Chief Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
Alkonquian Mi'kmaq Clan Mother
Sissiboo, Kespoogwitunak, Mi'kma'ki
Kwe' - L'nuk of Mi'kma'ki
The Great Spirit has called upon me to carry the message that our people, the Mi'kmaq, are in Trouble! - We are at risk of losing our Indian Land Rights through the Made in Nova Scotia Process; presently being negotiated between the Indian Act Chiefs (KMK) and the Federal & Provincial Governments.
I was born in a Winter storm 1951 with 3 thumbs ... weighing only 2 lbs & I have struggled every breath to survive. - My childhood was a nightmare! - I have seen my Mother & Grandmother pushed off the land by the Whiteman. - We ate out of dumps. - We cried to sleep with hunger. - Mom unravel her sweater to knit us mittens; to pick twigs out of snow to heat our little shack. - We were poor, our clothes were only rags; but, we were together.
I was incarcerated at a Catholic Convent. - I had to endure being away from my people; as I slaved and was degraded by the Nuns. - I received no financial compensation. - I was raped. - My 1st son stolen from my womb and sold on blackmarket 1969.- I never got to hold him .- Dad beat Mom everyday. - My little brother has been in prison 40 years because of violence against women; never to be released. - Another brother committed suicide. - I had 2 other sons too.
I was in Jail. - I was drunk. - I was Angry. - I was Violent. - I lived in Denial. - We were Ridiculed. - Life was a Struggle off the reservation too. - Survivors against all odds !
I guess I had given up, but, then one day when I was 32, I met a man who stayed with me thru thick & thin for over 25 years. - I do not know how he ever withstood it. - Today, our 2 daughters are college educated, drug & alcohol free and doing good; working and buying houses and cars. - Things I never seen growing up. - Hope for Breaking the Horrible Cycle. - I am so glad that I saw the forest through the trees and sobered up!
One day, I heard the words: you call yourself Mi'kmaq ... but, where is your Pride?
Addiction: you will have it beat when you stop counting the days. - I thought I would miss it on hot summer days, however, I did not. - I wish I had of known many moons before that I was poisoning myself and the affect it had on my family. - My girls do not remember me drunk, but my older son, ... the cycle continued as he struggles with alcohol daily and his life is always in turmoil because of his childhood of witnessing my dysfunction. - I love my son, but I do not forget the struggle. - I look beyond his struggle and remember he is still my son.
My Mother was born at an Indian encampment in a Wigwam 1924 in Nova Scotia. - That Winter the Whiteman forced them out of Springfield Lake where she had been born because Indians were interfering with the Whiteman Loggers. - The Family moved to Auburn where Noel Labrador had given Grampy Land, they walked the Railroad Track every step of the way with their wares. - They were forced out of that location too, so the Whiteman could sub-divide. - Mom Slaved for a tract of land at Kingston where she placed a little Shack; with Grammy in hers out back. - The Whiteman auctioned off those Hunting & Shelter Lands too.
I think of how Strong our Ancestors must of been, for us to be here today ... survivors against all odds!
Mom raised us 6 kids plus my uncle's; her brothers 5. - Times were hard in the old shack. - We burned oil in our lamps when we had it. - Newspapers lined the walls. - The Eaton's catalogue was saved for the outhouse. - We seen more mealtimes than meals. - Gram & Mom would make baskets and trade for sugar, flour, tea & tobacco. - We ate plenty of Luski & Rabbit. - Mom always had porridge & molasses. - I was given my first hunting rifle when I was 9 years old; a .22 calibre Cooey. - We always had a guitar.- Mom can play any musical instrument. - Gram would forecast the weather on the local radio; when she did not have a line up to the door wanting their fortune told. - $1 each. - Gram was a famous Moose Hunter, Guide & a Midwife too.
My Mother carries a wealth of knowledge about our people, the Mi'kmaq.
Gram & Mom lost their shacks because the Whiteman said they did not pay their Land Tax. - Welfare did not pay taxes; you only got Ration Tickets, stamped No Tobacco Products. - In the fall we would pick potatoes & berries in Maine. - My younger sister had baby & married at 12. - Todays generation do not understand that those who walked the trail before them ... paved the way for them to have it easier today. - Survivors against all odds. - I am still poor & my clothes are still rags, but I am sober.
We grew up & ran the same circles, endured the same hardships as the present Chief & Councils of Cambridge, Horton & Bear River, but, when they made it to the top they left my Mother behind on the Trail. - Today, at 85, Mom can still weave a nice basket. - Mom knows the old ways.
Displaced by Whiteman's Ink, ... the Paternalistic Indian Act, ... a Broken people ... Life continues to be a Struggle off the reservation too.
Fighting Treaty & Aboriginal Rights took a toll on my family so we moved in the woods to heal. - 20 miles behind Bear River Reserve, 50 miles East of Acadia Band, 25 miles back of Keji, as the crow flies.
7 years ago, I moved my family to the Sissiboo and Land is getting scarce. - I occupy a Large Tract of Land known as the Fourth Lake Flowage. - An area of Natural habitat consisting of untamed Wilderness, as far as the eye can see & a Chain of Lakes.
The Lakes have names like Gehue & Knockwood. - The Lakes were named after Individual Mi'kmaq Families. - The Federal Government hired an Anthropologist - Dr. Frank Speck - to document the Traditional Micmac Hunting Territories. - Each Mi'kmaq Family Tract is approximately 10 miles by 20 miles in size, all throughout the Province.
The Mi'kmaq still hold Stewardship over the Traditional Land with my Families Occupation. - We continue to be Caretakers of Mother Earth to this day. - A duty not only to Our Ancestors, but to Our Mi'kmaq Children, yet to be Born.
Meanwhile, ... Mother Earth is Screaming in Pain, ... need I say more ...
I am slowing up on the Trail, as my bones are getting too old to fight on the open battle fields. - I just wish to enjoy my Indian Summer years at peace with all Mother Earth's Creations, at my Micmac Shack on the Sissiboo; as I fade into the sunset ... but, ...
My Battle Wounds have healed into Scars, ... and, I am back to Fight another day!
I have been struck by the "Thunder Stick" and my Aunt gave me Red Ochre, but she said that I am so powerful that I do not need it.! - I went in my 1951 candy apple red Ford Pick-up when I was called to duty as a Warrior to Burnt Church - Esgonoptij, by the War Chiefs. - I remain a Warrior in my Heart: for my People, my Language and my Land!
I began Defending Indian Land & Water Rights with a Pencil, ... to Pen, ... to Typewriter, ... to Word Processor; ... the stupidest thing the Whiteman ever did was to introduce Computers to Indians.
I was given the name "Micmac Lock" as in "Indian Matlock" from the Judges, Lawyers, Sheriff's Deputies & Police when I represented my eldest brother, when he could not get a lawyer anywhere in Nova Scotia after he shot my younger brother 3 times. - I represented my brother, with a grade 6 & dressed in Army clothes, at a 5 day Judge & Jury Trial. - My brother got a full acquittal in "Membertou's Courtroom" on 5 criminal code charges from an all White Jury. - Family Tragedy. - The Crown had no grounds for appeal. - The only time a jury was ever sequestered overnight in the history of the oldest Court in North America, Port Royal.
I have represented myself defending our Treaty & Aboriginal Rights at Small Claims, Provincial, Supreme & the NS Court of Appeal where the 3 Judges told me that I was the "most eloquent speaker" that the Court had ever heard from. - I represented myself at all the Courts because the INAC Chiefs would not support me, a Mi'kmaq Woman - Defending Indian Land & Water Rights.
Today's election methods of INAC Band Chiefs was adopted in Nova Scotia in 1959. - The Government forwards the argument that the Chief is elected by a majority and therefore has the legal right to make decisions on behalf of all band members. - A Referendum is suppose to be held in relation to laws made pertaining to Indians, amongst the Indians ourselves. - The Indian Act Band Councils can legally over-ride the Chiefs Authority under this Rule of Law.- Sometimes, we end up with Fishing & other Deals that impede our Treaty Rights under this formula. - Then the British Government says: that is what the Indians wanted & agreed to. - We must adopt a new approach to Mi'kmaq Government.
I consider myself well versed in our Treaty & Aboriginal Rights. - I have no INAC Chief representing me at the Made in Nova Scotia Process Tri-partite arranged through the provincial organization known as the KMK. - In the future, my people, the Mi'kmaq will still hold "Tenure" to this beautiful land of Mi'kma'ki through me because I refuse to sign off our Indian Land Rights to the Whiteman!
The Royal Proclamation 1763, the "Magna Carta of Indians" aka the "Indian Bill of Rights" did not create Aboriginal Title ... it recognized it's existence.
The Supreme Court of Canada - the infamous Marshall Decision 1999 - re-affirmed our Treaty Rights. - A Mi'kmaq Treaty Indian earning a moderate livelihood off-reserve; to provide Necessaries to his individual Mi'kmaq Family. - The INAC Chiefs all entered into agreements with DFO keeping the majority of our people off the water; in turn keeping us poverty stricken!
All Laws in Canada today are based on British Policy & Indian Treaties.
The 13 INAC Band Chiefs entered into agreement with the Province that we can only buy tax exempt fuel on the Reservation with a valid Whiteman's drivers license. - We should be able to buy our gasoline anywhere. - We should have a Mi'kmaq Registry of Motor Vehicles. - I refuse to re-new my vehicle registration, drivers license & safety inspection; for it violates my Treaty Right to Travel freely throughout Mi'kma'ki; without Hindrance.
This Agreement violates Section 88 of the Indian Act, an Act of Parliament. - Provincial Law does not apply to Indians; if the Legislation or Statute in question contravenes a Treaty Right, ... the Treaty over rules the Lower Level of government. - The Treaty allows for Modernization. - Any dispute whatsoever between the British & the Indian over a Treaty Right is to be interpreted the way the Indian understands the Treaty words to mean. - Courts have ruled in the past the Treaty is to be liberally construed in favor of the Indian.
This was what I consider a Free Pass for the Whiteman.
We must Regulate our own Moose Hunt. - We should be holding a Moose Tag Draw for the White Hunters, not the Province. - AVFN Chief - Brian Toney was wrongfully convicted in participating in a Hunt with non-natives, in violation of Provincial Law, ... And, the Chief is still participating in the KMK Tri-Partite, ... Go Figure ... - I interpret it as a sign to pull out of Provincial Talks.
We must have Control over any Development affecting Mother Earth's Environment & Ecology. - We must have Control in future export of Water, the Life Blood of Mother Earth!- We must act more Responsible as a government of a Nation of People!
The Courts have said that no Nova Scotia Indian has ever agreed to exercise Treaty & Aboriginal Rights only on the Reservation. - Our Rights extend beyond the strict perimeters of the reservation to the waters incidental. - We should have our own Gun Registry. - We should have our own Casino. - We should have an Oil Rig on the Fundy Shelf !
Nova Scotia Power has a Series of 5 Hydro Dams constructed on the River Sissiboo. - Their are numerous Ancient Burial Grounds in this area; as it has been documented by a Traditional Land Use Cartographer - Jim Mckenzie - when he was involved in a Traditional Land Use Study at the Treaty & Aboriginal Rights Center ( TARR ) at Shubenacadie.
Our Ancestors are the First Caretakers of these Rivers & Streams of Mi'kma'ki and the Whiteman comes here and erects his dams; in turn destroying our Transportation Routes & flooding our Ancient Burial Grounds. - NSPC sends us a Power Bill ... when we should be receiving a Royalty Cheque! - We are owed Billions of Dollars, plus interest, in back Royalties from Nova Scotia Power.
Today, our people, the Mi'kmaq, should not want for anything!
We, the Mi'kmaq, have an Inherent Right to self-government, autonomy and the right to carve our own destiny - Nationhood! - I have notified the Federal & Provincial Governments of my position that I do not recognize their Jurisdiction over Mi'kmaq Sovereign Lands of Mi'kma'ki; they call Atlantic Canada.
The Whiteman does not know what to do with me, ... One Little Indian !
Our people do not realize what the INAC leaders are giving up. - The Land does not belong to the Indian ... the Indian belongs to the Land! - Our Sacred Relationship to Mother Earth. - I am Traditional. - I stem from a long line of Fortune Tellers, Midwives, Hunters & War Chiefs.
The Blood that runs through our veins stems from a Proud & Noble People, the Mi'kmaq !
The old British War Tactic - Divide & Conquer. - Splinter Groups, such as: Confederacy of Mainland Micmac, Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Native Council of Nova Scotia & the KMK are only groups created under guise of the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks, with benefits similar to any White Charity; governed by White Rule.- The Mi'kmaq Nation should not be conducting Land Claims Settlements with individual Provinces.
These Provincial Organizations are going to result in the Extinction of the Mi'kmaq!
My Family does not hold affiliation or membership with any band, group or organization. - My Treaty Heirs & I are Tribal members of the Mi'kmaq Nation! - We have no representation at any level of Government, whether it be White or Indian.- We have not been Consulted or Compensated in respect to the Infringement of our Treaty Rights, nor have we been Consulted in Political Decisions affecting our Sacred Rights; in violation of past Supreme Court of Canada Landmark Aboriginal Rulings. - We do not acknowledge the present day Nova Scotia Talks to apply to our Family, nor do we consider the NS Talks Legal & Binding on our Micmac Tribal Family. - Our Treaty Rights remain in full force and effect.
Growing up, my family were the only "Visible" Indians situated "off-Reserve" in the entire Annapolis Valley. - Today, one has to travel far & wide to see an Indian outside of the Reservation, on Mainland Nova Scotia. - The Mi'kmaq have become a rare sight amongst the Whiteman; in his domination of our Tribal Lands.
Canada needs to Extinguish the Aboriginal Interest in these Lands of Mi'kma'ki to Truly become a Sovereign Nation! - The Underlying Title of the Indian is protected under Section 109 of the British North America Acts. - These are what is referred to as " Non - Treaty Lands". - No Land, Mineral or Water cessions by the Mi'kmaq, unlike others across Canada after Confederation. - Our old Treaties are of a Peace & Friendship Nature. - The original Treaty Chiefs thought beyond the next 7 generations.
My Treaty & Aboriginal Rights are not for sale! - The INAC Chiefs are giving theirs away!
The Government has imposed these First Nation Labels on Indian Act Bands to weaken our Tribal Rights. - The Whiteman is focusing away from Treaty terms like" Micmac Indian" & " Tribe" in His 400 year quest to usurp Title to the Land; the Extinguishment of Aboriginal Rights. - Combined with this Status & non-status ideal; for all Mi'kmaq are Treaty Indians. - The Chiefs should encourage our people to Unite.
Before OKA, Indian Nations were like 5 fingers, ... but, after Burnt Church, ... we are like a Fist ! - United we Stand, ... Divided we Fall!
The Indian Act Leaders have been Assimilated to think like the British in a Linear Mode, rather than our Holistic Concepts of Aboriginal People.- Cambridge Reserve has " Picnics" & " Fun Days" instead of a " Maowiomi" or a " Pow-Wow" ! - The Government continues to throw Money at our Leaders to discourage them from " Rocking the Boat"; out of fear of no more Luxuries ... the Chiefs remain Silent about the Third World Conditions of our people, including the high Suicide rate within our Nation.
Canada will try anything to get the Deed to Mi'kma'ki. - Trick or Treaty !
We, The Mi'kmaq, can earn enough Revenue from our own Casinos, Fishing Fleet, Tobacco & Fuel Sales to Support our people; with the proper management we could all be living Healthier & Better daily Lives. - The Indian Act Leaders should be telling the Department of Indian Affairs that we no longer need their handouts because our people are suffering just as much as ever before. - We just do not hear about it; for it is old news. - In other words, ... No more Agreements!
" One does not sell the land people walk on."... Crazy Horse, Sept. 23, 1875.
When we are represented at another Nation's Parliament we have forfeit our Sovereignty as a Distinct people, our Nationhood !- We are owed Billions of Dollars in Back Rents from the British and we should be receiving 50 cents on every dollar collected in future Land taxes collected by the Whiteman. - Every Dollar made in Mi'kma'ki, past & present, ... is at our expense and off the backs of Micmacs ! - However, you look at it, ... Fishing, Forestry, Mining or any other Commercial activity. - Meanwhile, the Mi'kmaq continue to Suffer.
"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors." - Chief Plenty Coups - Crow
We must not allow Canada to to impose their Foreign Legislation pertaining to Human Rights, Nepotism, Transparency, Accountability, Conflict of Interest, Fishing, Housing or any other Indian Interest. - We must seize the Reign of Power and begin dealing with our own Troubles & People's daily harsh living Conditions & considering future generations of Mi'kmaq within our own Nation. - The Money will be spent within 5 to 10 years and we will all be on Welfare, ... with No Treaty Rights! - I have adapted to Hardship, like my Mother & her Mother, ... but, can the Chiefs? ... I do not think so ...
You don't miss the Water, ... till the Well runs Dry !
The long term result of 400 years Damage and over a Century of being kept from Mainstream Society on Indian Act Reservations; in turn a people denied the Right of Access to Natural Resources, based on one's race. - We must Consult our Women, Elders & Youth about any future Land Claims Decisions.
The Cost of past Housing, Education, Fishing Boats & Training, Dental and Medical will be all deducted, along with the cost of Lawyers, from any future Land Claim Settlements, ... We will end up owing the Whiteman $20 ... and we will have no Indian Land Rights for our Sustenance & Survival, like the North West Territories, whom have lost their tax Exemption & Hunting Rights - This is the reason for Expiry Dates on Status Cards. - I have my Original Treaty Card with No Expiry date.
An Elder once told me that " Nunavut" means "Our Land", ... and, we don't get " None of It" !
We must stop looking at ourselves as in Bands and look at ourselves as a Tribe, the Mi'kmaq Nation! - Without Aboriginal Title to the Land, we will cease to have Indian Land Rights. - Vote "NO" to a new Treaty ! - Native Customary Law is still valid in Mi'kma'ki, the land known today as the Maritimes, Quebec & Newfoundland.- The Power must return to the Grassroots People!
Everywhere the soles of my feet touch ... is my Mother Earth ...
I was a no good dirty trouble making Indian in the eyes of the Whiteman - A Squaw. - I have been talked down to all my life by White women & I tell them that legend has it that it is "Bad Medicine" to disrespect me in my Ancestral Homeland and to "tread softly for you are walking on dedicated ground".
Like INAC, ... people seem to forget that Indian Women have feelings too.
I have learned over the years to take it as nothing ... coming from nothing! - Many could not walk a moon in my worn moccassins! - I have never had a friend. - I have adapted; as my Mother before me ... and, her mother before her. - I have told my Children, ... that Indians do not have friends. - They understand.
We do not walk alone, ... for our Ancestors are always with us.
When I use the term " Whiteman " I am referring to the British Government. - The Supreme Court of Canada has used the Term in past Landmark Aboriginal Decisions. - It is not the Black or Yellow man that has intruded on a people's way of Life. - Some of our people mix with non-natives, for love knows no Boundaries. - When you live with the Mi'kmaq, you have become one of us under Native Customary law. - I do not want my words to be construed to offend any other party because that is clearly not my intention. - Our Treaties allow for the Protection of extended Family. - And, ... the Whiteman called me Indian all of my Life, however, I have many non-native respectful acquaintances.
I am a Status Indian registered on INAC General List - Atlantic Region. - which means I have Free Liberty to exercise Treaty Rights all throughout Mi'kma'ki, from Quebec to the Maritimes to Newfoundland. - I have no band membership ... I belong to the Tribe of Micmac.
I have no agreements with any government. - I have never received ten cents from the whiteman. - Money does not make my life ... not what it truly is. - To be Mi'kmaq ... is to be many things! - I remain a Free Indian.
Extermination of the Indian on Paper ... the Whiteman's Dream ... The Indian Act !
I understand that many of our people were isolated within small pockets of the Wilderness of Mi'kma'ki and because you have stuck together so long that you have maintained a Kinship & you have kept our Language alive. - I highly respect what the Community has survived, together. - But, without "off-reserve" Indians residing throughout Traditional Mi'kmaq Territory, the INAC Chiefs have no right of claim because Mi'kmaq Land Claims are based on Our people's "Historical Occupation" of the Land, since time immemorial! - I only ask that you try to understand our Struggle too.
The Bow is Strong ... but, ... it will Bend ...
I have mtDNA test proving the women I stem from walked these lands in excess of 40,000 years and possibly 100,000 + years. - We survived on a "Maritime Diet" & "Pristine Water". I have an exact mtDNA match to Demasduit - Mary March - Beothuk - The Ancient Ones of the Mi'kmaq.
The Whiteman found the perfect man in the perfect land! - I do not need my status card. - I can prove that I am a descendant of the Chiefs that Signed the Pre-Confederation Sacred Covenant Chain of Peace & Friendship Treaties entered into between the Royal Imperial Crown & the Mi'kmaq Nation, many moons ago!
I shall not Bow my head in Shame, ... as I am received by my Ancestors in the Spirit world.
We are a Matriarchal Society and I was born a Mi'kmaq Clan Mother. - I live by fortune telling, moccassin making, beadwork & tipi making. - 4 seasons ago, my Mi'kmaq mtDNA Granddaughter was born.
We rely on the Land for our survival. - We still gather, harvest, hunt, fish & trap the Land; as Bounty provided by the Creator to be used as Sustenance for food, personal consumption & Ceremonial purposes. - While, we are always looking ahead 7 Generations of Mi'kmaq to come; in respect to replenishing Mother Earth.
The Egg from which I was Created stems from the Rivers & Streams of Mi'kma'ki, ... for as sure as, ... the Atlantic Salmon return here to Spawn !
Not only do the Chiefs have a Duty to their People, ... the People have a Duty to the Chiefs, ... that is when they have Lost their way, ... to point them towards the Red Path, ... and advise them to Lead from their Heart. - The Chief is supposed to be the poorest of his/her people, ... as it is their job to see that their People are being provided for. - The Indian Act Chiefs have Lost their way.
This is my Traditional Role as a Mi'kmaq Clan Mother. - These stories need to be shared.
Therefore, as a Clan Mother of the Mi'kmaq Nation, I invoke Native Customary Law and I call upon the support of my people , the Grassroots Mi'kmaq, and ask of you to carry my Wampum Talk to the Indian Act Chiefs in our Determination to Protect & Preserve the Aboriginal Rights of our Mi'kmaq Treaty Heirs, their Heirs and their Heirs forever.
Each & every Mi'kmaq is like a Link, ... but, when we join hands ... we have Forged a Chain ! --- Together, we can make a difference.
Oh, Great Spirit, ... let us greet the dawn of a new day when we, the Mikmaq, all live as brothers & sisters ... and peace & friendship reigns throughout the Mi'kmaq Nation.
I shall make an offering of Tobacco to the Creator in hope that this Smoke Signal from the Sissiboo Mi'kmaq reaches your Camp in Good Spirit !
I have enjoyed the Smoke & Talk - I leave your Camp in Peace.
In Recognition of Treaty & Aboriginal Rights.
Chief Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
Alkonquian Mi'kmaq Clan Mother
Sissiboo, Kespoogwitunak, Mi'kma'ki