July 28, 2022 - Quebec, Canada
As Onkwehoweh, we continue to suffer historic injustices that will no longer be tolerated. The Papal State visit a week ago with Rarihwawakon (Pope), the Governor General and Prime Minister of Canada were superimposed upon by the Vatican Agenda that was set to silence us.
As a small delegation of Haudenosaunee who were invited to speak at three events to Rarihwawakon (the pope), we were denied our right to speak in the final minutes of the first event. However, in a dinner with the Bishops of Canada, we created a stir, and in the survivor’s session on the last day of his Pilgrimage of Penance, a young Wolf Clan Mohawk Mother, Kaianahawis, broke through the colonial papal wall and took the necessary time to express our deep grievances with the so-called apology and the complete lack of respect and action.
Our mission is political as our focus is to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery. The fact remains that this law, imported by settlers of the old world, was forced upon Indigenous peoples and is still firmly entrenched in our reality past and present. We deny its restrictions and inhumanity.
The Doctrine of Discovery is the law that dispossesses our lands through mere discovery and false conquest. It continues to prevent our rightful and human existence.
The Doctrine is the basis for in- coming wealth acquired by the countries that straddle our territories and is also the decree that ordered our genocide through Government legislated policy. The police and the church were paid to carry out the executions of our children.
The cradle boards that represented our Cradle Board Mandate brought before Canada’s Parliament in July of 2021, accompanied us. They were NOT gifts to be presented to the pope during the Vatican visit back in March nor were they gifts this time in Quebec City.
The cradleboards kept our focus and they came home with us, the mothers. They are a symbol of the babies taken and who are still not home. Personally, I never wanted to meet Rarihwawakon. As Iakoiane (clanmother), I needed to go on behalf of our precious babies that never had a chance to be loved.
We want the seventh generation to know that despite the military might of the colonial papal-powers and their harsh, dark criticisms — we had to show up.
To the seventh generation, you must know, we love you enough to rattle these historical moments the same way our ancestors did for us seven generations ago. We were not silent and fought like hell to make your unborn voices heard.
RESCIND THE DOCTRINE!
Author: Wakerakats:te, Iakoiane of Roiane Tehanakari:ne
Bear Clan Mother of the Mohawk Nation Council
Louise Bear Herne
Photograph: Katsitsionni Fox
Haudenosaunee Bear Clan
Artist & Filmmaker
Author: Kristen Farquhar is a Holistic Health & Arts Practitioner, book illustrator and