(story in English below)
(voir le text entier)
Samedi le 14 juin 2008, vers 14h30 de l'après-midi, un véhicule transportant deux activistes écrivaines et grand-mères Kanion'ke:haka (Mohawk) fut stoppé à Akwesasne [voir la carte] alors qu'il traversait la frontière étasunienne pour entrer au Canada. Akwesasne est une communauté autochtone Kanion'he:haka qui s'étend sur les soi-disant provinces d'Ontario, Québec et New-York; les membres de la communauté traversent régulièrement les frontières de ces "États" et "provinces".
Katenies vit à Akwesasne, non loin de sa mère, sa fille et ses trois petits-enfants; tous résident des deux cotés de la "frontière". Kahentinehta, grand-mère elle aussi, est de Kahnawake. Katenies et Kahentinehta publient le journal Mohawk Nation News et ont également été déléguées au Sommet des Frontières des Peuples Autochtones à San Xavier (sur le territoire Tohono O'odham, en Arizona) en novembre 2007.
Katenies fut arrêtée par les gardes de l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC) en vertu d'un mandat d'arrestation invoquant les causes suivantes: dossier non résolu pour avoir prétendument franchi les frontières illégalement en 2003 et offense car elle avait alors refusé d'apparaître en cours et de valider le système judiciaire colonial. Katenies a maintenu, depuis 2003, que les frontières officielles et la cour coloniale du Canada n'ont aucun droit sur les gens de Kanion'he:haka ou sur leur terre.
Information sur la lutte de Katenies menée contre les frontières et les tribunaux:
Samedi dernier, Katenies a réitéré le fait qu'elle ne reconnaissait pas l'autorité de l'ASFC sur la terre de Kanion'ke:haka, ainsi qu'elle l'a toujours fait. Elle fut alors brutalement arrêtée par au moins quatre gardes mâles qui lui ont plaqué le visage contre terre, qui l'ont menottée puis mise en garde-à-vue, où on l'a détenue durant trois jours.
Quant à Kahentinehta, âgée 68 ans, les gardes de l'ASFC exigèrent qu'elle quitte la voiture qu'elle conduisait. Elle refusa, et elle aussi fut brutalement assaillie par quatre gardes mâles de l'ASFC et menottée fermement. C'est a ce moment qu'elle a eu une crise cardiaque. Grâce à l'intervention de son frère – un avocat du coin qui traversait alors les frontières et ce, juste au bon moment – elle fut finalement amenée à l'hôpital local de Cornwall, en Ontario, par ambulance; hôpital où elle a passé les trois derniers jours aux soins intensifs. Sa condition est stable et elle sera bientôt transférée dans un hôpital d'Ottawa afin de recevoir des traitements supplémentaires et une éventuelle chirurgie.
L'ASFC a, à l'origine, indiqué qu'elle allait accuser Kahentinehta de diverses infractions, mais ces charges ne furent jamais présentées, probablement pour dissimuler la manière brutale dont elle et Katenies furent arrêtées en premier lieu. Pendant ce temps, Katenies fut emprisonnée après sa brutale arrestation. Elle n'est passé devant un juge (de la Cour supérieure de Cornwall) que lundi dernier, soit le 16 juin 2008...
Katenies et sa mère, Nancy Davis, s'opposèrent au tribunal. Nancy Davis refusa de révéler au tribunal si elle habitait dans la partie de Akwesasne qui est en Ontario ou dans celle qui est au Québec, affirmant clairement qu'elle habitait sur le territoire Kanion'ke:haka et qu'elle était une citoyenne de la Confédération Haudenosaunee. Elle commenta en souriant: «je suis la seule qui puisse exercer de l'autorité sur ma fille ».
Pendant le contre-interrogatoire mené par l'avocat de la Couronne, Nancy Davis déclara: « Nous sentons que nous avons le droit de traverser là où nous voulons, d'aller où bon nous semble. [La frontière] est une ligne imaginaire pour les Américains et les Canadiens, pas pour les Mohawks.» Lorsqu'on lui demanda si elle reconnaissait l'autorité du tribunal, Nancy Davis répondit simplement: «Non.» Katenies s'adressa également au tribunal, réitérant depuis le début qu'elle ne reconnaissait pas ses juridictions, refusant ostensiblement d'accepter les accusations portées contre elle, déclinant jusqu'à la lecture des ses charges. Lorsque le greffier du tribunal essaya de lui faire prêter serment, Katenies déclara: « Je peux seulement dire ce que je sais.» .... Katenies avait déjà contesté la juridiction du cour le 18 janvier 2007.
Brenda Norrell -- Saturday, June 14, 2008. Eight officers beat Kahentinetha, 68 years old, and five officers beat Katenies [at Akwesasne - see map]. Kahentinetha, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, suffered a heart attack and is in a Canadian hospital. Katenies has been released from a Canadian jail and is in seclusion.
The women showed their Haudenosaunee identification, they were told the IDs were not sufficient....
Katenies was told she had an earlier warrant...when Katenies refused to get out of the car, five huge Canadian officers and border agents jumped on her, dragged her out and threw her to the concrete, grinding her chin into the concrete. "I went down so fast, they had knees in my back and kidneys. They were like a football team on me and they acted like they had no boundaries. They told me if I didn't cooperate, they would break my arms."
As officers attacked Katenies, Kahentinetha was on her cell phone calling family members and authorities for help. When Kahentinetha refused to hang up, eight officers attacked her.
Katenies was placed in a cell and could hear the officers bring in Kahentinetha...[who was] handcuffed in a stress hold [which]handcuffs cut off Kahentinetha's circulation... Katenies could hear Kahentinetha yelling for them to loosen the handcuffs. By the screams of pain, Katenies said it sounded like the police were continuing to tighten the handcuffs as Kahentinetha cried out...she suffered a heart attack, A family member arrived at the same time and was able to get an ambulance immediately....
A member of the Mohawk Warrior Society said, "They did this because we have the greatest weapon, the truth, and what Kahentinetha writes is the truth. They are terrified of the truth. What they are trying to do is provoke the Mohawks" ...The women were told they would be charged at a later date.
Monday June 16 Kenneth Deer in The Eastern Door: Kahentinetha Horn, 67, suffered arterial damage during the assault and was hospitalized under guard [for 4 days. Also hurt in the incident was Mohawk Nation News editor Katenies Davis, who was held [in jail for 2 days] until Monday and released.The two were charged with resisting arrest, but the charges later dropped....
According to sources, Katenies, 45, was arrested by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) guards on an outstanding warrant for allegedly "running the border" in 2003, and offenses resulting from her refusal to appear in court and validate the colonial justice system. Katenies has maintained since 2003 that border officials and the Canadian colonial courts have no jurisdiction over Kanion’ke:haka people or land. [See her legal case]
[At bail hearing June 16, the federal prosecutor] objected to Katenies' release on bail. A senior investigator with the CBSA testified for the Crown. He outlined the various warrants and court dates in the case, and Katenies' continual and consistent refusal to recognize the authority of the colonial court system, or the jurisdiction of the CBSA over the border. In the words of the CBSA investigator, Katenies "has nothing but contempt for the Canadian judicial system." The investigator, who has lived and worked at the Cornwall border crossing for two decades, was forced to admit that it's "not uncommon" for Mohawks to cite the lack of jurisdiction directly to border officials, although he called Katenies "an extreme case."
Both Katenies and her mother, Nancy Davis, addressed the court. Nancy Davis refused to tell the court whether she lived in the "Ontario" or "Quebec" part of Akwesasne, stating clearly that she "lives on Kanion'ke:haka territory" and is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She remarked with a smile: "I'm the only one who has authority over my daughter." Under cross-examination by the Crown lawyer, Nancy Davis stated, "We feel we have the right to travel where we want, to go where we want. [The border] is an imaginary line for Americans and Canadians, not Mohawks." Asked outright if she recognized the authority of the court, Nancy Davis replied simply: "No." Katenies also addressed the court, while reiterating from the start that she did not recognize its jurisdiction, and pointedly refused to accept all charges, declining to have them read to her. When the court clerk tried to swear her in, Katenies stated: "I can only tell what I know."
Katenies emphasized that she continues to demand that the courts address the jurisdiction question; that is, under what authority can colonial Canadian courts, agencies or officials claim to have jurisdiction over sovereign Mohawks. She stated forcefully: "I'm a passionate person, I'm a mother and I'm a grandmother. But, I've had no respect. No one has looked at what I've put forward."... jurisdiction has not been dealt with. I don't see why you should incarcerate me and beat me into submission without answering my question." She threw the accusation of contempt back at the Crown, stating: “It is [your law] and your constitution that you keep talking about. Why do you continue to ignore me and our people, who have our own land and constitution?”
In his final submissions, the Crown argued that Katenies "has nothing but complete disdain for the laws of these courts." He also made the somewhat obvious point: "Quite frankly, your worship, both mother and daughter don't recognize our jurisdiction."....
Both Kahentinehta and Katenies, despite the brutal attack on them by Canadian border officials, maintain their defiance and vow to continue to challenge the jurisdiction of the courts and border officials.
Kahentinetha Horn is an fiery Mohawk matriarch in an age-old Six Nations tradition. This incomplete biography is in Canadian Encyclopedia under Kahn-Tineta Horn:
"she makes the grass wave" in Mohawk, (b at New York City, NY 16 Apr 1940), member of the Mohawk Wolf Clan of Kahnawake, Québec. She attracted national attention to native causes in the 1960s and early 1970s by her lively and controversial criticisms of Indian conditions. She had already been a fashion model and public speaker for some years when in 1964 she was fired from her posts in the National Indian Council in a controversy over policy and organization of centennial celebrations. Throughout the 1960s she took part in numerous Indian protests, including one in which she dumped rats in a government meeting to illustrate illegal dumping on her reserve. She advocated "Indian apartheid" or separate development, including preservation of the reserve system, teaching by natives only, and the banning of Indian-white intermarriage. She founded and directed the Indian Legal Defence Committee from 1967-1971. Since 1972 she has held various positions in the social, community and educational development policy sections of the federal Indian Affairs Department.She also took part in the 78 days stand off at Kanesatake/Oka in 1990, is the Director of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples, and coordinated the Free Wolverine Campaign.
Back in 1978 when I was working for Indian Affairs in Ottawa, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Cam Mackie, had a Christmas party in his swank spacious office on the 21st floor. No Indians were invited. A fellow non-native employee invited me to go up there. Cam Mackie was walking around wearing a t-shirt with the message, “Let’s have an Indian Affair”. Honest to goodness! It was supposed to be a joke. Just reading it felt like a knife right in my gut. I was terrified for the future of my three little girls. How could I protect them as a single mother and a native woman?
“You are disgusting”, I said and went home to protect my little ones. My fear was real. Indigenous women are still being victimized. 500 are missing and not investigated. Everyone knew that it was open season on young native girls like Betty Osborne who had been raped and killed by four non-native young men. Everyone in the community knew. Nobody did a thing. It went unpunished for almost 20 years. -- Kahentinetha Horn in The Radical Press 30 Jan 08.
Brenda Norell writes, "Kahentinetha's articles on sovereignty, mining on Indigenous lands, corruption and border rights have made her a priority target of the Canadian government [and US Homeland Security...]. While on the Arizona border in November, at the Indigenous Border Summit of the Americas II, she challenged the [US Border Patrol] incarceration of Indigenous migrants in the outdoor "cage," construction of the border vehicle barrier through the ceremonial route and the digging up of Tohono O'odham ancestors for the border wall by the contractor Boeing....
[Haudenosaunee also fear plans for] nuclear submarines in the Great Lakes and JTF2, Aerospace Warfare Center and NATO FOB (Forward Operating Base) at a new base being built at Trenton, near Tyendinaga Mohawk community." -- excerpts from Censored News.
Women in traditional Haudenosaunee law
Max Dashu writes, "While US women were [still] legal non-persons lacking rights to vote, hold property or child custody, and even rights over their own persons, Haudenosaunee [Longhouse Confederacy, aka Six Nations] women spoke in council, participated in decision-making, selected the men who would be chiefs, and had the authority to "knock the horns off" a chief who failed the people. The chiefs themselves upheld the traditional respect for women, staunchly defending it to white men over the centuries. It was not a coincidence that the first women’s rights conference took place at Seneca Falls, named for one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois. Even the "Bloomer" dress reform movement, with "an uncanny resemblance to the loose-fitting tunic and leggings" of the Haudenosaunee women, started in this region". -- Max Dashu. See also Iroquois Woman and The Great Law of Peace.
The Aboriginal Right of Free Passage, claimed by natives under Jay's Treaty 1794
Jay's Treaty 1794 declared the right of aboriginal peoples (people indigenous to Canada and/or the US) to trade and travel between the United States and Canada, which was then a territory of Great Britain. In the United States, this right was restated in section 289 of the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act. -- Wikipedia on the Jay Treaty
Mohawks hoping to seek work in the U.S. were forbidden to do so and were deported as illegal aliens until a court challenge in the 1920's forced the U.S. to recognize our border-crossing rights as protected by treaty. The fight to get Canada to recognize those rights, meanwhile, has continued up until the present time and appears nowhere near resolution. -- The history of Akwesasne [other sources recount RCMP attacks and jailing of traditional longhouse leaders in the 1920s when the Canadian government imposed band councils - Ed.]
Unlike the U.S., Canada has not codified the Jay Treaty. The closest relevant Canadian immigration statute is as brief as its sister statute in the United States, Section 289: “A person who is registered as an Indian pursuant to the Indian Act has, whether or not that person is a Canadian citizen, the same rights and obligations under this Act as a Canadian citizen.” At least on its face, this statute perhaps may be construed more broadly than Section 289. The statute clearly indicates that an Indian only needs to be registered with the Canadian authorities to be entitled to the full rights of Canadian citizens. The Indian need not be a citizen of Canada to enjoy Canadian rights, such as the right of entry and the right to remain. -- Brian Nickels in Boston College Student Law Review
Unlike the US, Canada has not included the Aboriginal right to free passage in its permanent statutory law. As a result, Canadian courts and immigration officials responsible for determining the validity of Aboriginal claims make decisions based on existing legislation and historical evidence. Because of the lack of appropriate legislation, decisions from Canadian courts threaten to completely eliminate the free passage rights of Aboriginal peoples. -- Chuck Wright, Justice Long Overdue: The Aboriginal Right to Free Passage, a research brief for Quaker CFSC ca. 2004
Indian Defence League of North America: the 6 Nations' struggle since 1926
NativeWeb: Haudenosaunee law, philosophy and religion; see also previous post in this blog.
Peacebringers: Dekanawida and Hiawatha
Blog by a Kahnewage Mohawk includes June 17 posts about Kahentinetha Horn
Indigeneous Border Summit of the Americas II and other issues; map of migrant deaths on and around Totono
Canadian Press 7 July 08 Ontario Court of Appeal says jailing of 7 aboriginal protesters was too harsh
Canada as US satellite: (official US Army news, ignored by Canadian media) 14 Feb agreement allows US to invade, analyzed by Council of Canadians and Global Research.