Re: An open letter from Cayuga Chief Sam General, Dec. 21, 2016
In reading Cayuga Chief Sam General’s letter about his supposed “dehorning” and what led up to it is disappointing for two reasons. Firstly, there is obviously not only a major division on the HCCC bench and somewhat of a dysfunction but also with the clan mother and the clan family. Secondly, if Chief General hadn’t written his letter we would never have known about the supposed “dehorning”. The HCCC as usual is cloaked in secrecy.
Chief General believes he was targeted after questioning Haudenosaunee issues. Kind of seems that way to me too. I was at the HCCC meeting when Chief General raised concerns about the HDI and banned Aaron Detlor from the territory. I knew some of the chiefs weren’t too happy about that. After is when we started hearing rumblings about Chief General getting dehorned.
And whatever happened to bench warmer Steve Hill? Remember he got in trouble as well with some of the chiefs for speaking out against Detlor and the HDI. We haven’t seen or heard from Hill since then. I don’t know if he got kicked off the bench or left willingly..
Chief General and I are a lot alike. In his letter he says he’s not a “yes” man and never will be. I’m not a “yes” woman either and never will be. I can tell you over the past 12 years I’ve had my run-ins quite a bit with the different elected chiefs and councillors because I wouldn’t toe the line or put up with any monkey business. Or because I told the people what I thought they should know. Or for doing whatever I could to help people.
I do have a lot of emotional and mental scars. My kids will tell you I was stressed to the nines. Getting raked over the coals isn’t a pleasant experience but good thing I’m a strong Mohawk woman. I’ve since learned to handle my stress level by simply turning the other cheek. I remain strong in my belief that I am there to help our people and our community and I will do that with whatever means is available to me. I am also a firm believer that people have a right to know.
Back in the day an elected council developed a document called the Roles & Responsibilities of Council. As a person who has always been a free spirit and never cared what people thought I find this document not only stifles a councillor’s individuality but it’s muzzling, controlling and oppressive. I have to say, like the Indian Act, the document does have its good points.
When I was campaigning I promised people I wouldn’t be bullied into being the kind of councillor some people want me to be. That I would not sit at the council table like a good little Indian. I am who I am and people can either accept that or not accept that. District Four re-elected me for a fourth term because they think I’m doing a good job and I will continue doing a good job in my own way not the way some other people think I should be.
Anyway the whole mess with Chief General seems suspect which has wavered my trust and confidence in the leadership of the HCCC. I’m aware that Chief General was against the HCCC having anything to do with the elected council. That was always my feeling at the few meetings the two councils had together. But he was a chief who spoke his mind and I always respected Chief General for that even if I didn’t agree with what he said.
Councillor Helen Miller
Councillor Helen Miller 2251 Chiefwood Rd,
Ohsweken 519 717 4565