In regards to the Haudenosaunee Trade Delegation (HTD)’s attempt at passing a Tobacco regulation under the Chiefs Council (HCCC). First of all, our sacred tobacco is already safe from Bill C-10.
As a craftsperson of many years, I wish to remind the people of what happened in the late 80’s and early 90’s, when our people were carving False Face.
As traditional Ongwehonweh, we had to perform a massive ceremony because our medicine society became upset at their sacred image being used for personal gain – money. Us as craftspeople were asked to stop carving them.
The same concept applies regarding the abuse of our sacred tobacco.
It is too important to be using our rights to grow and harvest Oyę gwa to fight to grow the white man’s commercial tobacco. It is wrong on so many levels, we could lose it. We depend on our tobacco for all our ceremonies, our culture, and our medicines. Without it our words will not be carried to Songwiyendisoh’s ears.
As a Cayuga Wolf, I will not support the endeavour to use our sacred tobacco for their personal gain. It should not be used to fight the federal government, especially when it has already been exempted! We already have what we need to fight Bill C-10, our own law. The Great Law governs our people.
When did the Haudenosaunee adopt “Canadian” ways? Their policies and procedures? If I decide I’m going to grow a field of cannabis will this law protect me? Kris Green said on May 2nd in Confederacy Chief’s Council, “This law (Bill C-10) could put me in jail.”
I thought our job was to worry about the collective – not selfishly think about ourselves. If these tradespeople want to jump into the ship, go ahead! But don’t force us to follow by dragging our sacred medicines into the ship with you.
Has anyone taken into account the violence that this “law” has the potential to create in our community? Why should our people be put in harm’s way to protect a farmer’s “right” to abuse our right to Oyę gwa?
Where is this Trade Delegation proposing to put the HCCC jail to house people who “break” this so-called law? Do these four people really believe that employing a Goon Squad to enforce this law is not going to result in violence? Since when do our people extort each other? We are not the mob – “Pay us and we’ll protect your business.” This is not part of our ways protected by the Two Row. Since when do we expel our own people for not following the ship’s path?
I will leave you with these parting words: trying to take laws, regulations, policies and procedures out of the ship to pull into the canoe – that’s mighty “Canadian” of you.