The day was April 6th, 1925 Twenty-one children were kidnapped from Indian day schools in Ohsweken and taken to the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario. They spent the night in an institute cottage before being shipped 900kms away to Chapleau Residential School.
The truancy officer would have had to work in conjunction with the superintendent to ensure the success of the kidnapping. Luering the children without raising the suspicions of other students and especially the parents indicates some top-level predatory behaviour. The RCMP provided security
RCMP aided in child trafficking
This RCMP involvement in the apprehension of the children from their respective schools was disgraceful and beyond conscionable. These schools were in part child labour, a fraction of academic and child sex slavery camps.
Emily C General sounded the alarm the following day after bearing witness, and “Amid cries and screams” of the children, they were deemed “Orphaned and Destitute” and trafficked for approximately 15 hours to their final destination.
“Amid cries and screams”
The superintendent painted the scene almost poetically for his boss Duncan Campbell Scott and ignorantly stated, “not one cried or expressed regret at leaving their former squalid surroundings.”
Emily enlisted the assistance of friends of her Uncle Levi General, who carried the clan family spokesperson title of Deskaheh. One such friend was Rica Flemming-Gyll, most notable for her no-nonsense approach to calling out her shipmates.
However admirable this Institution may be, I cannot but condemn very strongly the method by which these unfortunate children were suddenly taken from the Grand River Lands without any warning or time given to prepare for the change. I felt that it was nothing less than kidnapping, especially in view of the fact that the “truant officer” got so much money per head for every child he took
Attempting to confirm the admission of the twenty-one children has proved difficult as the entire year that this took place is missing from the Chapleau archives and simply jumps from 1924-1926.
To begin to imagine the fear and confusion these stolen children endured is more than enough to cancel everything.
Do you have more to add to this story? let us know
Originally printed in The Globe, Toronto, Tuesday, June 23rd, 1931.
SIX NATIONS INDIAN REFUSES TO REPLY TO CENSUS QUESTION.
ONE OF FOUR HALED TO COURT MAINTAINS RESISTANCE TO DEMAND.
OLD TREATY IS CITED.
(Special Despatch to The Globe). BRANTFORD, JUNE 22ND.
A lengthy hearing today in the case of four Indians of the local reserve who refused to answer the census enumerators questions, ended with three of the Indians answering the questions before they left the station and the other one holding out in his contention that he did not have to answer the questions because he was not a British subject. Jacob Lewis, Township of Tuscarora, is the man sticking to his refusal. The others are Sandford Bomberry, Alexander Thomas and John Anderson.
Percy Cayuga, enumerator for the reserve, was the first witness called by Corporal Delaney, R.M.C.P., under whose orders the four men were arrested. Cayuga stated that when he told Lewis he was an enumerator, Lewis, he declared, immediately stated that he was not a British subject and did not want anything to do with the census.
Counsel for the defense, cross-examining, asked :—
” Did he say anything about nationality ?” ” Yes.”
” Did he tell you he was not a British subject ? ” ” Yes.”
” What nationality did he say he was ? ” ” He only said he was not a British subject.” ” Did you ask him what nationality he was ?” “No.”
Witness stated he had made two calls on Lewis, the second time to see if he had changed his mind. He had not.
J. Elcome, R.C.M.P., testified that on June 5th, when he visited Lewis, in company with Cayuga, Lewis told him that at a meeting of the Mohawk Chiefs it had been decided that the participants would have nothing to do with the seventh census of Canada.
” Are you prepared to answer the questions now ? ” Magistrate Blake asked Lewis. ” No.”
HALDIMAND ACT CITED.
” These people belong to the Six Nations Indians and they are a separate nationality within the British Empire. The Six Nations Indians obtained the land on which they live by the Haldimand act,” Mr. MacDonald told the court.
” You are raising the legal point that the reserve is outside of the Dominion of Canada,” Magistrate Blake asked Mr. MacDonald, and continued : ” We will just have to erect a tariff barrier, that’s all.”
Colonel C. E. Morgan, Superintendent of the Indian Department office here, intervened, saying that the Six Nations Indians were ruled by the department, and did not come under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Government. He also stated that the Indians were wards of the Crown.
” l am ruling against Mr. MacDonald, and taking it that the Six Nations Indians are part of Canada. I may be wrong, but if I am an appeal may be entered.” Magistrate Blake said.
Lewis was called. ” We call the reserve the Grand River land,” he stated, ” and the Haldimand treaty calls it that.” A photographic copy of the treaty was produced and disallowed as evidence, as it was not certified or proven. Lewis said he had seen the original treaty, and it was at present in Buffalo.
” You can get a proper copy from the Archives in Toronto,” Magistrate Blake said. 41
REFUSES TO ANSWER.
” I believe this man acted in all sincerity,” the Magistrate said, ” and he really believes he is not a subject of the British Empire and the Dominion of Canada.”
” He is a subject of the British Empire,” Mr. MacDonald said.
The Magistrate again asked the accused if he would answer the questions if given a chance, and he replied, ” No.”
” If that is the way you feel, it would be a good idea to get out of Canada,” counsel for the defence said.
Mr. MacDonald then brought into the case a passport owned by Lewis for entry into France, United States, Switzerland and other countries.
” Has Canada anything to do with this passport,” Mr. MacDonald said. ” No.”
” Has it the Canadian Government seal on it ? ” ” No. It has the seal of the Six Nations
STATISTICS ACT INVOLVED.
” I have also to take in the Statistics Act,” Magistrate Blake said, ” and the purposes of the statistics are simply for residents of Canada. They (meaning the accused and the other three) are altogether too lordly to associate with Canadian citizens,” the Magistrate continued. ” But while they are in Canada they must abide by Canada’s laws. Even the King would not dare do otherwise.”
Defense counsel asked for an adjournment for a week. ” If these people’leave court without arriving at a decision,” Colonel Morgan said, ” the taking of the census at the reserve will be at a standstill. It is at a standstill now.”
The three, Anderson, Bomberry and Thomas, consented to answer questions. Lewis was remanded in custody for a week until additional evidence is obtained by the defence.
The two-year struggle over who “controls” the cannabis industry has escalated yet again. The announcement of “enacting” a law that was already two years old by Elected Council wasn’t received well by some community members. Further confusion over the inclusion of taxes created a clash of people and perspectives in an already strained relationship between the community and police.
The elected system created the “Cannabis Law” before any appointment of committee members but it is the lack of community communication and transparency that appears to have bolstered several days of increased tensions in the village.
Onkwehonwe historically has been refused equal access to entrepreneurship opportunities pushing some to remain in a system of inequality . The Six Nations Peoples Cannabis Coalition and any other interested parties need to be a part of developing the Cannabis industry if it exists at all here in Ohsweken.
Any attempt to use an Indian act council to determine the status of any businesses as Illegal is trying to force the ship into the canoe especially when you’re doing the same thing. In the end the only thing that matters is community safety and community accountability as free Onkwehonwe.
Why is Cannabis Market Control such a big deal here in Ohsweken?
There is a HUGE difference between being a citizen/member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and being a Canadian citizen who happens to have indigenous ancestry. Although these differences are mainly ideological and political nevertheless, they exist.
Canadians who happen to have Indigenous ancestry band council, Christians, unadopted or clanless, do not get to make decisions for members/citizens of the sovereign Haudenosaunee confederacy. Yet, they’re still trying to impose a faulty jurisdiction established by the RCMP in 1924.
This distinction needs to be made very clear.
I bring this up because of the protest yesterday and the people saying, “these are our people,” about the band council and the police force. Let me remind you of something when those people became officers and band councillors; they swore oaths which effectively removed them from the protection of the Kayanere’kowa under wampum 58
ANY CHIEF OR OTHER PERSONS WHO SUBMIT TO THE LAWS OF A FOREIGN PEOPLE ARE ALIENATED AND FORFEIT ALL CLAIMS IN THE IROQUOIS NATIONS
The minute these people take these oaths, they remove themselves from the circle of protection offered by the Kayanere’kowa, and they commit to upholding the interests of the colonizers. They are no longer citizens of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; they are just Canadian citizens who happen to have Indigenous ancestry. There is a considerable difference between these two concepts of political identity.
The sooner our community realizes this, accepts it, and upholds our laws, we will all be better off.
May 27th, a well-manicured Canadian facade shattered when ground-penetrating radar confirmed a suspected mass grave of 215 Onkwehonwe children. Within days the story made its way around the world; temporary memorials popped up throughout the country. Still, as these little makeshift memorials went up, several were removed quickly, including one in the small town of Dunnville, Ontario.
Sammie Ne Hiyawak shared the collective grief like many Onkwehonwe as their late father attended the Shoal Lake residential school for eight years. They are among many families experiencing residual residential school system impacts.
On June 7th, five pairs of small, well-worn shoes were placed on one of the church’s two entrances. Pastor Sunny Sebastian removed them later that evening. Local supporters had initially replaced the shoes the next day. Still, after learning that the shoes and other items were not aesthetically pleasing memorial items for this Church, relocation efforts started.
Grace United stepped up and acknowledged that its time to not only address the residential school systems but to act on the words within those apologies.
For supporters, that meant walking the shoes the four blocks to the nearby Grace United church.
While we don’t know how long this memorial will stay, For some, It has shown an effort that hasn’t always been there.
“It meant a lot to us that they were so welcoming and so intent on doing their job in holding up the words in their apology regarding residential schools but also showing genuine actions. Their words were not just lip service,” said Sammie referring to the gesture by Grace United.