Why GRASSROOTS Journalist CAN not hate cops: A perspective from an Unbroken Onkwehonwe matrilineal line to this land

Honouring the only two victims (Ontario Police Memorial Foundation)

Professionally we cannot hate them as individuals but can only speak to the organization level and the catastrophic impacts that they have within our communities.

According to the OPP Honour Page, A member of their detachment died in this horrible accident on a hot July nite in 1970. Another victim was the gentleman who resided on and was an enrolled member of the Six Nations of the Grand River’s community who is also named. The other Onkwehonwe fatalities were never named beyond local papers in nearby towns but not locally in the only News outlet at Six Nations of the Grand River Tekawannake.

The OPP were responsible for an accident that tore so many families apart, from what meets the criteria of Transgenerational trauma according to the American Psychological Association (APA). The fall out from this accident, sent a 16-year-old female child to leave the reserve and get as far away as possible from all her surviving younger siblings. 

Betzie as a preteen in a Newfane NY school yearbook

The OPP organization has taught this Onkwehonwe Journalist how to have compassion for an individual over an organization. How to never see oneself as a victim of this circumstance because of one’s own suffering from a personal perspective. The entire organization is responsible for teaching families that you don’t always have to be together to have trauma from their actions. They teach us that you do not have to live together to suffer as an orphan within Onkwehonwe territory. 

A better question is, why are journalist scared of police?

Provided by Betzie Antone-Summers

Onkwehonwe Journalists arrested for covering their stories on matrilineal territories despite having lived experience of known transgenerational trauma can have devastating impacts. Especially when they are targeted and named by local papers and placed on restrictions from being able to make a living in their desired field.

Matrilineal perspectives

Police organizations must make arrests on a “Rule of law” that fails to consider matrilineal reporting alongside matrilineal responsibilities that Onkwehonwe women have. Women, in particular, must verbally disagree and protest imbalances under the natural order of things, even if it’s different than that of Chiefs and Clan Mothers from differing nations. This is determined under the Kayanerekowa (summary of 6 versions) as a lifestyle rather than a religious approach.

Onkwehonwe Journalist having the first-hand experience on both sides of the spectrum can feel especially pressured by group or community biases.  That pressure and the potential fallout from the community or group itself is not reciprocated in some cases and results in community abandonment. I know what they are capable of.  I should despite evidence that says they are just people, and their bosses threaten them with death, expulsion and indifference. 

When the police arrest Onkwehonwe, women specifically, it can be terrifying and have consequences that result in their death. Onkwehonwe female journalists exposed to this can become terrified because of the in-depth research that occurs when investigating whilst simultaneously experiencing community backlash.

One could quietly think about the women and men who were just children at the time of this accident; and if they could have been strong community leaders if they didn’t experience this loss.

Coming face to face with the surviving OPP in a different capacity and still engaging in a peaceful manner was very difficult but demonstrated what Matrilineal strength really is

To remain unbiased means not calling for any action against the OPP or any Police on behalf of my mother or even the woman I never knew by anything else other than Vera Jonathan-Antone. Even if they arrest this journalist

Image courtesy of Imgflip.com

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