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"They love everything about Indigenous Peoples, except the people"

A talk by Gord Hill

by Vancouver Media Co-op Original Peoples, →2010 Olympics

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"They love everything about Indigenous Peoples, except the people"

"'The government wants to say it's all great here. We have a great relationship with Indigenous peoples.' We're saying no, that's false. That's a lie that the governments, the corporations and the Olympics are perpetrating."

These are some of the words of Gord Hill, member of the Kwakwak'wakw Nation, editor of, and resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

In this talk, recorded at UBC's Green College on October 19th, 2009, Hill discusses the history behind the slogan "No Olympics on Stolen Native Land."

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Hercules vs. CoyoteNative and

Hercules vs. Coyote
Native and Euro-American Beliefs


William Commanda has spent a lifetime working for greater understanding of Aboriginal culture and traditions, as well as for peace, justice and racial harmony. A respected Algonquin elder, he served as chief of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg- the largest community of the Algonquin Nation for nearly two decades, and is the founder of the Circle of All Nations, an organization dedicated to promoting Indigenous wisdom and peace. He led the Sunbow Five Walk for Mother Earth, is a respected spokesperson and spiritual leader at national and international gatherings, participates regularly in United Nations peace and spiritual vigils, and is acknowledged globally for his work in promoting interracial and intercultural harmony, justice, and respect for Mother Earth. He is the recipient of a Justice Award, and A Wolf Project Award and a Harmony Award & the Order of Canada for his efforts to foster racial harmony. He has organized several international gatherings of Indigenous elders and spiritual leaders of the Americas to foster respect and reconciliation amongst nations. As the official keeper of three sacred wampum belts, he continues to share his wisdom and teach others about Algonquin history.He's over 95 yrs. old now I think.

He was given the Wampum belt by my grandmother when they returned to her care after the Tuscarora Chief Clinton Rickard & my grandfather- Frank Meness both died in the 1970's. Both the USA in 1924 & Canada in 1948 tried to force citizenship or "enfranchisement." but Chief Clinton Rickard asked the question, "how can you be a member of a sovereign nation and be force to be a citizen in a foreign government?" as did Deskaheh during his an appeal for justice to the League of Nations in Switzerland in 1924. It has been a continuous appeal as stated in the book "A Basic Call to Consciousness" which has been described as " "What is presented here is nothing less audacious than a cosmogony of the Industrialized World presented by the most politically powerful and independent non-Western political body surviving in North America. It is, in a way, the modern world through Pleistocene eyes. . . .

Needless to say, "Canadian or American " citizenship is rejected by those of us raised to resist this encroachment of our sovereign rights. The first IDLA Border Crossing Celebration took place July 14, 1928. This event symbolizes the continuous assertion of our sovereignty as Indian Nations. The belts are instrumental in teaching settlers & their gov't about agreements made prior to the formation of both Canada & the USA. (sovereignty)

For more teaching :

Oren Lyons (Onondaga/Turtle Clan)
Oren Lyons was born in 1930 and raised in the traditional lifeways of the Haudenosaunee on the Seneca and Onondaga reservations in northern New York State. Chief Lyons has authored or edited numerous books including Native People Address the United Nations (1994); Voice of Indigenous Peoples (1992); and Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution (1992). (complete video) (part2) (part3)

We have been here since the beaver were as big as Volkeswagons!!

As a third generation activist perhaps people would like to know that IDLOA has been upholding the Jay Treaty of 1794 & the 1812 Treaty of Ghent since the 1920's.

Clinton Rickard -a chief of the Tuscarora Nation, the Martins of the Six Nations Reserve along with my grandparents- Frank & Teresa Meness of Kitigan Zibi Anishnebeg organized the first march in 1927 following years of harrassment & discrimination from some of the (then)recent European immigrants manning the US/CANADA border - despite the fact that no "overt" official orders had come from Washington to bar Indians specifically.

A traditional Cayugan leader Levi General- Deskaheh, chief of the Younger Bear Clan was mandated by the Six Nations Council to assert Iroquois national rights in an international forum. So traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, in the early 1920s he petitioned the new League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations.

While staying at Chief Rickard's house on the Tuscarora reservation (in New York state) Deskaheh fell ill and sent for his traditional medicine man from the Six Nations Reserve in Canada. But the medicine man was not allowed across the border. The U.S. had just passed the Immigration Law of 1924, which denied entry to anyone who did not speak English-notwithstanding that some of the more recent border guards - newly minted immigrants from Europe couldn't speak English well themselves!!

Although the measure was directed against Asians, covertly it allowed for the barring of North American Indians & thus the traditionally raised medicine man, who did not pass the English test since he only spoke his own language. He didn't make it to Deskaheh, who eventually who passed away in Chief Rickard's house.

On his deathbed in June 1925, Deskaheh told Rickard to "Fight for the line". Later that summer during the Six Nations Chiefs Council National Picnic the chosen successors to Deskaheh's work were:Chauncey Garlow(Mohawk) Alexander J. General(Cayuga)Robert Henhawk(Onondaga) & Clinton Rickard (Tuscarora)& so he devoted his life to defending the right of free passage for Aboriginal people.

This year marked the 82nd continous march across the U.S-CAN border. The celebration is held in Niagara Falls on the third Saturday in July - everyone is welcomed.

In Akwesasne, it evolved into the White Roots of Peace movement. This caravan of tribal elders traveled across the country in the late '60s, carrying a message of traditional revival to Indian communities, on and off reservation. One result was the Bay Area activism that led to the Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island. Another result was the political awakening of Wilma Mankiller.

See for more info

Please read Chief Rickard's autobiography, "The Fighting Tuscarora" by Rickard & Barbara Graymont ISBN#0815600925

pgs.64 & 65: "I am referring to the Immigration Act of 1924, sponsored by Senator Hiram Johnson of California. One portion of that Act was aimed at exclusion of Orientials, in keeping with American race prejudice of that day. Secion 13(c) of the Act stated: "No alien ineligible to citizenship shall be admited to the United States." ...Orientals & North American Indians coming into the US from Canada were excluded since Indians weren't considered "Peoples" (until 2007) This Immigration Act therefore made the original inhabitants of this continent the victims of American racial prejudice."

The US recognizes internal tribal membership as per both treaties mentioned above.

But Canada's Senate choose not to recognize said treaties since they were made while Canada was still a British outpost prior to Confederation in 1867... mind you they'll fight to the death to uphold the MAGNA CARTA of 1215...LOL

After WWII people & the "free world" was thinking about human rights Canada developed it's own citizenship laws & debated offering citizenship to Indians since we had volunteered in greater % than Canadians themselves per capita/population.

Alas Canada attempted wholesale enfranchised -not just for veterans & those "graduated" from residential school...

Needless to say, "Canadian or American" citizenship is rejected by those of us raised to resist this encroachment of our sovereign rights. The first IDLA Border Crossing Celebration symbolizes the continuous assertion of our sovereignty as Indian Nations. The wampum belts are instrumental in teaching settlers & their gov't about agreements made prior to the formation of both Canada & the USA.


Oren Lyons (Onondaga/Turtle Clan) was born in 1930 and raised in the traditional lifeways of the Haudenosaunee on the Seneca and Onondaga reservations in northern New York State. Chief Lyons has authored or edited numerous books including Native People Address the United Nations (1994); Voice of Indigenous Peoples (1992); and Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution (1992). (sovereignty) (complete video)



Historical proof...

Canadian and Americans,

We the indigenous consider ourselves all related right across this continent, we don't see the imposed boundaries the colonials drew across the continent. Therefore, we not only watch what is happening here we also pay close attention as to what is going on over there as well. We have to watch BOTH government systems and their policies.

We are talking about the past, present and future of this continent and what are we are ALL witnessing on a daily basis? The systematic genocide of other Indigenous people around the world. The insidious "Genocidal Blueprint" in always in perpetual motion.

"Brethren, the Governor of Virginia and the Governor of Canada are both quarreling about lands which belong to us."

-Hendrick (Tiyanoga), 1754

Truth & Reconciliation? The truth is evident, but there will be no reconciliation. Not in Canada nor the US. The Indigenous are under occupation and the resources are being stolen by the second.

A letter from Bouquet to Amherst, dated 23 June 1763, three weeks before the discussion of blankets to the Indians, stating that Captain Ecuyer at Fort Pitt (to which Bouquet would be heading with reinforcements) has reported smallpox in the Fort. This indicates at least that the writers knew the plan could be carried out.

Several other letters from the summer of 1763 show the smallpox idea was not an anomaly. The letters are filled with comments that indicate a genocidal intent, with phrases such as:

* "...that Vermine ... have forfeited all claim to the rights of humanity" (Bouquet to Amherst, 25 June)

* "I would rather chuse the liberty to kill any Savage...." (Bouquet to Amherst, 25 June)

* "...Measures to be taken as would Bring about the Total Extirpation of those Indian Nations" (Amherst to Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of the Northern Indian Department, 9 July)

* "...their Total Extirpation is scarce sufficient Attonement...." (Amherst to George Croghan, Deputy Agent for Indian Affairs, 7 August)

* "...put a most Effectual Stop to their very Being" (Amherst to Johnson, 27 August)

Reality is perception & since

Reality is perception & since I am Algonquin & have read the documentation & heard the stories & histories of the level of patriarchal dealings settler governments imposed on indigenous people through legislation & "Indian Agents" & the priests & the police you will not convince me that "western European" values aren't patriarchal.

Remember to be thankful you just have to read about colonialism, not be governed by a whole department implementing it ...

Mind you Canada is just now recently recognising the government sanctioned destruction of Indigenous familes/communites/Nation by overt & covert means: ie) the bullets, booze, blankets,bible residential schools, federal legislation (the Indian Act ) Eugenics Program, post WWII Nazi medical experimentation, child welfare, justice system, land theft ,sex & snuff film trade ...


more info?


"Understanding the difference between the reality of freedom & the illusion of freedom" as aptly put by John Trudell ! LOL

RCAP states: "No segment of

RCAP states:

"No segment of our research aroused more outrage and shame than the story of the residential schools.

Certainly there were hundreds of children who survived and scores who benefitted from the education they received. And there were teachers and administrators who gave years of their lives to what they believed was a noble experiment. (IT'S HUNDREDS OUT OF THOUSANDS SENT)

But the incredible damage — loss of life, denigration of culture, destruction of self-respect and self-esteem, rupture of families, impact of these traumas on succeeding generations, and the enormity of the cultural triumphalism that lay behind the enterprise —

will deeply disturb anyone who allows this story to seep into their consciousness and recognizes that these policies and deeds were perpetrated by Canadians no better or worse intentioned, no better or worse educated than we are today.

This episode reveals what has been demonstrated repeatedly in the subsequent events of this century: the capacity of powerful but grievously false premises to take over public institutions and render them powerless to mount effective resistance.

It is also evidence of the capacity of democratic populations to tolerate moral enormities in their midst.

These were also acts of profound cruelty to individuals: children (now adults) and their families and communities. A public inquiry is urgently required to examine the origins, purposes and effects of residential school policies, to identify abuses, to recommend remedial measures and to begin the process of healing.


Historical correct education would provide an alternative way for Canadians think & try to repair the damages inflicted upon Native society by the residential schools.

To do this, the government would have to:

- Launch a full-out campaign to eradicate institutionalized racism

- Acknowledge that many problems with non-Natives having prejudices against Natives stem from the fact that most Canadian textbooks avoid Native issues, thus many Canadians wind up filling the gaps with the many incorrect myths they hear on the streets.

- Launch a campaign to educate the Canadian people with realistic information about the history, current situation, different cultures, and actual benefits received by Status Indians, non-Status Indians, Metis and Inuit.

- Invest in social workers, addiction counsellors, psychologists and community programs to help the affected communities regain their strength, self-esteem and their hope for a brighter future.

- Make cultural awareness studies mandatory in Canadian schools, so that children learn more of other cultures, and thus become less likely to grow into racists.


I have read a new  book "Shin-chi's Canoe" , written by Nicola I. Campbell as well as her previous one called Shi-shi-etko .. & she handles the topic with a steady hand,a critical eye & soul sensitivity that reveals her deep committment to helping others teach their grandchildren & great-grandchildren aspects of colonialism that CANADA is just now accepting as a part of it's historical truth.

Non-indigenous peoples of Turtle Island are horrified to deal with ugly truths, alas Aboriginal Peoples don't have the luxury of living in a world of lollipops & sunshine.. Ugliness exists, racism, violence and ignorance are real.

Nicola is Interior Salish of Nle7kepmx (Thompson) and Nsilx (Okanagan)

Now - in regards to books - there is lots of issues that writers are tackling.

Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) - Hidden Roots -scholastic ISBN 0-439-35359-9 speaks about the Eugenics Program practised on Aboriginal people in both Canada & USA.

Some indigenous writers: George Copway(Ojibway) Thompson Highway (Cree) Mary Augusta Tappage(Shusap) Harry Robinson (Okanagan) Basil Johnston ( Ojibwa) Rita Joe (Micmac) Duke Redbird (Chippewa) Maria Campbell (Metis) Annharte (Anishnabe) Thomas King (Cherokee) Wayne Keon(Ojibway) Jeanette c. Armstrong (Okanagan) Beth Cuthand (Cree) Lenore Keeshig-Tobias (Anishnaabe) Lee Maracle(Metis/Salish) Daniel David Moses (Delaware) Ruby Slipperjack (Ojibwa) Joan Crate (Cree) Louise Halfe (Cree)

I also read a book about the sex trade in Canada -Raven's Journey-from B.C. Pretty much what my father told me in 6th grade.

Manifest Destiny+Papal Decrees=LAND THEFT


By Richard Walker, Today correspondent

Story Published: Sep 12, 2008

Professor Robert J. Miller's ''Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny,'' is a powerful book that clearly illustrates how Thomas Jefferson used a European legal tradition to justify the United States' expansion and its acquisition of indigenous land.

The legal tradition - known today as the ''doctrine of discovery'' - established rules for the acquisition and occupation of ''discovered'' land. Miller traces the development of this legal tradition, how it became international law and how it was used on this continent.

The doctrine of discovery also established rules affecting how indigenous people were viewed and treated. Miller clearly shows how the doctrine of discovery influences the daily lives of America's first peoples today.

Miller's book is arguably the most thorough book on the subject today. He takes a complicated topic and makes it comprehendible and easy to read.

The doctrine of discovery is rooted in papal decrees in the 1400s that were written to settle discovery disputes that were arising during the peak of the age of sail. The decrees required that the discovering country possess the land, if at least symbolically, such as by planting a flag. It authorized the discovering country to take possession and control of inhabited land for the purpose of converting the inhabitants to Christianity, as long as the land was not claimed by another Christian country.

To the countries that were loyal to the Church in Rome, the decrees amounted to land title awarded by God's representative on Earth.

As Miller points out, however, the discovering countries were more interested in expanding their territories and accumulating wealth than they were in saving souls; the doctrine of discovery was merely a tool to justify the taking of land.

Through the ensuing centuries, countries - including the new United States of America - looked to the papal decrees for precedent.

Jefferson had the doctrine of discovery in mind when he dispatched Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Coast and it was why he saw John Jacob Astor's trading post in Astoria as critical; they bolstered the U.S. claim on the Pacific Northwest, for which the British were competing. And possession of the Pacific Northwest was critical to establishing trade with Asia as well as expanding the United States from coast to coast.

Jefferson knew what America had to do under the doctrine of discovery to establish ownership of the Pacific Northwest. The United States even practiced ritual acts of possession established by the papal decrees: planting flags, turning a spade of soil and marking notches on trees.

This same ritual was practiced as late as August this year. Miller wrote in an Aug. 6 opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times about how a Russian submarine planted a titanium capsule containing the Russian flag on the Arctic Ocean seabed - a prelude to a ''we were here first'' claim on riches that could lie below the melting Arctic ice.

How is the doctrine of discovery felt today in daily American Indian life? ''It's still absolutely the law,'' Miller said, noting that the U.S. government has plenary, or absolute, authority over American Indians and their governments. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe) that a tribal court cannot prosecute someone who is not American Indian, although non-Native courts enjoy broader jurisdiction. By law (U.S. Code 25177), American Indians and tribal governments can't sell or lease land without the permission of Congress. Today, the United States holds title - ultimate control of the land - to 67 million acres owned by tribes and 11 million acres owned by individual American Indians. We know it as holding land in trust.

Miller's book also shows Jefferson in a new light. The same man who wrote to the Marquis de Chastellux ''I believe the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to the white man,'' methodically plotted an aggressive policy toward American Indians.

Jefferson told his agents never to coerce tribal nations to sell their lands; the lands were theirs as long as they wished. But in a letter to Indiana Territory Gov. William Henry Harrison, Jefferson suggested that if the various nations could be encouraged to purchase goods on credit, they would likely fall into debt, which they could relieve by selling their lands to the government. Trading posts were established on the frontier to further that aim.

When some tribal nations resisted efforts by the United States to acquire their land, Jefferson asked in a confidential letter to Congress for money to establish more trading posts ''[i]n order peaceably to counteract this policy of theirs.'' Ultimately, 28 government trading posts operated on the frontier. Jefferson was also the earliest architect of a plan to remove all American Indians east of the Mississippi.

Miller's book shows that Jefferson was disingenuous. ''Jefferson was the most aggressive, expansionist president we ever had,'' Miller wrote. ''He had ulterior motives: to get [American Indians] out of the way as fast as possible and acquire their land.''

Miller, 56, is Eastern Shawnee and grew up in Oklahoma. He received his law degree at age 40 from Lewis & Clark College in Portland and started teaching there in 1993. He has written numerous law review articles; the most significant, in his view, was one on the Makah whaling issue in 2000.

Miller's book evolved from a paper he wrote for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Conference in 2002; he also served on the Circle of Tribal Advisors, an advisory board to the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. He worked on the book during a sabbatical in 2005 - '06. The book was published in September 2006.

Miller is working with co-authors in Australia, Canada and New Zealand on an expanded version of his book, which will look at how the doctrine of discovery was applied in those countries. He thinks it's no coincidence that those countries and the United States were the only four countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The declaration constituted a formal recognition in international law that indigenous nations and peoples have fully protected and collective fundamental human rights. Such a declaration would, in the words of Indian Country Today columnist Steven Newcomb, ''make it more difficult for their respective governments - and the corporations with which they work hand-in-glove - to exploit indigenous lands and resources.''

As history repeats - or attempts to repeat - itself, Miller's book is an essential and empowering read.



Gord Hills Talk

 It is nice to hear a side of history that we don't usually get the chance to learn. 

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