Aug 06 2008
I was in Six Nations Haudenoshaunee territory, home of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscorora, with Jannica, Randy and Randy’s son on July 29th. My heart swelled with pride as I witnessed the children learning their language and songs and dances. I was able to speak with Haudenoshaunee men about what they were doing to teach their young boys – the roles and responsiblities as Men in their Clans and Nations. I was honored with a water drum and saw a snapping turtle which I learned are a part of their ceremonies. I felt as if I was at home, the issues we are facing in the Shuswap Nation and in BC are the same issues they are facing. I shared that I was in foster care as part of the 60′s scoop and was just begining to re- learn my language and songs. I felt a wee bit embarassed that I could not share a traditional Secwepemc song with them. It was an honor to be on the lands of the Six Nations Haudenoshaunee as I have meet and worked with many Mohawk people over the last 30 years.
On July 30th I travelled with the Band Wagon to Tyendinaga to meet with Patrick Johnston and Chief Maracle. We spoke about what we need to do nationally in the area of Child Welfare legislation and INAC’s directive 20-1. Chief Maracle talked about his community and how poverty plays a role in the child welfare system. Patrick Johnston was someone I meet over 28 years ago as he was doing a book on the child welfare issue, he had dinner with myself and family in 1980. It was great to speak to him, we thought that it was time to do another book and that maybe I should write the book and I am thinking about it.
I wanted again to thank Randy, Jannica and Randy’s son for undertaking this project “The BandWagon” as our children are our responsiblity and this project will give voice to those who do not have a voice. Children are at the front lines of the genocidal war of the Government’s to remove us from our lands, resources, languages and traditions. It begins with the residential school and continues with the apprehensions across Canada. It is estimated that today there are 27,000 children in care of the state across Canada more then were in residential schools at the height of their operations to kill the Indian in the Child, we are dealing with the aftermath of the residential schools in our communities today. Canada’s apology is great for the survivors but what about the children and grandchildren and great grand children of the survivors, these are the innocent bystanders who are collatoral damage in the genodical war being waged by government policy and legislation.
Only we as Indigenous people can find the solutions that work, that are rooted in our lands, our language, our laws, our tradtions, our ceremonies, our families and our Nations.
If we truly believe that our children are our future, the future is right now, we must do whatever it takes as it is our sacred duty for those yet unborn
Kukpi7 (Chief) Christian
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.