Australia: reclaiming the people’s commons


Richard Moore

From: "orakwa" <•••@••.•••>
To: "ActionCanadaNetwork" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: MNN "Good Moon Rising" Australia affirms Indigenous Title
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:22:53 -0700


MNN.  Sep. 21, 2006.  It¹s a landmark case.  The Noongar Aborigine people of 
Australia were affirmed as holding title to a substantial part of Western 
Australia, including the city of Perth.  In the case of Bennell v. State of 
Western Australia (2006) FCA 1243, the Noongar people proved that their 
community continues to exist and that they are still part of the land.  They 
continue to observe the community's traditional laws and customs, including 
their relationship to their land.

The Noongar have a claim under their own laws and customs as a result of their 
occupation of the land before the colonial visitors arrived on the scene.  This 
community continues to exist today.  They are still guided by the spirits of 
their ancestors.  They continue to acknowledge their laws and customs even 
though there have been some alternations and interference by their white 
visitors.  In other words, the rights are possessed under traditional laws that 
are acknowledged and observed which maintains their connection to their lands 
and waters.

Those rights are recognized by common law in Australia, Canada, the United 
States and other commonwealth countries, including those in Africa.  The major 
point of the decision is that the native people are identified by their own 
laws, not by colonial laws.  Even though they have been prevented from 
exercising their rights for a period of time by the colonists, they still have 

It is a persuasive decision in terms of setting a precedent for a new stage in 
the relationships between Indigenous people worldwide and the colonial states 
that have imposed themselves on our lands.

We think that the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada has become hysterical 
over this reaffirmation of our rights to our lands and resources.  They are the 
only ones we can think who might be responsible for planting stories trying to 
make the Canadian public think that Indigenous people are trying to do them in.
Last Monday there was an explosion on the 17th floor of the ³Tower of Power² 
known as Indian Affairs at 10 Wellington Street in Hull Quebec.  It's right 
across the Ottawa River from the Parliament Buildings that are squatting on 
Algonquin land.  This is the second time that the police have been called in to 
investigate ³vandalism².

I was home on Monday.  This reminds me of the time I worked on the 17th floor 
until I was fired during the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990.  In 1988 there was a 
Canadian soldier working on the 14th floor.  Yep.  The Canadian military was 
right there in the middle of Indian Affairs.  One day the officer in charge came
to see me.  He wanted to talk about my opposition to the claims that Nelson 
Small Legs Junior had committed suicide.  He died suddenly two days after 
testifying at the hearing against the McKenzie Valley Pipeline.  I told him I 
wanted an investigation.  He came back a month or two later.  He more or less 
said that I was right.  It was not a suicide, as his father had claimed to me.  
But the RCMP was not going to change the report.

He then suddenly decided to show me something extraordinary.  He took me down to
the 14th floor to the western side of the building which was all painted black.
There was a cutout of a door with a lock.  He took out a key, opened the door 
and invited me inside.

It was a large room.  The windows were all covered with thick black drapes.  In 
the middle was a large round table covered by a green felt cloth.  He pulled off
the cloth and revealed a map of Canada.  On the map were small yellow, red or 
green flags on each Indigenous community in Canada.  I noticed that the Mohawk 
communities and a few in Northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories
had red flags.  Most had green.   Were they considered to be ³pushovers² who 
gave colonialism the green light?  Were the red flags describing those stalwart 
defenders of Indigenous rights?  Red meant that these communities had to be 
stopped in their tracts.  I asked him what this was all about.  He said it was 
in case of ³emergencies².  I asked, ³Like what?²  He said like fires, floods and
other catastrophies (like martial law?)

At the left side of the door there was a room full of computers.  I wondered 
what kinds of information were being put into them.  He said, ³All kinds of 
information² was being collected.  But he didn¹t go further.  He was in charge.
In others words, this was the ³war room² being run by the Canadian military in 
the Department of Indian Affairs.  It¹s obvious they never forgot that Indian 
Affairs began as a branch of the British military back in the days when they 
were plotting the ³conquest² of the French in North America and dreaming that 
they could suck the Indians into doing all their dirty work for them.  They 
still haven¹t learned that we just don¹t like ³trespassers².

Later, after the Oka Crisis, I was in the hotel adjacent to Indian Affairs.  
That night I looked up at the building outside my window and counted up 14 
floors.  Sure enough!  The black curtains were still on the windows.  The 
imperial menace was still lurking inside.

What documents is Indian Affairs trying to get rid of by setting off explosions 
in the building?  Have they gotten caught up in the ³Fight Club² mentality 
that¹s inspiring teenagers to fake phony fights and put them on the internet.  
Are they giving themselves black eyes and trying to blame it on us?  They expect
the public to believe that we¹re doing it to them.  They¹re trying to justify 
their own existence.

We¹ve been asking them to produce their documents on how they got control over 
us, our lands and resources.  We¹ve been telling them all along that they just 
could not come here, land on our shores, rob us of everything we have, and we 
wouldn¹t complain about it!  The time has come for their heirs to face up to 
this monumental fraud and hoax.  We¹re just not buying it and they can¹t make 
us.  As Floyd Westerman sang, ³We just ain¹t your Indians anymore!² as if we 
ever were!  Canada, you have no choice but to come to terms with this colonial 
operation called ³plunder and pillage².  You helped yourselves to everything and
killed 99% of us off in the process.

Well, Canada, it looks like St. Nick and the Easter Bunny have left the 
building.  You¹ll just have to follow them out.  And please take with you your 
bag of lies and genocidal policies.  We don¹t want any left over explosive caps 
or land mines.  Oh!  On your way out, clean up after yourselves.  Leave things 
in the condition you found them.

(see: <>

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News


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