August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, November 2, 2017



Mohawk Nation News
Please post and distribute.
MNN. Nov. 2, 2017. On the early morning hours of October 31, 2017, kahienkehaka [Mohawk] kakwirakeron, beloved husband of Verna (Cooper) Montour, died of natural causes surrounded by his family. He was born Arthur B. Montour on June 26th, 1942 in Buffalo, NY. He was the eldest brother of Johnny, Judy, Eric, Keith, and Patricia Montour.

He changed all his i.d. to kakawirakeron, learned to fluently speak kanien-kehaka-neha at 30 years of age and knew and understood thoroughly the kaia-nerekowa, the great peace. 
He left a legacy of 59 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren.
kakwirakeron spent his childhood in kahnawake. He began ironworking at 17 years of age, worked throughout great turtle island, as a foreman and superintendent, building bridges and high rises with Local 361 out of Brooklyn, NY. 
In the early 1970’s, he became actively involved in the Warrior Society. He was involved in the kahnawake issues with non-natives; spokesperson during the Moss Lake and Ganienkeh Land Reclamations in ‘so called’ New York State; traveled to Switzerland and Holland as part of the Haudenosaunee Delegation to the United Nations in 1977; and involved in the standoff in Racquette Point in Akwesasne in 1979. In 1989, he was tried on US Federal R.I.C.O. charges for conspiracy in assisting to stop an FBI raid in Akwesasne, serving 10 months as a political prisoner.
kakwirakeron stood up for his knowledge of the kaia-nere-kowa, great peace, and for the people without hesitation. He was appointed spokesperson by the clan mothers.
He always strived for peaceful solutions amidst very volatile situations. 
In 1997  he stood alongside over 100 onkwe-hon-weh against the violation of sovereignty, to resist New York State illegal taxation of gas and cigarettes in Haudenosaunee communities. He was arrested within Onondaga territory. The NYS police INDIAN DETAIL were charged with using deadly force against men, women and children. He believed in onkwe-hon-weh asserting our sovereignty.  

kakwirakeron will be greatly missed by all who had the honor to know him and his memory will continue. 
kakwirakeron will return to his home at the farm in Bombay (556 Quain Road) [akwesasne] on Thursday November 2, 2017 to be joined by his family from 2 pm – 5 pm. Friends and public may begin calling at 5 pm in Bombay until Friday.
On Friday, November 3, 2017, kakwirakeron will return to kanonsesne [great law longhouse in akwesasne highway 37] at 2 pm for community viewing until the funeral. The Funeral ceremony will be held on Saturday November 4th at 11 am with Atehroniatakon officiating. The family is inviting friends and loved ones to a traditional meal to follow at the Farm in Bombay.
“We walk the red road, the straight road. We try to be kind and gentle to everyone we meet and try to give thanks no matter what the pain. We hope to reach all peoples minds”. 
Mohawk Nation News for more news, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to More stories at MNN Archives.  Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0 

Leonard Peltier Remembers Dennis Banks


Dennis Banks with Bill Means and Terrence Nelson
Boarding School Tribunal, Oneida Nation, Wisconsin
Photo by Brenda Norell

Leonard Peltier Remembers Dennis Banks
Photos by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Painting by Leonard Peltier
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By Leonard Peltier
Today, let my voice join in harmony, with the brothers and sisters of the American Indian Movement, to address our great loss of your father, grandfather, brother and friend, Dennis J Banks. When I heard he was going to have heart surgery, I was praying for a speedy recovery. Three weeks prior to Dennis having surgery, I had a triple bypass open heart surgery with good results, so I was shocked to hear he was having problems.
Let me share a few memories with you. I first started hearing about Dennis in the late 60's while being involved in the fishing and hunting struggle at Franks Landing in Washington State.

After returning to my home at the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation in North Dakota, I was aware of the occupation at Alcatraz in California. I also started hearing Dennis speaking out on TV and radio. I became involved in a struggle involving Native issues in Arizona and while there, I was invited to an annual AIM convention at Leech Lake, MN. I met with Dennis and was impressed with the public commitment he made on the Chunupa, to never use alcohol or drugs and to never refuse a call for help from Native people. I became a member the American Indian Movement and worked out the of AIM Chapter in Milwaukee Wi.

In my eyes, Dennis was a charismatic and powerful speaker and one of the most committed leaders in resisting the longest war in US history against Native people of our Nations, not only for AIM but for all Native activist groups. He spoke of the genocidal practices of other countries being used against Indigenous peoples.

He was most known for being the last person to leave the 71 day shoot out called the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1972, where over 250 thousand’s rounds of ammunition were fired into Wounded Knee by the US Gov't and the GOON squad. There is proof that none of the ammunition checked out of the federal armory were ever turned back. I believe the plan was to kill all women, children and men Warriors. Dennis continued to answer the call from Native people seeking help and he traveled wherever he was needed even while being under multiple indictments because of Wounded Knee. If convicted of the charges, he was facing 150 years in a federal prison, along with another AIM leader, Russell Means.
We, as Native people, owe a huge debt to Dennis and other AIM leaders, for taking a strong stand to protect and preserve our Spiritual and cultural way of life. The direction of the American Indian Movement has always been from our Native Elders and Spiritual leaders. We were there to protect them as they passed on the knowledge and protocol of our Sacred Ways. We will forever be grateful to those Elders and to the many members of the American Indian Movement who were willing to live and die for a way of life that has been our way of survival for Centuries.
Now my brother Dennis has joined our loved ones who have crossed over into the Spirit world and I know they gave him one hell of a welcome reception! They know his heart, and they know he was a true Warrior to the end.
In my most humble way, I ask that we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to try to make a better world for the coming generations. Please, sing their songs with honor, in their memory, tell their stories with pride with every opportunity you have, and always, please remind our young people and each other, that every battle that was ever fought, every life that was ever taken, every ceremony being performed, is with our future generations in mind.
Please remember Dennis James Banks like I do, as being one of the greatest Warriors of our time. I am proud and humbled to call Dennis my brother.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Leonard Peltier
Dennis Banks Warrior 2

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