Letter to the Editor: Federal Election 2021

On Monday, September 20, 2021, a federal election was held across the country. Polling stations were set up in villages, towns, cities and municipalities — and Indian reserves too — as we the people set about voting for the federal candidate of our choosing.

Voting for and electing a new Prime Minister and others has been an individual’s right ever since democracy itself came onto the political scene a few hundred years before the present time. This Right to vote is a sacred right and not just something someone made up along the way.

There was a time in the not so recent past when native North American people were not allowed to play a part in the quadra-annual rite of electing a new government. Today in the third decade of the 21st century, any adult native north American can and should be allowed to take part in any election process that concerns the Indigenous person and his or her everyday life.

On September 20, 2021 when the people of the Six Nations of the Grand River showed up to vote at a polling station set up within the Gathering Place, an unknown number of seemingly politically illiterate malcontents, informed voters that they, Six Nations residents, could not take part in the sacred rite of voting in the Canadian general election.

This unfortunate and dastardly deed of denying native people their inherent right of self expression regarding the right to vote, drew the local tribal constabulary into the fray which seemed to infuriate the group of Iroquois Confederacy Chiefs Council supporters.

Their claim was unsubstantiated.

The group then entered the polling station and ordered the Election personnel off the territory. A short time later the tribal constabulary gave aid to the group of malcontents and escorted the people and the polling station from that part of the Six Nations territory.

Somehow — calmer heads prevailed and the polling station and all the personnel were moved to another part of the Territory where any Six Nation member could go and vote unmolested by the born again Indian agents.

Note: soon after the installation of the infamous Indian Act in the late 1800’s the Indian Agent in charge of any reserve was granted the freedom to decide who must do what, when he or she was told.

This was the attitude of the Chiefs Council supporters as they had decided that Six Nations people were not going to get a chance to vote against the Liberal Party of Dustin Trudeau and his band of loyalists.

Whenever situations like this occur here in the Mohawk Territory of the Grand River, the bad blood which exists between the Chiefs council supporters and the supporters of the Six Nations elected council comes to the forefront and deepens the rift between the two fields of thought here on the Big 6.

In addition to widening the gulf between the two factions, there is another odd thing that does not occur; the Iroquois Confederacy Chiefs never say anything pro or con about the issue at hand. This leaves those of us who must deal with these situations wondering whether or not people such as those at the voting place incident really have consent from the chiefs; or were the male and female leaders simply seeking some level of personal illusions of grandeur by saying what they said.


-Doug Whitlow

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