Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mission Impossible? Assassination attempt of Mohawk Nation News


MNN Oct. 2, 2009. This is a 3 part story about the attempted murder at the border in 2008.

PART I: I have to admit that I am vulnerable and trusting. Probably because I’m a woman. That’s why the men have the responsibility to protect us from what could be construed as a weakness. It also goes back to the way I was raised in Kahnawake.

One fall day in 1999 there was a knock at my front door. I opened it. Unannounced, a plain looking, late fiftyish non-native woman, with salt and pepper hair and buck teeth was standing there. I’ll call her “Notre Dam”. She said she was sent over by the Kahnawake Cultural Center. Looking back I should have checked her story.

She said she was a University of Quebec student and wanted to interview me for a paper on Iroquois history. She admitted she knew nothing about the indigenous or Iroquois. She was researching the paradigm theory. Her main interest seemed to be how the minds of the Mohawks function. She wheedled her way into my life and spent a lot of time trying to decipher us by talking to me for long periods of time.

For 10 years Notre Dam visited me or would call me at 4:00 a.m. to discuss my views on her findings. My thoughts are based on the philosophy of the Great Law. I gave some knowledge because I thought it would help us.

Notre Dam lived alone in Montreal. She had a big unkempt 4 bedroom brick house in a section that was being gentrified. Nothing was on the walls. Everything looked temporary like she was ready to leave at a moment’s notice. The furniture looked like somebody else’s discards. The plants were all dead. The kitchen and bathrooms were filthy. The dirt floor basement was stacked with plastic bags full of junk.

Nothing anywhere identified her. The rooms were covered in old dust and smelled like they had never been cleaned. Black curtains covered the large high windows.

Throughout the time I knew her, she never had a job, though she had a steady income and always drove a new car. She always said she was broke or hard up for money. I bought her a computer because she was so down and out. She had very few friends or activities in Montreal that I noticed. It looked like she was devoting a lot of time to us. Why? She was friendly and tried to ingratiate herself into our family activities. She had a habit of asking me first what I thought and then would agree with me. It was strange for someone who was supposed to be so educated.

One day she showed up at my house with an 8 year old Cree boy she had gotten from a family in western Canada. I still don’t know the real story behind that. She said she was asked to raise him. Ben was a typical native boy, skinny, black hair and dark skin. She never had children and was getting old. She wanted me to help her raise him by becoming his surrogate grandmother. The boy looked needy. So my family and I agreed because we are a giving and caring community.

Finally in 2008 Notre Dam got her Phd. She didn’t mention all the work I had done with her, like she did it all by herself. We never signed an agreement to use my information from our hundreds of formal and informal interviews. I later learned that what she did might be illegal.

In 2004, while working with Notre Dam, I got a call from a member of the sister Mohawk community of Akwesasne, up the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall Ontario.

“Can you help us with a big claim that New York State is making to our lands here. The local federal Indian tribe is ready to sign away our land in northern New York State in exchange for a casino”, the caller told me. The case was in the courts and settlements were being worked out without the people’s consent. I said I wanted the local longhouse to pass their request for my help through their clans. The next day the longhouse passed the decision and wanted me to start working with them right away.

For the next year I worked closely with one of the women whom I will call “Sherry”. She was a slim attractive well dressed 42 year old grandmother of two. We had relatives in common.

For the legal case we travelled to Albany, Washington, even Ottawa and other places to push our constitutional question on the five fraudulent land claims that were in the New York State court system.

I never questioned Sherry. She told me she had gone to Ontario provincial police school in London Ontario. When she finished she did not work as a cop. She told me, “It conflicts with my traditional upbringing.” She mentioned some bogus charges on her that she ran the border and made me believe she was on the run from the cops. She was a heavy smoker and suffered some related ailments from it. She never had a cell phone and could only be reached at her mother’s home in Akwesasne.

To fight the five land claims we entered a constitutional question in each case. We asked for proof of when we gave up our territory and jurisdiction. In the end, not a shred of legal evidence could be produced to support their case. As a result they were all dropped.

After that we sat around in my living room and wondered what to do with the victory. We decided to start filing objections to all kinds of developments and projects in New York State, Ontario, Quebec and northeastern Great Turtle Island. We even put one in for the Arctic. We the women are the custodians of the land for the future generations. No one can legally put up our land or resources as collateral to raise money from the public on the stock exchanges of the world.

Sherry came to my home in Kahnawake many times between 2005 to 2009, staying for weeks. She often stayed up all night in front of the computer. Since she professed to have no income, I gave her money from my pension. I also bought her a computer and cell phone. She drove my car around. Sometimes she’d be gone for the whole day!!? It turned out she had no drivers license or any other kind of ID.

Throughout, Sherry never had a job. She was better dressed than me most of the time. I treated her like a daughter.

PART II: Around 2007 in Old Montreal an exhibition purported that the Iroquois of the St. Lawrence Valley had disappeared, even though we live across the river from there. We Mohawks are part of the Iroquois confederacy. This was supposed to have happened after Cartier arrived here in the 1500s.

This man we will call, “Suzie-the-Guy”, around 45 years old, asked us to oppose the exhibit. He told us he was a Mohawk from Kanehsatake. He was slight, well-dressed, always wearing black like a priest, with close cropped hair and a tiny thin itty bitty braid that hung from his crown to the middle of his back. Long hair would have completely changed his look. He was secretive, pale, nervous and smoked like a chimney. He said his mother was Mohawk and never mentioned his father. He did carry an Indian Affairs Canadian government identity card.

Four of us went to the museum in Old Montreal, another man and a woman from Kanehsatake. The museum staff got upset over our appearance and questions. Their aspersion was that Mohawks had mysteriously disappeared. Our assertion was that we had gone to pick blueberries. In the end they refunded our money.

Suzie-the-Guy said he had worked for the Roman Catholic church and had been laid off. He was challenging this. A hearing at the Holiday Inn in Montreal’s China Town was coming up. He invited Notre Dam to his hearing. He invited me to a follow up hearing. I still can’t figure out why he was laid off. Eventually, he apparently lost the case.

During this time he was showing up at my house from 9 to 5 on week days and making himself useful. He didn’t have a job. He had a steady income. He never had a cell phone, never mentioned his family or anything about himself. He liked to take off his shirt and walk around in the sun tanning himself. “Was he trying to enhance his Indianness”? I thought.

He would sit at my table, casually ask questions, drive me around or cut the grass to make himself useful to me.

Eventually Notre Dam, Sherry, Suzie-the-Guy and myself started working together on MNN stories. I would write the stories, Notre Dam would look them over, Sherry would post them and Suzie-the-Guy would watch.

Then in the summer of 2007 another woman came on the scene. We’ll call her “Radiant”. She lived in Sharbot Lake, a half hour drive north of Kingston. A protest was going on there against uranium mining. She wanted MNN to do a story on it. She found a lot of good information. I wrote up a few and posted them.

Radiant came to visit me in 2008. She was a 56-year old, tall, scrawny, toothless woman. She did not wear her teeth which gave her a funny squished-in look. When she wore them, she was unrecognizable. She was high strung and told us she suffered from environmentally induced reactions, whatever that was? There were lots of places she couldn’t go and foods she couldn’t eat. Surprisingly, she knew lots about the Haudenosaunee. Eventually she became part of our enclave.

So gradually four strangers had come around me. On June 9th 2009, Sherry, my daughter and I went to North Bay to attend the doctoral honoring of one of my friends. We were closely followed for about half the way by an Ontario Provincial Police cruiser. Sherry was driving and seemed surprisingly unworried. We got there without incident, attended the event and then drove back. We dropped Sherry off at her mother’s home in Akwesasne.

A few days later on June 14th Suzie-the-Guy came over, which was unusual because it was Saturday. I was getting calls from someone in Sharbot Lake we’ll call “Space Cadet”. Radiant knew her. Space Cadet wanted to talk about the Haudenosaunee land claim there. Another guy in Toronto was urging us to go there. We decided to go.

Suzie-the-Guy agreed to come with me to pick up Sherry in Akwesasne. We got there. The three of us drove through the US customs and over the bridge to the Canadian port on Kawenoke, Cornwall Island.

At the checkpoint I got pulled over by the Canada Border Customs Agents. We waited in the car for an hour without getting any explanation. Then a squad of about a dozen armed, flak jacketed and gloved border guards arrived. They surrounded my car. Suzie-the-Guy got out of the car, sat on the bench in front of the car and silently watched. Nothing happened to him.

The goons pulled Sherry out of the back seat, threw her to the ground, gave her a going over and took her away. She suffered scrapes and bruises, but not serious enough to get medical attention that I know of.

Then they told me to get out of my car. I asked for an explanation. They yelled, “We don’t have to tell you anything. So get out.”

A freckled fat-faced commander standing near Suzie-the-Guy coordinated the whole operation, getting instructions on a cell phone. Suddenly he gave the order, “Take her out!” They roughed me and applied a stress hold that induced a heart attack.

My brother was in the line up close to the checkpoint. He rushed in. The goons quickly took off the cuffs and sat me down so my brother wouldn’t see what they were up to. He yelled, “She’s having a heart attack. Call an ambulance”. His quick action saved my life.

The attempt to murder me was unsuccessful. I landed in the Cornwall Ontario hospital. Policemen were everywhere wanting to grab me. My family placed guards around me. Eventually I returned to Kahnawake. It took about 8 months to recover, but I have never been the same. My question to Canada is: was the attack as good as the kill that failed?

PART III. At the end of the summer Suzie-the-Guy suddenly disappeared without a word.

Sherry didn’t visit much. She brought cds and some amateurishly typed books on some bizarre cult she had joined that denounced the Great Law. She told me over the years that Mr. Green, a seer, had told her she would receive billions of dollars. She urged me to write on the Camel Toe Treaty cult. I refused. Her last visit to Kahnawake was around January 2009.

Another strange turn of events in early 2009 concerned Notre Dam. She started to distance herself. By February she dropped in once in a while unannounced. She was also feigning a rare sickness and pretended to be in dire health.

One day in March 2009 she arrived in a haughty mood. We sat in my front room. She kept on her hat and coat. Then she made comments that seemed like she was trying to provoke me.

My daughter showed up and told her, “Don’t talk disrespectfully to my mother”.

Notre Dam jumped up, angry and out of control. She started grunting at my daughter. The pupils of her eyes were fully dilated and she screeched like a banshee baring her buck teeth. Eventually we went outside. She stood on the other side of her car. In front of a lot of witnesses, Notre Dam came running around the car and punched me.

My daughter stopped her.

After that I never saw her again. Her house went on sale. She left town. We found out she has five aliases. She never had a legitimate job. She has a steady income and properties in British Columbia, Montreal, France and maybe Spain. She had an office across from the Vancouver court house. Her relationship with the Cree boy remained strange.

At about the same time Sherry stopped contacting me. For almost a year she refused to return my website. I called her and she hung up on me. I eventually got my website back.

Then Radiant got into the act. She sent a message that she had taken me off her email list and stopped all contact with me for good.

Suzie-the-Guy is now hanging out at one of the longhouses in Kahnawake. I went to Montreal to see a National Film Board film on protests. There was a scene of the World Trade Organization WTO protest in Quebec City a few years ago, where the Quebec police were throwing tear gas and knocking people around. Suddenly I saw this Quebec cop in a gas mask walking across the screen. It looked just like Suzie-the-Guy dressed up like an SQ.!

There is no end to the treason. In June 2009, a huge controversy loomed in Akwesasne over the border issue. The Camel Toe Treaty cult followers tried to take over the agenda, to confuse the people and the issue. They started posting weird videos of their leaders spouting Egyptian new age garbage and started to attack their critics. It is rumored that Sherry helps run the cult website. They started issuing passports with a camel on it!! To get one, recipients have to denounce the Great Law and our inherent power on Great Turtle Island.

One of our men questioned the camels on his blog,, and their efforts to undermine the Great Law. Sherry exposed her true leanings. She quickly sent him a nasty email accusing him of ranting like myself, K. Horn. This is a common ploy of trained agents to try to put a wedge between targets by criticizing or shaming one against another.

Recently we learned that she worked for a time as a uniformed cop in Akwesasne. Those bogus charges of running the border seem to have disappeared.

Did Notre Dam learn how we think? As I explained to my friend, “It’s like explaining color to a blind person. They hear it but they’ll never know what color is.” She spent hours talking to me. It almost seemed like she was gathering intelligence to fight a war. They need to understand their enemies.

Agents will always be agents. They will show up somewhere else. The most useful are those who live in the community and gather the intel that filters in.

At this point, we know what they know. We know how they got the information. We know how they imbedded their agents among us. We know what intel we fed them.

In the end, was the border incident an execution that went wrong?

Kahentinetha MNN Mohawk Nation News, Note: Your financial help is needed and appreciated. Please send your donations by check or money order to “MNN Mohawk Nation News”, Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0. Or go to PayPal on MNN website. Nia:wen thank you very much. Go to MNN AKWESASNE category for more stories; New MNN Books Available now!

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