Honouring the Wampum

Every major confrontation between Indian and Settler in North America has happened when the settler-guest has gone too far. In Oka confrontation of 1990, the Kanienkehaka Mohawks tried to stop illegal encroachment which was basically the same story again at Douglas Creek/Kanonhstaton, in Caledonia in 2006.

Despite the anti-native slants perpetuated by mainstream media the majority of Canadians understand that the indigenous people of this continent have been mistreated and oppressed for a very long time. The informed segment of the population can plainly see that Six Nations is not an aggressive terrorist organization because our history shows that we are undeniably peaceful to a fault.

Why is this? Are indigenous people just morally better, or perhaps they possess some genetic disposition towards harmony and tranquility? Maybe the force is with them.

No, it’s none of those things. The deciding factor that guides indigenous behaviour is knowledge. Our elders comprehend the seriousness of our treaty obligations after and 400 years still speak about our duty – not to the white man, but our duty to honour the wampum.

The Two Row Wampum is real to the Six Nations people, it is not just a theory. This was the realest treaty that has ever existed in North America because it was not signed by ink – it was put into wampum.

Because this is our land, our laws supersede British and Roman law by default – and our law is only ratified when it is put into quahog shell.

So after all these years the Haudenosaunee recognize that original relationship agreement between the Queen’s People and the Six Nations and understand that we will not be like father and son but like brothers. In 1688 we gracefully bestowed equality upon these European refugees. And look how they have treated us.

A common misconception is that treaties were made at gunpoint and we were forced to give up our land in a hostile takeover. No, not so with the Two Row treaty. Our military forces on the east coast greatly outnumbered the Brits and they knew it. In written correspondence they acknowledged such. We could have eradicated the refugee colonies as we had done to the vikings centuries before – but for some reason we liked these English visitors.

This treaty happened before the smallpox plague devastated the northwestern indigenous population and reduced the glory of the Haudenosaunee to virtually nothing.

The true nature of our ‘brother’ was shown in the centuries that followed. We, the Six Nations Haudenosaunee people believe that our side of the international peace treaty has never been broken and that we  have kept our word to this day.

Our European refugees cannot say the same thing. This makes us wonder if we are still friends. If we are enemies then let it be plainly said so we can finally know which it is. The Six Nations people are tired of living in limbo, floating in the grey political area of pseudo-ally and pseudo-enemy. We could be the strongest ally to the Queen’s People, but we refuse to be subjects.

If Canada wishes to abrogate the Two Row agreement let them send their Governor General or High Commissioner to Six Nations and let it be known. If not, then they must stop treating us like Aboriginal Indians and recognize us as equals to the British Crown. It’s that simple.

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