PRESS RELEASE: GRAND BACK PROJECT IS PRESERVING HISTORY FOR POSTERITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(July 11, 2022) ⟶ Grand Back is a website that provides online resources for Grand River Mohawk legal posterity. Here, you can find information on treaties, as well as other documents that we have archived and made freely available to the public. The “Grand River Mohawk Legal History Project” is led by Benjamin Doolittle, a fraternal member of the Sha’tekari:wate; one of nine uterine sub-clans of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk Confederacy), and is the 6th great-grandson of Colonel Joseph Brant. The project is based on the idea that by making these documents accessible, we can educate people about our history and help them to restore the law, and make informed decisions about our future.

The Grand River Mohawk Legal History Project is an intellectual endeavor to help restore the tradition of law-making and legal thinking that was once a central part of the Mohawk community. This material will be taught and learned by our people and will inform future generations’ understanding of who they are as Mohawks. With this project, we hope to engage our people in conversations about how to improve the lives of our clans and families.

“This project represents one of the ways that I attempt to honor my ancestors, who were on the front line of defending their rights and traditions for hundreds of years” … “The Mohawks of the Five Nations Indians and the Mohawk territory have been the target of numerous attacks by the Canadian government, including the forced removal of the people, seizure of land and property, cultural appropriation, assaults on the rights of women, children and elders, unwarranted taxation and more. The Mohawk people have not been silent about their grievances.” … “It’s time to take action to protect and preserve the future of the Mohawk culture and it’s time to give back to future generations and ensure the continuation of the Mohawk way of life, the tactic of rehabilitating the Brantford (Grand River) lands is an ancient one, and some Mohawks are now returning to this approach. While the project has been conceived around the property issue, its broader goal is to help the Mohawk people regain control of their destiny.” ~ Quote by Doolittle

The website also includes a Journal, which features posts from Doolittle and other members of the project team. The blog covers topics such as treaty rights, Indigenous land claims, and decolonization.

The journal will focus on local issues that are important to the Mohawks and the Six Nations (Grand River) community, and will also include national and international perspectives.

Our journal will focus on topics related to the Mohawk community, the Grand River ecology, encroachments of our acquired territory, our rights, and our way of life.

We will conduct interviews with people of note, cover local news and events, and provide a forum for discussion and debate. Our media platform will include a website, social media, e-newsletter, and a quarterly print journal.

The launch of Grand Back is part of a larger effort to increase access to Mohawk’s legal history and to promote dialogue about these issues. In the coming months, the project team will be working on translations of key documents, as well as developing new resources for educators.

We are committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information on the Mohawk Nation, so that future generations will be able to learn more about their heritage. We are also working on developing new resources so that we can continue to provide valuable information to the Grand River Mohawk community.

The Grand River Mohawk Legal History Project is now live! This project is a multi-faceted effort to reclaim and revitalize the Mohawk people’s land and legal traditions. The project has three main components: (1) the digitization and archival of primary source documents; (2) the development of curriculum and teaching materials; and (3) community outreach and engagement.

1. Digitizing Primary Source Documents
This project involves scanning and uploading thousands of historical documents from the archives of the Grand River Mohawk Legal Society. The goal is to create a digital archive of primary sources that can be used by students, teachers, and researchers. The goal here is to create a digital archive of primary sources that will allow anyone to access the original text online.

2. Developing Curriculum and Teaching Materials
This part of the initiative focuses on developing lesson plans and teaching materials that will help educators and students learn about the history of the Mohawks. The lessons will focus on topics like the role of women in traditional Mohawk society, the impact of European colonization, and the importance of language preservation. The ultimate goal is to create a collection of tools that can be used by schools, museums, libraries, and individuals to teach about the history of the Mohawk people.

In order to teach students about the history of the Mohawke people and their legal traditions, we plan on creating lesson plans using Our database. Each lesson plan will focus on a specific topic related to the history of the Mohawk people. Students learn about the different aspects of the Mohawk culture through hands-on activities.

3. Community Outreach and Engagement
Community engagement is a core part of the Grand River Mohawk Legal History Project. We want to ensure that this project benefits the Mohawk community at large, and we plan to host workshops, roundtable discussions, graphic art, exhibits, and other events to facilitate dialogue among Mohawk residents, students, teachers, and researchers.

This will allow for greater access to these traditions and make them more understandable for people who are interested in learning about them. The project has the potential to have a lasting impact on how Mohawk legal traditions are viewed and practiced.

The curriculum developed by the project will be based on the Mohawk legal tradition. The objective of the curriculum is to inform students about the role of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council, the role of a Clan Mother and the role of Clan Mothers in society, and the legal traditions of the Haudenosaunee and Mohawk people. The curriculum will allow students to learn about Mohawk legal traditions in a culturally relevant way.

This project is very timely and can be of great benefit to all Indigenous Peoples who are engaged in legal reform work. The site has links to numerous primary sources related to traditional Mohawk legal practices. The curriculum and teaching materials section is still under development but will be a great resource for those interested in using traditional Indigenous legal ideas in a modern context. The primary source documents will be useful for experts in a number of fields, including land claims and environmental law.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of treaties, proclamations, wampums, and other documents related to Mohawk history. You can also find information such as, but not limited to:

  • The Royal Proclamation of 1763
  • The Haldimand Pledge Of 1779
  • The Haldimand Proclamation Of 1784
  • The Simcoe Patent Of 1793 (And Why It Was Rejected!)
  • The Dorchester’s Proclamation Of 1789
  • The Simcoe Proclamation Of 1796

The following materials have been digitized and archived, documents will include the following sections: ( in progress ):

  • Treaties between the Six Nations and the United States government (1768–1871)
  • Legal documents of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (1774–1870)
  • Material on the death of Joseph Brant (1807)
  • Documents from Haudenosaunee-American courts and trials (1817–1837)
  • Digital Books and Newspapers
  • The Great Law of Peace
  • Iroquois League Treaties
  • Canandaigua Deed of 1794
  • Loyalist History
  • Gage’s Proclamations
  • Haldimand Papers
  • Life history narratives

Some topics of focus will be, but are not limited to:

  • The Haudenosaunee Confederacy
  • The history of the Mohawk people
  • Cultural practices and traditions
  • Current issues facing the Mohawk community
  • The impact of settler colonialism on the Mohawk people
  • Grand River ecology
  • Indigenous rights
  • Decolonization

Some ways that you can support the project include:

  • Becoming a monthly sustaining donor
  • Advertising in our print journal
  • Submitting articles or artwork
  • Sharing our content on social media
  • Organizing events in your community to raise awareness about the project

How will we reach our audience, you ask? We will use a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • A website that will serve as a hub for all project-related news and information
  • A quarterly print journal
  • Social media outreach
  • Video Presentations
  • Public speaking engagements
  • Workshops and educational resources
  • Interviews with people of note within the Mohawk community
  • Covering local news and events
  • Providing a forum for discussion and debate
  • E-newsletter

The Project is a centralized operation that has been bootstrapped by the Mohawk Charitable Foundation of Grand River. It was created to give Brantford’s Mohawks a safe and secure place to live in while fighting for the return of the land to the rightful owners. Operating in treaty land is never a neutral ‘stage’ on which social actors play their roles, sometimes cooperating with each other, sometimes struggling against each other. The Project will be highly proactive and mobilize Brantford and beyond with actions non-violent and non-destructive.

We understand that this is a very ambitious project. However, we believe that it is an important step in efforts to revitalize Mohawk posterity and restore the Haldimand tract. Our mission is to provide accurate and reliable information about the Mohawk people, their culture, and their history. Our Mission is to restore the Haldimand tract. Our goal is to promote understanding and respect for the Mohawk people and their rights. Our objectives are simple: to educate, to inform, and to serve.

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For more information, please visit: http://grandback.org/

Media contact:

Benjamin Doolittle UE,
Information Commander
benjamin@grandback.org
grandback.org

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