MODERN INDIGENOUS WARS -
THE  COLONIALIST BEAT GOES ON!

 

"In 1990, the OKA crisis brought Native resistance to the forefront of mainstream Canadian media. As the standoff continued, the global media informed the world of Canada's Aboriginal dealings, or lack thereof with all First Nations....Almost any land claim issue...is tied to hundreds of years of broken promises (treaties) from the government, territorial infringement, forced values on traditional Native cultures....This continued disrespect and deaf ear of the Canadian and U.S. governments has pushed Bands/Tribes of people to go to extremes to be heard. When a "crisis" or forceful resistance occurs it is almost always the last straw. The media make it out to be something new or an isolated incident but that is almost never the case."

Are First Nations Imagined Within the Construction of Canada? Michelle Jack, 2005, http://www.libarts.wsu.edu/amerst/michellejack/PDF%20Read%20Files/Oka.Final.pdf


 1990 -OKA Crisis - 78 Days

The summer of 1990 in Canada exploded into one of crisis, tragedy and controversy near a small Quebec town, called OKA. Quebec Provincial Police found themselves confronted by angry Mohawk Warriors from the Kanesatake reserve  as they tried to prevent the expansion of a golf course into Mohawk Territory. The disputed land was twenty-nine hectares that held a Mohawk cemetery and an ancient forest called the 'Pines" that had been planted by Haudenausaunne and Algonquins in the nineteenth century.  March 10, 1990, peaceful protests were ignored by the Oca municipality bureaucrats.

Oka was another example of what should have been right, fair and just  thrown against avarice and non-communication on the part of those who wanted the land. Once again, Native people found themselves on the wrong side of the media as racism and paternalism crowded radio and television. It simply had to be our fault that we would resort to such extremes! The crisis escalated and became a symbol for all that was wrong with land claim negotiations and Indigenous rights, generally, in Canada. A couple of hundred years had passed and still white paternalism continued to try and assert itself.

A barricade was erected to stop the expansion. July 11, 1990 the barricade was attacked by Quebec Provincial Police and on July 11, 1990, after an exchange of gunfire, Marcel Lemay, an officer with the Sûreté du Québec (provincial police force), was killed.  How he died is still in dispute. Some say, he fell from a tree and killed himself, other says it was from the gun of a Mohawk warrior, still others argue it was a stray bullet from friendly fire. The other victims were two elders, Joe Armstrong who died from a heart attack while trying to flee with other Elders and children from a stone-throwing mob. The other fatality, was an elderly non-Native man who was unable to recover from being tear gassed.

The Mohawks of the region have always claimed they were a sovereign nation for a few reasons: they were never conquered by an invading military force; they never ceded their land to anyone; treaty-signing was on a nation to nation basis, and they served as equal partners with the British.

The situation continued to worsen, and barricades were once against set up by both sides. Traffic jams were enormous, tempers frayed. One of the results was that some residents started to build a highway around the reserve, after the crisis it was finished by the Quebec government. Premier Bourassa in a desperate attempt to cool tensions sent in the Canadian armed forces.  Psychological warfare ensued with heavy weapons such as tanks and howitzers set up on the perimeter of the reserve aimed at the protestors, low-flying jets. It still took several weeks for negotiations to take place and finally on September 26, 1990 the last of the barricades came down.  Eventually the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs purchased the land for 5.2 millions dollars and put plans into place wherein the land would be returned to the Mohawks. It took ten years!

The crisis shocked citizens all across Canada at the level of racial hatred that existed in this country.  Radio Host, Gilles Proulx fanned the flames by telling his listeners the Mohawks couldn't even speak French, This was followed by a Federal member of Chateauguay saying that if the Mohawk wanted their own country, they should all move to Labrador! Racism had always been somewhat 'underground', but here it was exposed for the world to see just what what the average Canadian thought of its First People. To have it truly out in the open in this violent manner stunned even the most hardened sensibilities. It was a humiliating time for the national government.

 

 

SETON PORTAGE 1990 SETON LAKE NATIVE FIRST NATIONS Demonstrating support of the Mohawks at OKA

In August, 1990, the Seton Portage railway was blockaded by the Seton Lake First NatIon in solidarity with the Mohawk and the OKA crisis.  The B.C. Premier at the time, William Vander Zaim came calling ostensibly to find a peaceful resolution. Instead, shortly thereafter, the blockade was dismantled by the R.C.M.P. It did not end there, however, media interest was on the rise all across Canada as regard Native unrest, in general, and the intense media coverage resulted in the increase in protests all across the country as regards land claim issues.

 

 

 GUSTAFSON  LAKE & THE SHUSHWAP,
June 15-September 17, 1995 - 31 days

Gustafson was one of the largest police actions in Canadian history, involving over four hundred officers pitted against twenty-one Sundancers. The racism and violence on the part of government authorities was beyond the pale.

The story begins at Gustafson Lake (over 350 km north of Vancouver) in 1995 when the R.C.M.P ignored raised questions regarding American Rancher, Lyle James' claim to the ownership of a piece of land. Rancher James tried to intimidate the Shushwap protestors into leaving what they claim was unceded land. The land, was their 'Sundance land' and oral history backed up their claim. The R.C.M.P., without investigation simply cordoned off the land isolating the Native protestors. Clearly negotiation and diplomacy were not on the table.

In September, 1995, the Force upped the anti and brought in the heavy artillery in the form of armored personnel carriers (APM) borrowed from the army. A comedy of errors ensued on the part of the R.C.M.P as they tried to subdue the 65-year old leader, organic farmer, William James Ignace, (his Shushwap name, Wolverine). Elder Ignace is well-versed in Constitutional Law and its application to Native rights.  Later, he recited part of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, "aboriginal people cannot legally be molested or disturbed by newcomer governments, their courts or their citizens, not upon any Lands whatever which were not ceded to the crown." The Proclamation is very clear on the process of ceding land. It must be done in a public place in front of witnesses and then recorded  "in a contract that describes with legal accuracy  the land being ceded." with both sides agreeing to the result. None of this took place as regards the disputed land. Both the Proclamation and the 1982 Constitution were ignored by the British Columbia government.

As two R.C.M.P attempted to shoot two Native men who were swimming back to the camp, Wolverine stepped forward and fired shots over the armored personnel carrier causing the officers to duck for cover. Corporal Preston of the R.C.M.P then ordered the Elder "taken out", presumably meaning kill him. This was attempted by trying to run him over with another APC. Using basic escape maneuvers, the Elder dodged and wove leading the APC away from his friends. The Elder fire a shot that disabled the hydraulic line of the APC disabling it to the point that it became mired in mud. This was shaping up to be a really bad Hollywood western, with American cattlemen at odds with the Natives. It would have been be funny if the stakes were not so high!

B.C. Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanjh (ironically, the other kind of 'Indian'), was heard to make all sorts of inflammatory remarks and ended up exacerbating the whole crisis in a bid to be seen as a 'law and order' guy. His incorrect claims that included, the Shushwap running after the R.C.M.P with intent to kill, were not only lies, but racist. Again the irony of who is speaking these lies should not be lost on the readers of this page.  Even though, former R.C.M.P. Officer,  Bob Woods, advised that there should be no armed attack, the bloodlust was high, and his recommendations ignored. Over twenty thousand shots were fired, one hundred and four returned by the protestors. The R.C.M.P. spin doctors rewrote history turning the situation in a "random Indian uprising." Court documents and precise notes taken by one Reporter who was also arrested, indicate otherwise. It was simply another overly aggressive attempt on the part of the police to assert their will and look like defenders of the realm as they tried to put down twenty-one sundancers. It carries shades of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, when the 7th cavalry angered at their losses at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, killed over three hundred women, and children just because they could. Later some of the soldier were given medals by the U.S. government.

Eventually the Force retreated and on September 17, 2005, the protestors left the land peacefully. Arrests ensued. Fourteen indigenous and four non-native supporters were charged following the siege, fifteen of whom were found guilty and sentenced to jail terms ranging from six months to eight years. The leader of the occupation, William "Wolverine" Jones Ignace, was found guilty of mischief to property, mischief causing danger to life, possession of firearms and explosives, discharging a firearm at police, and using a firearm to assault police officers. He was sentenced to eight and a half years, but was released in 1999,

Three of the defendants appealed the verdicts on the grounds that the Canadian courts have no jurisdiction over the lands where the Gustafsen Lake standoff took place, which they claimed remain unceded indigenous land. The Supreme Court of British Columbia refused to hear the appeal. A public enquiry into the siege continues to be demanded.

 

 

 IPPERWASH, 1995 STONEY POINT OJIBWA

In September 1995, about 35 Ojibwa occupied Ipperwash Provincial Park to draw attention to decades-old land claims. In just three days, the Ontario Provincial Police’s resolution to peacefully deal with the protest came to an abrupt end when officers opened fire on a bus and car driven by other Natives to assist the occupiers. Two protesters were injured; Dudley George was killed. His family remained steadfast in its demands for a public enquiry.  OPP Sgt. Kenneth Deane, the officer who fired the fatal bullet into an unarmed man, was convicted two years later of criminal negligence causing death after a court ruled he did not have a "reasonable belief" he was in danger. He was sentenced to two years of community service! His appeal was rejected and a year later he resigned from the OPP.

Finally, In 2007, long-awaited inquiry found Mike Harris’s government and the OPP‘s errors led to the death of Mr. George, and proposed that the disputed land be returned to the Ojibwa immediately, with compensation. The Commission was headed up by Ontario Chief Justice Sidney B. Linden

Partial response from the Chiefs of Ontario to long-awaited inquiry.

"Government policies have consequences. When a government adopts policies hostile to the rights of a group of citizens, those policies will have consequences. When a government pits one group of people against another for political advantage, those politics will have consequences. Dudley George was a victim of such government policies and politics.

The shooting death of Dudley George on the evening of September 6, 1995 was the result of a multitude of individual events and acts. Those events and acts were the inevitable risk created by a government, led by Premier Mike Harris, that was anti-native and was willing to exploit anti-native sentiments among members of the public to derive political benefit. Anti-Native government policies and politics are wrong.

They are wrong not only because they can lead to tragic events such as the death of Dudley George, but because they are inherently antithetical to the Canadian constitution and Canadian values. Preventing such tragedies in the future requires a rethinking of the way in which governments’ relate to First Nations people. Adjustments to the institutional framework of government will be futile if the underlying mindset that pervaded the Harris Government continues to hold sway.

Instead, a relationship with First Nations people which fully respects their inherent rights and which creates effective and timely processes to address their legitimate claims is required. Such a relationship cannot be based on the mere legalities of aboriginal rights, but must instead flow from an understanding and respect that recognizes the essential, foundational role of First Nations in Ontario and Canada."

2007 The Ontario government promised to hand over Ipperwash provincial, twelve years after the fact. Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant said that Ipperwash Provincial Park would be handed over to Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point after an undefined period of "co-management" by the band, the provincial government and non-native residents of the area. "Today is a very good day ... it's a moment of really historic action," Bryant told a news conference Thursday. "Today I'm announcing the transfer of Ipperwash Provincial Park lands back to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point, over a period of time." It appears the government just can't let go of it.

Sam George, Dudley's brother, remarked that if his brother had not died, the sixty-year old land claim would still be going on. "Unfortunately, he paid an awful price," he said. "He gave his life for the burial grounds, for the people of our communities. With that, I think his death did speed up things quite rapidly."

 Participants in the Ipperwash Inquiry Youth & Elder Forum about Aboriginal and Police Relations, April 22, 2005, in Forest, Ontario.

Inspector Ron Fox (one of the good guys)
Fox was the liaison between the Ontario Provincial Police and the provincial government at the time of the Ipperwash standoff. He acted as an adviser to the government on First Nations affairs. When he testified at the Ipperwash Inquiry, Fox expressed his concern over the way the Harris government was handling the situation. Part of a taped telephone conversation with his superior was played at the inquiry. "We're dealing with a real redneck government," Fox said, after a meeting with then premier Harris, several cabinet ministers and deputy ministers. "They just are in love with guns. There's no question. They don't give a shit about Indians."

 

 
 
 

 BURNT CHURCH MI'KMAQ 2000-2001

In September 1999, a Supreme Court ruling (R.v. Marshall) acknowledged that treaties from the 1770s held that a Mi'kmaq, Donald Marshall Jr., had the right to fish for eels out of season. The Burnt Church First Nation interpreted the judgment as meaning that they could catch lobster out of season and began to put out traps. The non-Native fishermen claimed that that if this is allowed lobster stocks (an important source of income) could be depleted.

The following is from CBC News Online, May 8, 2004 On Sept. 17, 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the Native fishing rights of Donald Marshall, a Mi'kmaq who had been charged with fishing eels out of season, fishing without a license, and fishing with an illegal net. Marshall had been convicted on all three counts in Provincial Court. The conviction was upheld by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. He then took his case to the Supreme Court, arguing treaties from the 1760s gave him the right to catch fish for sale and excused him from current fisheries regulations.

The Supreme Court agreed.  It stated in its decision that "…nothing less would uphold the honour and integrity of the Crown in its dealings with the Mi'kmaq people to secure their peace and friendship…" But the Marshall decision caused chaos as parties on all sides of the debate interpreted the ruling differently.

The 34 native bands in the Maritime provinces and eastern Quebec that were affected by the decision immediately began fishing lobster out of season, saying the ruling gave them full, unregulated fishing rights. Non-aboriginal fishermen demanded the government put a ban on the catch, worried that lobster stocks would be lost.

Burnt Church and Indian Brook
Burnt Church, N.B., became the hotspot of tension between Native and non-Native fishermen. Trouble began in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 3, 1999, when about 150 fishing boats headed out into Miramichi Bay, one of Canada's most lucrative lobster fisheries, to protest against native trappers who were fishing lobster out of season.

The demonstration turned to an ugly shouting match when the boats returned, having destroyed hundreds of native traps. The vandalization of fishing equipment and three fish plants followed. Despite the violence, the Native fishermen of Burnt Church didn't budge, refusing to give up the Native fishing rights granted by the Marshall decision. Mi'kmaq warriors set up an armed encampment on the wharf in Burnt Church to protect native people continuing to catch lobster in the bay.

Days later, Fisheries Minister Herb Dhaliwal met with Native leaders to try to find a way to ease the tensions. All but two of the 34 First Nations bands agreed to a voluntary moratorium on fishing. The Burnt Church and Indian Brook bands rejected the idea of government regulation. The moratorium succeeded in defusing the tensions between Native and non-Native fishermen, at least for the time being. On Oct. 18, 1999, the West Nova Fishermen's Coalition applied for a rehearing of the appeal and asked for the judgment to be set aside until a new hearing.

On Nov. 17, 1999, the Supreme Court said there would be no rehearing. However, to alleviate the confusion, the Court released a new ruling, known as Marshall 2, to clarify points made in the original Marshall decision.

One of the most important points of the decision, reiterated in Marshall 2, was that the government still had the power to regulate Native fishing for the purposes of conservation.

Negotiations slow  In February 2000, negotiations between the First Nations communities in the Atlantic Provinces and the DFO began, with Fisheries Minister, Herb Dhaliwal promising to ink a short-term deal by the spring. The deal would decide how aboriginal and commercial fishermen would share the resource.

But negotiations took longer than he thought. Dhaliwal also met with commercial fishermen, some of whom were considering selling their licenses and getting out of the business. The Maritime Fishermen's Union criticized the government, saying the DFO was dragging its heels.

Native fishermen were also getting frustrated. First Nations leaders announced their people would be out fishing in the spring whether or not a deal had been struck. On Feb. 24, 2000, the federal government announced it would buy back more than 1,000 commercial fishing licenses, including boats and gear, to expand the Native lobster fishery. By the summer, about 1,400 fishermen had offered to retire more than 5,000 licenses. In the federal budget announced in February 2000, $160 million was set aside for the DFO's response to the Marshall decision. The money would pay for retired licenses and economic development initiatives aimed at helping to bring Native people into the fishing industry.

The interim agreements  Over the following two months, the negotiations saw real progress as the first Native bands signed agreements with the government. By April 21, 2000, 13 bands signed deals and others made agreements in principle. The interim deals were different for each band, taking into account the different sizes and interests of the various groups, but they were generally set out to govern fishing over the next year. They gave Native people the same access as non-Natives to commercial and food fisheries, providing boats, gear, training and economic development initiatives, like new equipment or facilities. Some bands incorporated the new deals with the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy, AFS, while others opted to keep the agreements separate.

Established in 1992 to ensure stable fishery management, the AFS was in response to the Supreme Court of Canada 1990 Sparrow decision that defined Aboriginal Peoples' right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes. By August 2000, 27 bands had signed agreements, but the Burnt Church and Indian Brook bands still refused.

The fishing continued
 In a two-week period in late July and early August 2000, seven boats belonging to the Indian Brook band were seized and 18 people were arrested on charges of catching too many lobsters. The Mi'kmaq said they didn't need the government to make sure the lobster population is conserved because they already have their own conservation methods in place. The Burnt Church Mi'kmaq held their position as well.

On Aug. 9, 2000, the band members voted to reject federal regulation of the fishery despite the government's offer to provide five well-equipped boats and build a new $2-million wharf. Ottawa wanted to set a 40-trap limit but the band said it has the right to set more than 5,000 traps.

The following week, tensions rose again in Burnt Church as enraged Mi'kmaq declared war against the DFO after a late-night raid on several lobster traps in Miramichi Bay. Four people were arrested, and one boat and over 700 traps were seized. Native fishermen protested by setting up a blockade on Highway 11, a major commercial route in the province. The Mi'kmaq claimed officers pointed guns at them, but the DFO denied the allegations, saying that only pepper spray was used and one baton pulled out.

With Burnt Church fishermen continuing their lobster catch, Dhaliwal said fisheries officers would continue to seize traps and make arrests. But he also called the native leaders to return to the negotiating table, claiming the Burnt Church band refused to even meet with his federal negotiator.


2001 season  Hoping to avoid a repeat of the violence of the previous year's fishing season, the federal government issued the Burnt Church Mi'kmaq a temporary license when the season opened Aug. 20, 2001. The plan was to allow Native fishing to go ahead while a long-term agreement was negotiated. However, the license came with limitations that didn't sit well with the Mi'kmaq. Band member Brian Bartibogue called it another case of the federal government "ramming legislation down aboriginal people's throats."

The license restricted the fishermen from selling their catch, limiting them to using it for food and ceremonial purposes only. Department of Fisheries and Oceans tags had to be on the catch. Most importantly, the license would only last one week, until midnight on Aug. 27, 2001.

Shortly after issuing the license, the federal government released a study that suggested fishing in the fall jeopardizes the resource. Ottawa proposed allowing the Mi'kmaq to use small boats to set 900 traps for two months every fall as well as creating 50 jobs on the reserve to study the long-term effects of the lobster fishery. With pressure building on the day before the deadline, Burnt Church band members blocked all entrances to their reserve and escorted media out of the area while continuing to set lobster traps on Miramichi Bay.

The RCMP sent extra officers to the area and non-Native fishermen again called on Ottawa not to allow the Mi'kmaq to fish under different rules. After the deadline passed with no agreement with the Mi'kmaq, Ottawa issued a new license to allow fishing for food and ceremonial purposes, which lasted until Oct. 20, 2001.

Federal report
 In April 2002, a federal committee released a report aimed at preventing more outbreaks of violence between native and non-Native fishermen. The report recommended that all charges stemming from the confrontation be dropped and Ottawa should compensate fishermen for their lost traps and boats.

The committee recommended that Native fishermen have the same season as non-native fishermen, meaning Natives would be banned from fishing in the fall. As well, the report recommended that Native bands be issued licenses, which they would distribute to Native fishermen.

 

 

 CALEDONIA
February, 2006-2007 (Approx. 18 months)
Native Protestors blocked Highway 6, near the Six Nations of the Grand Reserve, Southern Ontario

 Six Nation protesters took over a construction site at the Douglas Creek Estates near the small Ontario town of Caledonia. It was targeted by the Land Claims Awareness Group as the best site for an unarmed occupation to bring the lack of action as regards treaty rights to the attention of the Government(s). Urban sprawl  resulting in serious environmental repercussions was cited as a major concern as the building of more and more 'row' housing in the area encroached on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The gun-happy OPP in the region thought that tear gas and tasers were far better responses than negotiation and diplomacy. Their actions backfired. Prior to the assault on a few unarmed Natives, the Six Nations of the Grand had been divided in how best to handle the encroachment. The assault unified the Six Nations citizenry. The Provincial Government led by its terrified Premier, Dalton McGuinty, attempted to deny any involvement in the Provincially-operated OPP! The recommendations that came out of the OKA crisis in 1990 have never been implemented, and the beat goes on!

June, 2008: Six Nations land rights activists ordered to stay away from development sites in Brantford. Superior Justice Gerald Taylor handed down his judgment - an interim injunction that prohibits protesters from demonstrating and disrupting construction sites.

The following people were told to adhere to the injunction - Floyd and Ruby Montour, Hazel Hill, Clive Garlow, Charlie Green, Mary Green, David Martin, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) and its lawyer Aaron Detlor.

The Hamilton Spectator reported the statement of Ruby Montour after the judgment was handed down, "without any thought towards Six Nations people ... We don't get a fair shake in the Canadian courts. If you rob and you steal and you cheat, as long as you're doing it to an Indian, you can get away with it."
"

UPDATE: Six Nations Elected Council takes new path on land rights

On May 4, 2010, Six Nations Elected Council rescinded a motion that recognized the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council as the lead for the Douglas Creek Estates site in Caledonia.

“The Confederacy negotiating team has been there for four years with limited success,” said Chief William Montour, Six Nations Elected Council.

Previous negotiations were not conducive to reaching a settlement, he continued. “It was purely a process geared to give Ontario and Canada press communications - if pressed by Canadians to settle the issue of Caledonia and Six Nations - by saying that Six Nations can’t get its act together,” said Chief Montour.

While recognizing problems in previous negotiations, he did not want to see Council’s relationship with the Confederacy to end.

“This is the right decision at this point in time,” said Chief Montour. “These land rights issues – they have to be settled to meet the needs of the community.”

Last year, Council took its 1994 land claims lawsuit back to the courts but this is a slow process and eventually will end up at Supreme Court, he noted. Eventually the court will order negotiations, he added.

Chief Montour and Council are seeking a global settlement that provides for the perpetual care and maintenance of the community. “What we want is a global settlement that sticks to the spirit and the intent of the Haldimand Treaty; meaning that the Six Nations and their posterity would benefit from the Six Nations Haldimand Tract lands forever,” he stated.

In reviewing the documents of April 2006, Chief Montour said the elected council of the day agreed to the Confederacy leading the negotiations on the land in Caledonia.

“A September (2006) motion to expand the mandate to the Plank Road has been usurped by Canada in leading us from DCE to the Plank Road to the Welland Canal to the Nathan Gage,” continued Chief Montour. “In our estimation, this has got to stop. We’ve got to start focusing on first of all the Douglas Creek Estates which was the cause of all of the problems that went on and come up with options to resolve that issue.”

“After two years, we still haven’t heard from Canada on their research concerning the Plank Road. So that tells me they don’t have anything done on it. They don’t have any research that can refute the Six Nations research,” stated Chief Montour.

When the federal government offered $26 million for the flooding of the Grand River Lands for the Welland Canal, it was a red herring, he said. The Crown hoped Six Nations would jump to grab at the money but, because the federal negotiator does not have a proper mandate, it fell apart, continued Chief Montour.

It’s the position of the Elected Council that to settle a land claim for money and subsequently to sign a certainty agreement that absolves Canada of any further obligations and that will not allow future generations of Six Nations to reopen the issue in the court if need be is tantamount to selling land, said Chief Montour.

While Ontario has been sitting as an observer for all of these negotiations, the province must become involved because they have benefited more greatly than Canada in use of Grand River lands in land transfer taxes, taxes collected, casino revenue and more, he said. Meanwhile Six Nations sees no benefit at all as a result of these activities which are contrary to the Haldimand treaty, he continued. “Therefore the elected council feels that it’s time to move forward and re-establish a negotiating base that is a global settlement, return of lands that may become available but more importantly, account for Six Nations accounts that was put in the banks in London England,” said Chief
Montour. “Let’s look at coming together to build a future for this community.”  (From Turtle Island.org)

 
 

THE LAST WORD TO CHIEF JOSEPH
(1840-1904)

"Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to seek the truth. Words  do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country now overrun by white men. They do not protect my Father's grave. They  do not pay for my horses and cattle. Good words cannot give me back my children. Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying. Good words will not give my people a good home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who have no right to talk. You speak many words, many ways. I speak mine but one way. Kopet, That is all."

 

 
 

 

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