Sun24Jun - Bristol - presentation by Canadian Indians

Massimo.A. Allamandola suburbanstudio at
Sat Jun 16 15:03:38 BST 2007

Benefit Café for the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee - Kebele - Bristol

Kebele Social Centre | 15.06.2007 12:08 | Culture | Free Spaces | Social 
Information about the direct action taken by a matriarchical, 
non-hierarchical indigenous group in Canada, that can serve as an 
inspiration for local struggles for land reclamation.

A presentation by The Six Nations on the Grand River community about 
their year long struggle to reclaim ancestral land, defending their 
community against colonisation and the struggle for Indigenous 
sovereignty. Also a skillshare on how to reclaim and defend land from 
private developers.

Kebele Café will run as normal, with the proceeds going to help fund the 
Six Nations speaking tour.

Sunday 24th June at 7pm.
Kebele Social Centre.
14 Robertson Road,
BS5 6JY for more details.

Who are the Six Nations on the Grand River community?
The Six Nations live in Canada, and are part of the Indigenous American 
group called the The Haudenosaunee. The reclaiming of the Kanonhstaton 
(‘protected place’) is a part of their ongoing campaign to reassert 
their traditional ways, which include their surviving system of direct, 
consensus based democracy (dating from 1142). Marx’s vision of a 
classless society was based on a early anthropology essay describing 
Haudenosaunee governance. Women take an equal and leading role in the 
traditional government.

Two representatives from the Six Nations on the Grand River community in Canada will be speaking about their land reclamation struggle. The 
speakers will be Kathy Garlow, who is a representative from the site of an ongoing (since February 2006) land reclamation and Mary Sandy (an 
Oneida Nation Clan mother- a representative from the traditional 
government). They will speak about the experience of reclaiming and 
defending a piece of land from development. Their action has been 
incredibly successful, having prevented the development and protected 
the land from an armed police incursion. They will also talk about 
defending their community against colonisation and the struggle for 
Indigenous sovereignty. The Haudenosaunee have been living as a 
Confederacy of nations organised by direct consensual democracy since 
1142, although there have been systematic attempts by the colonial state 
to obliterate them as self-governed sovereign people.

Six Nations of the Grand River (a Haudenosaunee reserve in Ontario, 
Canada) reclaimed forty acres of land on the 28th of February 2006 that 
had been sold by the Canadian government to a housing development 
company. The land is part of the Haldimand Tract (1784) granted by the 
British in return for some of the Haudenosaunee fighting against the 
soon to be United States, and thereby losing their lands. Led by the 
Clan Mothers, (their traditional female leadership) they set up camp on 
the burial ground and stopped the bulldozers’ work. A year later the 
land reclamation still stands and the Six Nations community is asserting 
their sovereignty; not only by taking back land that was sold by the 
government without title to do so, but by practising their right to 
govern themselves and their community.

The land reclamation has survived due to a tremendous show of solidarity 
by a large part of the 20,000 strong Grand River indigenous community. 
150-armed police were walked back off the site when hundreds of people 
arrived in response to the dawn raid, indignant that the police had 
arrested and beaten the handful of people who were sleeping there. 
Blockades and barricades were erected that protected the reclamation 
land from further attack and also were a powerful tool in forcing the 
Canadian government to take the reclamation seriously. In June 2006 the 
government bought the land back from Henco, the developer. The site has 
also weathered many ongoing right wing demonstrations that play on 
local, non – native peoples’ fears and racism.

The success of the reclamation at Kanonhstaton (the protected place) 
encourages indigenous sovereignty struggles across Canada and the United 
States. On New Years Day the Clan Mothers and Confederacy Council 
reoccupied the traditional government meeting house for the first time 
since its forced closure in 1924, when the Band council system was 
imposed on the reserve. The colonial attack on Indigenous people has 
meant systematic attempts to wipe out their languages, government and 
identity as distinct peoples, as well as taking their land base. 
However, these things, though not undamaged still survive. Near and far 
to Six Nations Onkwehonweh
(original people) are taking action to halt development, mining, and 
environmental destruction on their land.

Sunday 24th June at 7pm.
Kebele Social Centre.
14 Robertson Road,
BS5 6JY for more details.

Kebele Social Centre
- e-mail: kebele at
- Homepage:

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