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We are publishing our press release dated July 11, 2022 that provides detailed information about our plans and our media platform, including our Journal. our main focus has always been to restore the Haldimand Tract to its rightful owners. We have already begun this process and we are now ready to announce it. Read Press Release

Which them (Canojaharie, Tikondarago, and Aughugo) and their posterity are to enjoy forever

An article from 2007 titled "$4.4 Trillion, That's what a group claiming to be the heirs of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant say they want from the Six Nations for stealing their land." This title shook the Six Nations community. Not long after this article was published, Six Nations elected councilor Helen Miller penned a letter in the local newspaper claiming that this made Six Nations a laughing stock, In the letter, Hellen asks if certain people are "Real Mohawks(Maternal Line)" or are they "INAC MOHAWKS(Paternal Line)". Hellen further asks "Was the land governed under the Haldimand Treaty not given to the Mohawks and Others?", This seems to be the very Root of the conflation, and ambiguous representation we see today. 

The Haldimand Pledge of 1779 was given by Frederick Haldimand, the Governor of Quebec, to the Loyalist Mohawks who had supported the British during the American Revolution. In 1784, the Mohawk people were granted land six miles on each side of the Grand River from its source to its mouth. The pledge promised to restore them land in Upper Canada, near present-day Brantford, Ontario. This land is now known as the Haldimand Tract. On December 24, 1791, Canada confirmed the haldimand proclamation to uphold the honor of the Crown and the faith of the canadian government was pledged to the Mohawks of Grand River and Bay of Quinte. 

The Haldimand Pledge of 1779 names three villages namely, Canojaharie, Tikondarago, and Aughugo as the people who remained attached to the British Crown, and the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 states “to them and their posterity to enjoy forever”. These are the descendants of the three villages. The proclamation also recognized the right of the Mohawk people to self-governance and guaranteed them the same state they were in before the wars broke out. (Status Quo Ante Bellum)

The confusion of who is named with any legal certainty has been an underlooked fact for decades, The Pledge only named the three villages, and the proclamation states “Mohawk Nation and such others of the Five Nations Indians." This is why looking at the historical documents, legal posterity and proof of lineage is critical to understanding the land claims.

The Pledge of 1779 is the original ratified Intention or promise, and the proclamation of 1784 was the transactional instrument that concluded this treaty, This transactional instrument does include the Five Nations, however, because they are noted as “such others” of the Five Nations they are named as third-party to the transaction. 

To further answer Helen's Question, The term “Such Other” or Stranger refers to a person who is not a party to a particular transaction. In Kirk v. Morris, 40 Ala. 225 (Ala. 1866), it was observed that the word “stranger” was substituted for the words “or some other person.” However, both were intended to mean the same thing, namely, a person not a party to the suit, who acts for the benefit of the defendant in attachment.

In 2023 Six Nations intends on moving forward with their land claims lawsuit, however, because they are not legally named in these documents they may have trouble finding evidence to back up their case.

Both the Mohawk and the Six Nations must also be aware of the potential for pushback from the Canadian government. The government could very easily claim that the Six Nations are trying to upset the status quo and destabilize the region. For example, the 1994 lands claims commission instigated by former Brantford mayor Bob Taylor concluded that the land used by the city was valued at over $250 Billion and publically stated that paying back any amount would bankrupt the city and possibly all of Canada.

In order to prove their legal case, the Six Nations people will need to find some sort of documentation that includes the Six Nations in the original ratified pledge and transaction. This could be in the form of a letter, map, or another type of record that includes the Five Nations Indians. Without this type of proof, it will be very difficult for the Six Nations to make their case and win back the land.

In law, you must show standing to enforce a right and the Six Nations do not have standing without documentation or some other type of verifiable legal claim. Since they are not named in the documents it would be impossible for Six Nations to verify its claims.

However, if they supported the Mohawk legal posterity they might have a chance to get the land back rightfully through the Haldimand Proclamation. Since only a very limited number of Mohawks are qualified under the terms of the Pledge and Proclamation, it is doubtful if the Six Nations will be able to use this route to get their land back.

So the Mohawk Legal Posterity would have to form a collective and develop a way to identify proper standing and negotiate with the Canadian Government on their own behalf. That is the descendants of the Three Mohawk Villages as named in the Pledge of 1779. “Which them (Canojaharie, Tikondarago, and Aughugo) and their posterity are to enjoy forever.”

To learn more about mohawk legal posterity check out our essay on Grand River Mohawks, Legal Posterity.


By Benjamin Doolittle UE · July 6, 2022 · Comments: 0 · RSS · Permalink

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