A Mohawk perspective on the Haldimand

EAGLES NEST (Brantford) – Two hundred and thirty years ago, on October 25th, 1784, Fredrick Haldimand, the highest ranking government official in the British colonies, provided Joseph Brant and the Mohawk Nation, and those others of the Six Nations who decided leave the fledgling United States of America following the American rebellion, with a grant of land six miles on either side of the Grand River from source to mouth.

Almost from the day the Haldimand Proclamation was made, there has been controversy and misunderstanding over the act ordered by King George III.

Some revisionists believe the Haldimand “Deed” is not a deed at all, but only permission to occupy the land, which the British Crown purchased from the Mississaugas for that purpose.

There will be a Mohawk perspective of that transaction, supported by historical documentation, plus a potluck meal, this Saturday, October 25th, at Kanata Village on Mohawk Street in Eagles Nest (Eagle Place) Brantford, across from the Mohawk Chapel.
Over decades and centuries, the original intent of Haldimand and the King has been put into question right up until today.

During the Veterans Day ceremonies at Six Nations’ Veterans Park, Ontario MPP and Speaker of the House, Dave Levac referred to Six Nations as allies several times, and never once assumed Six Nations to be subjects of the British Crown.

Other Canadian politicians, however, find it very hard to swallow that there could be another independent, sovereign Nation within the borders of Canada.

One can never take a singular document written almost 300 years ago and ascertain what the original intent of that document is. To do so, one would have to examine other supporting documents leading up to it and descending from it to begin to understand the true intent, as understood by the parties involved.

Going back to before the 1924 illegal take over of the existing Six Nations traditional government by armed force, rarely are the Five Nations or Six Nations referred to other than as Allies or as sovereign people.

The great revision of history has been in place since the early 20th century as brought forth under Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King. Meanwhile true Canadian history been buried under an avalanche of circular reasoning and outright lies and deceit, confused further through an educational system that has not taught the generations since then what the true role of Six Nations was then and remains today.

Non-Native Canadians as well as Six Nations people themselves are invited to hear the true history of Brant, Brantford, and Six Nations this Saturday.

Here are a few tidbits to whet the appetite.

In a letter, dated April 5th, 1909, from the Minister of the Interior of Canada, Frank Oliver, addressed to the deputy speaker of Six Nations sets out to answer a direct question put to the Dominion Government regarding their political status. The answer was direct and reflected the understanding of the day. Oliver stated in the preamble that the request for status sought by the Six Nations traditional chiefs was read to him in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent-General, indicating that the answer he was about to give was not his own opinion, but that of the government of the day.

“It is the policy of the Canadian, as I understand, to recognize its relations with the Six Nations Indians of the Grand River as being on a different footing from those of any of the other Indians of Canada. The Six Nations Indians of the Grand River came to Canada under special “TREATY” as allies of Great Britain, and the policy of the Canadian Government is to deal with them having that fact always in mind.

“The system of tribal government which prevailed amongst the Six Nations on their coming to Canada was satisfactory to the government at that time, and so long as it will remain satisfactory to Six Nations themselves, so long it will remain satisfactory to the Government of Canada.”

That statement was made under Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, but only 15 years later, under William Lyon Mackenzie King, that understanding was arbitrarily revised when King sent in the RCMP to take over the eons old traditional government by force.

This fact is still little known by today’s academics, politicians and Canadian citizens alike. The issue of what is historically known as the Johnson Tract lands being haggled over by Brant and Brantford, will most certainly come up during the next administration of the councils of Brant and Brantford. The Mohawks of Kanata offer some important background one will not hear in mainstream Canadian circles. Admission is free.

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