Devastated family seeks answers NOW!

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On  Friday, December 10, Heather Winterstein was transported by Ambulance to St Catharine’s General Hospital located halfway between Hamilton and Fort Erie.

According to the family, She collapsed and passed away in the Intensive care unit after two painful days of seeking medical attention had been ignored. Heather was a 24-year-old Onkwehonwe woman 

Just the day before her death, Heather sought treatment and visited St Catharine’s General hospital emergency department for complaints of severe back pain. She was sent home with Tylenol. 

Condition worsened 

Google maps: Patient offloading would have taken over an hour for the busy emergency medical responders

The following morning, Heather’s condition worsened and her request to be transported to the emergency department for care was met with cynicism and attempts to deter by the EMS. Even offering to transport her to an urgent care facility approximately 35min away in Fort Erie where wait times can be exceedingly long. Time, that Heather didn’t have.

Abandoned 

Average wait times to see a physician at St Catherine’s General have been relatively stable.

She was eventually transported back to St Catharine’s General Hospital where she was left sitting in the waiting room only to lose consciousness related to the infection that would eventually lead to her death. 

A thirty-day average wait time indicates the Emergency Department had not seen critical capacity, so what was it that hindered Heather’s equal access to health care?

She was a Beautiful Anishnaabe Kwe

Her family believes stereotypes and stigmas of indigenous people as possibly mentally ill or “on something” contributed to her untimely death. This sentiment was recently shared by a Coroner in their findings in the Joyce Echaquan case and by a family in the eerily similar case of Brent Sky.

The systemic racism endured by Indigenous people in Canada’s health care system exists because the system was designed that way

Patty Hajdu while Minister of Health 2020

ICU Alert

It was the Intensive care unit that alerted Heather’s mother, but by that time CPR had been started. It wasn’t long after her mother arrived that this beautiful young Onkwehonwe woman started her journey to the spirit world. It’s not known how long she sat in the waiting room before being transferred to ICU

“As a family, we are angry when we realize she had collapsed the following morning in the ER while waiting in chairs … How scared she must have been…  How unnecessary her death is.. she needed medical care and attention. Heather knew she was Sick, she knew she needed help and advocated for herself to get the medical care that could have saved her.”

Francine Orgar- Heathers Mother 

Insult to injury

The Go-Fund-Me page started by Heather’s mother states that a Public Health Nurse confirmed the presence of a streptococcus aureus infection. Shockingly public health had called for contact tracing and not to offer condolences or demonstrate compassion for the family. 

According to the page, the coroner confirmed for the family that the circumstances surrounding Heather’s death were preventable and the family should follow up with those involved. The family has every intention of doing just that. 

A word from the President

“An internal quality care review is underway to fully understand the patient’s experience, and the family will be involved in this process. In addition, I will be speaking with members of the patient’s family and Indigenous leaders in our community to suggest that we work together with an external third party to review this patient’s care. I will also be suggesting that this independent review look more broadly at the healthcare experiences of Indigenous patients and their concerns.”

Lynn Guerriero President and CEO of Niagara Health

At this point, what we do know is that the quality of care for Onkwehonwe in Canada can be Deadly. Heather was very sick, but so many opportunities were missed to treat her fairly and without judgement, so her illness could be treated.

She should be alive and preparing to spend the holidays with her family and friends.

#JusticeForHeather

A Grand Fraud: The Stedman Deed

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“Rare Slit Barn” located in Cambridge (formally known as Galt)

What is the commonality between a Slit barn and Onkwehonwe Crown Allies?

They both sit within the Haldimand tract found in our ancient dish with one spoon territory Sewatokwat’tshera’t (not to be mistaken with the 1701 Montreal Peace or 1701 Nanfan), then you would be correct.

Scottish immigrants William and Mary Young built the Slit barn sometime in the 1840s; the literature found on the Barn indicates that it is modelled after German and Scottish barn styles; however, these barns’ origin is England. Constructed from locally quarried limestone, The Barn would have housed grain while also providing space for threshing the grain-the slats serving as ventilation.

Approximate location of Slit barn within the tract

A Beautiful Backdrop to Dubious Deeds

Now the home to the Every Child Outdoors program, it is is perched above the Grand rivers flood plain, which is approximately 200ft from the natural edge of the once-mighty Grand River. It has been renovated and provides a beautiful backdrop to weddings and conferences. But as beautiful as the Barn is, it comes on the hoofs of a story of greed and theft. Situated at the northern edge of “Block 1,” the Barn sits on a small part of the Phillip Stedman Sr deeded land. 

Questionable Wealth

A sprawling 94,035-acre portion of the Haldimand territory was to behave sold in 1795 for 8841£. With what would be $2,069 249.53 in today’s money. More impressive yet, Phillip Stedman of Niagara would have been extremely wealthy to make this purchase at one time. The standard practice was a 30-year mortgage post-war. He had also “purchased” several other plots of land at the same time within the Sewatokwa’tshera’t. 

Joseph Brants Signature

Stedman supposedly had convinced Joseph Brant to depart from both his usual manner of signing. Instead, he places himself at risk of death by infection! Brant cut himself to put a bloody fingerprint on the document to validate the sale. This is the only known instance of occuring .

The Qin dynasty used the uniqueness of fingerprinting to identify as early as 200 BCE  in China. Still, English immigrants did not popularise the practice until the late 1800s to identify a person in business transactions in North America.

At first glance, It would appear that Phillip Stedman had made the deal of a lifetime even with the purported inconsistent behaviour of Joseph Brant himself. Phillip Stedman was said to have died shortly after this purchase; We now know that he died in England in 1820. 

All in the Family

Phillip Stedman Senior then appointed his great-nephew Phillip Stedman Sparksman (Jr) to inherit his wealth. Had it not been for Phillip Stedman’s penchant for filing fraudulent land claims in Niagara, perhaps this deed would not have raised much attention. 

I will be giving Phillip Stedman Sr far too much credit if I say he acted alone in this case, By all accounts, his Brother John Stedman may have amassed the means that would possibly be available for purchasing the land mentioned in the “Stedman deed.” His last will is registered in 1786, two years before the deed in question. Records indicate that he was selling furniture just a month before his death, suggesting he struggled for money. The last will proves that John illegitimately included his “claimed” Niagara Messasauga lands, which are then referred to as Seneca lands, in his nephew Phillip Stedman Sparksman’s petition years later.

Whatever happened to that land? 

Savage Acts

Stedman was the Savage! What The Stedman’s had done in an instance of greed has undoubtedly impacted not only his future generations but ours too. This writer could not find this deed in Upper Canada Sundries: Correspondance of the civil and provincial secretaries chronological inventory for 1766-1841. 

It looks like Onkwehonwe here, as Allies of the crown, own a fancy barn.

Desupremify the season…

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Do calls to decolonize the holidays have you uncertain about celebrating the winter seasons, first consider the ancient origins of the winter festivals that are deeply rooted in Onkwehonweneha.

It’s important to know that most ceremonies directly correlate to the moon and stars honouring the natural process of time rather than a specific gregorian calendar date.

Onkwehonwe winter festivals are enduring despite campaigns to convert practitioners to particular religions or, more recently, their capitalization entirely.

Onkwehonwe celebrations have survived these attempts and are still practiced to this day

Rontinonsyonni

It all starts with the Seven dancers and the new moon who announce the new year’s arrival. The Midwinter festival begins five days later with the traditional opening, followed by ceremonies that include the excellent feather dance and stirring the ashes amongst the several ceremony days.

The days are rich in symbolism representative of the renewal of our responsibility to the earth. Singing, dancing and feasting are all reoccurring themes during this time.

Siberian

The colonization of solstice celebrations replaced the female medicine woman referred to as the Deer Mother into a male figure. He donned a version of her signature red and white clothing. However, the female deer retain their antlers and would pull her sleigh in the winter months. She was a medicine woman and would distribute her gifts as she travelled from village to village.

Quviasukvik

Quviasukukvik is the Inuit winter celebration that perfectly aligns with the changing seasons. It is to feed spirits, encourage good hunting and welcome the sun into the new year. The feast, family gatherings and gift exchange are a hallmark of this celebration. When the first settlers observed his festival, it was considered an equal counterpart to the colonized Christmas.

Shalako

The Zuni observe the winter solstice through a series of dances and ceremonies retelling their creation performed by the mediators between the living and the spirit world referred to as the Shalako.

The ceremonies themselves mark the closing of one year and the rebirth of the sun into the next while honouring the principal deities of the Zuni. The feast and ceremony is a community-wide event and now is strictly for nation members.

Revisiting the Christmas Riots

The same people who sought to purify Onkwehonwe festivals within our territory attempted to undo the version of Christ’s mass they had created. The contempt for merry-making arrived in North America with the Puritans in 1620.

Law until 1681

In Massachusetts, the merry-making reached an intolerable level. Christmas started to resemble ancient frat parties; it signalled to the staunch religious politicians to create laws to stop the celebrations altogether.

“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offence of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accountants as aforesaid, every person so offending shall pay of every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

Drinking and Debauchery

The behaviour that put the law on the books was none other than an almost two-week drunk and disorderly, aggressive begging and all-out lust-filled indulgence sans the inflated pig bladders.

The law remained on the books for some twenty-two years before it was repealed by the crown of England when religious affiliation changed.

Celebrate what exists Naturally.

So perhaps Desupremification is a far more accurate term when considering how to observe the seasonal changes.

Enjoy and celebrate a wonderful solstice and a brilliant Midwinter!

First Anniversary for Local Small Business

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Derek Doolittle

How has your year been?

It’s been a crazy year with lots of growth and development here at ​​Tribe. We started pretty small with a minimal amount of products last year. When we first started, we did not have our parking lot paved.

Over the last year, we have come a long way, we have increased our product line, our customer base is incredible with the most amazing and loyal people, and our parking lot is paved now, says Doolittle

A Fairmarket.  

So far, things are going very well; we have our minimum price set, so we are not necessarily competing with each other as far as who can sell the cheapest products. However, we make price comparisons with the other local shops to ensure we are close to being on par with them. 

Courtesy of Tribe Six Nations

Giving Back

Giving back to the community has been tremendous this year; we have been able to sponsor local efforts and make donations and community member and elder discounts. 

DOES THE LAND HAVE RIGHTS?

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Setting aside the question of land title, When do we begin to recognize the rights of the land itself as a living and breathing organism?

Not an obscure thought.

In April of 2021, a river in Kanata received the same rights as a human. Aside from providing Onkwehonwe with the ability to defend its health within the realm of human rights. It affirms a long-held perspective that the earth is one complete entity unto itself.

Photo by Diego Madrigal on Pexels.com

Kanata wants treaty observed

In an ironic move, Kanata recently cited a 1977 treaty to continue using a sixty-seven-year-old pipeline owned by Enbridge. Enbridge remains in violation of the easement shutdown order.

It’s not just the resource extraction causing irreparable damage, but the by-products and waste are concerning. For example, the projected waste production at mining sites is thirty times greater than all communities, municipalities and industries combined in Kanata, in addition to the 200-400 years of treatment required to return the land and water to suitable for human use.

The practice is unsustainable, and clearly, Kanata does not recognize the cause-and-effect relationship. The Ideology evidences this in the early 1900s

“According to the law of England and of Canada, gold and silver

mines, until they have been aptly severed from the title of the

Crown are not regarded as partes soli or as incidents of the land”

Books

Indirect Modification

Evidence exists to support climate change-mediated changes to the land, which directly impacts changes in plant life. However, it begs the question of the influence of climate change and the comparison between genetically modified organisms and food. In addition, the relatively indirect genetic modification reduces the effect of current Onkwehonwe sustainability and preservation practices.

Its clear that protection is required

The crown presumptuously states its Onkwehonwe territory; however, It’s more than evident that it’s for resource extraction and development rather than stewardship.

Therefore Onkwehonwe must fill that role once again and not just talk about it but live it.

She has Rights

The land is a living and breathing entity. It has existed without our influence and will live long after our species develop itself beyond the ability to survive.

She has the same rights as we do and then some.

Take a Hike and Take in some History

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Crooks Hollow is Located in what is now called Dundas

The Pledge, Proclamation and a Deed: Examining Grand River History through archives

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The recorded terms of negotiations and common understandings were much different pre-contact; as Onkwehonwe and settler relationship evolved, so did the record keeping. Consequently, communication would have been difficult during those early and quite often misunderstood conversations.

Reliance on the written words, the intent and promises behind historical agreements have become a mainstay in land reclamations coast to coast. However, it’s important to note that frequently, agreements were ratified without any consensus-building, leading to internal disagreements.

Tragic Plight of The Six Nations Iroquois Indians is a compendium of letters, Agreements and complaints launched by some pivotal and influential people in Rotinonhsyonni modern history. It includes text from the originals of The Haldimand Pledge, The Haldimand Proclamation and the Simcoe Deed.

Indian affairs thoroughly involved themselves in our matters. They made every effort to “sever” our nation’s relationship with each other and have led to the ideation of “Private property Ownership” over collective landholdings.

Decolonial Atlas

We are not just at the Grand River. We have many distinct Rotinonsyonni communities in Canada and the USA that form our League of Nations, some not formally recognized by Indian Affairs. When we consider the time and effort it took and takes to arrive at Consensus, it makes more sense to see why Canada forced smaller band councils to speak for the Onkwehonwe and continue with land disposal

We are still here, and this is just one document that can lead you to a better understanding of Our History.

We have a responsibility to our collective existence and those of our nations.

What do you think?

Stash In the Statue

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The statue of Joseph Brant In Brantford, Ontario, sat heavily guarded over the summer after discovering the bodies of residential school students throughout Canada. The figure was given an orange glow and gated off except for a monitored entrance. 

Warriors on the Base

Justine Vanevery of Six Nations had heard the story from a friend who heard it from a gentleman who restored the statue at some point. She shared that her friend told her about the figure being a vault and holding papers of interest to the Six Nations. 

The story had equal parts mystery and equal parts adventure but was it true? 

A letter by the Indian affairs Registrar dated November 26/1935, confirms that a copy of the Haldimand proclamation and Simcoe Deed are both hidden within the memorial. 

The entire statue stands 9 ft tall on a base of granite. That’s a vast space for just a few pieces of paper.

I wonder what else is in there? 

News-History-Lifestyle

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