In 1951 the Indian act was revised so that Aboriginals were now allowed to possess and drink alcohol for the first time, but only on their own reserves. The provinces gained an increased role in determining Indian status. However, ultimate control over the Aboriginal peoples still resided (and still resides) with the federal government.
If the Federal government has the ultimate control over the Ogwehoweh and their land, how is it that the elected council and Six Nations Police can impose any Provincially based laws/Highway Traffic Act/Liquor License or otherwise on this territory?
Who has the given right to tell another person what they can/cannot do on their own territory? The Indian Act? You must understand that the Indian Act was only created to control and destroy the traditional ways of our peoples.
The Indian Act is the only one of the few history making documents in Canada that surfaces such anger, resentment, and sadness. It almost destroyed our ceremonies, it restricted us from having certain rights, it divided our peoples, and it took our children away. It has succeeded in only one thing. It made those that follow it into one of them. A white person. Or are you an apple? Red outside and white inside.
Now having said all that, on December 12-13 at Yogi’s Social Club, I was charged under the Provincial law with ‘illegally selling liquor” by the Six Nations police. I was to appear in court on January 14th, but as luck would have it I didn’t have to. I am innocent till proven guilty. I am also prepared to fight this issue. Why? Because who the hell gave the police the right to pass on provincial rulings on Federal land. Our land! I didn’t. Did you? I am disturbed by this whole ordeal and feel that I have been stereotyped by some people in this community. Charged with selling liquor, ‘whatever’!
I’ve been told by the Six Nations police that there were also some complaints made by the Six Nations Chief and its councillors and a few close neighbors of Yogis barn that beer was being sold there. Why complain about Yogi’s social club when there’s a whole heck of lot more going on this territory to complain about other than Yogis social club (the Barn or whatever you want to call it). Why aren’t these same people complaining about the 438 known drug houses, the bootleggers, and all the unlicensed events that are held here on this territory?
It has been said in our papers that Yogi’s barn serves to minors. That is so untrue and yet to be seen. But lets’ talk about what is true. Yearly Lacrosse rookie parties for the 19U parties (youngest is 15 and the son of a newly elected councillor), and some parents (some of whom are police officers) sit alongside their sons and have beers. Is that appropriate? Is it ok that we allow our youth to drink alcohol all because they made the team? (Yet they rush in to disturb a Grade 12 graduation party). Yogis Social Club is on personal property, yet the police came in there with their provincial law making papers and start handing out these yellow papers to appear in court. The white man’s government has always sent us their diseases. From residential schools, CAS, immunizations, the Indian Act, to jails and taxes (soon to come our way if this council has their way) and the list goes on. If the people who sit in these councils want to follow the white man laws and bow to a queen then go live with the white man.
This is a case where long-time members of a certain establishment gathered to socialize and entertain and have a few sociable drinks. The atmosphere of the building was welcoming and safety measures were always taken. It wasn’t a bar or a business. It was a place where members voluntarily contributed to local charities. The members replenished their own stock. It was not to serve as profit. It was built to help those in need.
Taking all this into consideration, does it matter that alcohol was/wasn’t served. What matters is this is Ogwehoweh territory. This is federal land. This is where assimilation, decolonization, decultration and decimating stops. We must not allow provincial rulings to supersede the federal laws of this land. In doing so it will only destroy the Ogwehoweh and our inherent rights to live with what they have left.
The charges that were laid upon us is not about selling liquor. It’s about not following the elected council’s way of doing things. I am not a constituent of any elected council. I am above that. I do not vote because that it not what I believe in. I am Ogwehoweh.
If there is to be any rulings given then let it fair and equal, without prejudice and above all proven.