Kanesatake : You Can Work This Out


Easy does it, Kanesatake.

These differences have happened before and they'll happen again.

You're too great a community to be attacking each other... we all know there are far greater forces knocking at your door waiting for a chance to divide, discourage and depress your residents without having to resort to violence and routing community members.

The issues, as complex and surreptitious as they may be, are not worth tearing each other apart.  The Kanien'kehá:ka  have managed to work things out over the course of hundreds of years... the very buildings and structures of your community carry the stories of strife, war, deprivation and struggle.  They remain as mute reminders that regardless of the points of contention, Kanesatake still survives and carries on.

Burning houses is not the answer.  The problems are not solved by chasing away opponents through threats and intimidation.  These tactics cause far more loss than gain for the community as a whole.

We are Kanien'kehá:ka.  When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked.   And when we attack each other, we're all weaken by it.

We, who are your fellow Kanien'kehá:ka from near and far, hear your anger and frustration.  While most of us prefer to - and should - remain in the background, it's important to know we're concerned and offer whatever support is needed to resolve this matter.  We're not without past experience of conflict and understand the deleterious effect such stress places on a community, its families and the  Kanien'kehá:ka as a Nation.

For that reason alone, we urge you to arrive at a workable conclusion in the spirit which has seen us survive tougher times than these.

We ask for the wisdom of the elders to prevail as they've witnessed crisis after crisis... and gleaned knowledge each time a division has threatened to inflict permanent scarring of the mind, body and spirit.

We ask that your community leaders have the insight to know when it's time to ask for help... as well as time to be left alone to consider the facts in your own manner.

We earnestly hope and pray for a resolution with honour, a vision for the future and for the safety of all those involved.  

We believe the answers and solutions to affairs affecting the  Kanien'kehá:ka should come from within our Nation through consensus rather than from the outside as a demand.  Self-government involves self-restraint at all levels of the community and the Nation.

Most of all, we ask that you remember who you are and teach your young the true ways of being Kanien'kehá:ka.

It saddens us to hear of such troubling news.