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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

Land Acknowledgments (A Golden Thread)

The 'Golden Thread' is a metaphor for the decisions, data/analytical processes, technology, and human behavior that link strategy and results. Each bend, twist, and cut of the thread reduces the quality of the gold delivered at the end of the process. 

Land acknowledgments are attempts to recognize a place's traditional indigenous territories in an honest and historically accurate manner. They can be delivered verbally or visually: consider signage, formal statements, brief theatre presentations, or simple spoken-word greetings.

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued its final report in 1996, outlining a 20-year plan to improve the lives of indigenous peoples in Canada, ending in 2016. The report made no bones about the fact that the Canadian government is an illegitimate form of government. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada began work in 2008 and released its final report in 2017.

Inspired by the 94 recommended calls to action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, land acknowledgments are now viewed as a necessary first step toward honoring the original occupants of a place. They also help Canadians recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land, especially since those memories have been bombarded and beliefs were harmfully restricted for so long.

Many organizations now call on employees to incorporate such statements not only at events but in email signatures, videos, syllabuses, and so on. Organizations provide resources to facilitate these efforts, including pronunciation guides and video examples. Some land acknowledgments are constructed in collaboration with the displaced. However, historical and anthropological evidence shows that many contemporary land acknowledgments communicate false ideas about the history of dispossession and the current realities of colonization, both intentionally and unintentionally. These ideas have the potential to harm Indigenous peoples, as well as national and cultural resurgence.

Land acknowledgments that do address the underlying root of the trauma of “colonial domination”, “alien occupation”, “racist régimes”, “dispossession of land” and “deprivation of economic and social rights” might show a basic level of understanding, but the next level is a true unqualified apology. There is a possibility that an even greater trauma or serious issue can arise from getting it wrong today.  What if these land acknowledgments do more harm than good? What if certain people are purposefully excluded? So far we are at the beginning of this self-regulated moral experiment, so time will tell.

Defamation is an area of law that provides a civil remedy when someone's words end up causing harm to your reputation or your livelihood. Libel is a written or published defamatory statement, while slander is defamation that is spoken by the defendant.

If defamation is repeated without privilege and without permission, the person who repeated the statement and caused the harm is liable.

To prove defamation, a plaintiff must show four things: 

  1. a false statement purporting to be fact, without justification, privilege, or other defense; 
  2. publication or communication of that statement to a third person; and
  3. fault amounting to at least negligence; and 
  4. damages or serious financial loss

Generally, a harmful statement will not amount to libel or slander, if one of the following defences applies:

  1. Made only to the person it is about; and
  2. True statements; and
  3. Absolute privilege applies to statements made in court or in parliament; and
  4. Qualified privilege protects statements made non-maliciously and for well-meaning reasons; and
  5. Fair comment; and
  6. Responsible communication of matters of public interest.

Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim. Keep in mind that the truth may be difficult and expensive to prove. Can my opinion be defamatory? No — but merely labeling a statement as your "opinion" does not make it so. Courts look at whether a reasonable reader or listener could understand the statement as asserting a statement of verifiable fact. (A verifiable fact is one capable of being proven true or false.) Generally, anyone who repeats someone else's statements is just as responsible for their defamatory content as the original speaker—if they knew, or had reason to know, of the defamation.

Truth and Reconciliation in land acknowledgments can be a form of apology or confession, without accepting civil or criminal responsibility, in the case of the Mohawk Nation of Grand River and the Haldimand Tract lands, the almost total erasure of the Mohawk from the Land Acknowledgments renders any desired meaning (vox et praeterea nihil) void and without substance. 

In the catholic canon, confession, also called reconciliation or penance, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the acknowledgment of sinfulness in public or private, is regarded as necessary to obtain divine forgiveness. Not only is the process of reconciliation not well understood by non-Catholic people, but it seems part of a religious exercise, yet there are many who feel these reconciliatory acknowledgments as confession and proof of criminal guilt. A private confession or apology to a priest is different from a formal public apology to people you may have harmed, either directly or indirectly.

The difference between a confession and an apology is that confession is the open admittance of having done something while an apology is an expression of remorse or regret for having said or done something that harmed another.

There is a very long history of giving legal importance to apologies in the common law legal system. The act of criminal offenders apologizing to victims is often a significant factor in a judge’s fashioning of an appropriate sentence, as it reflects an acceptance of responsibility as well as serves the objective of reintegration into society through public shaming. Civil lawsuits also pay attention to apologies in various circumstances. The law of defamation has always considered the presence of a pre-trial apology as affecting the extent of injury, and therefore the quantum of damages that may be awarded. 

Achieving an apology from someone is often one of the remedies that a plaintiff may request. More recently, the inclusion of an apology has been viewed as a vital element in resolving interpersonal disputes through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in the civil context as well as in conjunction with circular sentencing in the criminal sphere. On the other hand, the common law-based legal system can also impose unattractive consequences upon the apologizer. An apology that includes an acceptance of being the cause of injuries to others can be regarded as an acknowledgment of legal liability, whether as a confession to a crime or what can constitute a tort. Many insurance contracts contain clauses that void coverage whenever the insured admits liability. 

Similarly, many professional associations will regard issuing an apology for wrongdoing as grounds for investigation and potential discipline. Courts are normally free to consider the terms of any apologies rendered and their legal ramifications. Apology and Intent is a mental attitude with which an individual acts, and therefore it cannot ordinarily be directly proved but must be inferred from surrounding facts and circumstances. ... In Tort Law, intent plays a key role in determining the civil liability of persons who commit harm.

Land acknowledgments remind Canadians that we have been taught and perpetuate deadly untruths. Canada's long-standing official history and stories have been told as if the place was an empty land that John Cabot “discovered” and pioneers populated.

Land acknowledgments are crucial in sustaining awareness and remembrance, however, they require action and participation in order to fulfill a purpose. Each holds responsibility for participating in this process. By taking time to learn about the truths and histories, through self-reflection and building relationships with Indigenous communities.

Intentional or inadvertent historical negationism can implant false memories (neurolinguistics programming or telepathy) and can be used as a form of psychological warfare and mental abuse, in the Elements of Crimes article 6(b), mental abuse used to rewrite relationships to biohistory or cultural memories in whole or in part destroys the fabric of a people and their culture is a form of genocide. The study focused on researching the arbitrary interchange and conflation of the Grand River Mohawk with the Six Nations as a recognizable pattern of erasure and arbitrary denial of the Grand River Mohawks' right to exist. Arbitrarily interchanging nationalities creates systematic bias since the two measures estimate different quantities, and arbitrarily interchanging the literal with the symbolic destroys all certainty of interpretation.

Because of the rapid development of land acknowledgments and arbitrary interchanging of national identities, the conditioning of a systematic prejudice is a clear possibility. The lack of consultation might be a factor, but it has been observed in this study that not only are the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory consulted to the exclusion of the proper Mohawk posterity, some draft policies on land acknowledgment incorporate verifiable facts, as well as references to Mohawks in the correct historical context. However, In the final policy, the term "Mohawk" is changed to "Six Nations" in all cases.

A recent land acknowledgment that failed to mention Indigenous communities shows how they can become tools of "erasure," says an Anishinaabe writer and educator. "A lot of land acknowledgments are really about validating Canadian presence or settler presence, and … ironically in some ways obscuring Indigenous power and politics," said Hayden King, executive director of The Yellowhead Institute at Ryerson University. Land acknowledgment statements are also becoming a way to control legitimate debate and compel speech. When giving a talk at another university, Widdowson was told that, as a guest on Indigenous land, she could only say things their ‘hosts’ agreed with.

Whether someone agrees or disagrees with the statements or not, getting it right can have profound implications for reemerging nations, however, getting it wrong can have near-fatal consequences for the prospects of reemerging nations. The universal declaration on human rights, article 15 states in part that “Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality...” In his article “Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment,” published a year ago in The New Yorker, journalist Stephen Marche remarks that the whole phenomenon of land acknowledgment has become “a kind of accidental pledge of allegiance for Canada.”

This type of land recognition is integrally linked to people and national identity. The Land Acknowledgements have too often been limited by insular conceptions of national identity, culture, and history, which serve to erase or marginalize the voices and actual experiences of the Indigenous people who were forcefully dispossessed of their land and alienated from their inherent wealth to deprivation liberty by the premature assumption of jurisdiction and Canadian authorities misapplication Canadian law. In this study, every land acknowledgment contains the same inaccurate and unverifiable statements, the collection shows that on many social fronts the Mohawk are arbitrarily deprived of national identity, national influence (socio-economically), legal distinction, and prominence of offensive and defensive military alliance with the British Crown during the American Revolution. 

Grand Back, a division of Mohawk University, conducted this study to support the restoration of the Haldimand Tract and to promote and protect Mohawk's national interests by publishing information based on qualitative research. The original search yielded forty (40) Haldimand Tract Land Acknowledgements. This research now includes 121. The word "promised" appears in 51 of the 121, and one of them mentions the Mohawk Nation. This equates to an overall accuracy rate of 0.83 percent. The accuracy rate drops to zero percent when the Royal Chapel of the Mohawks is excluded. We examined a variety of social, private, and public sectors in this study, including chapels, churches, universities, municipalities, school boards, public schools, hospitals, public offices, public spaces, businesses, individuals, and federal and provincial governments. The common thread: Six Nations Elected Council land claims overview compiled by Phil Monture, entitled, GLOBAL SOLUTIONS.

Our initial outreach involved emails and phone calls when an email could not be located. Our base question was, "Do you have an official land acknowledgment?" If we received a reply, a second question was asked, "How was the acknowledgment developed?" Upon completion of this study, we intend to contact each of the authors to inquire if they will consider verifying their statements and/or correcting them accordingly. Our robust web search focus keywords are "land acknowledgments," "territorial acknowledgments," "Haldimand proclamation," and "Haldimand tract." Proposed questions: Who instigated the process? Do you have an agenda with draft packages of the editing process? Was the initiative supplied with any grants, and if so, by whom? Can the facts be verified?

Land Acknowledgements (Golden Thread)

In this study every land acknowledgment has the same inaccurate and non-verifiable statements, the collection shows that on many social fronts the Mohawk are arbitrarily deprived of nationality, national influences (diplomatically and economically), legal distinction, and offensive and defensive military prominence as allies of the British Crown during the American Revolution. Download (PDF)

Grand River Mohawks, Legal Posterity

The Pledge of 1779 was the original intention, only three Mohawk villages were named, and the Six Nations were not included in this document, which leaves the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 that established the Haldimand Tract. 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. Download (PDF) • • Restore the Haldimand Tract!
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