OK — this is pretty complicated subject matter. We as indigenous people have no obligation to be coherent to our guest nations but, let’s take a look at the situation at hand.
North American democracy seems crazy. Look at what is going on right now in the U.S. and the burden of the voter who has to choose between a privileged narcissist and a privileged criminal to run their country in a few short weeks. Who decided that a four-year reign, based upon popularity, is the proper way to run a government? Why do we as indigenous people keep accepting the premise of our visitors? The founding fathers of America based their rebel government on the Haudenosaunee but messed it up.
True democracy — the kind the world has yet to grasp, was brought to indigenous people by the Peacemaker many centuries ago. It is called the GAYANESHAKGOWA or the Great Peace, to many, and it worked very well for a very long time.
Then a condoled royanni (chief) named Deskaheh went to the U.N. to seek justice. Canada was terrified that they were almost exposed on the international scene and just barely managed to blackball Deskaheh at Geneva, and then banned him from ever returning to his homeland on occupied Canadian soil.
The egalitarian government that Deskaheh represented was repressed in 1924 when Canadian RCMP broke every international treaty to sack the traditional Grand River government. The “Queen’s People” stole Six Nations wampum, paper documents and gold bullion according to royanni Cleveland General.
So now in 2016, approximately 10 per cent of the Six Nations population votes for that installed government every three years. These hostile settler politics are called the Elected Council system. Twelve Councillors and one Chief Councillor for a total of 13 officials to appease the public and the Canadian state. Those with long memories call them the “Administrative body”.
To be clear, many families rely on Elected Council jobs and we are not criticizing any individuals or families here — we recognize the survival mode we endure as a nation and as a people. But do not forget Six Nations Elected Council is a foreign system validated by consensual participation of these very same 1,200 people term after term.
Although technically a perfect form of governance as it comes to respecting relationship and autonomy, the Great Peace seems to be incompatible with debt in the form of promissory notes – a.k.a. money. We were a paperless society and a debtless society thousands of years before Columbus got lost.
Our Mayan cousins invented the clock, but since our young European brother brought the pocket watch with them, time has become money and we can’t change that. It’s now our responsibility as indigenous people to interface our traditional values with materialistic society without becoming corrupted.
That’s what decolonizing is all about. Exploring, understanding and integrating indigenous cultural history and ideology — our legacy — into our modern society. It needs to be deliberate and intentional. Let’s get rid of the defeatist mentalities and remember who we truly are.
This underlines the need to look to the academic leaders of Six Nations such as Rick Hill, and Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill who are able to translate the past so we can properly assess our current political position.
Together, shoulder-to-shoulder as a community we should be able to navigate the “fog of war” so to speak and find the final destination that our ancestors had in mind when they arranged those very first treaties with our esteemed guests so many hundreds of years ago.