The 3rd Saturday of every July is the Annual Border Crossing Celebration, where Onkwehonwe cross the colonial border in Oni: kara (Niagara Falls). In addition, the celebration reminds the United States and Canada as a British Commonwealth to not interfere in our traditional travel and trade routes.

The Indian Defence League of America’s founders (IDLA) ensured this…

Good Minds Think Alike

Deskaheh became an enemy of Canada and even some of his people. His unrelenting campaign against Britain and Canada in the early to mid-1920s made it impossible to return to Canada without facing imprisonment.

Clinton Rickard welcomed his like-minded friend to stay with him, but while staying there in Rochester, New York, Deskaheh’s health worsened. He requested that his medicine carrier from Ohsweken visit him, but a 1924 US Immigration Law would not allow it.

On his deathbed in June 1925, Deskaheh told Rickard and others to “Fight for the line,” Shortly after his death, the Indian Defence League of America made its debut.

Submitted on May 7, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania

Indian Defence League of America

Rickard and several other Rotinonhsyonni, including David Hill and Sophie Martin (Pictured above), began to lobby for the United States to recognize their responsibility as outlined in Article 3 of the Jay Treaty. In only a few short years, IDLA succeeded in their bid and on April 2, 1928, The US president signed the terms of the Jay Treaty into recognition.

“I did not consider there was any such thing as ‘Canadian Indian’ or ‘United States Indian.’ All Indians are one people. We were here long before there was any border to make an artificial division of our people.”

Chief Clinton Rickard- From Fighting Tuscarora, p. 72

On the other hand, Canada was forging ahead to absorb Onkwehonwe into the body politic, and most, unfortunately, the argument continues to this day. A 2016 Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal People recommended that a solution be found and reported by December 2017, which never manifested any changes.

Once again, a group of elected chiefs, including a retired elected chief have formed a Jay Treaty Alliance to revisit this subject after numererous violations became publicized. Like the previous engagement, this group does appear to include any grassroots advocates, which is a fundamental component of any action.

April 23, 2022


The Border Crossing Celebration has a long and rich history and has continued, albeit ceremonially, throughout the pandemic. Therefore, it has become critical to remind Canada that they have inherited their predecessor’s agreements, contracts and treaties.

Article three reminds Canada not to interfere with our ability to travel freely through their borders. Article three is the only article of the twenty-eight forming the Jay Treaty that Canada has not ​​Ratified.

Canada will insist it is a country based on the rule of law, but the truth is they will attempt to skirt their laws when it suits their comfort level. 

If you want to become involved, Please visit the IDLA Facebook page.

National Day Of Mourning


We would like to offer our condolences to all the families that lost their children in the residential labour boarding systems within Turtle Island.

We offer our love and gratitude to the survivors so that they know they are valued.

We offer our silence so that we may listen to their stories.

We offer our compassion

Solidarity Day in Six Nations: Interview with Elected Chief Mark Hill


How Traditional is Tattooing?


Tyendinaga Gathering

The second annual Indigenous Tattoo Gathering in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory took place over the May weekend. Artists and orators gathered to share ideas and culturally specific experiences. As well as their efforts to revitalize some of these ancient techniques before they welcomed the general public. 

These events are gaining popularity, but so is the evidence supporting the existence of the ancient practice. Therefore, it’s essential to continue to discover/uncover more about the Authentic History of tattooing within our respective nations.

How Traditional is Tattooing?

Tattooing refers to the permanent insertion of pigments under the skin using tools that can puncture the skin. While there is also skin painting or smearing open wounds intentionally with soot or ash for permanent discolouration, Its not the same.

Mummified remains Found in Peru

We must remember that mummified remains are scarce in North America, leaving little to the tangible archeological record.  However, studies on materials found in locations like Tsiionhiakwatha have yielded identifiable tools consistent with those only used for tattooing. 

Archaeologists found the tools at Tsiionhiakwatha in and around a minimal area within the longhouse suggesting the skills were limited to a single practitioner or a small group.

In addition, the Small area where scientists located the tools indicates the importance of the craft itself and the intimate environment within the clan family. 

Tattooing Medicine

Symbols and patterns have distinguished Onkwehonwe between clan systems, pottery, clothing and even combs. So naturally, it makes sense that Onkwehonwe would use these symbols or designs for specific purposes, including medicinal practices. 

Otzi, the 5,300-year-old iceman found at the Italy-Austria border, provided a splendid view of his 61 separate tattoos primarily placed over classic acupuncture points. Along with natural medicines found near his body, It is highly speculative that Otzi belonged to a society with advanced knowledge of Medicine.

A mummy located in Peru had two distinct types of tattooing ink, suggesting two different purposes, one quite possibly being healing and medicinal ink. In addition, Onkwehonwe used face or body painting for ceremonial or camouflage practices, so It was well within the evolutionary abilities of the inhabitants throughout North & South America to use vegetation-based dyes and pigments for therapeutic tattoos.

Talking Ink

While revitalization efforts have been taking place, nuances of the practice such as storytelling are just as important as the piece itself. However, the most interesting is the milestones, or the Messaging carried with the ink and tattoo placement.

Tattoos are a language; it’s a way to communicate,


 Identity and kinship are a significant part of many Onkwehonwe cultures, and importantly, many symbols belonged to specific clans or lineages within individual nations. This suggests one could be identified solely by their tattoos!

If you missed the Tyendinaga Tattoo Gathering, You could still catch the 1st annual Kanehsatake tattoo gathering in August.

Forbidden Fruit: Residential School Stories


I was here in 1957, age 6 yrs old; my family and I came as orphans. Life in a residential school was cruel and traumatizing.

Where everyone is sitting today, this is the girl’s play area; we were confined to the border of trees. On the other side of those trees was the orchard.

As much as we played every year, you know you could walk around and play and smell those apples, but you were never allowed to go outside of those boundaries. There was no fence that I can remember. Still, I knew enough that if I were to step into that orchard and take one apple, even if it was an apple, a windfall on the ground, you were punished.

Photo by Zen Chung on

I knew that, but there was just this one really tempting time. It was probably in the fall, which I think because when I walked around, I could just smell the apples. It was so sweet, and I love apples, and it was a temptation.

I was by myself and what I did was, there was this big tree over here. I laid down next to this big tree, and I laid down because I didn’t want to get caught. So I peeked around the tree, looking up onto the veranda up here because that’s where the staff would sit to make sure we would behave ourselves and not cross the line and go into the orchard.

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on

And if you did take an apple, you were a thief and a thief; you were punished, even though it was on the ground. When you look back on it, how that can be such a cruel thing to do to children. When they were hungry, there was a lot of hunger here. Kids had to fend for themselves here, and if that meant going to the dump to get food, then whatever. I’ve heard many stories from these guys, especially from the men, about how they went off and got food and How they supplemented their diet.

Still, there was just this overwhelming sense that it was the sweetness that was just so tempting, and so as I was laying behind this big tree over here, I peaked up here. I didn’t see any staff, so what I did was just belly crawl right across. I knew that I could be seen if there was somebody, so I just crawled through the grass and grabbed an apple, crawled back, and ate it behind that tree, and it was the most delicious apple that you could ever eat.

I was coming out and walked up towards the girl’s side, where I would go into the playroom area. Wouldn’t you know that two staff members came down off the veranda, they confronted me, I mean they saw me, I didn’t think they did, I thought I was doing pretty good crawling through grass actually.

Mohawk Institute (Anglican Church Archives)

You get a few whacks, BIG DEAL. I did not care how much they punished me; to me, the apple was worth it.

I still don’t understand why they would deprive children of apples or any food lying there; it was what is given to us in nature. What is the Harm? What is the harm in feeding children? But I guess what they were doing was supplementing their budget or whatever. Selling the produce that was here from the gardens and apples.

It was just a cruel time; I just remember how bad the food was, being hungry and just being a little kid, I was strong enough to rebel, and that’s what I did; it was well worth the punishment.

Roberta Hill: Thriver post-Canadian Residential labour camp attendance.

Told on the lawn of The Mohawk Institute where the girl’s playground was on May 24th, 2022

Moosemeat and Marmalade Meet Landback.


There are only some relationships that fuse perfectly without deliquescing. The mingling of traditional Onkwehonwe cuisine and culture of Art Napolean with Dan Hayes British fare and flair is the foundation of the brilliant television series Moosemeat and Marmalade

The Art of Visiting

So when the duo visited local culinary jewels Yawekon and Dixieland Grill, It caught no one by surprise that a visit to 1492 Landback Lane was also on their agenda. 

Moosemeat and Marmalade joined Skyler Williams to talk about the current situation and the unrelenting attempts by the developer to criminalize the actual title holders. Highlighting the Failure of Developers to approach the provincial or federal government, who are responsible for the fraudulent land sales.

What Sustains Us

The relationship between Our Sustenance and Our Land is intertwined with the efforts to push back against land sales. The encroachment itself is endangering the ecosystems along the Grand River Watershed, while the current agricultural practices are doing their fair part in the great lakes and their watershed contamination.

Still, It’s not often that a cooking show wants to do a segment at a land reclamation site; all participants acknowledged the concept of landback having everything to do with restoring Onkwehonweneha that undoubtedly requires our land for sustenance. 

 “I am always impressed with the level of the commitment to maintain; many people show up when the media is there, but who’s there when all of that is gone? It’s those guys.” ~Art Napoleon

In a thick and right proper British accent, Hayes supportively said, “I second what Art says, and it is a big sacrifice.” 

On Set Atmosphere

The set was all business, but we know that guests cannot visit our beloved territory without getting pulled into the jokes and tasting our good old-fashioned Sense Of Humour

Williams, who boasts no claims to his cooking skills but is a natural in front of the camera, said of the experience, “It’s always nice to be around good people doing solid, cool work!” 

We couldn’t agree more!

Media Made By Onkwehonwe

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