Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 5, 2013

Terrance Nelson: When Peace Chiefs fail, time to bring in War Chiefs

Terrance Nelson: "When the Peace Chiefs have failed, it is time to bring in the War Chiefs. The War Chiefs must prepare for War in order for our people to have peace with the immigrants, peace doesn't mean that our people have to live in poverty."
By Terrance Nelson
First Nation Roseau River Anishinabe
July 5th 2013
Chief Fox,
July 14-18, 2013- Treaty 1-11 National Gathering, Heritage Park, Onion Lake, SK

In attending the June court date on the CN Injunctions, the Attorney Generals of Canada and Manitoba tried to defend their right to grant titles to immigrants because the Treaties ceded and surrendered all lands to Her Majesty. I told the court that the Treaties are a fraud.

Imagine if I approached a Judge who had $500,000 worth of property, his home and land where his family lived. I forced him to sign a contract where all his property is ceded and surrendered to me. I have no money to pay him $500,000, the value of his property but I make him promises, all kinds of promises. I move people into his home and collect rent from them, but don't pay anything to the Judge and his family, in fact, I move the original owners into a closet in their own home. They complain that I am not paying them anything for their property and that the agreement that was signed is not being lived up to.
The complaints are sent to a court that I set up but the court must only consider laws that I legislate and I also appoint the judges that will decide the case. Would that not be considered a fraud. So how are the treaties not a fraud also. What people would give up everything to Her Majesty, cede and surrender all they owned and not want to share in the benefits of their property. Yet, people still think that they can get justice from the courts set up by the Government of Canada.
The value of Canada is trillions and trillions of dollars if there was a money amount ever considered but of course the immigrants never had the money to pay us for our property, they just use the Treaties as a means to justify their theft.
Generations of my family have held onto important Treaty documents including the Outside Promises Memorandum for Treaty One. (see attached file). We cannot sit and wait for Canada to come back to the negotiation table.
AIM Winnipeg carried out the January 16, 2013 blockade of Canadian National Railway line as part of the action that took place across Canada on that day. Chiefs across Canada wanted action that would force the immigrants to respect our rights. We are still in Court facing CN, the Attorney General of Canada, and the Attorney General of Manitoba because we carried out those actions on January 16.
On July 1st, Canada Day, two First Nations in Manitoba issued eviction notices to mining companies operating in their Treaty territories. Chief Arlen Dumas asked for support from AIM to carry out the eviction notice to HudBay. About seven young AIM members made the trip from Winnipeg to northern Manitoba, a seven hour trip each way.
No members of the First Nation other than Chief Dumas and maybe two members of the First Nation coming from Thompson were present at the action at Hudbay. Our young AIM members got an experience in the racists who drove the Trucks that were being blocked. RCMP officers were in attendance.
The issue that needs to be dealt with the Treaty 1-11 Gathering is enforcement of our rights. Who carries out the actions?
Immediately, the Canadian courts issued a temporary injunction allowing the immigrants to continue to carry out mining activity.
Let's be clear. Defying a court injunction is jail time.
Who is willing to go to jail? The Treaty 1-11 Gathering has to confront the new Supreme Court of Canada decision, the Behn Case. In our court case, the CN court case, the Attorney Generals are saying to the court that the Behn decision denies the rights of individuals to take actions on Treaty obligations, that only the Chiefs and elected leadership can use the Treaty for "protection".
Idle No More massive demonstrations proved that the people are ready for action, however as long as they attend gatherings where only the Chiefs talk and there is no concrete action plan, we will lose our people.
When Chief Arlen Dumas needed help, he called for AIM. The sad part of all of this is that the people themselves aren't supporting the elected Chiefs in blockades or eviction notice delivery. Canada can still laugh at us because we don't have the people in place to carry out the actions that are needed.
We have thousands of young people ready and willing to go to jail for their people. The Peace Chiefs and the Elders are standing in the way of the youth who want to take action.
Chief Arlen Dumas and his community are being sued by HudBay for about $530 million for the blockade of its operations. CN wants to sue us for over $10 million in damages for the blockade we carried out on January 16, 2013. Unless the Treaty 1-11 First Nations authorize massive blockades, we leave the small groups that are carrying out action to stand on their own.
When the Peace Chiefs have failed, it is time to bring in the War Chiefs. The War Chiefs must prepare for War in order for our people to have peace with the immigrants, peace doesn't mean that our people have to live in poverty. Until, the War Chiefs recognize the young people who will carry out the actions, the immigrants will continue to laugh at us and big business will continue to steal our wealth of natural resources. Confronting RCMP, companies and racists at the blockades needs to be done by people willing to go to jail and take all the consequences of their actions.
A declaration by Treaties 1-11 to the immigrants to stop all natural resource extraction gives our people, the individuals authority to carry out actions until the Crown sits down with the real owners. This Declaration must be passed if the Gathering is to have impact. If not, Chief Dumas and Chief Harper will be left standing alone in issuing eviction notices.
Terrance Nelson
Vice Chair AIM

1 comment:

Reigning Dogs (and Cats) said...

We need to hear the old women say that, not a young warrior. Only the Women, the oldest, wisest can declare war. Until those naturally and culturally endowed rights are honored within our nations, we cannot expect to "win any war" outside of our communities.