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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
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FIRST NATIONS

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Author Topic: FIRST NATIONS  (Read 2086 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2009, 09:23:10 pm »









Official Symbolism



A large bunch of shell strings, in the making of which the Five Nations Confederate Lords have equally contributed, shall symbolize the completeness of the union and certify the pledge of the nations represented by the Confederate Lords of the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga and the Senecca, that all are united and formed into one body or union called the Union of the Great Law, which they have established.
A bunch of shell strings is to be the symbol of the council fire of the Five Nations Confederacy. And the Lord whom the council of Fire Keepers shall appoint to speak for them in opening the council shall hold the strands of shells in his hands when speaking. When he finishes speaking he shall deposit the strings on an elevated place (or pole) so that all the assembled Lords and the people may see it and know that the council is open and in progress.

When the council adjourns the Lord who has been appointed by his comrade Lords to close it shall take the strands of shells in his hands and address the assembled Lords. Thus will the council adjourn until such time and place as appointed by the council. Then shall the shell strings be placed in a place for safekeeping.

Every five years the Five Nations Confederate Lords and the people shall assemble together and shall ask one another if their minds are still in the same spirit of unity for the Great Binding Law and if any of the Five Nations shall not pledge continuance and steadfastness to the pledge of unity then the Great Binding Law shall dissolve.


Five strings of shell tied together as one shall represent the Five Nations. Each string shall represent one territory and the whole a completely united territory known as the Five Nations Confederate territory.

Five arrows shall be bound together very strong and each arrow shall represent one nation. As the five arrows are strongly bound this shall symbolize the complete union of the nations. Thus are the Five Nations united completely and enfolded together, united into one head, one body and one mind. Therefore they shall labor, legislate and council together for the interest of future generations.

The Lords of the Confederacy shall eat together from one bowl the feast of cooked beaver's tail. While they are eating they are to use no sharp utensils for if they should they might accidentally cut one another and bloodshed would follow. All measures must be taken to prevent the spilling of blood in any way.


There are now the Five Nations Confederate Lords standing with joined hands in a circle. This signifies and provides that should any one of the Confederate Lords leave the council and this Confederacy his crown of deer's horns, the emblem of his Lordship title, together with his birthright, shall lodge on the arms of the Union Lords whose hands are so joined. He forfeits his title and the crown falls from his brow but it shall remain in the Confederacy.

A further meaning of this is that if any time any one of the Confederate Lords choose to submit to the law of a foreign people he is no longer in but out of the Confederacy, and persons of this class shall be called "They have alienated themselves." Likewise such persons who submit to laws of foreign nations shall forfeit all birthrights and claims on the Five Nations Confederacy and territory.

You, the Five Nations Confederate Lords, be firm so that if a tree falls on your joined arms it shall not separate or weaken your hold. So shall the strength of the union be preserved.


A bunch of wampum shells on strings, three spans of the hand in length, the upper half of the bunch being white and the lower half black, and formed from equal contributions of the men of the Five Nations, shall be a token that the men have combined themselves into one head, one body and one thought, and it shall also symbolize their ratification of the peace pact of the Confederacy, whereby the Lords of the Five Nations have established the Great Peace.
The white portion of the shell strings represent the women and the black portion the men. The black portion, furthermore, is a token of power and authority vested in the men of the Five Nations.

This string of wampum vests the people with the right to correct their erring Lords. In case a part or all the Lords pursue a course not vouched for by the people and heed not the third warning of their women relatives, then the matter shall be taken to the General Council of the women of the Five Nations. If the Lords notified and warned three times fail to heed, then the case falls into the hands of the men of the Five Nations. The War Chiefs shall then, by right of such power and authority, enter the open concil to warn the Lord or Lords to return from the wrong course. If the Lords heed the warning they shall say, "we will reply tomorrow." If then an answer is returned in favor of justice and in accord with this Great Law, then the Lords shall individualy pledge themselves again by again furnishing the necessary shells for the pledge. Then shall the War Chief or Chiefs exhort the Lords urging them to be just and true.

Should it happen that the Lords refuse to heed the third warning, then two courses are open: either the men may decide in their council to depose the Lord or Lords or to club them to death with war clubs. Should they in their council decide to take the first course the War Chief shall address the Lord or Lords, saying:

"Since you the Lords of the Five Nations have refused to return to the procedure of the Constitution, we now declare your seats vacant, we take off your horns, the token of your Lordship, and others shall be chosen and installed in your seats, therefore vacate your seats."
Should the men in their council adopt the second course, the War Chief shall order his men to enter the council, to take positions beside the Lords, sitting bewteen them wherever possible. When this is accomplished the War Chief holding in his outstretched hand a bunch of black wampum strings shall say to the erring Lords:

"So now, Lords of the Five United Nations, harken to these last words from your men. You have not heeded the warnings of the women relatives, you have not heeded the warnings of the General Council of women and you have not heeded the warnings of the men of the nations, all urging you to return to the right course of action. Since you are determined to resist and to withhold justice from your people there is only one course for us to adopt."
At this point the War Chief shall let drop the bunch of black wampum and the men shall spring to their feet and club the erring Lords to death. Any erring Lord may submit before the War Chief lets fall the black wampum. Then his execution is withheld.
The black wampum here used symbolizes that the power to execute is buried but that it may be raised up again by the men. It is buried but when occasion arises they may pull it up and derive their power and authority to act as here described.


A broad dark belt of wampum of thirty-eight rows, having a white heart in the center, on either side of which are two white squares all connected with the heart by white rows of beads shall be the emblem of the unity of the Five Nations.
The first of the squares on the left represents the Mohawk nation and its territory; the second square on the left and the one near the heart, represents the Oneida nation and its territory; the white heart in the middle represents the Onondaga nation and its territory, and it also means that the heart of the Five Nations is single in its loyalty to the Great Peace, that the Great Peace is lodged in the heart (meaning the Onondaga Lords), and that the Council Fire is to burn there for the Five Nations, and further, it means that the authority is given to advance the cause of peace whereby hostile nations out of the Confederacy shall cease warfare; the white square to the right of the heart represents the Cayuga nation and its territory and the fourth and last white square represents the Seneca nation and its territory.

White shall here symbolize that no evil or jealous thoughts shall creep into the minds of the Lords while in Council under the Great Peace. White, the emblem of peace, love, charity and equity surrounds and guards the Five Nations.


Should a great calamity threaten the generations rising and living of the Five United Nations, then he who is able to climb to the top of the Tree of the Great Long Leaves may do so. When, then, he reaches the top of the tree he shall look about in all directions, and, should he see that evil things indeed are approaching, then he shall call to the people of the Five United Nations assembled beneath the Tree of the Great Long Leaves and say: "A calamity threatens your happiness."
Then shall the Lords convene in council and discuss the impending evil. When all the truths relating to the trouble shall be fully known and found to be truths, then shall the people seek out a Tree of Ka-hon-ka-ah-go-nah, [ a great swamp Elm ], and when they shall find it they shall assemble their heads together and lodge for a time between its roots. Then, their labors being finished, they may hope for happiness for many days after.


When the Confederate Council of the Five Nations declares for a reading of the belts of shell calling to mind these laws, they shall provide for the reader a specially made mat woven of the fibers of wild hemp. The mat shall not be used again, for such formality is called the honoring of the importance of the law.

Should two sons of opposite sides of the council fire agree in a desire to hear the reciting of the laws of the Great Peace and so refresh their memories in the way ordained by the founder of the Confederacy, they shall notify Adodarho. He then shall consult with five of his coactive Lords and they in turn shall consult with their eight brethern. Then should they decide to accede to the request of the two sons from opposite sides of the Council Fire, Adodarho shall send messengers to notify the Chief Lords of each of the Five Nations. Then they shall despatch their War Chiefs to notify their brother and cousin Lords of the meeting and its time and place.
When all have come and have assembled, Adodarhoh, in conjunction with his cousin Lords, shall appoint one Lord who shall repeat the laws of the Great Peace. Then shall they announce who they have chosen to repeat the laws of the Great Peace to the two sons. Then shall the chosen one repeat the laws of the Great Peace.


At the ceremony of the installation of Lords if there is only one expert speaker and singer of the law and the Pacification Hymn to stand at the council fire, then when this speaker and singer has finished addressing one side of the fire he shall go to the oposite side and reply to his own speech and song. He shall thus act for both sidesa of the fire until the entire ceremony has been completed. Such a speaker and singer shall be termed the "Two Faced" because he speaks and sings for both sides of the fire.

I, Dekanawida, and the Union Lords, now uproot the tallest pine tree and into the cavity thereby made we cast all weapons of war. Into the depths of the earth, down into the deep underearth currents of water flowing to unknown regions we cast all the weapons of strife. We bury them from sight and we plant again the tree. Thus shall the Great Peace be established and hostilities shall no longer be known between the Five Nations but peace to the United People. 
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2009, 09:26:59 pm »









Laws of Adoption





The father of a child of great comeliness, learning, ability or specially loved because of some circumstance may, at the will of the child's clan, select a name from his own (the father's) clan and bestow it by ceremony, such as is provided. This naming shall be only temporary and shall be called, "A name hung about the neck."

Should any person, a member of the Five Nations' Confederacy, specially esteem a man or woman of another clan or of a foreign nation, he may choose a name and bestow it upon that person so esteemed. The naming shall be in accord with the ceremony of bestowing names. Such a name is only a temporary one and shall be called "A name hung about the neck." A short string of shells shall be delivered with the name as a record and a pledge.

Should any member of the Five Nations, a family or person belonging to a foreign nation submit a proposal for adoption into a clan of one of the Five Nations, he or they shall furnish a string of shells, a span in length, as a pledge to the clan into which he or they wish to be adopted. The Lords of the nation shall then consider the proposal and submit a decision.

Any member of the Five Nations who through esteem or other feeling wishes to adopt an individual, a family or number of families may offer adoption to him or them and if accepted the matter shall be brought to the attention of the Lords for confirmation and the Lords must confirm adoption.

When the adoption of anyone shall have been confirmed by the Lords of the Nation, the Lords shall address the people of their nation and say: "Now you of our nation, be informed that such a person, such a family or such families have ceased forever to bear their birth nation's name and have buried it in the depths of the earth. Henceforth let no one of our nation ever mention the original name or nation of their birth. To do so will be to hasten the end of our peace. 
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2009, 09:28:34 pm »









Laws of Emigration



When any person or family belonging to the Five Nations desires to abandon their birth nation and the territory of the Five Nations, they shall inform the Lords of their nation and the Confederate Council of the Five Nations shall take cognizance of it.

When any person or any of the people of the Five Nations emigrate and reside in a region distant from the territory of the Five Nations Confederacy, the Lords of the Five Nations at will may send a messenger carrying a broad belt of black shells and when the messenger arrives he shall call the people together or address them personally displaying the belt of shells and they shall know that this is an order for them to return to their original homes and to their council fires. 
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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2009, 09:30:05 pm »









Rights of Foreign Nations





The soil of the earth from one end of the land to the other is the property of the people who inhabit it. By birthright the Ongwehonweh (Original beings) are the owners of the soil which they own and occupy and none other may hold it. The same law has been held from the oldest times.

The Great Creator has made us of the one blood and of the same soil he made us and as only different tongues constitute different nations he established different hunting grounds and territories and made boundary lines between them.


When any alien nation or individual is admitted into the Five Nations the admission shall be understood only to be a temporary one. Should the person or nation create loss, do wrong or cause suffering of any kind to endanger the peace of the Confederacy, the Confederate Lords shall order one of their war chiefs to reprimand him or them and if a similar offence is again committed the offending party or parties shall be expelled from the territory of the Five United Nations.

When a member of an alien nation comes to the territory of the Five Nations and seeks refuge and permanent residence, the Lords of the Nation to which he comes shall extend hospitality and make him a member of the nation. Then shall he be accorded equal rights and privileges in all matters except as after mentioned.

No body of alien people who have been adopted temporarily shall have a vote in the council of the Lords of the Confederacy, for only they who have been invested with Lordship titles may vote in the Council. Aliens have nothing by blood to make claim to a vote and should they have it, not knowing all the traditions of the Confederacy, might go against its Great Peace. In this manner the Great Peace would be endangered and perhaps be destroyed.

When the Lords of the Confederacy decide to admit a foreign nation and an adoption is made, the Lords shall inform the adopted nation that its admission is only temporary. They shall also say to the nation that it must never try to control, to interfere with or to injure the Five Nations nor disregard the Great Peace or any of its rules or customs. That in no way should they cause disturbance or injury. Then should the adopted nation disregard these injunctions, their adoption shall be annuled and they shall be expelled.

The expulsion shall be in the following manner: The council shall appoint one of their War Chiefs to convey the message of annulment and he shall say,

"You (naming the nation) listen to me while I speak. I am here to inform you again of the will of the Five Nations' Council. It was clearly made known to you at a former time. Now the Lords of the Five Nations have decided to expel you and cast you out. We disown you now and annul your adoption. Therefore you must look for a path in which to go and lead away all your people. It was you, not we, who committed wrong and caused this sentence of annulment. So then go your way and depart from the territory of the Five Nations and from the Confederacy."

Whenever a foreign nation enters the Confederacy or accepts the Great Peace, the Five Nations and the foreign nation shall enter into an agreement and compact by which the foreign nation shall endeavor to pursuade other nations to accept the Great Peace.
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« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2009, 09:31:55 pm »









Rights and Powers of War



Skanawatih shall be vested with a double office, duty and with double authority. One-half of his being shall hold the Lordship title and the other half shall hold the title of War Chief. In the event of war he shall notify the five War Chiefs of the Confederacy and command them to prepare for war and have their men ready at the appointed time and place for engagement with the enemy of the Great Peace.

When the Confederate Council of the Five Nations has for its object the establishment of the Great Peace among the people of an outside nation and that nation refuses to accept the Great Peace, then by such refusal they bring a declaration of war upon themselves from the Five Nations. Then shall the Five Nations seek to establish the Great Peace by a conquest of the rebellious nation.

When the men of the Five Nations, now called forth to become warriors, are ready for battle with an obstinate opposing nation that has refused to accept the Great Peace, then one of the five War Chiefs shall be chosen by the warriors of the Five Nations to lead the army into battle. It shall be the duty of the War Chief so chosen to come before his warriors and address them. His aim shall be to impress upon them the necessity of good behavior and strict obedience to all the commands of the War Chiefs. He shall deliver an oration exhorting them with great zeal to be brave and courageous and never to be guilty of cowardice. At the conclusion of his oration he shall march forward and commence the War Song and he shall sing:

Now I am greatly surprised
And, therefore I shall use it --
The powerr of my War Song.
I am of the Five Nations
And I shall make supplication
To the Almighty Creator.
He has furnished this army.
My warriors shall be mighty
In the strength of the Creator.
Between him and my song they are
For it was he who gave the song
This war song that I sing!

When the warriors of the Five Nations are on an expedition against an enemy, the War Chief shall sing the War Song as he approaches the country of the enemy and not cease until his scouts have reported that the army is near the enemies' lines when the War Chief shall approach with great caution and prepare for the attack.

When peace shall have been established by the termination of the war against a foreign nation, then the War Chief shall cause all the weapons of war to be taken from the nation. Then shall the Great Peace be established and that nation shall observe all the rules of the Great Peace for all time to come.

Whenever a foreign nation is conquered or has by their own will accepted the Great Peace their own system of internal government may continue, but they must cease all warfare against other nations.

Whenever a war against a foreign nation is pushed until that nation is about exterminated because of its refusal to accept the Great Peace and if that nation shall by its obstinacy become exterminated, all their rights, property and territory shall become the property of the Five Nations.

Whenever a foreign nation is conquered and the survivors are brought into the territory of the Five Nations' Confederacy and placed under the Great Peace the two shall be known as the Conqueror and the Conquered. A symbolic relationship shall be devised and be placed in some symbolic position. The conquered nation shall have no voice in the councils of the Confederacy in the body of the Lords.

When the War of the Five Nations on a foreign rebellious nation is ended, peace shall be restored to that nation by a withdrawal of all their weapons of war by the War Chief of the Five Nations. When all the terms of peace shall have been agreed upon a state of friendship shall be established.

When the proposition to establish the Great Peace is made to a foreign nation it shall be done in mutual council. The foreign nation is to be persuaded by reason and urged to come into the Great Peace. If the Five Nations fail to obtain the consent of the nation at the first council a second council shall be held and upon a second failure a third council shall be held and this third council shall end the peaceful methods of persuasion. At the third council the War Chief of the Five nations shall address the Chief of the foreign nation and request him three times to accept the Great Peace. If refusal steadfastly follows the War Chief shall let the bunch of white lake shells drop from his outstretched hand to the ground and shall bound quickly forward and club the offending chief to death. War shall thereby be declared and the War Chief shall have his warriors at his back to meet any emergency. War must continue until the contest is won by the Five Nations.

When the Lords of the Five Nations propose to meet in conference with a foreign nation with proposals for an acceptance of the Great Peace, a large band of warriors shall conceal themselves in a secure place safe from the espionage of the foreign nation but as near at hand as possible. Two warriors shall accompany the Union Lord who carries the proposals and these warriors shall be especially cunning. Should the Lord be attacked, these warriors shall hasten back to the army of warriors with the news of the calamity which fell through the treachery of the foreign nation.

When the Five Nations' Council declares war any Lord of the Confederacy may enlist with the warriors by temporarily renouncing his sacred Lordship title which he holds through the election of his women relatives. The title then reverts to them and they may bestow it upon another temporarily until the war is over when the Lord, if living, may resume his title and seat in the Council.

A certain wampum belt of black beads shall be the emblem of the authority of the Five War Chiefs to take up the weapons of war and with their men to resist invasion. This shall be called a war in defense of the territory. 
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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2009, 09:33:09 pm »









Treason or Secession of a Nation



If a nation, part of a nation, or more than one nation within the Five Nations should in any way endeavor to destroy the Great Peace by neglect or violating its laws and resolve to dissolve the Confederacy, such a nation or such nations shall be deemed guilty of treason and called enemies of the Confederacy and the Great Peace.
 
It shall then be the duty of the Lords of the Confederacy who remain faithful to resolve to warn the offending people. They shall be warned once and if a second warning is necessary they shall be driven from the territory of the Confederacy by the War Chiefs and his men. 
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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2009, 09:34:19 pm »









Rights of the People of the Five Nations



Whenever a specially important matter or a great emergency is presented before the Confederate Council and the nature of the matter affects the entire body of the Five Nations, threatening their utter ruin, then the Lords of the Confederacy must submit the matter to the decision of their people and the decision of the people shall affect the decision of the Confederate Council. This decision shall be a confirmation of the voice of the people.

The men of every clan of the Five Nations shall have a Council Fire ever burning in readiness for a council of the clan. When it seems necessary for a council to be held to discuss the welfare of the clans, then the men may gather about the fire. This council shall have the same rights as the council of the women.

The women of every clan of the Five Nations shall have a Council Fire ever burning in readiness for a council of the clan. When in their opinion it seems necessary for the interest of the people they shall hold a council and their decisions and recommendations shall be introduced before the Council of the Lords by the War Chief for its consideration.

All the Clan council fires of a nation or of the Five Nations may unite into one general council fire, or delegates from all the council fires may be appointeed to unite in a general council for discussing the interests of the people. The people shall have the right to make appointments and to delegate their power to others of their number. When their council shall have come to a conclusion on any matter, their decision shall be reported to the Council of the Nation or to the Confederate Council (as the case may require) by the War Chief or the War Chiefs.

Before the real people united their nations, each nation had its council fires. Before the Great Peace their councils were held. The five Council Fires shall continue to burn as before and they are not quenched. The Lords of each nation in future shall settle their nation's affairs at this council fire governed always by the laws and rules of the council of the Confederacy and by the Great Peace.

If either a nephew or a niece see an irregularity in the performance of the functions of the Great Peace and its laws, in the Confederate Council or in the conferring of Lordship titles in an improper way, through their War Chief they may demand that such actions become subject to correction and that the matter conform to the ways prescribed by the laws of the Great Peace. 
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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2009, 09:35:49 pm »









Religious Ceremonies Protected



The rites and festivals of each nation shall remain undisturbed and shall continue as before because they were given by the people of old times as useful and necessary for the good of men.

It shall be the duty of the Lords of each brotherhood to confer at the approach of the time of the Midwinter Thanksgiving and to notify their people of the approaching festival. They shall hold a council over the matter and arrange its details and begin the Thanksgiving five days after the moon of Dis-ko-nah is new. The people shall assemble at the appointed place and the nephews shall notify the people of the time and place. From the beginning to the end the Lords shall preside over the Thanksgiving and address the people from time to time.

It shall be the duty of the appointed managers of the Thanksgiving festivals to do all that is needed for carrying out the duties of the occasions.

The recognized festivals of Thanksgiving shall be the Midwinter Thanksgiving, the Maple or Sugar-making Thanksgiving, the Raspberry Thanksgiving, the Strawberry Thanksgiving, the Cornplanting Thanksgiving, the Corn Hoeing Thanksgiving, the Little Festival of Green Corn, the Great Festival of Ripe Corn and the complete Thanksgiving for the Harvest.

Each nation's festivals shall be held in their Long Houses.


When the Thansgiving for the Green Corn comes the special managers, both the men and women, shall give it careful attention and do their duties properly.

When the Ripe Corn Thanksgiving is celebrated the Lords of the Nation must give it the same attention as they give to the Midwinter Thanksgiving.

Whenever any man proves himself by his good life and his knowledge of good things, naturally fitted as a teacher of good things, he shall be recognized by the Lords as a teacher of peace and religion and the people shall hear him.   
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2009, 09:37:06 pm »









The Installation Song



The song used in installing the new Lord of the Confederacy shall be sung by Adodarhoh and it shall be:


"Haii, haii Agwah wi-yoh
" " A-kon-he-watha
" " Ska-we-ye-se-go-wah
" " Yon-gwa-wih
" " Ya-kon-he-wa-tha

translation

Haii, haii It is good indeed
" " (That) a broom, --
" " A great wing,
" " It is given me
" " For a sweeping instrument."


Whenever a person properly entitled desires to learn the Pacification Song he is privileged to do so but he must prepare a feast at which his teachers may sit with him and sing. The feast is provided that no misfortune may befall them for singing the song on an occasion when no chief is installed.
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2009, 09:38:33 pm »









Protection of the House



A certain sign shall be known to all the people of the Five Nations which shall denote that the owner or occupant of a house is absent. A stick or pole in a slanting or leaning position shall indicate this and be the sign. Every person not entitled to enter the house by right of living within it upon seeing such a sign shall not approach the house either by day or by night but shall keep as far away as his business will permit. 
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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2009, 09:41:56 pm »









Funeral Addresses



At the funeral of a Lord of the Confederacy, say:

Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a Lord of the Five Nations' Confederacy and the United People trusted you. Now we release you for it is true that it is no longer possible for us to walk about together on the earth. Now, therefore, we lay it (the body) here. Here we lay it away. Now then we say to you, 'Persevere onward to the place where the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things of the earth hinder you. Let nothing that transpired while yet you lived hinder you. In hunting you once took delight; in the game of Lacrosse you once took delight and in the feasts and pleasant occasions your mind was amused, but now do not allow thoughts of these things to give you trouble. Let not your relatives hinder you and also let not your friends and associates trouble your mind. Regard none of these things.'
"Now then, in turn, you here present who were related to this man and you who were his friends and associates, behold the path that is yours also! Soon we ourselves will be left in that place. For this reason hold yourselves in restraint as you go from place to place. In your actions and in your conversation do no idle thing. Speak not idle talk neither gossip. Be careful of this and speak not and do not give way to evil behavior. One year is the time that you must abstain from unseemly levity but if you can not do this for ceremony, ten days is the time to regard these things for respect."


At the funeral of a War Chief, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a War Chief of the Five Nations' Confederacy and the United People trusted you as their guard from the enemy." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).


At the funeral of a Warrior, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. Once you were a devoted provider and protector of your family and you were ever ready to take part in battles for the Five Nations' Confederacy. The United People trusted you." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).


At the funeral of a young man, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. In the beginning of your career you are taken away and the flower of your life is withered away." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).


At the funeral of a chief woman, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a chief woman in the Five Nations' Confederacy. You once were a mother of the nations. Now we release you for it is true that it is no longer possible for us to walk about together on the earth. Now, therefore, we lay it (the body) here. Here we lay it away. Now then we say to you, 'Persevere onward to the place where the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things of the earth hinder you. Let nothing that transpired while you lived hinder you. Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were faithful. You were one of the many joint heirs of the Lordship titles. Feastings were yours and you had pleasant occasions. . ." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).


At the funeral of a woman of the people, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a woman in the flower of life and the bloom is now withered away. You once held a sacred position as a mother of the nation. (Etc.) Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were faithful. Feastings . . . (etc.)" (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).


At the funeral of an infant or young woman, say:

"Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were a tender bud and gladdened our hearts for only a few days. Now the bloom has withered away . . . (etc.) Let none of the things that transpired on earth hinder you. Let nothing that happened while you lived hinder you." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord).

When an infant dies within three days, mourning shall continue only five days. Then shall you gather the little boys and girls at the house of mourning and at the funeral feast a speaker shall address the children and bid them be happy once more, though by a death, gloom has been cast over them. Then shall the black clouds roll away and the sky shall show blue once more. Then shall the children be again in sunshine.

When a dead person is brought to the burial place, the speaker on the opposite side of the Council Fire shall bid the bereaved family cheer their minds once again and rekindle their hearth fires in peace, to put their house in order and once again be in brightness for darkness has covered them. He shall say that the black clouds shall roll away and that the bright blue sky is visible once more. Therefore shall they be in peace in the sunshine again.


Three strings of shell one span in length shall be employed in addressing the assemblage at the burial of the dead. The speaker shall say:

"Hearken you who are here, this body is to be covered.
Assemble in this place again ten days hence for it is the decree of the Creator that mourning shall cease when ten days have expired. Then shall a feast be made."


Then at the expiration of ten days the speaker shall say:

"Continue to listen you who are here. The ten days of mourning have expired and your minds must now be freed of sorrow as before the loss of a relative. The relatives have decided to make a little compensation to those who have assisted at the funeral. It is a mere expression of thanks. This is to the one who did the cooking while the body was lying in the house. Let her come forward and receive this gift and be dismissed from the task."

In substance this shall be repeated for every one who assisted in any way until all have been remembered.



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« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2009, 09:18:00 am »



The census also details where
aboriginal people live





                                             

                                              Canadian indigenous numbers soar 
 




BBCNews

Census figures in Canada show a big increase in the number of Canadians who describe themselves as belonging to one of the country's indigenous peoples.

Data from the 2006 census shows there are now almost 1.2 million aboriginal people - 4% of the population and a 45% rise since the last census in 1996.

The survey also shows that more than half live in or near urban areas.

A record number of indigenous people took part in the 2006 census, but some populous reserves still shunned it.

There are three indigenous groups in Canada: North American Indian or First Nations people; Inuit who live in Canada's far north and Metis, who are descendants of early marriages between native people and European settlers.

The new statistics show a dramatic increase - 45% in 10 years - in those people who identify themselves as belonging to of one of those groups.

The information also reveals that 54% of the country's indigenous people now live in or near cities.

Officials at Statistics Canada, which carried out the census, say the growth and change in demographics can be attributed to a soaring birth rate driven by an unusually young population, and greater pride in aboriginal heritage.





'Not Canadians'



Canada's native peoples have a median age of 27 and almost half are under 25.

The census found that since 1996 there had been some improvement in overcrowded housing conditions in traditional communities.

But one in four people living there report that their homes are dilapidated and in need of significant repairs.

The number of aboriginal peoples refusing to take part in the census has declined, but some are still opposed to the survey.

"We are not Canadian citizens. We are North American Indians," Chief Clarence Simon of Kanesatake, a Mohawk community, was quoted as saying by Canadian media.

His reserve was among 22 not included in the census.

Census officials say that their reach has improved since previous surveys and they have rejected arguments that there has been a significant under-counting of aboriginal people.
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« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2009, 09:20:11 am »










                                              Tribes strive to save native tongues




By Aaron Clark
Fri May 23, 2008
 
Warm Springs, Ore. - Grass-roots efforts to preserve and teach youngsters native languages are intensifying around the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia as about 40 indigenous tongues are in danger of disappearing within the next decade.
 
Native leaders are compiling dictionaries, drafting lesson plans, and scrambling to save what scraps of language they can before the last of the fluent elders dies. In the case of Kiksht, a language spoken for centuries along Oregon's Columbia River, there are two remaining speakers and neither can remember the words for "yawn" or "brown."

"It's funny, but it's stuff we still need to know," says Radine "Deanie" Johnson, a former forklift operator spearheading efforts to preserve her grandmother's language on this hardscrabble reservation in central Oregon. "I think if we didn't have our languages, our customs, traditions, that we wouldn't be considered native Americans."

Many of these languages such as Skagit, Ichishkiin, or northern Haida still have dozens of fluent native speakers, but nearly all of them are middle-aged or older.

Attempts to record these languages vary, but most are underfunded. A few have the services of a dedicated linguist; others are more ad hoc. So-called "revitalization" programs may be successful at passing on a few traditional phrases, stories, or dances. But most attempts to bring a language back into common usage after the majority of speakers have reached middle age have failed.

Hebrew, taught by Zionist settlers in Palestine and which later became the official language of Israel, is the most notable exception. Today there are about 7 million speakers. New Zealand has spent millions of dollars promoting Maori, teaching it in schools, and in 1987 recognizing it as the third official language. But the number of fluent Maori speakers there has dropped by 10,000 about 17 percent over the past 10 years and some 80 percent of them are more than 35 years old.

"A language dies when you don't have children picking it up in the home," says Scott DeLancey, a University of Oregon linguist.

Here in America's Northwest, there are signs policymakers are beginning to take some notice. Last May, the Oregon State Legislature passed a resolution honoring Ms. Johnson's grandmother, Gladys Thompson, for her efforts to teach Kiksht and "her dedication to the preservation of Indian ways."

In 2006, the National Science Foundation awarded $5 million to support efforts to digitally record more than 60 endangered languages around the world. Included was $263,000 to document stories and conversations in Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, spoken along the Alexander Archipelago in Alaska and islands off British Columbia.

"At least it's a validation of the implications of what is to be lost," says Patricia Shaw, director of the First Nations Languages Program in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Tribe members here in Warm Springs say preserving what they can of Kiksht, also known as Wasco, is critical to maintaining their distinctiveness as a people.

"Lose the language, lose distinct identity," says George Aguilar, the tribe's unofficial historian, who is half-Filipino but was raised by his Kiksht grandmother. "The Kiksht are in a time warp right now because we lost contact with the old way of life. We have lost our customs. The canoe songs are no longer known. The farewell songs are no longer known."

In 2005, Johnson shared a $100,000 federal grant with the local museum. She used a portion of the money to buy a video camera, an Apple laptop, and digital recording equipment to help document Kiksht. A few months ago, Johnson found a Mr. Potato Head doll at a garage sale and made a video to teach children Kiksht words for body parts. "Their jaws dropped when they saw it," says Johnson.

Johnson and her grandmother work in a dilapidated white trailer, a couple hundred feet away from brick buildings where hundreds of native American children were once herded into boarding schools and forced to learn English. The federal government routinely rounded up native children kidnapped, tribe members say and held them separate from their parents in boarding schools well into the 20th century in a systematic effort to eradicate Indian language and culture. In 2000, an official of the Bureau of Indian Affairs formally apologized for the "destructive efforts" of his agency, including the forced assimilation of native children in boarding schools.

" 'Chau chau asabal,' that's how you would explain toast," says Johnson as she pages through one of about a dozen notebooks. Her grandmother rests in a corner, surrounded by microphones. Johnson laughs as she reads another phrase that came from Thompson, " 'K'aya enluxwan qidau,' which means, 'I don't think that way.' "

Of 45 languages spoken in Oregon before native American contact with Europeans, most are extinct. There are about 20 remaining speakers of Ichishkiin on the Warm Springs reservation.

On a recent morning Arlita Rhoan sat in the middle of a playroom, surrounded by slices of wooden watermelon, building blocks, and paper cutouts of snowflakes. As a teacher of Ichishkiin part of the reservation's language immersion classes for preschoolers who also receive instruction in Kiksht and Paiute she told stories and handed out drums. Her 3-year-olds sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "If You're Happy and You Know It" in Ichishkiin.

In 2003, Dawn Smith, principal of the local elementary school, barred Ms. Rhoan, Johnson, and other tribal instructors from teaching native languages in the school district because she said their curriculum failed to build on itself. "As far as I know they are still working on getting a comprehensive program together," says Ms. Smith.

Other educators have been more encouraging.

On the Siletz Dee-ni reservation along Oregon's Pacific coast, a local high school recently allowed the weekly Athabaskan classes to count toward students' foreign-language requirement. Only five people speak Athabaskan, one of the tribe's original languages.

"We aren't producing fluent speakers yet," says Bud Lane, one of the youngest speakers, who has worked 14 years in the local paper mill. But he's optimistic. He is compiling the language's most comprehensive dictionary of 12,000 words online.
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« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2009, 09:21:35 am »



Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine,right,
wearing headdress, watches as Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper, left, officially apologizes
to native Canadians who were taken from their
families and forced to attend state-funded schools
aimed at assimilating them, at a ceremony in the

House of Commons on Parliament Hill
in Ottawa,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,
Tom Hanson)










                                         Prime Minister Apologizes To Native Canadians





By ROB GILLIES,
Associated Press Writer
June 11, 2008
 
OTTAWA - In a historic speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized Wednesday to Canada's native peoples for the longtime government policy of forcing their children to attend state-funded schools aimed at assimilating them.
 
The treatment of children at the schools where they were often physically and sexually abused was a sad chapter in the country's history, he said from the House of Commons in an address carried live across Canada.

"Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm and has no place in our country," he said, as 11 aboriginal leaders looked on just feet away.

Indians packed into the public galleries and gathered on the lawn of Parliament Hill.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indian children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Hundreds of former students witnessed what native leaders call a pivotal moment for Canada's more than 1 million Indians, who remain the country's poorest and most disadvantaged group. There are more than 80,000 surviving students.

"The government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcibly remove children from their homes and we apologize," Harper said.

"We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, and that it created a void in many lives and communities and we apologize," Harper said.

Harper also apologized for failing to prevent the children from being physically and sexually abused at the schools.

Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and one of the leaders seated near Harper, wore a traditional native headdress and was allowed to speak from the floor after opposition parties demanded it.

"Finally, we heard Canada say it is sorry," Fontaine said.

"Never again will this House consider us an Indian problem for just being who we are," Fontaine said. "We heard the government of Canada take full responsibility."

He said the apology will go a long way toward repairing the relationship between aboriginals and the rest of Canada.

The federal government admitted 10 years ago that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant. Many students recall being beaten for speaking their native languages and losing touch with their parents and customs.

That legacy of abuse and isolation has been cited by Indian leaders as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.

Fontaine was one of the first to go public with his past experiences of physical and sexual abuse.

The apology comes months after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a similar gesture to the so-called Stolen Generations thousands of Aborigines forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that lasted from 1910 to 1970.

But Canada has gone a step farther, offering those who were taken from their families compensation for the years they attended the residential schools. The offer was part of a lawsuit settlement.

A truth and reconciliation commission will also examine government policy and take testimony from survivors. The goal is to give survivors a forum to tell their stories and educate Canadians about a grim period in the country's history.

___


VIDEO:


http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=8280064&ch=4226714&src=news
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« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2009, 09:23:12 am »












                               Archaeologists find unique pre-European village in Western Canada






6/20/2008
Dragana Kovacevic
 

 


A mysterious First Nations society migrated to the Canadian Plains and eventually settled there, new archaeological findings suggest.

Siksika (Blackfoot) oral history has spoken of a peaceful group of people who broke from a tribe further south and who settled in the Blackfoot territory. The artefacts recently recovered at the site (about 120 kilometres east of Calgary) support these stories.

What's more, it appears its unknown inhabitants journeyed up from what is now north-central United States, to reach their eventual settlement site - the only one of its kind in the region.

Archaeologists found evidence of a living area surrounded by a trench and wooden palisade, along with pits often seen in communities where farming was a way of life. The team has uncovered bone and stone tools, arrowheads, pottery and glass trading beads.




Joining forces

The team excavating the dig is comprised of University of Calgary archaeology students who join the Blackfoot in studying the settlement site to help shed more light on the people who created it. 
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