Iroquois Nations hold summit to talk about who, and who shouldn’t belong

A number of Iroquois Nations are holding a summit in Akwesasne to discuss who should and should not be considered part of the Iroquois community.

APTN News
A number of Iroquois Nations are holding a summit in Akwesasne to discuss who should and should not be considered part of the Iroquois community.

At the root of the issue is Canada’s legislation that will allow more people to become Status Indians.

Producer Nouvelles Nationales d'APTN - Montreal

Born and raised in Montreal, Tom cut his teeth working in community television in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory before joining APTN as a cameraman/editor in 2008. In 2015 he was promoted to Video Journalist. Since 2019 Tom has been a producer for the French weekly newscast Nouvelles Nationales d’APTN.


88 thoughts on “Iroquois Nations hold summit to talk about who, and who shouldn’t belong

  1. ROFL!!!! All this fighting for some left over scraps the US government throws at our communities. What a sad, sad, sad state of things.

  2. ROFL!!!! All this fighting for some left over scraps the US government throws at our communities. What a sad, sad, sad state of things.

  3. Ever since i was a young girl my FULL blood native grandmother always told me you stay with your kind, so to speak, you do not go with white, black, Asian or any other colour of race..you keep that blood line going.. It ALWAYS fell on the mothers side of things in our way, the traditional way! Women knew way back then and they know now.. You Marry Off You Move Off! Plain n simple.. That should go with the men as well but it doesn’t and that’s sad.. But hard as it sounds I have told my children the same thing n that goes for my boys, you get with a non native n have kids that child will not have status and have no Indian name nor attend longhouse.. They make that choice they live with it afterwards because they were told not once but a thousand times! Plain n simple.. This is what I believe what my elders told me n I will stand by it til I die!

  4. Ever since i was a young girl my FULL blood native grandmother always told me you stay with your kind, so to speak, you do not go with white, black, Asian or any other colour of race..you keep that blood line going.. It ALWAYS fell on the mothers side of things in our way, the traditional way! Women knew way back then and they know now.. You Marry Off You Move Off! Plain n simple.. That should go with the men as well but it doesn’t and that’s sad.. But hard as it sounds I have told my children the same thing n that goes for my boys, you get with a non native n have kids that child will not have status and have no Indian name nor attend longhouse.. They make that choice they live with it afterwards because they were told not once but a thousand times! Plain n simple.. This is what I believe what my elders told me n I will stand by it til I die!

  5. I wish everyone would shut up. Regardless of who left, the fact is they left. They made their choice and the sad part is it affected you, so if you want to complain about it, go complain to the one that deserves it, your mother and grandmother. No one made them leave. I left, and I’m living in Saranac, NY. Paying my taxes like everyone else. I know who I am and where I CAME from. I’m so sick of people complaining. Wanting what’s on both sides of the fence. Put your big kid pants on and suck it up.

  6. I wish everyone would shut up. Regardless of who left, the fact is they left. They made their choice and the sad part is it affected you, so if you want to complain about it, go complain to the one that deserves it, your mother and grandmother. No one made them leave. I left, and I’m living in Saranac, NY. Paying my taxes like everyone else. I know who I am and where I CAME from. I’m so sick of people complaining. Wanting what’s on both sides of the fence. Put your big kid pants on and suck it up.

  7. Those who have status don’t want to share $$$ with those who are full blood . They turned there back on there brothers and sisters for greed . They are no better than the colonials who planned this separation , shame on you .

    1. those who have status…. many of them never get any benefits, are denied access to any of those ‘funds’, etc… it goes deeper than status cards and treaties that are never honored for most people

  8. Those who have status don’t want to share $$$ with those who are full blood . They turned there back on there brothers and sisters for greed . They are no better than the colonials who planned this separation , shame on you .

    1. those who have status…. many of them never get any benefits, are denied access to any of those ‘funds’, etc… it goes deeper than status cards and treaties that are never honored for most people

  9. Prior to colonialization, Haudenosaunee ancestral culture, traditions and beliefs were amongst the most inclusive and tolerant of First Nations in Canada. Not only did the Haudenosaunee respected all their ancestors, children and all their relatives and claimed them exclusively as their own, they even carried out mourning wars to capture people from other nations, both indigenous and non-indigenous alike, to be adopted, given a clan according to well established practices and to assimilate them within Haudenosaunee families, communities and confederate nations to become strong, proud and committed Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga or Tuscarora citizens.

    Today, thanks to their indoctrination of settler colonialism and Christian values, the Haudenosaunee have morphed into a very exclusive and intolerant people. Not only will they no longer adopt and assimilate Non-Haudenosaunee peoples within their families and communities to increase their numbers as they once did but will even forsake and expel their very own children, against their will, to be assimilated and extinguished into settler society at the long term expense of the Haudenosaunee people. Am I missing something here?

      1. ” Niawen’kó:wa – thank you very much ” for reminding me Susannah …. Rest assured that I meant no disrespect to you, the Seneca Nation and its people and offer my sincere apologies.

    1. Well said. Thank you. There needs to be some consideriation for how some had to leave their reserves and marry non-indigenous partners. Childhood sexual abuse by a priest on reserve in my Grandmother’s case. Generations later, grandchildren are for the first time discovering their roots and want to feel belonging in their long lost clans. The traditional spirit of inclusiveness would be greatly appreciated.

    2. You are describing colonized government agents and their English views of the world… a long history of ‘fork tongue’ saying one thing that is twisted to mean pretty much anything convenient that can cause harm and disrespect to Onkwehonwe. You are not describing Haudenosaunee…. the English society is working very hard to twist minds into thinking race, blood purity, divide/conquer, force incestual marriages on the few Onkwehonwe…. is ‘Haudenosaunee’ ways, when what you describe in English language – is actually a foreign practice described in great deal in the old book ‘The Art of War’.

  10. One First Nation parent should be the basis as the Inuit do . They don’t have this problem . The classification of the Indian act and subcategory when women lost their status created the inequalities and inequities . Some great First Nations chiefs and tribal leaders had a non native parent . Go back and research the history yet they were considered great leaders strong leaders . Mary. Hannaburg

  11. I AGREE with their Tribe’s move, don’t have a Clan nor a Mother from Original Clan, you are NOT our True Peoples, deal with fact! Besides, they, the mixed, show a great appetite for evil things/ways, when they mix, omfg.. extremely dangerous, some are, i been observing them for 30 + years… they fall to evil ways faster then anyone of our Clan’s peoples ever do! They’re making a massive mess out East Coast, beware, beware! Worse, they even convince them selves they can change, negotiate Treaties etc!

  12. Prior to colonialization, Haudenosaunee ancestral culture, traditions and beliefs were amongst the most inclusive and tolerant of First Nations in Canada. Not only did the Haudenosaunee respected all their ancestors, children and all their relatives and claimed them exclusively as their own, they even carried out mourning wars to capture people from other nations, both indigenous and non-indigenous alike, to be adopted, given a clan according to well established practices and to assimilate them within Haudenosaunee families, communities and confederate nations to become strong, proud and committed Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga or Tuscarora citizens.

    Today, thanks to their indoctrination of settler colonialism and Christian values, the Haudenosaunee have morphed into a very exclusive and intolerant people. Not only will they no longer adopt and assimilate Non-Haudenosaunee peoples within their families and communities to increase their numbers as they once did but will even forsake and expel their very own children, against their will, to be assimilated and extinguished into settler society at the long term expense of the Haudenosaunee people. Am I missing something here?

      1. ” Niawen’kó:wa – thank you very much ” for reminding me Susannah …. Rest assured that I meant no disrespect to you, the Seneca Nation and its people and offer my sincere apologies.

    1. Well said. Thank you. There needs to be some consideriation for how some had to leave their reserves and marry non-indigenous partners. Childhood sexual abuse by a priest on reserve in my Grandmother’s case. Generations later, grandchildren are for the first time discovering their roots and want to feel belonging in their long lost clans. The traditional spirit of inclusiveness would be greatly appreciated.

    2. You are describing colonized government agents and their English views of the world… a long history of ‘fork tongue’ saying one thing that is twisted to mean pretty much anything convenient that can cause harm and disrespect to Onkwehonwe. You are not describing Haudenosaunee…. the English society is working very hard to twist minds into thinking race, blood purity, divide/conquer, force incestual marriages on the few Onkwehonwe…. is ‘Haudenosaunee’ ways, when what you describe in English language – is actually a foreign practice described in great deal in the old book ‘The Art of War’.

  13. So who is the boss saying different breeds of indigenous people are better or should receive more than the others…are we not all indigenous together and should love and respect each other and help each other…and not let great become between us….??

  14. One First Nation parent should be the basis as the Inuit do . They don’t have this problem . The classification of the Indian act and subcategory when women lost their status created the inequalities and inequities . Some great First Nations chiefs and tribal leaders had a non native parent . Go back and research the history yet they were considered great leaders strong leaders . Mary. Hannaburg

  15. I AGREE with their Tribe’s move, don’t have a Clan nor a Mother from Original Clan, you are NOT our True Peoples, deal with fact! Besides, they, the mixed, show a great appetite for evil things/ways, when they mix, omfg.. extremely dangerous, some are, i been observing them for 30 + years… they fall to evil ways faster then anyone of our Clan’s peoples ever do! They’re making a massive mess out East Coast, beware, beware! Worse, they even convince them selves they can change, negotiate Treaties etc!

  16. So who is the boss saying different breeds of indigenous people are better or should receive more than the others…are we not all indigenous together and should love and respect each other and help each other…and not let great become between us….??

  17. Stop going by what the government says but what does it say in the Great Law… From the beginning how was it done for Haudenosaunee…. I am full Haudenosaunee and I won’t fight to be a number but I will stand for our great law and to honour the 2 row wampum fight to be equal with the governemnef as we should be in every decision equally with the governemne on how Canada is governed that should be the real issue… Don’t the Great Law have in place already who is who… Let’s fight for our Haudenosaunee voices to be equal don’t ever forget who we are. We are not a number. We are so much more than!

    1. Hi Janet, just out of curiosity, do you have a clan? Because that’s where I keep getting confused about the great law, I was told you follow your mom’s clan (I’m turtle) but the great law accepts individuals in without a clan through adoption. If that’s in the great law, then why would you need a clan then. I’ve always been so confused about that, when half the court cases being won, don’t factor that in. I’m always trying to educate myself on the great law.

  18. Kinda hard to marry within the reservation when your practically related to almost everyone on it

    1. There are many other nations to check out for a partner.. our community most of the ppl are mixing with crees.. they first started with non- native and we have seen the repercussions of that in the courts. I truly believe that we have to keep the blood line thick if we do not the government will win against us and remove everything our ancestors fought for us to have .

      1. Mohawk people are regularly denied access because one of their parents is a Mohawk from another community… or one grandparent was from a different Iroquois tribe… so the issue goes much deeper than ‘ incestual relations vs. non-incestual’ relations too…

  19. Stop going by what the government says but what does it say in the Great Law… From the beginning how was it done for Haudenosaunee…. I am full Haudenosaunee and I won’t fight to be a number but I will stand for our great law and to honour the 2 row wampum fight to be equal with the governemnef as we should be in every decision equally with the governemne on how Canada is governed that should be the real issue… Don’t the Great Law have in place already who is who… Let’s fight for our Haudenosaunee voices to be equal don’t ever forget who we are. We are not a number. We are so much more than!

    1. Hi Janet, just out of curiosity, do you have a clan? Because that’s where I keep getting confused about the great law, I was told you follow your mom’s clan (I’m turtle) but the great law accepts individuals in without a clan through adoption. If that’s in the great law, then why would you need a clan then. I’ve always been so confused about that, when half the court cases being won, don’t factor that in. I’m always trying to educate myself on the great law.

    1. There are many other nations to check out for a partner.. our community most of the ppl are mixing with crees.. they first started with non- native and we have seen the repercussions of that in the courts. I truly believe that we have to keep the blood line thick if we do not the government will win against us and remove everything our ancestors fought for us to have .

      1. Mohawk people are regularly denied access because one of their parents is a Mohawk from another community… or one grandparent was from a different Iroquois tribe… so the issue goes much deeper than ‘ incestual relations vs. non-incestual’ relations too…

  20. Smh…kinda sad…I went through issues myself cause my grandpa was in prison his whole life my mom wasn’t able to get the paper work to be on the roles…now they always give her big run around even though they sent us a family tree with my great uncle as the last on it…..I’m more then enough to be on the roles…smh we shouldn’t be punished. I know my Heritage, And practice in ceremony, I know who and what I am!! I don’t need the government and the white followers to get me a title. I am turtle clan of the Oneida nation!!

  21. The government is making hard on being native always making new lawswhen will it stop if your native your native that’s what the creator had in mind for us so be proud of your roots I’m an aim native what about you

  22. Smh…kinda sad…I went through issues myself cause my grandpa was in prison his whole life my mom wasn’t able to get the paper work to be on the roles…now they always give her big run around even though they sent us a family tree with my great uncle as the last on it…..I’m more then enough to be on the roles…smh we shouldn’t be punished. I know my Heritage, And practice in ceremony, I know who and what I am!! I don’t need the government and the white followers to get me a title. I am turtle clan of the Oneida nation!!

  23. The government is making hard on being native always making new lawswhen will it stop if your native your native that’s what the creator had in mind for us so be proud of your roots I’m an aim native what about you

  24. How many FN have no blood ties ? We need all blooded native people together .the benifits of
    Being treaty will not be passed on to metis .but even if it is recognition is all they want .

    1. Metis people are in fact Status Indians. Was ruled long ago, and revisited recently.
      Far as marrying out, this is a breach of human rights.
      Never should lose Status for this reason.
      Court cases ruled in favour of people who lost status illegally.

      1. As long as people realize the Metis Nation is defined for a specific group of people from specific regions, it’s not about any or all mixed heritage.

      2. The Metis union consists of a French man marrying a Native woman. The Metis chose script which meant they took a monetary settlement versus the Chiefs negotiating treaties on behalf of their people

    1. No, that is not Metis. That is mixed blood, half Seneca & Cayuga, known as non-status First Nation. Metis is a nation of record with its own language, customs & traditions. It’s not a Pan-Indigenous free-for-all.

  25. I’m half Iroquois (Seneca & Cayuga), my father is full blood and still lives on the Rez. My whole family, on and off the Rez is status except me. I am not living on the Rez and it’s unlikely that I ever will and I will never pursue some number to be recognised. Blood is blood, i know who i am; body, mind and spirit. If my voice matters to either side, my opinion is that we as a people and as an individual should not seek some government number, or piece of paper to give us an identity. If we are aware of the truth, our roots, we will accept those reaching out. If for no other reason than there is strength in numbers, (something we fight daily to keep strong). We need healing more than anything else right now and if we don’t all do our part then we’ve already lost.

  26. If your Great grandmother wasn’t Native then too bad, you keep marrying out you get white milk.

    1. Our entire system was built on the fact that your Clan identity comes through your mother. You eliminate the mother from band membership what are you left with?? Fake Haudenosaunee, that’s who.

    2. I guess that’s the trick isn’t it, she was…she just didn’t have the status (according to the proposed amendment)! There are a lot of White women who were brought in…Blood Quantum tests are how they resolve this in the States, but you might end up with a lot of stunned native people if it gets that far? In the end How could 1 million more voices not be good for a marginalized people? Strength in Numbers and all that? What about chocolate milk?

  27. So through no fault of my own, because my mother left the reserve and married white, and her mother left the reserve as well – I should be punished by my own people? Seems to me that they are perpetuating the damage already done through colonial rule.

    1. They are creating their own Genizie , this is sad when some people think that are better then others yet they are not shy about getting the percapita for every on the Rez, sad so sad

    2. How are you punished exactly? Your mother and grandmother shut the door on her own people when they left. We are still picking up the pieces from years of cultural genocide. Maybe if you stopped feeling sorry for yourself.

      1. That’s a really big presumption there. “shut the door on her own people”? A huge part of picking up the pieces includes healing the people who were scattered across the lands for the same horrible reasons people were hurt on the reserves. I really have to wonder about the teachings in your community.

    3. I agree completely. First Canada punishes indigenous women and then their own race does the same.

      1. Saying nothing about our murdered millions by the release of a virus, small pox, then the Land Theft by Squatters, imposed laws of genocide, murdered Native Elders, Holders Of the Knowledge As students fated to be killed and worse yet, emptied of their heritage and turned into Slaves for the White Elderly then left with nothing when then the Wjites finally die, and then the Missing And Murdered Women And in conjunction, to the sequestering Of most of the Native men in the prime of their lives from work and producing any more full blooded Native children and the revamping of Children’s Aid to then run acts of genocide by the provinces that fought tooth and nail to get access to Natives Consolidated Funds And even being found guilty on all charges of Genocide CAS with a name change was allowed to operate under a different icon but with the same mandate all funded by Provincial Governance by Officials that can be sued for its only the Prime Minister that’s protected from prosecution for he has from time to time have to make the hard choices to the sttlement Of Peace for all.
        Graham Porterhill
        Six Nations Traditional Beaver Hunting Grounds 1701;
        Six Nations Grand River Territory;
        Six Nations Indian Reservation #40;
        Rr1Ohsweken Ontario N0A1M0;
        2269220240
        SixNations.ca

    4. Tracey, Wampums are the recorded archives that the Indigenous Haudenosaunee made & kept with the consensus of the women! If your clan can be proven to have a wampum connected into a Nation, a Confederacy, then nobody can discredit you following the women bloodline only!

  28. How many FN have no blood ties ? We need all blooded native people together .the benifits of
    Being treaty will not be passed on to metis .but even if it is recognition is all they want .

    1. Metis people are in fact Status Indians. Was ruled long ago, and revisited recently.
      Far as marrying out, this is a breach of human rights.
      Never should lose Status for this reason.
      Court cases ruled in favour of people who lost status illegally.

      1. As long as people realize the Metis Nation is defined for a specific group of people from specific regions, it’s not about any or all mixed heritage.

      2. The Metis union consists of a French man marrying a Native woman. The Metis chose script which meant they took a monetary settlement versus the Chiefs negotiating treaties on behalf of their people

    1. No, that is not Metis. That is mixed blood, half Seneca & Cayuga, known as non-status First Nation. Metis is a nation of record with its own language, customs & traditions. It’s not a Pan-Indigenous free-for-all.

  29. I’m half Iroquois (Seneca & Cayuga), my father is full blood and still lives on the Rez. My whole family, on and off the Rez is status except me. I am not living on the Rez and it’s unlikely that I ever will and I will never pursue some number to be recognised. Blood is blood, i know who i am; body, mind and spirit. If my voice matters to either side, my opinion is that we as a people and as an individual should not seek some government number, or piece of paper to give us an identity. If we are aware of the truth, our roots, we will accept those reaching out. If for no other reason than there is strength in numbers, (something we fight daily to keep strong). We need healing more than anything else right now and if we don’t all do our part then we’ve already lost.

    1. Our entire system was built on the fact that your Clan identity comes through your mother. You eliminate the mother from band membership what are you left with?? Fake Haudenosaunee, that’s who.

    2. I guess that’s the trick isn’t it, she was…she just didn’t have the status (according to the proposed amendment)! There are a lot of White women who were brought in…Blood Quantum tests are how they resolve this in the States, but you might end up with a lot of stunned native people if it gets that far? In the end How could 1 million more voices not be good for a marginalized people? Strength in Numbers and all that? What about chocolate milk?

  30. So through no fault of my own, because my mother left the reserve and married white, and her mother left the reserve as well – I should be punished by my own people? Seems to me that they are perpetuating the damage already done through colonial rule.

    1. They are creating their own Genizie , this is sad when some people think that are better then others yet they are not shy about getting the percapita for every on the Rez, sad so sad

    2. How are you punished exactly? Your mother and grandmother shut the door on her own people when they left. We are still picking up the pieces from years of cultural genocide. Maybe if you stopped feeling sorry for yourself.

      1. That’s a really big presumption there. “shut the door on her own people”? A huge part of picking up the pieces includes healing the people who were scattered across the lands for the same horrible reasons people were hurt on the reserves. I really have to wonder about the teachings in your community.

    3. I agree completely. First Canada punishes indigenous women and then their own race does the same.

      1. Saying nothing about our murdered millions by the release of a virus, small pox, then the Land Theft by Squatters, imposed laws of genocide, murdered Native Elders, Holders Of the Knowledge As students fated to be killed and worse yet, emptied of their heritage and turned into Slaves for the White Elderly then left with nothing when then the Wjites finally die, and then the Missing And Murdered Women And in conjunction, to the sequestering Of most of the Native men in the prime of their lives from work and producing any more full blooded Native children and the revamping of Children’s Aid to then run acts of genocide by the provinces that fought tooth and nail to get access to Natives Consolidated Funds And even being found guilty on all charges of Genocide CAS with a name change was allowed to operate under a different icon but with the same mandate all funded by Provincial Governance by Officials that can be sued for its only the Prime Minister that’s protected from prosecution for he has from time to time have to make the hard choices to the sttlement Of Peace for all.
        Graham Porterhill
        Six Nations Traditional Beaver Hunting Grounds 1701;
        Six Nations Grand River Territory;
        Six Nations Indian Reservation #40;
        Rr1Ohsweken Ontario N0A1M0;
        2269220240
        SixNations.ca

    4. Tracey, Wampums are the recorded archives that the Indigenous Haudenosaunee made & kept with the consensus of the women! If your clan can be proven to have a wampum connected into a Nation, a Confederacy, then nobody can discredit you following the women bloodline only!

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