By Dennis Etler
The First Nations, which are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle, have run out of patience with the intransigence of the Canadian powers following two centuries of oppression, exploitation, expropriation, and usurpation at the hands of the Canadian state.
Dennis Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, recently conducted an interview for Press TV website with indigenous activist and leader Oniehte Okwahó (Snow Wolf) regarding the Kahnawake barricades protesting a natural gas pipeline.
Rail blockades have paralyzed parts of Canada's transport system and many freight and passenger routes are being blocked due to protests that began over the Canadian Coastal GasLink pipeline that cuts through native lands. First Nations are opposing a C$6.6bn (US$4.98bn) natural gas pipeline in British Columbia.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded that protesters lift railway blockades that have been erected across Canada in support of Indigenous activists who are fighting the pipeline.
Trudeau has said that the barricades must "come down now", claiming Canadians are running out of patience as the blockades and protests enter their third week.
“The situation as it currently stands is unacceptable and untenable,” Trudeau said on Friday afternoon. “Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks, and the barricades need to come down now.”
But, it is truly the First Nations who have run out of patience with the intransigence of the Canadian powers that be after nearly two centuries of treachery and deceit.
Trudeau said attempts at engagement have not been constructive, but the First Nations complain that engagement with the Federal authorities has historically been destructive of their sovereignty and culture.
The standoff between the First Nations and Trudeau, representative of the Canadian liberal bourgeois elites, has left hundreds of trains idle, and led to almost 1500 temporary layoffs of rail workers and to growing concerns about wider economic repercussions in the eyes of the mainstream, however, in reality, CN/CP had plans to make lay-offs back in November 2019 way before the barricades were set up, to quell a strike by disgruntled employees.
Trudeau told journalists at a news conference on Friday afternoon the situation was "unacceptable and untenable", although that could more justifiably be said for the plight of the First Nations who have had to bear two centuries of oppression, exploitation, expropriation, and usurpation at the hands of the Canadian settler state.
“The situation as it currently stands is unacceptable and untenable,” the prime minister said. “Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks, and the barricades need to come down now.”
Trudeau has threatened that "the barricades must now come down and the [court] injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld." Yet, the Canadian Federal government has for decades on end trampled underfoot the law and the just demands of the First Nations for justice and equity.
CN Rail, a freight railway, has obtained court injunctions to clear some blockades, but police have so far refrained from using force to uphold them.
Trudeau left it up to police in those jurisdictions to decide when and how to act on court injunctions, though he urged for the barricades to be brought down "peacefully". But, peace will only prevail when the demands of the indigenous leaders behind the protests have been met. They have said talks can only begin afterward.
The background: According to the BBC, the Coastal GasLink pipeline is a 670km (416 miles) project that would ship natural gas from the north-eastern part of British Columbia to the coast. The C$6.6bn ($4.9bn, £3.8bn) project, is in a remote part of the province about a full day's drive from Vancouver, and has been in the works since 2012.
Coastal GasLink has reached deals with 20 elected indigenous councils along the route, including some Wet'suwet'en councils, but Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose it and claim they hold authority over a bigger expanse of traditional lands, not just reserve land, over which the elected councils have no jurisdiction.
For years, protesters have erected camps along the proposed pipeline route to prevent access to construction sites.
In early February, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enforced a court injunction and cleared the camps, arresting people in the process.
Meanwhile, other blockades and protests have sprung up across the country in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, disrupting rail lines, ports, and highways.
While the conflict is in part over opposition to the pipeline project, it is also about broader complex issues including indigenous governance, indigenous rights and reconciliation.
Hereditary Chief Woos told a news conference on Friday in Tyendinaga, Ontario, that his group would enter into talks when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) completely left Wet'suwet'en territory and all work by Coastal GasLink in the region had ceased.
"If they show respect, definitely we'll start talking," he said.
Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs met on Friday with Mohawk protesters leading one of the major blockades, who said they would continue to stand firm.
The following is an interview conducted with Snow Wolf whose Mohawk given callsign is Oniehte Okwahó (Snow Wolf):
Could you give a brief history of the struggle around Kahnawake?
For five centuries, British, as well as French colonialist regimes, usurped Native Ohnkwehón:we land here as it was done elsewhere. The Haudenosaunee Kanien'kéhá:ka (People of Flint), especially the Mohawks of Kahnawake, fought fiercely, moreover historically were the most successful at keeping their sovereignty besides the Wet'suwet'en amongst others. The Haudenosaunee, in general, would often either side with France against the British, or with Dutch and British against the US in its early days, as it tried to maintain its borders intact, moreover remain on top of things despite all those intruding powers.
The 1837-1838 Patriotes rebellion was a genuine well-intentioned rebellion that even had Anglo-Saxon volunteers producing heroes such as Robert Nelson and Wolfred Nelson, the latter leading Patriotes to victory in Saint Denis whereas the former wrote a Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately the Patriotes, whilst winning support for other Native First Nations including that of Big Bear, and the Métis (Ed.: The Métis are a polyethnic Indigenous group whose homeland is in Canada and parts of the United States between the Great Lakes region and the Rocky Mountains. The Métis trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers, it is also the case in Latin America as well as in the Caribbean), failed to gain Haudenosaunee support because they attacked Kahnawake to steal their weapons, and the Mohawk Warriors being an army of talented warriors that have had thousands of years of history and whom rapidly modernised, beat the Patriotes in this senseless skirmish, weakening the rebellion. It was a mutual error that allowed the British to crush everyone, to fool the Mohawks with several rigged treaties as they would elsewhere, moreover with their puppet "accommodated" Patriotes, found so-called "Canada" without any democratic consultation.
Ottawa would eventually coerce other Natives into the "11 treaties", would found it's army and RCMP to repress brutally the Native and Metis and Québécois. Louis Riel (Ed.: a leader of the Métis who founded Manitoba province led two rebellions against the illegitimate Canadian Confederation) was hanged by John A. MacDonald (Ed.: First Prime Minister of Canada) who said: "Riel is to be hanged even if all the dogs of Quebec were to bark"... The Patriotes Party was ruthlessly suppressed resulting in imprisonment and tortures of thousands, the exile of 60 Patriotes most of whom would die, the hanging of a dozen Patriote leaders refusing "accommodation", women and girls from Patriote areas were raped, entire villages burnt and looted in British led reprisals, even on English Patriote communities.
The new Canadian regime, its military and peelers (Ed.: police), would serve as tools to continue genocide, rape, plunder, depopulation, ethnic cleansing, forced assimilation, systematic incarceration, discrimination, profiling, torture, humiliation, abuse, treaty swindling, land theft, resource theft, corruption, uprooting, political repression as well as moral insolvency in whole communities. Historian David E. Stannard notes how this is the same as in the rest of the Americas, Polynesia, Caribbean, Hawaii, Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Marshall Islands et cetera resulted in (with furthermore massacres, mutilations amongst other further harrowing crimes, let alone ensuing traumas, alcoholism, drug use, suicides et cetera emerging from this mess) in the worst genocide of all times causing 95-98% population decline, 70-120 million deaths.
"Residential schools", the Church, "child welfare" such as DPJ, Kinsayist liberal laws such as Law 89, which further violate article 10 sections 1 and 3 of UNGA Resolution 2200A, disappearances of Native women, men, children nationwide, exposed by Goeffrey York, Marie-Claude Montpetit, amongst others, too depict this vile genocide. Norman Lester as well as Kevin Daniel Annett reveal to us Canadian utilization of biological weapons on French Acadians, on Mig'mac Natives as well as victims nationwide in "sanatoria" and "residential schools" which included human experiments in those ghastly places. The prisons are ghastly still even today. I myself was a victim of this unjust system moreover am fortunate to have come out alive, being detained and mistreated twice by the colonial power and having had my rights severed.
My welfare was once severely slashed by Philippe Couillard's & Trudeau's austerity liberals almost starving me to death. I had to fight hard for my rights to compensation and still am. I am Asperger and also suffer from PTSD as a result of traumas from injustices I endured. I am one of many just on those issues alone. The mainstream media demonized my name back in July 2017 although I have the evidence at hand to debunk them and sue them if needed for slander. Although it would be best not to restart that racket by putting up my name here. I prefer talking utilizing my Callsign for now. I was interviewed Wednesday, February 10th by Journal de Metro although they did not mention my mixed (Métis Kalinago-Carib Karukéran, African, Hindi, Irish, Scottish, East Asian, Calabrese, Italian, Occitan, Russian, German, North African bloodline) background, they decided to go with their assumptions. However I am not complaining much because it had opposite the effect they might have wanted, it encouraged more people from the outside to join our barricades moreover rally with us.
Kahnawake, as with Kanehsatake, Ganienkeh, Akwesasne, Tyendinaga are all rebellious strongholds of Ohnkwehonwe resistance. They stood up more than once against both Quebec's corrupt federalist and fake sovereignist elite and federal corrupt Ottawa, just as they rose up against the USA in 1960-1970s period around the same time as Québécois rose up and got brutally repressed in their own right. This all culminated in the 1990 Oka standoff. Iconic Warrior Ronald Lasagna Cross whom I knew and whose main lawyer Hélene Sévigny I am friends with, joined the fight to avenge the death of his cousin David Cross several years earlier at the hands of Canadian colonialist peelers. Kahnawake was also attacked not only in 1979 yet in 1988 too by paramilitary state units backed by helicopters beating and arresting people.
In 1990, the Canadian army would bayonet a 14 year old girl Waneek Horn Miller in the chest, amongst other atrocities. In January 21st, 1991 or 1994, Kahnawake had to shoot down two Canadian army warplanes for incursions. Yet the captive Crews were well treated by Kahnawake, they were even given free food whilst being on Kahnawake territory till the army took them back to base. In the meantime how does Ottawa treat veterans after service? Homelessness, poverty, meager pensions, retirement homes with abhorrent conditions let alone criminal neglect. Above all Ohnkwehónwe and Metis veterans are worst treated.
Now we see this with Wet'suwet'en as we have seen it on other First Nations including Mig'macs as well. Water poisoning from lead, mercury, hormones, pharmaceutical dumps, arsenic, radon, heavy metals, PCBs, amongst other non-biotic pollutants is another grievance. Kinsayist, "gender" ideology, and other forms of liberal agendas aimed at corrupting our minds and depopulating us and removing our identities form another form of genocide. Projects without consulting ordinary people, pushed via complacent compliant complicit band councils, is another issue. Lack of sincere reconciliation, constitution swindling, and overlays, inherent contradictions between what Ottawa says and does, plus aggressive murderous foreign policy worldwide are another aspect of our grievances.
We are not just fighting for our First Nations we are fighting for everyone even for the settler population, even if they don't fully realize, although in Quebec they are waking up. We got thousands of dissident army and peeler insiders quietly backing us and giving us intel, we got some journalists, plus a sizeable amount of support in ordinary population.
What actions have been taken and why?
We tried historically armed standoffs, court legal battles, international pressure, not the world court yet, although we plan to eventually. Yet we must never be naif all bout it. It's controlled by ye know whom, yet at least no one can say we did not try. We are also doing peaceful barricades now, nationwide. For now. We see that legal court battles drag on forever, that they are often bureaucratic or rigged. Elections are hard because only the wealthy can often run effective campaigns. Thus pulling an Evo Morales type idea is hard. The media demonizes, ignores or often twists our words here. Another problem. Politicians only care on paper, not in practice. This is a major hindrance.
What has been the response of Canadian authorities?
Only threats, militarization, repression, media propaganda thus far. Gidimt'en and Unistoten etc were recently attacked. Tyendinaga is under threat too. We hath folks there that are in danger.
What sort of support has developed in Canada and abroad?
Protests from English Canadians, Immigrants of all languages, and from Québécois. Dissident army, peeler, Intel insiders giving us crucial information beforehand to better brace ourselves for what is coming, and whom will come out to make salty revelations exposing major scandals and to go on strike much like IDF and Mossad and Shin Bet Breaking the Silence movement, or the 1918 mutinies that Yves Engler and Scott Tayler researched into moreover talked about.
How can people help and support your struggle?
Join us at the barricades in large numbers, organize mass protests, stop working, boycott, divest Canadian giants, bring food or clothing or money or medics or other to help at the barricades, sing with us, stand with us, show Ottawa that everyone no longer takes the rubbish any longer.
Plus we have support internationally through strategic allies I made for ourselves worldwide in many countries including Alain Soral for example in France with Yellow Vests which we have influence with, ex Saudi general M. D. Qahtani who is now exiled, military and peeler and intel contacts in many ruling anti-imperialist states, my girlfriend dissident Princess Jawaher al-Saud, whose fate is still unknown was also a great ally. MP George Galloway in Britain has been made aware. Several journalists worldwide have been made aware. Our UN insiders have been made aware. Our lawyers too. We are also making a major dossier to take to the world court.
Thenceforth this is all. I hope ye shalt take it all without censoring any detail. We need this. In many public clinics here too we got sympathizers ready to go on strike. In the USA we got AIM, and dissident US army folks, et cetera willing to protest in our support. AIM is American Indian Movement, their equivalent of our Rotiskenrakehte (Warrior Societies) here. And those are not the only ones where we enjoy military support for the barricades. This is why Ottawa is pretty much going to provoke a conflict now if it aggresses those peaceful barricades.
What other activities are you involved with?
We were commemorating the 15th of February 1839 Hanging of the Patriotes today. They are part of our history, fought for us all. This is all that matters. Our ex-#FPNRLQPN comrades were in the dozens at the events. Everyone there supports the Kahnawake barricades. Everyone there as well as beyond, stands with the Wet'suwet'en. Our former movement, merged into the Rotiskenrakehte since last October 2019, as well as into the Kanonhsionni'ón:we.
Many of my people there hath promised to support the barricades.
We believe in a Haudenosaunee-led Native-Québécois-Métis future. We support Kaienerekowa as Supreme Law. We believe in Karoniaktajeh's Warrior Handbook. Furthermore, for those certain members of the Anglo-Saxon community that hates on us all still even today, let them remember that their ordinary masses too used to support the Patriotes movement producing competent leaders such as Wolfred Nelson whom led the Patriotes to victory at Saint Denis.
We are all in this together. Stand with us at commemorative Québécois events, stand with us as we support the Kanien'kéhá:ka barricades. Support the Wet'suwet'en Nation. Together we stand. Divided we fall. Support our Longhouse, support our Warriors and Patriotes. Get out there, give Trudeau the finger!
One last important detail is that by supporting Justin Trudeau's federal pipeline, moreover abandoning the fight based upon Daniel Johnson's "Equality or Independence", Jason Kenney betrayed his own Albertan Yellow Vests and majority supporters, abandoned Albertan and First Nations interests, abandoned the defence of his conservative moral ideals against the moral nihilism of neoliberalism that I explained in the #LiberalismIsNazism hashtag, thus effectively making himself into a sell-out for Trudeau money. Legault effectively also betrayed his voters by calling on Trudeau, his federal enemy, to take on our blockades. Legault who also promised falsely to defend repatriation of political powers, and Quebec as well as First Nations interests.
There are NO leaders at our barricades. WE ARE ALL LEADERS. Warriors doth not need to take orders. We already know what must be'eth done by instinct. Molly Wickham whilst also the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs issued the Wolf's Howl. We gathered our alfa packs to answer to this call. Kaienerekowa our Constitution says that if we hath to go defend our land thence we hath got to go.
It's as simple as that. Want to negotiate? Negotiate with ALL OF US IN OUR MILLIONS. Takedown one barricade, another one will pop up, arrest one, ten more shalt replace the one. Arrest ten, a thousand shalt show up. So forth till millions are up in anger at the barricades. Their repression is futile moreover shalt only accelerate their collapse. No need to fear.
The more they sabre-rattle the more they hasten their fall. Our Warriors are the REAL Homeland Security. We art watching ye! WARRIOR UP EVERYONE!