Nations are all cut from the same cloth and are all recovering from cultural genocide and the oppression of colonialism (that still exists today).
An elder from Oneida once told me that he remembers his elders treating everyone with honour. He came from a strong longhouse family and he always wondered why his Clan Family helped out at community events run by the Elected Council, or why they helped at Christian funerals.
When he finally asked why they helped the Band Council even though it was imposed by Canada the answer he got was concise and to the point. He was told “We aren’t against people, we are against that system.”
These wise elders were referring to the Indian Act which has systematically ravaged indigenous family structures, destroyed culture, removed language and our inherent authority as land title holders. The dual pronged assault of the Indian Act and Christianity imposed upon our people was meant to destroy our identity forever.
They had no right to even try that.
But here we are 129 years later trying to survive as a nation, sometimes arguing over the best way to survive. We may have different approaches to survival but we should respect each other even when we disagree.
That is why we at the Two Row Times try to follow the lead of the Oneida Elders who supported their people but at the same time spoke out against the system. It’s been a difficult road, and sometimes we are misunderstood.
We may be accused of being biased media but one thing is for certain — no matter what you believe, if you have been violated by the Indian Act we got your back.