The Book!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Someone is Stealing Land






I am grateful to have received second-hand an invitation from the Thousand Islands National Parks to attend National Aboriginal Day and learn more about Canada’s Mohawk culture on “a traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee [i.e., Iroquois, of which the Mohawk were a part] people.”

This is a bit odd, because, in fact, the Mohawk lived nowhere near here. They were in upstate New York, towards Lake Champlain. In latter years, with a few Christian refugee settlements around missions in Quebec. The truth is that no Indians actually lived anywhere near the Thousand Islands within recorded history. But the land on which the park sits was purchased, in 1783, from the Mississauga, a branch of the Ojibway, to provide homesteads for UE Loyalists fleeing from the newly-independent United States. Some of these UE Loyalists were Mohawks, and some of the purchased land was given them in 1793 to form the Tyendinaga Reserve, which now happens to be the nearest Indian settlement.

It is still not very close—about 100 kilometers away. You might as well bring in some Highland Scots from Glengarry.

Any Mohawks would have come here as tourists. They are not aboriginal. It is false to portray this as their traditional lands, and it amounts to teaching the young a fake history.



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