Mrs. Universe is First Nations woman

Mrs Universe, Ashley Burnham lives at Six Nations with her husband.
Mrs Universe, Ashley Burnham lives at Six Nations with her husband.

TORONTO - A much hearalded political accord signed Monday between the Ontario government and Chiefs of Ontario (COO) may actually have been a "step backwards" for indigenous rights, says a Mohawk lawyer.

"The current format represents a significant step back in terms of advancing the inherent rights and interests of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island," says Aaron Detlor, Mohawk lawyer.

The Ontario government signed a political accord Monday with COO that Premier Kathleen Wynne said will guide relations between First Nations and Ontario.

But, while the accord agrees First Nations have an inherent right to self government, it adds only if Ontario agrees.

A Cree woman from Alberta who married into Six Nations has won the title of Mrs. Universe 2015.

Ashley Burnham, maiden name Callingbull, won the prestigious title in Minsk, Belarus on Saturday and has been a worldwide trending topic on social media ever since.

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NDP leader Mulcar Brantford visit silent on First Nation issues

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair avoided First Nations issues in his visit to Brantford last week. (Photo by Bob Mitchell)
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair avoided First Nations issues in his visit to Brantford last week. (Photo by Bob Mitchell)

BRANTFORD, Ont. - Cheered by hundreds of supporters, many waving placard, NDP leader Tom Mulcar promised Thursday night that Canadians will live in a much different- and better country if he becomes Prime Minister.

He was the first major party leader to visit Brantford in the run-up to the Oct. 19 federal election and considering the proximity of Six Nations, it was surprising he never seized the opportunity to say a single word about Native Canadian issues or what an NDP government would do for Canada’s indigenous people.

Instead, he told about 600 people outside the Brantford Civic Centre that an NDP government would help local residents by bringing hi-tech and manufacturing jobs back to the city and providing quality affordable day care for families.

He would also bring in a $15/hr minimum wage for all federal employees and urged the provinces to do the same and cut tax breaks for CEOs on stock options and use the money to reduce child poverty.

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Haudenosaunee say goodbye to Mohawk chief

The late Mohawk Chief Joe Sky during the visit to the HCCC by environmentalist David Suzuki (Photo by Jim C Powless)
The late Mohawk Chief Joe Sky
(Photo by Jim C Powless)

Haudenosaunee from across Haudenosaunee territories laid to rest Mohawk Royanni Joseph Roger Sky, “Haiawatha” Tuesday.

Chief Sky passed away at the Brantford General Hospital August 2015 at the age of 75.

He is survived by his companion Loretta, and children, Twyla Jacobs (Cory) and Sunny Sky (Dana), and grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.


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Federal Election 2015: What the parties are promising

All three major national parties include money for First Nations education among their commitments or campaign promises on Aboriginal issues.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

This file is bound to be a difficult one for any incumbent government, but the relationship between the Conservative government of Stephen Harper and Aboriginal peoples in Canada has been especially tense. The Conservative campaign has not yet released its Aboriginal platform, but the 2015 federal budget included $200 million over five years to improve First Nations; $215 million over five years to provide skills and development training for Aboriginal peoples; and $34 million over five years to help the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency support consultations with Indigenous peoples over natural resources projects. The Conservatives had earlier committed $500 million over seven years to on-reserve school infrastructure.

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Emu day at Ohsweken Speedway

Ohsweken Speedway owner Glen Styres and staff tried to catch the giant emu but it escaped only to be put down later by police. (Photos courtesty Glenn Styres)
Ohsweken Speedway owner Glen Styres and staff tried to catch the giant emu but it escaped only to be put down later by police. (Photos courtesty Glenn Styres)

Six Nations Police euthanized an emu on the territory last week after several reports of sightings and attempts to capture the rare bird failed.

The huge bird was spotted at the Ohsweken Speedway grounds last Thursday afternoon. Owner Glen Styres and his staff were attempting to corral the wandering bird using ATVs and a lasso but it took off across Fifth Line toward the river.

The chase for the emu began Thursday (Aug. 27) at 11:35 a.m. when Six Nations Police were alerted that the five foot tall bird was flocking around Chiefswood Road.

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This Week's Local News Headlines

Local News

  • Wynne smokes peace pipe ... Read more
  • Public Works roof replacement to cost $53,000 ... Read more
  • Grassy Narrows declares state of emergency over drinking water ... Read more
  • Recognizing Akwesasne Founder’s Cup win ... Read more
  • Band Council hosting firefighter’s gala ... Read more
  • Aboriginal Health Centre funding for healthy living ... Read more
  • ‘Shoving them anywhere’; Manitoba seizes a newborn a day ... Read more
  • Courts deny First Nations’ Site C stop work order ... Read more
  • Labour Day, Special Section ... Read more
  • Don't Drink & Drive, Special Section ... Read more

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Sports News

This Week's Sports Headlines

Six Nations Midget Rep

  • Arrows back to back Minto champs! ... Read more
  • Knighthawks complete Jr. NLL Tournament sweep ... Read more
  • Chiefs eliminated in playoff heartbreaker vs. Peterborough ... Read more
  • Rivermen find themselves .500 in early Presidents Cup competition ... Read more
  • Arrows celebrate with fans second straight Minto Cup ... Read more
  • Arrow players have strong praise for their loyal fans ... Read more
  • Celebrating a successful Six Nations Minor lacrosse season ... Read more
  • Six Nations successful at All Ontario Native Fastball Tournament ... Read more

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Middy in the City
Magazines Canada


Confederacy system needs fixing, woman says she is on “witchhunt”

Mohawk Confederacy supporter Kelly McNaughton, Onondaga Deer Clan Mother Jayne Burning-Field, Onondaga Deer Clan mother Gloria Thomas and Onondaga clanmother Mary Sandy Oneida Bear. (Photo by Donna Duric)
Mohawk Confederacy supporter Kelly McNaughton, Onondaga Deer Clan Mother Jayne Burning-Field, Onondaga Deer Clan mother Gloria Thomas and Onondaga clanmother Mary Sandy Oneida Bear. (Photo by Donna Duric)

One woman claimed she was on a “witchhunt.”

Another wanted to know where the $800 million in equity the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) raised to buy into a solar farm went.

And a third demanded the HDI be shut down until the families could fix their clans.

Instead, an Onondaga clan mother told the at times testy public meeting called by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) “it’s not up to the HDI to fix our council system.”

District Five By-Election acclamation expected, one nominee

Six Nations has a new councillor-elect for District 5 but she is a familiar face.

Former Six Nations Band Council Human Resources Director Hazel Johnson was the only contender for the District Five By-Election Saturday.

With nominations now closed, she is expected to be acclaimed as the new councillor for that district at the elected scheduled for September 26, says Dorothy Russell-Patterson, Chief Electorial Officer.

Johnson was the only person nominated at an open nomination session held at Emily C. General School on Saturday.

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Back to school: safety and funding

Now that little ones on the territory are headed back to school, police are reminding community members once again to be vigilant when driving on the roads.

Students returned to school on Monday for another year of playing and learning.

Six Nations Police would like to remind all motorists to drive defensively and courteously.

“Obey speed limits and school zone speed limits in and around the community schools and village areas. Watch carefully for enthusiastic children who may not be watching themselves. Avoid speeding in residential neighbourhoods and obey the laws governing school buses.”

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Rally the First Nations Vote .... Silence is Consent

LONDON,ONT-Calling the coming federal vote “strategic weaponry” the Council of Canadians, London Chapter, held a rally the First Nations vote event at the N`Amerind Friendship Centre on Aug 24th .

Among the panel of 11 speakers, Grand Chief of the Union of Ontario INdians, Patrick Madahbee told the rally, “The problem is that we have had such a controlling government. There are 51 ridings with combined populations of on-reserve, off-reserve members, whose vote can make a significant impact”

He told the rally “This (the vote) is strategic weaponry, there is only 30% of the Canadian population who make up the voting public. This is a crucial time, and we can make a difference!

“The government counts on the apathy of people who don’t vote and the prime minister is counting on the fact that First Nations members don’t get out and vote. It is time to use this strategic weaponry!”

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Six Nations memorial marked in celebration in Niagara

Tim Johnson (left) Six Nations Elected Chief Ava Hill (right) at the unveiling of the site.
Tim Johnson (left) Six Nations Elected Chief Ava Hill (right) at the unveiling of the site.

NIAGARA – A native memorial to honour the contributions made by the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Native Allies during the War of 1812 is one step closer to reality.

As part of a celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the historic International Council of Peace and Reconciliation, the Town’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Working Group held a ceremonial groundbreaking to launch the construction of this unique public art installation, known as “Landscape of Nations,” Tuesday.

Native representatives from across Ontario and upstate New York were on hand for the event, including Six Nations Elected Chief Ava Hill; Jamie Jacobs (Tonawanda Seneca), Cultural & Historical Educator at the Rochester Museum; and lawyer and historian Paul Williams.

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Fatal vehicle collision on the territory takes life of teenager

Six Nations Fire fighters place one of the three victims, a 49 year old female from Six Nations, on the air ambulance after a two car collision Monday night. (Submitted photo Six Nations Fire Department)
Missy Elliott and James Powell talk to Enbridge Aboriginal Relations Manager Sonia Fazari.

An 18-year-old Six Nations woman was killed in a multi-vehicle collision at the intersection of First Line Road and Tuscarora Road Monday evening on the border of the Six Nations territory and New Credit Reserve.

Police are not releasing the name of the deceased victim at this time. Three other victims had to be transported to a trauma unit via air ambulance.

Around 5:48 p.m. on Aug. 31, emergency crews were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision involving multiple victims, with one victim possibly having vital signs absent and another possibly trapped in their vehicle.

Six Nations Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to extricate the trapped victim and air-lifted another patient to a trauma centre.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene within minutes of receiving the call.

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Lynda Powless, Editor

Time to make peace

One the most perplexing questions facing leadership at Six Nations, elected or traditional, has always been how do you reach the community.

How do you get community members to attend meetings and how do you get them interested in issues that very much involve them.

And it doesn’t matter which side of the political stripe you sit on the problem of non-participation exists.

The exception of course is for those who will not listen. A prime example of that exploded at the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs’ Council’s development department’s public meeting last week.

The Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), (by the way please change that name!) held a meeting planning to answer questions on developments and those that had been hurled at them in recent months that may be at the bottom of the shenanigans being orchestrated at HCCC meetings by a member of the Onondaga Beaver Clan who just doesn’t appear interested in listening to what chiefs have to say.

That same perplexing question couldn’t help but hang in the air at the HDI’s meeting last week.

About 70 people turned out, not a bad turnout considering the Arrows were playing.

But for most of those present you may as well have gone to the game.

A large section of the crowd wanted to hear what the HDI had to say. They had real questions about the development’s negotiations, processes and plans.

And the HDI had prepared. They came equipped with a power point and promised print outs.

But the evening was eaten up by a couple of people who asked questions but weren’t interested in the answers.

From the perplexing quizzical question from Cheyenne Williams about where the $800 million in equity raised for a failed partnership went to. Believing it was hiding in someone’s back pocket no doubt, but legal adviser Aaron Detlor took the time to explain what equity was only to be met with scorn for answering.

There was the explosive behaviour of a woman who confronted a community elder with threats and a man from Oneida who oddly threw accusations at chiefs and clanmothers for putting two Oneida chiefs in place.

And there were questions on condoling chiefs, why weren’t the chiefs and clanmothers being told about what the HDI was doing only to have the answer revealled from a courageous clan mother present, who told the crowd it was simply because they don’t go to the meetings, even though they are invited. She apologized and promised to do better but she isn’t alone. Invites are sent out to all the Chiefs and clanmothers but only a handful show up for meetings Hazel Hill told the crowd. The question is why?

Why aren’t the people entrusted with the future of the people showing up to learn about the very issues they have a department established to whittle through for them.

Why do they show up at HCCC meetings claiming they know nothing about the projects or what HDI is doing and say it almost proudly, instead of embarrassingly admitting they don’t know because they don’t go.

The majority of questions or concerns raised revolved around council structure, make up and oddly enough those who think the chiefs aren’t mentally capable of making decisions. But the questions had nothing to do with the HDI .

What has been going on for the past few months is put simply a witch-hunt.

And there was at least one woman at the meeting who admitted she is on a witch-hunt to get rid of legal adviser Aaron Detlor who has become a thorn in the side to the elected council, its negotiating team, Ontario and even the feds.


For representing the chiefs and the Confederacy that he too, as a Mohawk belongs to and has an inherent obligation to fight for as we all do.

The HDI can’t condole a chief or raise a clanmother and it can’t make decisions for those chiefs.

To blame “staff” for personal family issues is a red herring being dragged in front of the real problem.

Families need to get organized with their clans.

In this day and age a government not politically strong is doomed to history.

It’s time for childish antics to stop and the Haudenosaunee to step up... it’s time to build.


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