Welcome, this is the Daily GRRR, Two Row Times edition. I’m your host Lucho Granados Ceja, coming to you from territory of the Haudenosaunee – Six Nations. The Two Row Times is multimedia news outlet, led by our flagship newspaper, it is North America’s largest circulation Indigenous weekly newspaper, available every Wednesday in Haudenosaunee territories
Welcome, this is the Daily GRRR, Two Row Times edition. I’m your host Lucho Granados Ceja, coming to you from territory of the Haudenosaunee – Six Nations.
The Two Row Times is multimedia news outlet, led by our flagship newspaper, it is North America’s largest circulation Indigenous weekly newspaper, available every Wednesday in Haudenosaunee territories from Kanasatake to Akwesasne to Tyendinaga and Six Nations. It is also available in the Indigenous communities of Oneida, Munsee-Delaware, and Chippewa Thames, as well as surrounding cities such as Brantford, Caledonia, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and more.
For more information visit tworowtimes.com
The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective; and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.
The song you’re hearing in the background is called Ghostdance, produced by Two Row Time’s very own Jonathan Garlow.
We begin with headlines, produced by our editorial team.
The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for September 25, 2014
1. Golf tournament helps build playground
Our first headline is one brought to you by yours truly.
I’m walking down the footpath at Ganohkwasra’s Next Step Housing, the brand new playground structure is just a few meters ahead, in front of it stand two staff members, Brody Thomas and Sandra Montour, they smile as I approach. Sandra is the Director of Ganohkwasra. She suggested we meet here for our interview so I can get a fuller appreciation of what all the hard work of the staff and volunteers was able to deliver to the community.
Brody headed up the efforts to organize the golf tournament that raised the money that paid for the playground. This is actually the first time he’s seen it up close, and it is obvious to me that he’s quite proud of the final product. He was on the committee that not only organized the tournament but also selected the design of the playground. Before we begin the interview he jokes that kids must really like playing here, as the playground was full of toys that they picked up before I arrived.
Brody himself is a golfer, so it was a natural fit for him to lead this fundraising initiative. This year is the 3rd year the gold tournament has been held. It saw the participation of over 80 golfers. The impressive playground structure was built utilizing money raised during this year’s and last year’s tournament. He tells me that the feedback from the community and the tournament participants has been really positive. This is no surprise of course; it’s something that is bringing joy to children who are coming out of a difficult situation.
The second-stage housing, where the playground is located, is just one of many programs run by Ganohkwasra, who work with those who are victims of family violence. This housing is available to families who are ready to leave the emergency shelter but need a supportive opportunity to reintegrate into the community.
In addition to the emergency shelter and second-stage housing, Ganohkwasra has a 24-hour crisis line, a youth lodge, and provides outreach services, counselling and community education.
Those interested in supporting the mission and work of Ganohkwasra are invited to participate in #Walk4Change6NAY, which happens the last Saturday ever every month, the next one will be held on September 27, 2014. For more information about the event or Ganohkwasra in general visit their website or call the 24-hour number: 519-445-4324.
2. Deputy Minister commits province to honour “duty to consult”
Before meeting with the Brantford Chamber of Commerce last Tuesday, Ontario Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David de Launay met with Six Nations Elected Chief Ava Hill, Brant Mayor Ron Eddy along with Brantford Mayor Chris Friel.
Hill, Eddy and Friel delivered the same message to the province they gave to the federal government when the threesome went to Ottawa together in an attempt to get the Harper Government to speed up its dealing with outstanding land claims that affect development in both Brantford and Brant County.
In the closed door meeting, the trio told the Deputy Minister that the province needs to do more to apply pressure to the feds to re-engage in negotiations that the federal government broke off a number of years ago after making some small but slow headway.
De Launay later met with members of the Chamber of Commerce to announce that Ontario is working on a social media campaign designed to inform and educate Canadians about the special place Six Nations of the Grand River has through treaties and agreements, which Canada and the Province must abide by. He offered some advice to about 20 Chamber members on how to properly deal with issues involving Six Nations land claims, however he did not specify what that advice was.
3. Time to do something about MMIW
Momentum seems to be building towards a planned shut down of Highway #6 at 4th Line Road, slated for Saturday October 4th beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until Sunday October 5th ending at 9 p.m.
The protest is occurring in conjunction with a number of other protests being planned for the same weekend in other Onkwehon:we communities that are calling for an independent inquiry into more than 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. It is alleged by Indigenous leaders from coast to coast that most of these cold cases have not been properly investigated, if investigated at all. To date, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rejected all calls for an inquiry to look into the matter.
The Men’s Fire will live-stream the protest on-line to draw attention to the issue as well.
Men’s Fire representative Bill Monture reminds people that every other diplomatic avenue, including lobbying, letter writing, petitions and published demands have fallen on deaf ears, leaving direct action as the only alternative. Even the United Nations special rapporteur James Anaya has included the missing and murdered Indigenous women in his scathing report card on the Harper Government’s human rights record.
4. First Annual Zombie Race to raise funds for local family
A dedicated group of community volunteers came together this week to organize the ‘First Annual Six Nations Zombie 3k Race/Walk’. This unique race will see runners collect sponsored donations and then run a three kilometer course where they will be chased by costumed zombies. It will be held at Chiefswood Park on October 4th. All proceeds will go towards the Johnson family to fund “Jada’s Journey” and there is a great need for volunteers who wish to dress as the zombie cast.
Jada’s aunty Connie Johnson told the Two Row Times why she decided to rally together friends to start a fundraiser “I just felt it in my bones. I needed to do something. This is just one step starting with this fundraiser to help Jada and her family financially but we can continue this year after year and focus on cancer prevention. We got to look out for one another.”
The committee is still looking for volunteers and business who wish to make a donation towards the costs of putting on the race or towards Jada’s Journey. To volunteer to be a helper/zombie visit the Six Nations Zombie Run Facebook page at facebook.com/sixnationszombierun for event details.
5. Controversy at Cayuga Lake continues
Last week we reported on the leadership conflict in the Cayuga Nation in Seneca Falls. The conflict in has gotten more intense as two community gas stations and a local cigarette factory have been taken over by rival groups in the community. The current conflict has its roots in the growth of US colonialism during the “war for independence” and the Sullivan Clinton Campaign. During these turbulent years, the expansion of the 13 colonies into the United States meant war, forced relocation, and genocide for the Cayuga Nation.
Cayuga people resettled in neighbouring territories with the Seneca and Six Nations and many more Cayuga were spread out even further west. Not only did these difficult years split apart the people, but their homelands were stolen. Consequently, there has not been an official Cayuga Nation in their traditional homeland until very recently. So the process of reclaiming and rebuilding the Cayuga Nation is both very promising and challenging.
6. Wahta Community Fire vacates protest site
In a statement posted to their website and Facebook page, the Wahta Community Fire announced that as of Monday, September 22, 2014 they would vacate the encampment site in front of the Administration Building in the Wahta Mohawk territory and allow staff to return to their offices.
The Community Fire indicated in the statement that the reasons behind the decision to leave the protest site were: the threat of a lawsuit, a concern for the preservation of the administration building, and the existence of the “enemies list”. The “enemies list” is a list of names of people, perceived to be supporters of the Community Fire, prepared by Karen Commandant, the appointed Senior Administrator. Those appearing on the list are to be denied community services as a result of their involvement with the Community Fire.
The Community Fire held a permanent presence at the site for nearly 140 days in an effort to compel the Elected Council to abide by the Financial and Governance codes. Before leaving the site the Community Fire invited police to conduct an inspection of the site and building in order avoid being accused of leaving it in a bad state.
Supporters of the Community Fire intend to employ different pressure tactics to achieve their goal, saying in the statement, “Although it was not an easy decision to leave, we believe this will enable us to broaden and intensify our activities to hold the Wahta Council accountable to community laws, and the basic principles of accountability, transparency, and community empowerment.”
We’ll have an interview with Ryan DeCaire, a supporter of the Community Fire, about this decision after the musical break.
Midway Music: Tanya Tagaq – “Caribou”
This week we’re featuring a song from Tanya Tagaq, a throat singer from Nunavut. She won the prestigious Polaris Prize on Monday night, this prize is awarded to the Canadian album of the year. During her performance at the awards ceremony on Monday night the names of some of the murdered and missing Indigenous women scrolled on a screen behind her. In her acceptance speech she also spoke out in support of the right of Indigenous peoples in the North to engage and benefit from the seal hunt.
Here’s Caribou from her 2014 album Animism.
Before the music break we spoke about the situation in the Wahta Mohawk territory.
The Wahta Community Fire had set up a ongoing protest camp in front of the Administration Building in the Wahta Mohawk Territory in order to prevent access by members of the Elected Council. The protest was initiated after the Elected Council publicly indicated that they would not abide by the Financial and Governance Codes that had been established during the previous council’s term.
A mediator was brought in by the Council in June and the Community Fire submitted a written “peace agreement” outlining a process to resolve this issue. On July 30, 2014 Elected Chief Phillip Frank responded to that proposal by sending a “cease and desist” letter to the Community Fire demanding they vacate the protest site or face a lawsuit. The Community Fire choose to stand their ground and a month has passed since the letter was given to them without any action on the part of the Elected Council as of yet.
In August of this year, in what supporters of the Community Fire consider to be a further escalation of the conflict, the Elected Council announced its intention to deny services to any band council members who were involved in the Community Fire protest. Council’s creation of a so-called “enemies list,” is being harshly condemned by the Community Fire supporters.
As mentioned previously, the Community Fire has now vacated the protest site.
We now bring you this interview with Ryan DeCaire, recording Tuesday afternoon.;
That’s it for our program for today, we’ll be here every week bringing you news from Six Nations, Haudenosaunee territory.
To close our show today we have a track all the way from Brazil. I lived in Brazil in 2011 alongside the Movimento Dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, better know by their acronym, the MST. This movement, comprised of over a million members, organizes landless peasants and recovers idle land that is put under democratic control and used for the benefit of the people. They are a movement that has inspired many around the world, myself included. Here’s a song I heard often during my time there, it’s called Canção da Terra, or song about land.
Closing Song: “Canção da Terra”
Lucho Granados Ceja
Lucho Granados Ceja