The sun was shining as Theresa “Toad” Jamieson emerged from the Cayuga courthouse Wednesday afternoon smiling and looking to the sky saying Nya:wah. That morning Jamieson was finally able to give her side of the story of the incident on Feb 18th 2012 when Gary McHale, his supporters and a group of OPP officers marched onto Kanonhstaton, “the protected place” – also known as the “Douglas Creek Estates” to some.
During her court session, Toad gave clear and calm testimony of what she considered to be the recurring “harassment and baiting” that has been directed against the people of Six Nations by McHale and his cronies over the past six years. She also explained her actions at Kanonhstaton from her own perspective.
Toad told how she had reactively picked up a piece of garbage – a discarded lampshade – and raised it in the air as McHale approached. She remembered “snapping back into her Great Law mind,” and lowering her arm, handing off the object to one of the men standing behind her, who put it away.
It was clear from all accounts and the video evidence shown in court that Jamieson did not physically contact McHale – the issue in concern was whether she “threatened” him with assault.
Toad told the court that she was feeling vulnerable and defensive because all the men advancing towards her and invading Kanonhstaton, were either three times her size or carrying lethal weapons. This was the same piece of land that the OPP invaded at 4:20am on April 20th, 2006 and assaulted men, women, youth and elders. This is the same land that, since being reclaimed and protected, has had the chance to heal and regrow.
So, as she was originally prepared to do at her original trial date on December 12th 2012, Toad spoke her story, and tied everything into context with her history lesson.
She read Deskaheh’s last speech in its entirety to the court. She spoke of the past and present strategies used by the Canadian government in attempting to assimilate and disorganize traditional societies and to annihilate entire nations and their relationship to their land. Her statement emphasized the injustice found in the imposition of colonial law against a people, a confederacy of original nations, living on their own land, and following their own system of laws – the Great Peace.
There were only two seats left in court, so I got stuck sitting in McHale’s section right in the back. When Toad began reading Deskaheh’s last speech, the room fell quiet and grew thick with power. The people in the section around us seemed to start twitching with guilt, and shame almost seemed to pour out from the their pores.
McHale abruptly got up and walked out of court as Deskaheh’s words filled the room.
No verdict was given that day. Many eyes, ears, and hearts may remain closed, but truth was spoken and the message was delivered. People came together to support Teresa “Toad” Jameson” an Onkwehon:we woman pulled into colonial courts because she protects her land, her people, and her law.
After all that has happened to us, that is not too much to ask.
You got half of your territory here by warfare upon redmen, usually unprovoked, and you got about a quarter of it by bribing their chiefs, and not over a quarter of it did you get openly and fairly. You might have gotten a good share of it by fair means if you had tried.
You young people of the United States may not believe what I am saying. Do not take my word, but read your history.
A good deal of true history about that has got into print now. We have a little territory left – just enough to live and lie on. Don’t you think your government ought to be ashamed to take that away from us by pretending it is part of theirs?
You ought to be ashamed if you let them. Before it is all gone, we mean to let you know what your governments are doing. If you are a free people you can have your own way. The governments at Washington and Ottawa have a silent partnership of policy.
It is aimed to break up every tribe of Redmen so as to dominate every acre of their territory. Your high officials are the nomads today – not the Red People. Your officials won’t stay home.
Over in Ottawa, they call that Policy “Indian Advancement.” Over in Washington, they call it “Assimilation.”We who would be the helpless victims say it is tyranny.
If this must go on to the bitter end, we would rather that you come with your guns and poison gases and get rid of us that way. Do it openly and above the board. Do away with the pretense that you have the right to subjugate us to your will.
Your governments do that by enforcing your alien laws upon us. That is an underhanded way.
They can subjugate us if they will through the use of your law courts. But how would you like to be dragged down to Mexico, to be tried by Mexicans and jailed under Mexican law for what you did at home?
We want none of your laws and customs that we have not willingly adopted for ourselves. We have adopted many. You have adopted some of ours – votes for women, for instance. We are as well behaved as you and you would think so if you knew us better.
We would be happier today, if left alone, than you who would call yourselves Canadians and Americans. We have no jails and do not need them. You have many jails, but do they hold all the criminals you convict? And do you convict or prosecute all your violators of the thousands of laws you have?”
Excerpt of Deskaheh’s last speech, read in court on August 28th, 2013 by Theresa “Toad” Jamieson.
By Aiden Hennigs
TOAD! Myself and I’m sure so many others, are very, very proud of you. AHO! NIa:wen.
Love the story – funniest piece of fiction I have read in a long time.
Of course, she never said in court what is claimed in the story and the Judge and Crown made it clear that much of what she said isn’t evidence and isn’t allowed in court. I particularly like the fictional account below:
“Toad told how she had reactively picked up a piece of garbage – a discarded lampshade – and raised it in the air as McHale approached. She remembered “snapping back into her Great Law mind,” and lowering her arm, handing off the object to one of the men standing behind her, who put it away.”
The truth is she grabbed a pipe and was stopped by a Native man who grabbed her to stop the assault. When she continued to try to assault me the OPP arrested her.
This is what the video evidence proved and not somehow she “snapped back into her Great Law mind” and lowered her arms.
Thanks for the laugh – no wonder the courts keep convicting these protesters because there is no sense of reality regarding the facts.
BTW: We all loved the SPEECH OF DESKAHEH so much we have paid for the transcripts of what she read off in court. In particular the parts where this Chief clearly stated in 1925 that Six Nations “ceded” back the land. We will use this speech in future court cases.
Maybe more people from Six Nations should read this speech.
Hi Gary thanks for popping by, here is the link to the full SPEECH OF DESKAHEH
You should note Gary, that wampum 58 (kaianerekowa) when referencing anyone or small group of people ceding the collective right of the people, 58 is a safeguard from someone having that power, selling the land is like selling our buried grandfolks and grandchildren, its outrageous that makes it void!
even the canadian courts agree with my statement http://www.davis.ca/en/entry/litigation/can-individuals-assert-collective-aboriginal-and-treaty-rights-maybe-/….and in essence wampum 58.
This does not mean the collective cant give individual rights to assert the rights of the collective, lol but that takes real power Gary, not even canada has a bonafide constitution they are lawless, its not ratified by the people took it as their own, You have been BAMBOOZLED and HOODWINKED! The so-called Constitution was brought here to be repatriated by Trudeau, it was designed by brits Parliament, really if canada is its own authority, taking foreign law as the Canadian constitution, is treason dontcha think!
You think the onkwehonwe are LAWLESS in fact Canada has no law at all, the two row wampum voids it! the tow row wampum, is the first and unbroken law of the land!
McHale. I hope you forwarded your comment to your learned colleague Christie Blatchford so we can all see how she’ll put it in context with her next book, “Crisis In Caledonia. What Crisis?” (The Peaceful Aftermath of Post McHale’s Navy).
I would like to know as I’m sure many, many others would, why is it that you continually appear where you are not wanted? MOST….Caledonians don’t want you (for their own reasons) and certainly, we (Six Nations) don’t want you either. Just what is it in your twisted psyche that compels you in such a self-abasing manner? You’ve become so tiring, so predictable AND……utterly irrelevant. (YAAAAWWWWN).
What [ Toad ] said is very right the governments on both side of the line are slowly taking away [ all ] rights from our people and the non Native Americans.
When I got home from Viet Nam nearly fifty years ago, I said it might take between forty or more years before the great land we call the United States and all of Native American territories would become like mother Russia back in the fifties.
Right now they are taking away all of your rights, they want to have all of your weapons so you can not defend or to supply food for your family, they are raising all taxes so the people can not live, they are increasing the tax on fuel so it will be impossible to drive your own vehicle,they wish to drill for oil and natural gas on the North Slope in Alaska,when you die they even have a death tax now. So yours dependants have to pay to have you buried and that is so [ WRONG ].
I believe it is time to stand up for our [ RIGHTS ] or you will become sheep with a nasty shepard who is leading you to slaughter.
“Toad” was giving the court and the observers a look in to her strength and her intelligence as well as her allegiance to her people. I for one have been very educated and impressed by both ‘Toad’ and ‘Flower’ at their court appearances. I have been sickened by the presence of the racist bullier McHale who has let it be known that he is setting up an information booth at Kanonhstaton, and his snickering supporters. Congratulations to her for her courage
Superbly succinct & articulate. Excellent coverage.
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