Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jake Fire Would Have Joined the National Day of Action

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The following letter by a Mohawk youth is being posted on the Day of Action:

Mohawk Nation News
Letter to the editor:

Jake Fire Would Have Joined the National Day of Action! Canadians are seeing the gruesome power of police officers. They have been given the right to carry deadly weapons as part of their arsenal to use during arrests. They carry 50,000 volt tasers, which recently caused the death of an immigrant at the air port in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadian public should be very concerned about that incident, since it was not an isolated one. On May 1, 1899, an Akwesasne Mohawk, Saiowisakeron, also known as “Jake Fire”, faced the barrel of a gun in the hands of an RCMP officer. The RCMP had been sent to arrest the Akwesasne traditional chiefs. Standing up for what was right, an unarmed Jake Fire was shot and killed by the RCMP officer. The RCMP officer shooting and killing Jake Fire is the kind of violence and aggression that the colonists use when dealing with Indigenous Peoples asserting our rights. Jake Fire was killed because he supported the traditional Iroquois government and though it was best for his people. At the time, the federal government wanted to impose the colonial band council system of governance. When the Mohawks of Akwesasne resisted the colonial band council style of government, they were coerced into obedience. This pattern has been followed over the centuries when Indigenous got in the way of the immigrants who were swarming all over Turtle Island. In the United States, whenever the settlers came against opposition from the Indigenous, the army was called in. Indigenous resisters were pushed onto uninhabitable areas of Turtle Island. In 1922 the RCMP raided the Six Nations as part of an Indian Affairs plot to overthrow the traditional govenrment. [Order in Council PC 1629, Sept. 17, 1924]. The Iroquois have always resisted being bulldozed into obedience by land developers, governments and police agencies. The most recent example of this brutal method to attempt to control Indigenous occurred in 1995 when an OPP sniper killed an unarmed Indigenous, Dudley George, at Ipperwash, Ontario. Canada and the provincial governments refuse to talk peacefully with the Indigenous people. Instead they arrest and jail, especially the youth. Jailing our people means that Indigenous across Canada are forced to take a back seat to ancestral land and resource theft. We are presently seeing the fast pace of urban development coming into conflict with the Indigenous. Land developers see no problem in going onto disputed Indigenous land to put up housing complexes and explore for oil that destroy the land. Reserves are the only lands left where the non-native are not supposed to encroach. This has not been stopping the developers from trying to enter them too. On May 29, 2008, the Indigenous are asking the Canadian public for support to inform the government that Indigenous Peoples must be dealt with fairly and equitably. This will be the second annual National Day of Action, and Indigenous will show the world that we still care about our rights. Support the cause since it is the future of Indigenous and non-natives alike that will be affected by the federal and provincial government’s response to Indigenous concerns.

Kanatase Horn
Mohawk Akwesasne

Posted by MNN Mohawk Nation News, May 29, 2008. http://www.mohawknationnews.com/

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