Smart Cards in Kahnasatake

Posted by admin on Mar 6th, 2005


MNN. March 6, 2005. Saturday March 5th I spoke at a workshop put on by our non-native supporters in Montreal. They are concerned about the way Smart Cards are being foisted on Indigenous people. If they can do it to us, they can do it to them. “How can we fight it?, they asked. “How can we help you?”

Why don’t more non-native people support our struggle for our rights? How can they help us when they don’t know anything about us? We Indigenous people know more about our rights because we have had to defend ourselves since the newcomers arrived on our shores.

The supporters cannot help us because they don’t even know what their own rights are. If they did, then they’d know what we’re being deprived us.

Is this an oversight? Not likely. The powers that be don’t want the facts that are so clear to us to mess up the crystal clarity of their vision for the future. It’s like a desert mirage or a drug induced hypnosis. The corporate power junkies have the government hooked. Neither wants a bunch of rabble rousers like us asking questions that make people think. They’ve already decided what they want to do.

Can you believe this is happening? How do we get people to wake up and smell the ota? Canadians and Americans don’t know what their rights are? Have they been sold a bill of goods? Were they told before they came here that they have been invited to live on someone else’s land, Indigenous land? That Indigenous people’s rights have been trampled on. By coming here they are doing the same thing? Have they been hynotized to believe that they are
living in the land of free? They have to be brave or they won’t be free.

What are basic human rights? Food, shelter, a right to have a family, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association. Most Americans and Canadians came to North America under a lie. Over 110 million Indigenous people were killed off so they could be told they were coming to live on “empty land”.

The Indigenous people were described as a vanishing race. The colonial governments were actively promoting policies that are now clearly recognized as genocide. They made a concerted effort to destroy Indigenous political, economic, cultural, social and family life. They didn’t bother prosecuting known thieves, murderers and racists when the victims were Indigenous. They still don’t.

Neither Canada nor the United States gives information about the historic impact of this genocide and holocaust to school children, immigrants or anyone else. Canada just sent Ernst Zundel back to Germany for being a holocaust denier. But what are these states going to do about themselves?

Most Canadians and Americans have good hearts. Even though they don’t know much about what happened. What they do know makes them feel terribly uncomfortable. They want to be good people.

They are entranced by the lies they have been told for generations. The trance they are in has left them in a very vulnerable position. If they don’t emerge from their intoxicated trance, they will remain enslaved to a system that is killing the environment and eroding their human rights.

How can they detoxify themselves and escape the vicious cycle of addiction? First of all they have to educate themselves. Read books. Meet people. Make friends. Watch. Listen. Think. Smell.

Once their senses have been raised to the point where they can smell the ota, they will be energized. They will find it no longer difficult that they or their ancestors were induced to come here under false pretences. They will join us in the struggles that we and our ancestor have been
engaged in since the beginning of the colonial era.

They will speak up. They will demand their rights. Like the five arrows that are bundled together, when we stand together we will be able to stop the lies.

We need solidarity from people of all cultural backgrounds. They need to recognize that we, the sovereign traditional people, are the legitimate voice of our people. They have to speak to us as people. not to the band council.

Canada violates the rule of law by claiming the right to disregard our rights. Canada actively makes sure that we are ignored by the international community as the legitimate voice. They set up puppet administrations that
pay lip service to democracy while working to deny the people a real voice. They speak for the colonial government. Not us.

The rule of law is not “might makes right”. No matter how you define law, Canada is in violation. Its policies were developed on the basis of legislation that defined us as “non-persons”. Its habit of ruling according to precedent has entrenched these illegal procedures. Canada breached
Section 109 of its own constitution, the British North America Act 1867, by passing the Indian Act to bring us under Canadian laws.

The majority does not know and never did know what Canadian government officials were up to. Because they didn’t know they could not give informed consent. The violation of Indigenous rights has been a violation of the
rights of all of the people who were subjected to the colonial administration.

The international community rejected colonialism and accepted our belief in human equality. It is now internationally accepted that nothing can be done
unless the people concerned have given their informed consent. The abuses of the past continue because people don’t know their rights. Because of ignorance, a lot of old colonial B.S. is still lying around. The old mules have to be put out to pasture.

What can we do about one issue, like the smart card? For one thing we can stand together. We can all refuse to be registered.

We haven’t been able to fiind out what the implications of these smart cards are. But the situation is already disturbing.

In Akwesasne people are taking their names off the rolls so they would not have to take the smart card. They want to continue using the red card that the sovereign traditional people have used for generations. One managed to
get his name stricken off the list. Then the band council retaliated by passing a resolution that they would refuse to take anyone else off the rolls. A letter was sent to this one resister whose family has been living there for as long as they can remember. He was told he now had no rights to land, housing, water, sewer, education and medical care, and that he had to move. This is a violation of international law which requires the equal treatment of everyone in any jurisdiction.

We need to support this person who has been thrust into the vanguard of the dispute. We need to put our minds together.

Our supporters could bombard their representatives by telling them that we Kanienkehaka do not consent to these cards.

None of us have any means of knowing what information is recorded on these cards. Whether this information is true or false. Or a violation of privacy. Even under the old system, there have been serious errors. I myself found that I had been declared dead. This new system is even more prone to abuse. We don’t know who has access to what information or how it is being interpreted. These cards make us all vulnerable to conviction without access to the due process that is required according to the
International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights.

How smart and who are these human beings who are implementing these cards?

Once again we are the canary in the coal mine. What they do to us they will do to everyone else. We need to remind people how catastrophic and horrible such police state tactics have been for us and will be for them too.

Kahentinetha Horn

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