The following is a statement by Tadodaho of Onondaga Indian Nation Chief Sidney Hill in support of Chief Theresa Spence and Idle No More and its stand in solidarity against Canada’s omnibus Bill C-45.
On December 14, 2012, the Government of Canada passed a bundle of legislative provisions packaged into one omnibus bill called Bill C-45, without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Nations and Peoples; a practice that is inconsistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Similar to the infamous White Paper of 1969, the Harper Government has intensified Canada’s drive to terminate the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and their distinct identity as sovereign peoples.
Specifically targeted is the collective authority of Indigenous Peoples over their communities and territories, in addition to having a potentially harmful impact over waterways. Bill C-45 will begin the process of converting Indigenous Nations into municipalities, extinguishing their treaty rights, self-determination, and converting the collective title of Indigenous lands into fee simple title lands.
In addition to Bill C-45, the Haudenosaunee Grand Council is aware that in the near future, the Government of Canada will be steamrolling a number of other bills designed to gradually end the Canadian Government’s social and fiduciary obligations to Indigenous Peoples in favor of internalized taxation, to terminate the distinct status of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, to privatize and enfranchise Indigenous lands and waterways, and to transfer Canada’s political responsibilities to individual Provinces – thus destroying any semblance of nation-to-nation relationships. These coming bills include:
— Bill C-27: First Nations Financial Transparency Act
— Bill C-428: Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act
— Bill S-2: Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interest or Rights Act
— Bill S-6: First Nations Elections Act
— Bill S-8: Safe Drinking Water for First Nations
— Bill S-212: First Nations Self-Government Recognition Bill
As the inherent custodians of Haudenosaunee sovereignty within all Haudenosaunee communities and territories, the Haudenosaunee Grand Council is responsible for being ever vigilant and protective against any challenge or threat to our collective sovereignty. It is clear that Bill C-45 and subsequent bills seek to destroy our collective sovereignty.
Therefore, the Haudenosaunee Grand Council of Chiefs declares that it shall not recognize the application of Bill C-45 or any other Canadian legislation that undermines and erodes the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and its member nations.
The Haudenosaunee remind the people of Canada of its desired relationship through the tenets of the Two Row Wampum, which champions coexistence and non-interference. Beginning with this basic relationship of mutual respect, our two peoples can resume our journey along the river of life as independent equals and resolve our problems along the way. Here we shall stand.
Tadodaho – Chief Sidney Hill