A group of Six Nations’ motorcycle enthusiasts are in the process of seeking acceptance as an official Chapter of Redrum First Nations Motorcycle Club, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark Barrowcliffe is president of the would-be chapter with Shawn Anthony sitting as vice-president. He and a few other friends and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts considered starting their own club but when the heard about Redrum MC Club, they decided to look into being a part of a larger organization which they can agree with in purpose and motto.
“We started talking to Redrum MC about eight months ago,” recalls Barrowcliffe. “A few of us have been riding together for a while now and wanted to start up our own Native club. There are some other established Native entities out there like Red Thunder and Crazy Indians, and clubs like that. I came across the Redrum website and Shawn (Anthony) realized that he knew the guy that was president in Seneca NY. He came up here to talk to us about opening a Six Nations Chapter.”
They have been staying in touch by phone and text as both sides consider the request.
“It is very important for people to know and understand that we are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who raise money for needy people on the rez,” says Barrowcliff.
The Redrum motto is “Spreading Positivity on Two Wheels.”
“It’s about helping people in Native communities,” says Anthony. “We do fundraisers for people within our community that need financial support.”
They do not contribute to large organizations like United Way, which uses up most of the money they generate in administration costs and the target need gets what’s left over.
“We do not support any other clubs but our own,” he adds. “I think pretty well all of us have brought some kind of issue to the table for consideration.”
That being said, the riders were getting ready to help another MC out of Brantford with a fundraiser within another community.
“We help them, they help us,” says Barrowcliffe. “There are people that kinda fall through the cracks in our society and those are the people we want to help out.”
The club members, currently totaling nine, are still organizing and getting ready to, hopefully, be accepted as a Redrum Chapter.
“We all have friendships with members of other clubs,” says Barrowcliff, “but they don’t share our world view or background. Being Native and having a different upbringing, we have a different outlook on things. We thought it would be good to have something like this for us.”
The club and the pending Six Nations Chapter have a non-threatening motto and purpose.
“We’ll be out there raising funds, not razing hell,” says one member to the nods of approval from the rest. ”We want to be a positive influence in the community and that is pretty much our main goal.”
Accepting a new member is a process of establishing relationship with the existing members to ensure everyone is there for the right reason and a right fit for the club.
We let them ride with us for a while before they get their colours. Obviously, a substantial motorcycle is a prerequisite.
“No electric scooters,” they laugh.
Although the pending Chapter has a president and Vice President as well as other officers, decision-making is a member-wide process with everyone getting equal say.
Redrum MC, which began as an organization in 2006, is much bigger than some people might recognize with chapters in New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and even in Moroco.
According to their official website, “Redrum functions as a Warrior Society based on peace, righteousness and strength. Redrum’s mission is to use our common interest in motorcycles to bring our communities together so we can address the many struggles we continue to battle on our original homelands.”
If accepted, Six Nations will become the third Chapter in Canada.
The Redrum MC Club Six Nations Chapter consists of, from left: Lou Hudat, Cody Henry, Jeff Burleigh, Mark Barrowcliffe (club president), Shawn Anthony (vice-president), Sam Smith (secretary), Brian General (treasurer), Joe Hill, and Harold Jamieson (road captain). Photo by Jim Windle