“An Onkwehonwe in Kanada; Listen, all of you” Toronto is Tkaronto – it’s a Mohawk word.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Listen, All of You

That’s how we always start a story. Tonight I want to tell you my story, my deep dark confession about being Kanien’kehakeh in 2011. About living here in Tkaronto, this place you call Toronto.
This word means, “There are trees standing in the water.” Our elders argue about what the actual translation is, but I like this particular version.  The Haudenosaunee, or as you name us, the Iroquois, had moved south of Lake Ontario to consolidate our considerable power in the wake of the Beaver Wars. When we would return to Tkaronto in our war canoes, the giant elm trees that grew to the edge of the lake would mirror themselves in the water and you could see their reflection for miles out. This image manifests even now. When you cross the waters of Skanadariio, the Handsome Lake, you can see the towers of the city shimmering in the water.
People think this is Mississauga territory. The joke’s kind of on you. The Mississauga were here as our tenants. You paid them all that money for hanging out here while we were fighting the Americans for the British in their revolution. We could have beat them too, but for the British deciding to cut and run. And then what would the history of this country and this continent be?
This city is on Haudenosaunee land. The remains of our villages slumber beneath the streets of this city. To this day when a new subdivision is built or a street is dug up, shards of our pottery and our particular arrowheads keep surfacing. It is a reminder that this place is where we used to walk, where we sang and held our ceremonies and dreamed our waking reality into life, in the process called Ondinnonk.  When this city dreams, it dreams in Mohawk. Even when it names itself – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – all of these are Mohawk words. You speak Mohawk whenever you name this place as your home. You speak it and you don’t even know that you do.
Sewatahon’satat . Listen, all of you.
I want to tell you my story. I moved here to Toronto in 1981 when I was 17 years old, almost 18, to go to York University. When I first started there at the school I spent nearly three months pretending I wasn’t even an indigenous girl, trying to erase my own identity. I pretended to be just a normal white girl from somewhere south of Hamilton. I got away with it, too. It’s not that I was embarrassed by who I am, I just didn’t want to have to explain over and over again, to tell the history that I know that is so woefully untold by your education system and left out of your colonial history. I didn’t want to face the questions. I was fearful of being perceived as different. I knew instinctively that I could reinvent myself, and I didn’t want anyone trying to define me. I needed to define myself first.
One of the many things that people don’t know about the Iroquois is this; our people have long been a cultural melting pot. We are not merely a nation of people bound by blood – we are a political, cultural and spiritual entity. There are six Nations in the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, the Seneca, and the Tuscarora. Over time we had absorbed other tribes that had populated this area, people like the Petun, the Erie, the Tobacco, the Susquehennock, the Wendat, the Abenaki.
You called us “the Romans of the New World”, but we call ourselves the Children of Sky Woman, the original inhabitants of Turtle Island.  The Mother of us all fell from the Sky and landed on a Turtle’s back and give birth to us and every living thing here. We buried our hatchets at the roots of the Great Tree of Peace and promised to join a confederacy that gave us a constitution, the Gayanashagowah, the Great Law. This is not just a story. This is fact.We were bound together by the powerful and spiritual voice of the Peacemaker, and his faithful friend and companion, Hiawatha. The story of how this came to be is beautiful and powerful, and so amazing. It is the story of how a people overcame the deep terrible sadness of the grief and pain of the Mourning Wars. For generations we had fought each other in bitter, unending war, killing women and children in an endless cycle of vengeance. The Peacemaker gave us the Condolence Rite which stopped our tears and cleared our grief, and with this, we became whole again.
And none of you know it.
The founding fathers of the League of the Iroquois lived by three principles: first, the peace within individuals and between groups that comes from a healthy body and a sane mind; secondly, justice that comes from correct actions, thought, and speech. And lastly, the spiritual power that comes from physical strength and civil authority (meaning the power of the chiefs to make the decisions and the authority of the women who appoint the chiefs). Peace. Power. And Righteousness. These were the overriding principles that governed our nations and our Confederacy.
My people have always been interested in power. We even have a word for it – orenda, or the “soul of all things” – which I am given to understand is kind of a bad translation, as this is one of those purely Haudenosaunee concepts that really doesn’t have an equivalent in English. It is the philosophy that every human being is invested with his or her own power, a life-force that is equal parts aura, destiny, force of will, strength of character, and personal charisma. Men and women equally are expected to develop their personal orenda, to follow its pathways and exercise their abilities in the pursuit of peace, power, and righteousness – and ultimately for the benefit of the entire nation. There is also the expectation that a healthy orenda leads to balance and equanimity among the people.
We Iroquois replaced our numbers with adoption and the voluntary membership of several other nations. There is a clause of the Gayanashagowah that states, “If anyone comes to sit beneath the House of the Long Leaves and swear his or her fealty to the Great Law shall be admitted.”  If you were to run DNA tests on us we would be an amalgamation of many different bloodlines. Because of this, we Iroquois incorporate so many different people into our cultural and political entity we look like any number of those who were our ancestors. Some of us even look white.And though I can count an unbroken line of Mohawk women back to the pre-Contact shadows of the Mohawk Valley, our ancestral homeland, I don’t look like what you think an indigenous person should look like.
Thus can I get away with denying what I am.
While I was at university, I nominally studied English and political science. How is that for embracing a colonized course of study? But while I was there I had my own personal rock and roll rebellion. I embraced punk rock, with its emphasis on individuality in a community, in the us against them, in the wild thrashing guitars and the smokey clubs at night. I hung out in Kensington Market. I danced in clubs along Queen Street West. I ate Cambodian and Thai and Mexican food in the Annex. I rode my bike through the city and pretended to be invisible, just another girl on the verge of being a woman, clinging to an extended adolescence and walking the bleeding edge of alternative cool. My identity was hidden. I was only “out” as an Iroquois, as a Mohawk, to my closest confidantes. I was too cool for all those questions of identity.
Sewatahon’satat . Listen, all of you.
But this denial, this turning away, was not sustainable for me. In due course I became a mother and then a wife. I had two beautiful children and this awoke in me my sense of myself as an indigenous woman, of this place, and this time. In them I ingrained my heritage and my culture. How could I not? This line cannot be broken. I am a Kanien’kehakeh, born of a long line of Mohawk women, all of us imbuing our children with the sense of who we are. It had to come out.We are not a passive people. We are warriors, men and women alike. We resist. We made treaties and agreements with the colonizers, agreements that predate this nation that calls itself Canada.  We demand that our agreements be respected. We demand that our place on Turtle Island be left to us, for us to administer in our own way and as faithful to our traditions as we can be. We demand to be the People Building a Longhouse together, to be Haudenosaunee.
These days when I meet people I am very forward about who and what I am. I refuse to minimize myself any longer, to deny what I am. I was doing what the colonizer wanted, to make me ashamed of my bloodline, of my heritage, of my culture.I will not do this any longer. I will decolonize myself. I will rip out by the roots those ideas that are not mine, those ideas put there by a culture that wants to erase mine, to erase our memory and our claim as the true Keepers of the Land. Your culture would crush mine. We resist. Your culture would erase our memory from the very stones of this place. These stones remember and lift up our artifacts to remind you. Your culture tells itself that it has the right to place limits on our numbers, on how we govern ourselves, tries to tell us we are as Canadian as you are are. We know that is not true. We are the Haudenosaunee, the onkwehonwe, the real people. We are the People Building a Longhouse Together and our memory of this place, of this city that you call Toronto is older and longer and still remains ours.
There are only eighty thousand of us in the entire world. But the thing to remember is this; fifty percent of our current population is under the age of 25, and our numbers are resurging. And all of us, every single one of us, know more about you than you do about us. Every one of our territories lives in resistance and demands our rights under those agreements that we made in good faith with your colonial ancestors and with you.
Sewatahon’satat. Listen, all of you.
This electric city, so infused with its global yearnings of cosmopolitan splendour, its busyness, its competitiveness, its sky-high real estate prices, its glass towers, its modern rhythms and its ancient bones, this place sings. And the song it sings to itself beneath the humming of the subway and the honking of the cars isn’t a English folksong, or a French courier song, or an Italian or Greek or Chinese song, or the songs of all the people who have made this place its home…The song this city sings is a Haudenosaunee one. This song is remembered in the very granite that binds this city to the back of Anowara, the Turtle. It’s sung to the beat of a water drum and a deer horn rattle. It is the song that my people dance in pow-wows to.
I will sing it for you now. It’s called the Smoke Dance.
Sewatahon’satat. Listen, all of you.                                                                       
Smoke Dance Links:
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No-hawk occupation of Toronto

The No-hawk Occupation of Occupy Toronto

The No-hawk Occupation of Occupy Toronto

By Jacqueline S. Homan, author: Classism For Dimwits and Divine Right

Two Aboriginal men and one Scottish trouble-maker claiming to be Mohawk warriors really did it this time. Jayson Fleury, a Saulteaux-Cree from the O’Chiese reserve in Alberta who lived most of his life in Vancouver, told news reporters on the first day of Occupy Toronto that he was a “Mohawk from Alberta.” He claimed to be a “Mohawk warrior” and that as an Aboriginal he/his group did not need a fire permit from the City of Toronto for starting an open flame fire in St. James Park in the Occupy Toronto camp. Fleury said that he and his fellow “warriors”, Rick MacRae and John Fox were “planning to have a sacred fire, to keep everybody’s hearts warm.” Several anonymous donors already dropped off plenty of firewood. The gesture sounds nice on the surface and one can be easily swayed by Fleury’s good looks and magnetic charm, but there are several problems here.

Even though a small fortune for a permit and a myriad of bureaucratic forms are required by the city for all Aboriginals wishing to have a small sacred fire as a vital part of their ceremonies at their sacred sites, many which are located in Toronto’s High Park, have had to abide by these public park bylaws or else their sacred fires would be abruptly and unceremonially extinguished. Yet, Jayson Fleury incorrectly told news reporters that “Aboriginals don’t need permits for their sacred fires.”

According to a Facebook IM chat from Krystalline Kraus, the Aboriginal liaison facilitator for Occupy Toronto, Jayson Fleury lied to her by promising her he would not light any sacred fire without a legitimate Mohawk elder being present in keeping with territorial protocols and custom. But when Kraus had to leave the camp for a doctor appointment, Fleury lit the fire anyway — inside his tent/tarp structure, less than 6 feet away from bales of straw and other flammables. This was after he accepted an offering of tobacco from Kraus to honor her request that he not light the fire.

In most Aboriginal communities across North America, tobacco is regarded as a sacred medicine offering and if the recipient cannot grant what the giver of the tobacco is asking, they must refuse to accept the tobacco. Since Jayson accepted Krystalline’s offering of tobacco, he was obligated to grant her request by holding off on lighting any sacred fire. But this is not the only protocol that Jayson Fleury violated.

As a Saulteaux-Cree, he lied to reporters and everyone else at Occupy Toronto in claiming to be a “Mohawk from Alberta” and saying that he was a “Mohawk warrior” when he is neither. This sort of thing has caused residual problems for the real Mohawks and the rest of the Iroquois Confederacy nations as well. Jayson Fleury’s misrepresentation of himself splashed across the major news media outlets in Canada and the US — as did his claim that Aboriginals don’t need permits for sacred fires in public parks. Apparently, the City of Toronto does not enforce its own laws uniformly as other Aboriginal groups have had their sacred fires put out by the police and fire department if they could not produce proof of the requisite permit.

If Aboriginals don’t need a fire permit, then the City of Toronto owes several Aboriginal groups some huge refunds for all the permit fees over the years that they had to fork over for their religious ceremonies at their sacred sites and burial mounds in High Park for a tiny two-stick fire for offering up tobacco as part of their prayers. But the issue of selective enforcement and fire permits is not the only problem here.

Ezra Levant of  Sun Media, the Canadian equivalent of America’s Fox News, fomented public panic and racially motivated hatred when he said that “Mohawk warriors took over Occupy Toronto and Torontonians should brace themselves for “an urban Oka” — referring to the famous dispute between the Mohawks of Kanesatake and the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada which began on July 11, 1990 and lasted until September 26, 1990. At least one person died as a result. The Oka Crisis was the culmination of a dispute when the town of Oka proceeded to expand its municipal golf course onto Mohawk lands, known as “the Pines”, which contain a Mohawk cemetery.

Out of all the First Nations communities, the Mohawks are disproportionately singled out and targeted by police and for negative publicity in the press. Non-Indigenous reporters like Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun took it at face value when Jayson Fleury, sporting a Mohawk warrior flag, claimed to be a Mohawk warrior from Alberta and that Rick MacRae (who is Scottish) and John Fox (an Ojibwe and head of AIM Ontario) were also Mohawk warriors.

Had Joe Warmington done a cursory 2-second Google search on Jayson Fleury and John Fox, whose AIM flag was present at the camp, Warmington would have seen that Jayson Fleury is a Saulteaux-Cree whose younger sister, Mona Wilson, was the final victim of Port Coquitlam, BC serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton. He would have also seen that John Fox is the outspoken Ojibwe activist dedicated to pursuing justice for the 60’s Scoop survivors and other victims of cultural disruption courtesy of Canada’s Children’s Aid Society. Instead, Joe Warmington ran with the story that all three men were “Mohawk warriors” who took over the Occupy Toronto movement. This has already produced a backlash from many in the non-Native community who are still seething with resentment over the Oka crisis and the most recent incident in Caledonia.

Warmington made inferences to Ipperwash and Caledonia in his October 26th article in the Toronto Sun, and implied that Aboriginals get too many special privileges at the expense of other Canadians — like having an open fire in a public park without a permit, which not only costs a lot of money but is also a real bureaucratic hassle to get. This has raised a lot of resentment from non-Aboriginals who often take out their frustrations on Aboriginal people, escalating racial tensions between communities where the Aboriginal community usually gets the worst of it.

The Toronto Sun article insinuated that Aboriginal culture and spiritual practices and beliefs are all just a ruse to pull one over on the public, saying, “a First Nations sacred fire that no one will have the guts to extinguish” means that the public won’t have access to the park and that the park will be destroyed — and all that will be the fault of the “Mohawk warriors” of course, who “declared St. James Park to be sacred ground” with signage, and that “the next Ipperwash or Caledonia could happen right in downtown Toronto.”

Many readers weighed in with their comments to Warmington’s article online. They called for police repression on Aboriginals, calling them “militants” who think they can do whatever they like and claiming that Aboriginals get everything handed to them on a silver spoon. YouTube posters responding to Ezra Levant’s televised rant oozed with toxic vitriol, calling for “cowboys to saddle up” and “scalp” the Indians. This is the kind of heat and negative public opinion that is coming down on the real Mohawks and by extension, other Iroquoian nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and against all Aboriginals in general — all because of three socially imbecilic miscreants who aren’t Mohawks but who are claiming to be.

As a result, selective enforcement by the police can be counted on to target Iroquois-operated smoke shops while turning a blind eye to renegade unlicensed archeologists who traffic Indigenous cultural property across Canadian borders to various universities and museums, and who submit fraudulent reports to the Ministry of Culture to aid greedy land developers and mining interests in grabbing more Aboriginal lands from all Aboriginal communities for profit-making ventures that have had a deleterious effect on the environment and on the whole of society.

It’s bad enough that the Mohawks get bum-rapped for their own justifiable resistances against land theft and other injustices. They shouldn’t have to suffer more because of No-hawks who misrepresent themselves as Mohawks. So now that every major news media outlet across North America has picked this story up and ran with it, everyone who is not “in the know” regarding Jayson Fleury and Rick MacRae has it all wrong about Aboriginals and Occupy Toronto participants.

The Three Stooges — Aboriginal Style

Rick MacRae, the self-proclaimed “Mohawk elder” is not recognized as a Mohawk under Mohawk tradition and custom. Like Jewish tradition, one’s Mohawkness is determined matrilineally. Rick MacRae’s mother was a Scottish war bride. He made no secret about feeling resentful that he was not recognized as a Mohawk, and had previously told others that he was an Iroquois elder and a “backwards medicine man.” He had been gently corrected several times over the past year or so by elders and Clanmothers in the Iroquois community. But he is stubborn. This is not the first time that MacRae has caused problems for the Haudenosaunee, the Mohawks in particular. Rick MacRae has clashed with other Aboriginal activists because he always wants to be the boss, and life just does not always work out that way.

Nor was this current brouhaha over a sacred fire the first for MacRae. This past May in the High Park peace and restoration camp, he refused to listen to the Haudenosaunee community regarding another sacred fire incident. The peace camp was temporarily set up in High Park at the Snake Mounds — an ancient Iroquoian burial mound — to dismantle illegal BMX dirt jumps and keep vigilance and restore the site until the Parks and Forestry Dept. put up a fence to safeguard the area. Rick MacRae started a sacred fire, but did not follow instructions from Haudenosaunee elders and repeatedly argued with their persons of authority over such matters and they had no choice but to eventually call the cops to escort him out of the peace camp because he was disruptive. They also forbade him from conducting any more sacred fires or ceremonies on Haudenosaunee sacred sites — a directive that Rick MacRae disregarded when he conducted an unauthorized ceremony at Tabor Hill on October 16th, using an expired fire permit from 2010 that had previously been issued to the Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society.

Now, MacRae is embroiled in another sacred fire mishap in a tiny park at the Occupy Toronto camp. Since Toronto sits within Haudenosaunee territory, which spans from southern Ontario to upstate New York, most of Pennsylvania, part of the Ohio Valley, and reaching as far south as Mingo County, West Virginia, there are protocols that must be followed regarding sacred fires that are lit by someone claiming to speak for the Iroquois peoples. Some people apparently think that the rules don’t apply to them.

Jayson Fleury comes from a long proud lineage of Saulteaux-Cree medicine people. His mother, Linda Bigjohn, was very well-respected among the Cree, Saulteaux, and Blackfoot as a medicine woman. Jayson inherited strong medicine from her. His Cree medicine was apparently strong enough to charm the pants off the Toronto cops: He convinced them into letting him have a “sacred fire” as a “Mohawk warrior” at the Occupy encampment without a permit — even though there are bales of straw all around and huddles of tents and blankets in close proximity to one another, which makes St. James Park a big tinderbox that could easily ignite, resulting in utter catastrophe. If such a disaster happens, it will probably be unjustly blamed on the real Mohawks because Jayson Fleury told news reporters that he was a “Mohawk from Alberta” and a “Mohawk warrior” even though he is neither. He’s a Saulteaux-Cree storyteller. And this time, he told one hell of a whopper.

But Jayson Fleury has a history of telling whoppers. After his younger sister, Mona Wilson, was found in pieces at serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton’s pig farm, many said he used the tragedy as a platform to get money and sympathy and sucker many unsuspecting women into financing his cross-continent partying lifestyle. It was through his prominence in the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women campaign that he reportedly conned women into driving him across North America, only to leave them high and dry after bleeding them for their last nickel.

One woman whom he conned into opening her home to him was Jennifer Tourand, a Red River Valley Métis living in London, Ontario who had just completed a grueling bout of chemo treatment for ovarian cancer. He not only took over her house while he was there, he even forced the dying woman to give him her bed while she was made to sleep on an uncomfortable couch. When he had long over-stayed his welcome, the only way she was able to finally get rid of him was to pay for a first class Amtrak ticket for him to get back to Vancouver. Jennifer Tourand is now at death’s door. She says could desperately use the $2,000 that Jayson mooched off of her in food and party money, and the first class train ticket. Tourand now struggles to afford transportation from London to Toronto for the last cancer treatment option available to her since the cancer has returned. It is doubtful that Jayson Fleury will repay her for everything she’s out, now that she really needs it. It’s doubtful that he even cares.

He certainly didn’t care about an utterly impoverished long-term unemployed 43 year-old woman with glaucoma from the states with no income whatsoever and no access to medical care whom he took to the cleaners for the only money she had left when he abducted her under false promises of friendship and love, only to leave her stranded and abandoned in the middle of downtown Toronto with no money, no gas, no food, no way to get home, and no way to financially recoup. Being without remorse for the irreparable harm inflicted on others is the hallmark of a sociopath. So is being a habitual liar. And this time, the lie was that he’s a “Mohawk warrior.”

Since most of the Occupy Toronto participants are middle class white college kids and well-heeled union leaders, they don’t know who’s who in the Aboriginal community. Most of them don’t even know how it is to live as a marginalized poor white person from the dominant society, let alone grasp what it means to be a marginalized Aboriginal person. And they don’t know about all the different protocols that can be involved in situations like this. It’s pretty easy to pull the wool over their eyes. These well-meaning middle class liberal activists wanted the Aboriginal community to feel welcome and included as part of a social justice movement. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It looks like Jayson Fleury and Rick MacRae used the well-meaning and very welcoming Occupy Toronto facilitators for their own agenda under the guise of Aboriginal rights. John Fox, the leader of AIM Ontario who is looked upon as the leader for their group, never denied that their claim of being Mohawk warriors, even though he knows better because he knows Jayson and Rick. Fox also abused the goodwill of Occupy Toronto participants when he grew belligerent on the first day because he felt they had slighted him by cutting him off when he ran over the microphone time limit per speaker that event organizers had already predetermined. He lambasted the group for his perceived disrespect on their part, threatening to ban them from Native lands. “When you march, you’re gonna run into me!” Fox screamed at Occupy Toronto organizers. Being an Ojibwe, Fox had no right to threaten to ban the others from Haudenosaunee territory because under the protocols, this would be up to the Haudenosaunee community to do. But the non-Native Occupy activists don’t know this. And they genuinely did not want to offend the Indians. They wanted them to be present and have a voice just like everybody else.

Unfortunately, the antics of the two self-proclaimed Mohawks and AIM Ontario’s John Fox made front page news all across Canada and the US. As a result, supporters of neo-Nazi Gary McHale came out of the woodwork in droves, fueling the fire of racism and rekindling the dying embers of Caledonia, Oka and Ipperwash.

Bonfire of occupying vanities for city

Ominous occupation- Rant by Ezra Levant

Arrival of Mohawks takes Occupy up a notch

Occupy Toronto – Day One – by Lawrence McCurry

What’s going on in the park? by – Lawrence McCurry

Solidarity For The Few

The Occupy Movement and Other Views- Jacqueline S.Homan

A Haudenosaunee Observation of Occupy Wall Street- By Ray Cook

On state violence, white male privilege and ‘Occupy’- by Nancy A. Heitzeg

OCCUPY WALL STREET: The Game of Colonialism and further nationalism to be decolonized from the “Left”- by Jessica Yee

Unity With Whom in the 99%?- by Jacqueline S. Homan

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Request to Stop BMX/Skills Park in High Park by THPS, FOSM and Six Nations Grandmothers

Please sign the petition to help stop the proposed BMX Park in High Park.

No BMX Park in High Park Petition

Nya:wen Sge:no;

At the meeting tonight I believe we made our position quite clear, that a BMX/Skills Park is not sanctioned by the Six Nations Confederacy in High Park. a Faithkeeper and a Clanmother from Six Nations was present to also ask that ” there be no BMX Park in High Park.” Those words should have been respected and instead an apology made to our people for making them feel that they or their ancestors are not important.  I saw how the balance was tipped by a few towards youths and adults who are undeserving of a place in High Park as this would be a reward for the many years of bad and destructive behavior as well as deliberately breaking the law to get what they want.

I also don’t believe that the other options outside of the park were really seriously looked at, as it was also told tonight that a man who lives in the Humber Bay area, which is not even a 10 minute ride from High Park, has tried to get a BMX Park there for years. Since this man is willing to work with the city on developing the area near the Humber Bay as a site, then we strongly suggest that you pursue that option, because we will do everything possible to stop a BMX Park being put within High Park. It is not within the High Park Management Plan to include such destructive activities to the environment as well as our many sacred sites in which there are 57 left. And none of them will we compromise for the use of a bmx park or any other such activity that is destructive as BMX/skills parks are. We also don’t buy the excuses that the Kids would not cross the Lakeshore if the park was located there. As I have seen many so called kids and adults crossing the Lakeshore with their bikes, to use the bike trail that leads from Toronto to Niagara on The Lake and eastward to the Scarborough Bluffs. If the kids need to exercise so greatly then they can use the Lakeshore trail to ride their bikes on and they would get plenty of exercise. So crossing the Lakeshore and not having a place where they can exercise are not viable excuses.

And again the statement that was made by Councillor Sarah Doucette ” That Laurie Waters mentioned in the last meeting she attended, that she had no problem with the BMX Park being placed in the parking lot in the South East Corner of the park, as there is nothing sacred about a parking a lot”. Unfortunately for Councillor Doucette, no such statement was ever made by Laurie Waters at any meeting. The meeting that Doucette was referring to was the May meeting of former HPACC, and there was no mention of a BMX Park in the parking lot or any other meeting with the HPACC until tonight. Again Councillor Doucette will have to face up to what she said in front of Laurie in the future, and Doucette should not have made statements that Laurie did not say when she was not there to defend herself.

In a meeting that Laurie and I had with Div 11 at the end of May, we were made aware of the city wanting to put a BMX Park in the parking lot. We BOTH said “no” to the police and wanted them to take our alternative idea back of converting the parkette at Keele and Glenlake into a BMX Park to the city. Tonight people at the meeting claimed that park is over used by the neighbourhood kids. I used to live around that area a number of years ago, and had never seen that park being over used as people claim.

Another fallacy about the parking lot is that it isn’t used. I asked Scott Laver if he had been to that end of the park on the Weekend to see how “underused” the parking lot is. He said he had not been there at all on the weekends during the summer. The parking lot is used so much that there is not enough parking for those who want to use the south end of the park, and many times people have to park illegally in order to park at all.

It has also been our experience that the BMXERS will continue to use areas illegally no matter what is done to prevent it. As even since the fence has gone up and signs up, they still continue to jump the fence and bike where they are not supposed to. So mounding up the earth around a parking lot or planting bushes isn’t going to keep them “contained” as it has not kept them contained when they have been using other areas throughout the park illegally.

The best way to deal with this whole issue, is to provide them a place outside of High Park, that is not going to interfere with any environmental concerns or disrespect any of our sacred sites. That would satisfy the majority of the park users which from my many years of experience in High Park, are not the BMXERS or MTB community. And if there is a concern of them destroying other areas of the park because they don’t get their way, then the by-laws need to be enforced to put an end to this.

Another very important issue is the fact that when High Park was bequeathed to the City by John Howard is that the Six Nations would continue their custodial care and responsibility over the sacred sites in High Park. That is conditional and means that Six Nations Confederacy are the primary stakeholders of High Park. And when they say no to a BMX Park in High Park, that needs to be respected by all. Otherwise the experience of the Snake Mound will repeat itself and get even uglier this time. We will be taking further action to stop this BMX Park in High Park as such an activity does not belong in High Park. Please stop this now , take this BMX Park outside of High Park now and respect the words of our Grandmothers.

This is the kind of community that the City of Toronto is catering to: an example who these people really are…

THIS is how the “Indigenous People” who restored the Mounds and removed the Illegal Dirt Jumps in High Park are viewed by the BMX Community:
“high park recently torn down by Native Mohawk “canadian” liars. or pricks as I call them.) but only for a short time”
Sure shows the character of these who want a Skills park in High Park!
May 30, 2011
Full post by “Ghotet”: (pic on link, has 3 piereced lip rings; can’t copy)
hey! so im currently in the city, I have everything from Mississauga’s residential cyclist (mostly road) friendly stuff, to downtown Toronto at my disposal (short of the dirt park in high park recently torn down by Native Mohawk “canadian” liars. or pricks as I call them.) but only for a short time. Im at beginner stage, for sure. Always been a rider, was always intimdated by street and park bmx til recently though. focused on XC and drops for the most part, and as of last fall a bit of flatland.Anyway i’ve always been intrigued by stunts/tricks, the whole works. everything BMX, i loved and decided, finally to pick it up for myself. I’m 20 now and have major balls so im ready to take on the pain, and thus far, me and my bike(s) have both done so.So, im movin back to my home-town area, which has a skate park, city scape, aswell as major offroad sht that I found when i lived there. I’m really trying to find out what type of stunts I can do in any terrain.In this thread id like to kno what kind of stuff I can do on a bmx regardless of where I am. chances are the park will be the last place I hit. I dont like groups of ppl watching me learn. by learn i mean mess up royaly lol.So what can I do between dirt and reg street obstacles to get my techniques and tricks down? thus far, iv had no luck finding a rail (or other grind-able object) thats suitable for a beginner, which may not be the case when i move next month. Grinding has always been a high priority to me cuz it looks fun as hell. any suggestions on regular obstacles that others have found would be awesome. around here i only find rails goin down steep sets of paved steps, which i dont want to attempt yet, and unwaxed paved oversized curbs. wrecked a set of pegs on those.Ill build dirt jumps if need be. should be easy since im moving outside of a small city. but if i have to hit the city, ill do it. All suggestions welcome! (other than quitting)sry this is long, just thought d list off my experiences thus far. :p
(This should be brought into evidence along with the other 3 pages and blogto which shows the kind of people High Park would be dealing with: punks & thugs)
High Park Pink Bike; shows the attitude and who these guys area. (From Sept. 2010)
“Redstone” asks them to not use High Park Illegal jumps, and they threatened him or her.
Then contrast that with this:


Home to Endangered Habitats & Remarkable Biodiversity

Welcome to High Park, home to one of North America’s most endangered habitats – a Black Oak Savannah, a remnant of the sand prairie systems that used to cover much of southern Ontario. Majestic black oak trees tower over tallgrass prairie plants like big bluestem, little bluestem, butterfly milkweed and wild lupine.
This park is perfect for adults and children looking for a place to explore nature right in the city. It’s remarkable how many different species of birds, mammals, insects and plants you can discover. Take a walk along the nature trails. Or visit the park’s ponds and creeks and watch quietly for wildlife.
Remember how precious the park’s natural areas are and please treat the park with respect, so many more people can enjoy the wonderful legacy John Howard has passed along to us.
The site states then links to this:


The City’s Urban Forestry team initiated restoration of a degraded hillside in the south area of High Park in May after a staff assessment concluded that continued use of the site as a BMX skills park was not sustainable. READ MORE
Urban Forestry initiated restoration of a degraded hillside located in the south area of High Park on May 18, 2011.
High Park Restoration Location

erial view of the High Park Oak Woodland Restoration Site

Urban Forestry assessed the site in consultation with Park staff, concluding that continued use of the site as a BMX skills park was not sustainable and that continued recreational use would destroy the remaining trees on the site and lead to continued soil erosion. A decision was made to restore the site to a forested condition by relocating soils on site, enhancing vegetation cover and eliminating cycling use.

The restoration area on the hillside is part of a small oak deciduous forest, with remnant populations of oak, black cherry, maple leaf viburnum, witch hazel, choke cherry, dogwoods and bush honeysuckle as well as trilliums, upland bent grass, poison ivy, false solomon’s seal and other wildflowers.

As a result of continued recreational use, the site has experienced many years of extreme soil movement.  Some areas of excavation exposed tree roots and created unnatural depressions, while in other areas high mounds of soil were piled up against trees. Bike jumps had been constructed over top of downed woody material like stumps and limbs, as well as on soil mounds. Urban Forestry staff and community volunteers redistributed soil to fill areas of excavation and removed unnatural mounds.

Plug stock from the High Park native plant nursery were planted in May and about 500 shrubs purchased from a local grower and a mix of herbaceous plants were planted in the second week of June. Remaining unprotected soil was seeded with buckwheat as an annual cover crop to bind the soil. Additional planting is proposed to be completed in future years when stock is available from the High Park native plant nursery. Oaks will be allowed to naturally regenerate.

The first phase of the restoration project is now complete, with soil relocation and plantings finished as shown in one of the areas in the pictures below. The area is closed to public use to allow for the plantings to establish.

Before soil and planting

After soil and planting

High Park - Before Soil and Planting
High Park - After Soil and Planting
Restoration Planting (photo taken June 2011)
High Park - Restoration Planting - Photo taken June  2011

In 2008, the City was advised that the site was believed to be an aboriginal burial mound.   The City contracted a licensed archaeologist to conduct an archaeological assessment in accordance with the Ministry of Culture’s standards and guidelines. The assessments, completed in September 2009, determined that there is no evidence of archaeological materials. In May 2010, the province accepted the conclusions of the assessments. Based on information provided from these assessment, the City does not recognize the land as a burial ground. The group claiming the site to be culturally significant have been invited to participate in the restoration process.

Spring 2011 – Planting List:

  • Shrubs:
    Alternate leafed dogwood
    Round leafed dogwood
    Bush honeysuckle
    Common chokecherry
    Smooth Rose
    Purple flower raspberry
    Beaked hazel
    Maple leaf viburnum
  • Herbaceous:
    Pennsylvania  Sedge
    Upland Bent Grass

Related Information


Niawen skenon! Oneh!

In peace,


Request to Stop BMX Skills Park
Request to Stop BMX Skills Park

Stepping Into the Twilight Zone of Cultural Racism and the Oppression of Unearned Privilege

By Jacqueline S. Homan, author: Classism For Dimwits and Divine Right

Twilight Zone  ~ Golden Earring

“Help, I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone
Place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned
My beacons been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go Now that I’ve gone too far
Soon you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone”

On Wednesday September 28th 2011, I entered the Twilight Zone. The High Park Resources Group which oversees the activities of Toronto’s High Park met to discuss Scott Laver’s agenda for a proposed BMX “skills building” park in High Park on the Owl Mound and the parking lot contiguous to the Owl Mound and the Snake Mound. Both of these mounds are of cultural significance to the Native community. The meeting was chaired by Jorge Ture, the supervisor of High Park.

Scott Laver, a Parks Department employee and liaison for the BMX community, came to the meeting — not to present a polite request for a BMX park in High Park, but to ram this plan down the Native community’s throats with no regard whatsoever for the Indigenous people’s threatened and endangered culture. Laver said that the kids involved with BMX “skill building” will continue their recreation on the Native mound sites and wooded areas of High Park anyway — implying that city might as well accommodate them by sacrificing a Native sacred site so the precious darlings don’t mess up the rest of the park or interfere with other people’s peaceful enjoyment of the park.

Laver apparently had already decided to foist this upon the public without any intention of seriously considering alternative sites, three of which were suggested by Graham Seaman, Vice President of the Toronto Off Road Bicyclists Association (TORBA):

Option 1 – Open grassy area in Kings Mill Park
Option 2 – Open grassy area in Humber Marshes Park
Option 3 – Open grassy area in South Humber Park

Laver insisted that High Park’s current permissible uses be changed to allow for a BMX park to be built, saying, “Emerging demands of BMXing is incompatible with High Park’s current uses.”

He said that the parking lot next to the Owl Mound and Snake Mound “had been identified to accommodate a professionally designed skills park facility” that would offer technically challenging riding in a controlled environment. He also said that the City of Toronto’s Parks Department had hired a BMX park designer, Jay Hoots from BC, for the project.

Had the city checked out Jay Hoots, they would know that Hoots got his panties in a wad over losing the contract to build the Kitchener BMX park because he overcharged and then allegedly harassed the actual builder for out-bidding him. Jay Hoots will cost Torontonians more money — twice as much — for the same type of park that could be designed and built by locals with equipment and experience. Why aren’t the taxpayers of Toronto getting a say in whether or not a local contractor hiring local labor is used to plan and build the park?

Rastia’ta’non:ha, Director of the Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society (THPS), previously said “no” to this same proposal given by the Parks Department back in May and that this position remains unchanged. Laver argued that “the kids have nowhere else to go.”

Adrian Rhodes challenged that claim, pointing out that there were other more suitable areas that many BMXers also were agreeable to, including a small parkette just north of High Park and that there already were three existing BMX facilities, including the Wallace & Emerson BMX park.

Additionally there was an old unused hockey rink that could be converted for BMXing. But Laver said the existing places were unsuitable, that the kids had set fire to the ramps at Wallace & Emerson rendering it unusable, and that the hockey rink was a no-go because the kids want a BMX park in a natural terrain.

When it was suggested that the BMX park could be built in the Humber Bay area, which is a natural environment, Laver rejected that idea as well, saying “If we build it there, they won’t come. It has to be in High Park” — which implies threats of mayhem from the tantrum-throwing BMX community who bully others in order to get their way. Catherine Tammaro of Huron-Wendat descent and THPS Board member responded by asking why children and adults who had virtually destroyed a large area of forested oak savannah in the park and a sacred space, should be placated as a preventive to further illegal and destructive behavior on their part, in fact seemingly rewarding them for such behavior. She also suggested that all mounds in the park be preserved and protected which would bring admiration from the global community, rather than serving the wants of a very small, ill-behaved group.

Posts from the BMX community at Dropmachine.com forums suggest that BMXers are not the sort of people who believe the law applies to them. One of the posts states that “No one but the riders, ourselves, can determine what will make the park fun and desirable. Not the city.” These aren’t exactly the types who are willing to observe any ordinances and stay in their areas allowed by the city, regardless of what is built for them or where.

If these kids and young adult BMXers have such little appreciation for one of the sites they already had that they set on fire, why should these punks and thugs be rewarded for arson and vandalism by getting another one built for them on taxpayer money just so they can eventually destroy that one too? That money would be better spent on the poorest of the poor who have nothing, to give them a chance for something resembling a nice life.

Dirt jumps or BMX style tracks take up a LOT of room, disturb the landscape, and are not aesthetic. They also require regular maintenance — which costs money. Who will be forced to pay for that? Dirt jumps and pump tracks are pretty much dedicated to BMX. The price of a BMX bike ranges from $350 and go as high as $1,500. A used 2007 Gary Fisher Mullet BMX bike in good condition needing only the rear brakes fixed is going for $380 or best offer. So that leaves out poor kids who are lucky to be able to afford a $100 bike from Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire.

In the states, where tens of millions of poor people struggle just to stay alive, suffering without healthcare or any economic safety net, the price tag for one BMX bike that will only end up getting wrapped around a tree or dashed to bits on rocks could easily keep a family mired in poverty with no hope and no end in sight from freezing to death this winter by paying for utilities, firewood, or biomass pellets.

If a bunch of spoiled rich kids can afford the high-priced ticket of a BMX bike for their aggressive and dangerous sport, then they can afford to pay the costs of buying and building their own BMX facility without looking to Toronto taxpayers to foot the bill for this high-risk activity that is classist at its core since poor youth can’t afford to even get into the game. Any park subsidized by the public should not exclude society’s underprivileged; it should be accessible to all. Poor kids from Toronto at least could enjoy the free zoo at High Park, which the city is shutting down because it “can’t afford it.”

Is it fair that, owing to budget cuts and limited funds, one of the only recreational facilities that poor kids have should be shut down while monies from the public get diverted to pay for the designing and building of a BMX park that caters only to society’s more privileged teens and adults?

This is exclusionary and smacks of elitism and classism against Toronto’s poor youth. That issue alone outweighs any perceived advantage to a publicly funded BMX park that only affluent kids will benefit from. The adage of “live simply so that others can simply live” is apparently lost on the selfish BMXers, and on the city officials supporting them — due in no small measure to the dynamics of unearned social class privilege (who their affluent parents rub elbows with).

It’s also ironic that having a natural terrain BMX park is a non-negotiable “must have” when Scott Laver’s proposal was to put it in the tiny parking lot in High Park’s south east corner — especially when all of the other areas suggested were much bigger than a parking lot barely big enough to turn a car around in; a parking lot that many park-goers use — including members of various Native communities when they drive into Toronto for their ceremonies at the sacred sites.

Passing around a color-printed handout about Hoots Inc., a company located in BC, Laver said, “They’ve compromised on the activity side, and we’ve compromised on the nature side.” Rejecting all of the very reasonable suggestions for alternative sites because the BMXers must have High Park is no compromise by any definition. Laver’s demands that the Native community “be fair” about this was a slap in the face.

“Fair” means that everyone gets what he or she needs. The BMXers already have three existing places to go, plus many suggestions for additional alternative sites. But the Native communities, the Haudenosaunee in particular in this case, are not getting what they need. They cannot simply move their 3,000 year-old burial mounds and sacred sites — and they should not have to!

The majority of their burial mounds and sacred sites were utterly destroyed and desecrated when High Park was built up over the past 150 years — especially when Bloor Street was constructed and an untold number of ancient Native skeletal remains were unearthed. None of these remains and funerary artifacts were ever repatriated to the Native community. No one seems to know what happened to them. The cultural disruption caused by colonization followed by brutal assimilation policies have nearly wiped out all vestiges of Aboriginal people’s cultures. The continuity of a threatened population’s culture is a need; destroying yet another Native sacred site for someone else’s fun is not. The architects of the UN Declaration would agree.

All of this seemed to fall on deaf ears. Councillor Sarah Doucette, who supports Laver’s plan for the BMX park in High Park, said “Mothers don’t want their young children to have to cross Lakeshore Boulevard” in response to another suggested BMX site nearby outside of High Park.

But BMXing is a sport not engaged in by little kids. It’s a high risk activity enjoyed by teens and young adults up through their 30’s — hardly a demographic that wouldn’t be able to cross a busy street without their mommies at one of the designated cross-walks. BMXing has an injury rate that is high enough to result in being surcharged for health and life insurance, if not declined. BMXing is a very dangerous, high risk sport. Crossing Lakeshore Boulevard is not. People of all ages cross Lakeshore Boulevard all the time to catch the streetcar.

Matti Lehikoinen, a pro Downhill Mountain Biker and BMXer from Finland, suffered serious injuries more than once. In 2008, he fractured both wrists while BMXing, needing extensive reconstructive surgery because the fractures were so bad. 12 screws, 3 metal plates and 3 pins later, Matti was back on the BMX trail. He was injured again while racing at the Nordic Downhill Championships in Kungsberget-Sweden over the September 24th and 25th 2011 weekend. He was hospitalized and had to have brain scans. His partner Anna said, “Matti’s jaw, cheekbone, teeth, and nose are pretty badly damaged, and he will have surgery on Wednesday.”

Native rights to cultural preservation are only one of the major issues; liability issues for injuries and risks to public safety are another — passersby can be injured by BMXers. Is Toronto willing to cut off its nose to spite its face just to shove the Native community aside?

Cheryl Hart, who was also present at the meeting, sits on the High Park Resource Group’s board representing the Colburn Lodge which is concerned with maintaining High Park’s Anglo history, particularly the memory of John Howard — the wealthy British official who bought the land and established the park in the early 1800’s with the proviso that the Iroquois community remain stewards of the park among many other conditions.

In response to concerns about the destruction to the Native community’s long, rich history in the area and the loss of sacred sites, Cheryl Hart said, “there’s no historical value to the land.” Apparently, “historical preservation” doesn’t count when it is Aboriginal people’s history, traditions, and culture.

Councillor Doucette added that at a previous meeting, Laurie Waters, a Cree and board member of the THPS, said there would be no problem with putting a BMX park where Laver wants to put it because “there’s nothing sacred about a parking lot.” Yet, Laurie Waters states that she never said this. High Park is a very special place to Laurie as an Indigenous person who comes to the burial mounds for ceremonies honoring the ancestors.

BMXers won’t be content to remain within the area Scott Laver proposes; not with the tempting wooded and hilly terrain of the Owl Mound and Snake Mound right there. But that didn’t seem to concern Jorge Ture, who said that “there are procedures for getting Native burial grounds archeologically designated.”

But Toronto has a track record of using unlicensed archeologist Ron Williamson — an Indiana Jones wannabe who doesn’t have any love for Native people and who has engaged in shady practices. Toronto has a very ugly long-standing history of wiping out all traces of Aboriginal history and burying any evidence that it ever existed. There is plenty of archived information that proves a strong indigenous history of a vibrant and rich culture. Archived old newspaper articles cite the burial mounds in High Park and an ancient Indian tombstone — a petroglyph rock — which mysteriously disappeared during the late 1800’s when Bloor Street was put in.  It seems that Toronto’s non-Native city leadership is behind burying Native history, including the burial mounds, deliberately.

The attitudes displayed by Jorge Ture, Scott Laver, Sarah Doucette, and Cheryl Hart — all of whom talked dismissively of Aboriginal history — reveal an undercurrent of prejudice thinly masked beneath a veneer of polite civility. They acted like Donna Powless, Josephine Sandy, Catherine Tammaro, and Rastia’ta’non:ha and his helper, Sean (a shy Métis kid) weren’t even there. This shows just how bigoted Toronto’s city officials and upper-middle class civic leaders are against the Aboriginal community.

After the meeting ended, Scott Laver was asked why he felt no shame for what he was demanding of the Native community and told to look three of them in the eye and explain to them why he felt no shame, he refused to answer. He did not look at the Faithkeeper. He did not look at the Clanmother. He did not look at Rastia’ta’non:ha who is one of Chief Arnie General’s helpers. He did not see these three very real human beings standing right there in front of him.

One can only conclude that comfortably off teens and adults who can afford to spend $350 – $1,500 for a bike that will only get busted up or wrapped around a tree are spoiled, self-important brats with entitlement attitudes who think their “right” to fun supersedes a threatened community’s human rights to culture.

The following Internet forum posts from the BMX crowd say a lot about the sort of group that the City of Toronto is catering to and what these BMX people really are:

“Hey! So I’m currently in the city, I have everything from Mississauga’s residential cyclist (mostly road) friendly stuff, to downtown Toronto at my disposal (short of the dirt park in High Park recently torn down by Native Mohawk “Canadian” liars, or pricks as I call them)…”

The full post by “Ghotet” can be seen at: http://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=118755

And these posts on another BMX forum in response to “Redstone” who asked why the BMXers couldn’t pick a different spot and insisted on High Park on a Native burial mound last year. (One of the posters, “j-teeple” threatened “Redstone”): http://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/threadid=107390&pagenum=2

“I’d love to see you start moving dirt. I can honestly say you will not get too far into it without something happening. I know a LOT of people who would like to see you become part of the jumps. But I invite you to go ahead and try. Just try. You’ll see what happens…I gave you fair warning.”

Followed by this one from “recklessness”:

“I live in Toronto and would love to set up a meeting to discuss this issue rationally in person. If you want to go ahead and post your full name and address, I would be happy to drive down and mock you in person. I will even bring my shitty car because it will probably get stolen in your hood. Hell, I can even lend you a shovel because you are obviously poor.”

“Recklessness” deserves an A+ in Economics of Racism, Classism and Unearned Privilege 101. Are his parents proud of raising such a self-centered spoiled brat whose carbon footprint is larger than that of 100 poor people combined? How nice that the rest of society gets to put up with him, and all the others like him who have no consideration for anyone else because they think everything is all about them.

And the day after the High Park Resources Group meeting, this comment was posted by “Ajmckerihen” on the Pinkbike forum:

“Hello mountain bikers and BMXers, This is to inform you that the City of Toronto staff have recently closed an informal BMX freestyle  area(skills park) in High Park to restore an ecologically sensitive area. The site has been replanted, fenced off and is currently being monitored for any further cycling activity. A new skills park, offering technically challenging riding in an accessible and controlled environment, will be built on the site of the existing parking lot in the south east corner of High Park. City staff are currently working with accomplished skills park designer, Jay Hoots www.hoots.ca, to develop the new site that will include appropriate off-road cycling features, skills areas and landscape amenities. Please join Jay Hoots and City of Toronto staff on Wednesday, October 19th from 6:00 – 8:30 PM, at the Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, to participate in the design consultation for the new skills park in High Park. Jay wants to hear from you.”

Natural Environment Trails Program


That post says almost verbatim what was written on Scott Laver’s outline that he presented at the High Park group’s meeting on September 28th. Is “Ajmckerihen” Scott Laver? The post’s signature gives a good clue: the Natural Environment Trails Program, which Scott Laver is involved with. Following the link and perusing the site, it is interesting to note that the City of Toronto paid for a study on the feasibility of installing a bio-toilet in the park. (One must be environmentally correct in matters of defecation; but a tree-destroying, soil-eroding upper-middle class white male “sport”— well, that’s a whole other story.) It is also interesting to note the backdoor meeting scheduled for October 19th between these rich kids and the City of Toronto’s staff and policymakers.

Several attendees at the September 28th meeting voiced concerns about the BMX park provoking a conflict with the Native community.

Jerry Hodges told Laver that if he and the BMXers stubbornly go ahead with their BMX park plans it would ignite a very unpleasant confrontation with the Native community that could get very ugly, and nobody wants that.  Kim Jackson of Friends of the Snake Mounds said, “I’m just shocked that there is so much concern for these BMX kids, but there is none at all for the Aboriginal community.”

It is easier to relocate the plans for a BMX park than it is to relocate a 3,000 year-old burial mound. The Native community has, over the past several decades, been forced to compromise far more than anyone else has had to but the BMXers don’t care about that. Maybe the whole BMX issue isn’t really about a sport. If it was about a place for a recreational activity, then Scott Laver would not have summarily rejected all of the reasonable suggestions of alternative sites without fully exploring them. There is only one logical conclusion: This is about a lot of beneficiaries of unearned privilege who want Aboriginal people to fade away into oblivion.

Apparently, Native culture is something they only care about so long as they can exercise total control over it by restricting it to museums. A living, breathing, vibrant Native community freely enjoying their culture and traditions — a thriving people whose human rights are equally valued and respected as everyone else’s — is anathema to many, including the BMXers. They don’t want to deal with Aboriginal people who refuse to be pushed around and relegated to the silent, stoic role of iconic wooden cigar store Indians and mascots consigned to the ash heap of Manifest Destiny.

Stepping Into the Twilight Zone of Cultural Racism and the Oppression of Unearn

Map of Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavonia , Toronto On
Map of Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavonia , Toronto On

Map of Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavonia , Toronto On, location of meeting on Oct.19,2011 6:00 pm-8:30 pm Roseau Room with City and BMXERS.

ed Privilege

Spring Road Parking Lot 1100 am Oct 09, 2011b closeness to Owl Mound
Spring Road Parking Lot 1100 am Oct 09, 2011b closeness to Owl Mound
Spring Road Parking Lot 130 pm full Oct 09, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 130 pm full Oct 09, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 130 pm full Oct 09 b, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 130 pm full Oct 09 b, 2011
Proposed High Park BMX Park sign at South Duck Pond near Spring Rd. Parking Lot. Oct.09, 2011
Proposed High Park BMX Park sign at South Duck Pond near Spring Rd. Parking Lot. Oct.09, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011 b
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011 bProposed High Park BMX Park sign at Grenadier Restaurant Oct.09, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011 a
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011 a
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011
Spring Road Parking Lot 500 pm full Oct 09, 2011
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Mckees Rock Mound – sacred to Iroquoian people

This page is dedicated to exposing the fraudulent re-written history being promoted by an individual, by the name of Eugene Strong, who is claiming Pottawatomie heritage. A copy of this book full of otah and lies has been sent to us for our review. Some of the cultural misappropriation will be discussed on this page.

A few lines from this book state: Queen Aliquippa, was a Delaware or Lenape Clanmother. From many other sources, this is one of the statements not holding any water, as Queen Aliquippa was a Seneca leader and her husband was a Seneca Chief. She had a village located near the McKee’s Rock Mound, which was part of the ancient agreement between the Erie Confederacy and the Five Nations ( Six Nations) for the Six Nations to be stewards of the ancient mound sites.

Further another one of the many errors in the book, classified the Monongahela people as Algonquin. They were not Algonquin, as the Monongahela were part of the Erie Confederacy, which also in the 1600’s became completely absorbed into the Five Nations ( Six Nations).We all lived in round houses at one time, as the Iroquoian people did not always live in longhouses, so finding round house structures near ancient mound sites is no indication that they were Algonquin ancestral sites. Types of houses can not be used to classify a site solely on their own as whether the site is ancestral to Iroquoian or Algonquin.  This is the common error that many archaeologists and anthropologists have made. Upon further investigation with other Iroquoian leaders, it has been said that the Monongahela people were a mixed people of the Iroquoian and Siouan. This would explain why two different house structures have been found at Monongahela village sites, both oval and round. As stated before the Monongahela were not Algonquin/Delaware/Shawnee/Pottawatomie as claimed in the book of lies and otah that Eugene is peddling.

Here are some documents from other sources proving that McKees Rock Mound is not an Algonquin site.

Seneca Tribe Leader Visited by George Washington Queen Aliquippa (d. 1754) was a leader of the Mingo Seneca Tribe who lived near what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. George Washington visited Aliquippa in December 1753, stating: “As we intended to take horse here [at Frazer’s Cabin on the mouth of Turtle Creek], and it required some time to find them, I went up about three miles to the mouth of the Youghiogheny to visit Queen Aliquippa, who had expressed great concern that we passed her in going to [Fort LeBouef]. I made her a present of a match-coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the better present of the two.” Not sure if this quote means that Queen Aliquippa was feeling shunned because the General was in town and not paying a visit, or if she was mistrustful of his presence. Either way, that bottle of rum seemed to do the trick.


Queen Alliquippa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Queen Alliquippa (died December 23, 1754) was a leader of the Seneca tribe of American Indians during the early part of the 18th century.

Little is known about Alliquippa’s early life. Her date of birth has been estimated anywhere from the early 1670s to the early 18th century.

By the 1740s, she was the leader of a band of Mingo Seneca living along the three rivers (the Ohio River, the Allegheny River, and the Monongahela River) near what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

By 1753, she and her band were living at the junction of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers near the present site of McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

George Washington wrote of his visit to Alliquippa in December 1753 stating: “As we intended to take horse here [at Frazer’s Cabin on the mouth of Turtle Creek], and it required some time to find them, I went up about three miles to the mouth of the Youghiogheny to visit Queen Alliquippa, who had expressed great concern that we passed her in going to [Fort LeBouef]. I made her a present of a match-coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the better present of the two.”

Queen Alliquippa was a key ally of the British leading up to the French and Indian War. Alliquippa, her son Kanuksusy, and warriors from her band of Mingo Seneca traveled to Fort Necessity to assist George Washington but did not take an active part in the Battle of the Great Meadows on July 3-4,1754.

After the British defeat at the Battle of the Great Meadows and the evacuation of Fort Necessity, Alliquippa moved her band to the Aughwick Valley of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania for safety. She died there on December 23, 1754.

The city of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania was named in her honor by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. However, she herself had no connection to the land upon which the city was built [1].

Note: In 1752, Conrad Weiser reported visiting Queen Aliquippa, at “Aliquippa’s Town” located on the Ohio at the mouth of Chartier’s Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River near McKees Rock and Pittsburgh. In January, 1754, George Washington, was sent by Virginia’s Lt. Governor Dinwiddie to ask the French to leave the Ohio region, and he met with Iroquois leaders at Logstown, whilst there Washington failed to pay his respects to Queen Aliquippa. Washington arrived at the Great Meadows (Fort Necessity) 24 May 1754 A Virginia regiment arrived at the Great Meadows with the Half King on
9 June 1754. Battle of Fort Necessity occurred 3 July 1754. On the 4th of July, Washington surrendered to the French and accepted defeat. The British troops left Fort Necessity for Wills Creek on the morning of July 4, from there they marched back to Virginia. To understand the events of the day, a hearing conducted by Virginia’s Lt. Governor Dinwiddie was held. On August 27, 1754, a deposition was filed by a Captain John B. W. Shaw that stated the Native Americans, including Queen Alquippa, loyal to the British were going to “Jemmy Arther” for protection. “Jemmy Arther” was Aughwick or George Croghan’s settlement. In a letter dated 16th of August 1754, Croghan wrote to the governor of the province of Pennsylvania that the Half King and his fellow Mingo Seneca people had been staying with him at Aughwick since Washington’s defeat (Hazard 1897, 140-141). Conrad Weiser visited Croghan’s homestead at Aughwick on September 3, 1754 to investigate the situation and reported to Governor Hamilton. In Wiser’s report to the  Governor he reported to the Governor that; “. he had encountered about twenty cabins about Croghan’s house, and in them at least 200 Indians, men, women and children.” (Hazard 1878, 149). On December 23, 1754, Queen Alquippa died at Aughwick (Fort Shirley). Croghan’s blunt journal entry records her passing, “Alequeapy, ye old quine is dead.”

Burns, Jonathan A., Drobnock, George John, and Smith, Jared M. 2008. Croghan at Aughwick: History, Maps, and Archaeology Collide in the Search for Fort Shirley. Paper Presented Pioneer America Society October 2008. Hazard, Samuel. 1851. Pennsylvania Archives, vol. II. Joseph Severns and Co.,Philadelphia, PA. Hazard, Samuel. 1878. Pennsylvania Archives, vol. VI. Joseph Severns and Co., Philadelphia, PA. Hazard, Samuel. 1851. The Pennsylvania Colonial Records, vol. VI, Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania. Theodore Fenn and Co., Harrisburg, PA.



by Robert Hilliard

Milestones Vol 21 No. 3–Autumn 1996

This single verse of the Robert Schmertz song, “The Forks of  the O-hi-o”, tells the story:

Now Queen Allaquippa was the Indian skipper Of a tribe down Logstown way; And George said, “I better win this lady Indian and without delay. So he took her a coat and a jug of whisky and stayed a day or so, And he came back a ridin’and a lookin’and a walkin’ to the forks of the 0-hi-o.

Queen Aliquippa (or Allequippa, or Allaquippa, depending on  your preference), like so many other figures throughout history, seems to be best remembered not for her lifetime achievements, but for her brief encounter with someone who went on to far greater renown, a callow, young militia officer named George Washington. The mention of Aliquippa’s. name in young Major Washington’s journal in 1754 has over the ensuing years been the thing for which she is best remembered. It seems odd that a woman of such obvious influence and power in early western Pennsylvania history has been defined by a sarcastic remark penned by a 20 year old soldier.

The story of Queen Aliquippa begins long before 1754, in fact before white trappers were even venturing into western Pennsylvania. For this very reason, though, no accurate record of her life exists. The information that can be found is extremely fragmented, and in several cases contradictory, so sorting through the fact and fiction of her life will be left to the reader.

The most commonly repeated story of Aliquippa’s life begins with her visit, along with her husband and infant son, to Wilmington, Delaware in the autumn of 1701. The family had made the trip from their home in the Conestoga Valley in
central Pennsylvania to bid farewell to William Penn as he prepared to sail home to England. Previous to this time,
details of her life are practically non-existent, but at least two different historians have indicated that she was born in the 1680s, perhaps in 1685, probably in upstate New York. She was probably a member of the Seneca Indian tribe, but her family may have been part of a small faction of that tribe that broke away and moved to the Conestoga Valley. This group was later referred to as the Mingos, but they still retained their ties to the Seneca tribe and the Iroquois federation.

A second version of her early life has her being born in 1706, along with a twin sister called Snow in the Face, in a Washington county village called Indian Ridge. According to this story, the twins’ father, Oppaymolleh, was a village chief, from whom Aloquippa inherited her influence among her tribe. One unexplained detail of this version is the difficulty that Aliquippa would have had in traveling to Wilmington in 1701 (with a husband and son, no less), when she wasn’t born until five years later.

In all likelihood, her father was a man of importance, perhaps a chief, with the Mingos. Her husband may have been a chief as will, but this is another point of confusion. One historian surmises that her husband was Connodaghtoh, a Mingo who died shortly after the 1701 encounter with William Penn. Another names Allemykoppy, a Seneca chief, as her mate. At least one other reference states that she was married to the Seneca chief Alleguippas. (While Alleguippas was in central and western Pennsylvania around the same time period as Aliquippa, it seems most likely that the two have been linked
only by the similarity of their names.) Whatever the case, she seems to have outlived her husband, and apparently inherited his position of importance in the community. In the words of another Seneca chief of the era, Tanacharison (or the Half-King as the British called him), it was not unusual for women to occupy a position of power with the Iroquois.  “Women have great influence on our young warriors,” he said, “It is no new thing to take women into our councils, particularly among the Senecas.” This was becoming increasingly true in the mid-1700s, as frequent skirmishes depleted the ranks of the male warriors and the tribal system among the Iroquois began to break down.

According to a Quaker settler named Thomas Chalkey, a tribe ruled by Aliquippa lived in western Chester County in the early 1700s, but they moved to the western part of the state in the 1730s. Once in this area, Aliquippa’s band of Senecas, which numbered about thirty families, is repoited to have lived at various times along the Youghiogheny, Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers.

Wherever they moved, Aliquippa seemed to command respect, not only from the Indian families under her rule, but from the
white explorers and traders who were beginning to slowly trickle into the region. In 1748, Conrad Weiser, Pennsylvania’s
ambassador to the Indian nations, traveled through the area on his way to a council meeting at Logstown (near present-day Ambridge), and quickly found out not only how much respect the aging leader commanded, but how quickly she became outraged when she felt slighted. When she found that Weiser had gone to Logstown without stopping in her village (which Weiser places on the north shore of the Allegheny, above the forks of the Ohio), she sent word to him demanding that he come and pay tribute. Not wishing to offend her, he quickly complied only to be further chided for not bringing enough gunpowder to give to her village. Diplomat that he was, Weiser satisfied her that he would leave what he could and get more to her as soon as possible.

Although the ‘queen’, as the English took to calling her, refused council with the French, her village always held a warm reception for the British. In 1752, Weiser again reported visiting her, this time at ‘Aliquippa’s Town’, located on the Ohio at the mouth of Chartiers Creek. It seems that the ambassador had grown wiser in the four years since his last visit; his journal mentions that his boat was hailed by a Delaware Indian village on the opposite bank of the Ohio, but he chose to put in at Aliquippa’s Town first.

About a year and a half later, in January, 1754, another future diplomat was to learn the same lesson. At a mere 20 years old, Major George Washington of the Virginia colonial militia, was sent by Governor Robert Dinwiddie to ask the French troops in the Ohio Valley to leave the region. Washington traveled from Virginia to Logstown for a council with the local Iroquois leaders, but failed to drop in on Queen Aliquippa, who by then was living on the Monongahela at the mouth of the Youghiogheny (present day McKeesport).

After completing his mission, and narrowly avoiding an untimely demise on several occasions, Washington struggled to John Fraser’s trading post at the mouth of Turtle Creek (present-day Braddock) only to hear word that the ancient Seneca queen was angry that he had bypassed her on the first leg of his trip. After taking some time to recover from his journey, the young major took a side trip to the mouth of the Yough to pay tribute to Aliquippa. His journal entry of the visit was short and to the point, “I made her a Present of a Match Coat; & a Bottle of rum, which was thought much the better present of the two.” Washington could never have imagined that this tongue-in-cheek comment would eventually be immortalized in song and would be the best remembered event of Aliquippa’s life.

Washington and Aliquippa crossed paths again only six months later when he was under siege at Ft. Necessity. Aliquippa and her son, Kanuksusy, were among the Indians who traveled to the Great Meadows to hole up with Washington’s small troop at the fort. It was here that a more telling incident of Washington’s opinion of Aliquippa occurred. Washington, now a militia lieutenant colonel, wanted to hold a small  ceremony honoring the queen for her loyalty and service to the British cause. Begging ill health, Aliquippa asked that her son be honored in her place. Washington agreed, and the ceremony went on. As part of the event, Kanuksusy was given the English name Colonel Fairfax, after one of Washington’s Virginia benefactors.

After the fall of Ft. Necessity on July 4, Aliquippa and the remainder of her clan moved on to the homestead of frontier
trader George Croghan. The homestead, called Augswich (present day Shirleysburg, Huntingdon County), was where the tired Seneca leader, then probably over 80 years old, lived out her last few months. On December 23, 1754, Croghan’s blunt journal entry records her passing, “Alequeapy, ye old quine is dead.”

Gone was a woman who left her mark on the landscape of  western Pennsylvania, both figuratively and literally. Her courage and strength of commitment to the British cause were passed on to her son, who was later decorated by the Pennsylvania Provincial Council for his bravery during Braddock’s defeat; and many other members of the Seneca tribe in the region as well. Due in large part to their loyalty, the British were able to wrest control of the continent from the French. With her obvious influence among the tribes of this area, and her unwavering support of the colonists, Aliquippa undoubtedly contributed in some measure to their victory.

In a more measurable sense, Aliquippa’s presence can still be seen today on any map of western Pennsylvania. Of course
the city of Aliquippa was named for her (although, contrary to popular opinion, she probably never lived where it is located) as were several other areas near Augswich, where she died. These include Alliquippa’s Ridge and Alliquippa’s Gap. Maps from the early 1700s also refer to Chartiers Creek as Allaquippa’s Creek, and Brunots Island as Allaquippa’s Island.

The fact that these many places were named for her fittingly points out what may have been the two defining characteristics of her life. The first was the wanderlust that led her to travel with her tribe across the rugged Allegheny Mountains and then to move them from one site to another across the region. The second was the esteem in which she was held by her peers, both Iroquois and European. Tagging each of these locations with her name speaks volumes about the influence of this ancient Seneca woman, about whom so little else is known.

**** From many documented sources, it is seen clearly that Eugene Strong, and the Mound Society of Western Pennsylvania is involved in fraud by changing and re-writing the history of the land about these mounds, in order to write the Haudenosaunee people out of the history of the land, something that many Iroquoian peoples have had enough of. I am sure that something will be done soon to put a stop to the cultural misappropriation of our sacred sites.

George Washington Map showing Logstown, Aliquippas Town, and Mingo Town
George Washington Map showing Logstown, Aliquippas Town, and Mingo Town
McKees Rock Mound Marker
McKees Rock Mound Marker
McKees Rock mounds
McKees Rock mounds

Big Bucks, Tax-Exempt Real Estate to be Made by Using Dead Indians in Sham

By Jacqueline S. Homan, author: Classism For Dimwits and Divine Right

When Eugene Strong claimed that he was trying to force Carnegie Museum to return the human remains and funerary artifacts that they currently hold in their custody that had been excavated over a hundred years ago from the McKees Rocks Mounds, Eugene told the Post-Gazette reporter Anya Sostek that his grandfather was Potawatomi.[1]

In another article, he said he was 1/8th Ojibwe.[2] He says that gives him the right to gain control/ownership of the mounds and get custody of his ancestors’ remains.

The problem is that those mounds do not contain his ancestors. (One way to tell whose ancestors they are is to do DNA tests on members of the Native American community of closest cultural affiliation.)

Strong also previously told news reporters that he is working through the Gun Lake Potawatomi tribe in Michigan — a tribe that only recently got federal recognition and which had amassed quite a bit of money within a short time of their recognition, enabling them to move forward with a lucrative casino project. OK, fine. No one begrudges Indians anything, or at least they shouldn’t. After a century of dishonor that followed the cruel invasion of Columbus’s merry band of opportunistic social predators, sadists, and rapists, no one who is any sort of a decent human being should begrudge Native Americans a couple of casinos if that’s what they want.

But should the public allow non-Natives to grab money, grants, and other benefits specifically earmarked for Native Americans who truly need it while Native elders, women and children languish in Third World poverty on reservations? What kind of individual, or group, thinks it’s OK to take limited resources away from poor women and children?

The Gun Lake tribe has not confirmed that Eugene Strong is one of its members, nor any sort of spokesperson on their behalf acting on their authority. Had the Post-Gazette done some cursory checks into Strong’s background, they would have seen that Eugene Strong lied about his lineage. Had they done their homework, they would have also seen that having Native lineage is not a prerequisite for being accepted into a Native community. Maybe then they would have done some real investigative reporting.

Knowing Eugene Strong’s age from his Facebook profile and personal conversations as well as what was stated in previous news articles about his annual “March for the Ancestors” at the McKees Rocks mounds, his cell phone number, and where he lived was enough to get an accurate dossier from Intellius on this guy — which anyone can obtain on any US resident if they want to make sure that they’re not going on a long road trip to an AIM pow-wow with an axe murderer.

Now, the exhaustive information listed on a full background Intellius report was enough to get a running start on tracing Strong’ genealogy through Ancestry.com or any other credible genealogy sites. Starting with the fact that Eugene Strong’s son, Eugene F. Strong III, died under suspicious circumstances in 2010, this tells us that the Eugene Strong of the McKees Rocks mounds is really Eugene F. Strong II (or Eugene F. Strong, Jr.).

Scouring the newspaper archives for Indiana County, PA where Strong is originally from, several newsworthy items show up for him and his family (all of which are public record) — his maternal great-grandparents’ lavish 50th wedding anniversary[3]; his own birth[4]; the funeral notice for his paternal grandfather Ernest W. Strong who was a WW I veteran[5]; Eugene’s 10th birthday celebration on the Ricky and Copper program on WTAE Channel 4[6]; a car accident involving his mother and her parents, himself, and his siblings[7], and another car accident in which Eugene was the 18 year-old driver.[8]

Although the subject of blood quantum is a very contentious issue, examining one’s genealogy because they’re making a claim in order to get federal grant monies, ownership of an ancient burial ground through cash donations through a “non-profit” organization, and custody of Native human remains and funerary artifacts helps weed out the frauds and shysters. And lately, there has been an epidemic of frauds and charlatans misappropriating Native people’s culture for profit.

Since the linchpin of Eugene Strong’s goals for the McKees Rocks mound and getting custody of ancient Native remains from Carnegie Museum rests on Strong’s claim of Native blood through a Native grandfather born on a reservation, checking out Strong’s background and genealogy is quite relevant.

In the US, tribal enrollment requirements vary from tribe to tribe. Tribal enrollment criteria are set forth in tribal constitutions, articles of incorporation, or ordinances. Since the criteria vary, uniform membership requirements and acknowledgment of “who is Native American” don’t really exist. But two common requirements for membership are lineal descent from someone on that tribe’s base roll or relationship to a tribal member who descended from someone on that base roll.[9]

Many US tribes’ enrollments are based on blood quantum (except in cases where a non-Native person is formally adopted into the tribe), and the amount of blood quantum varies with some requiring 1/16th as their minimum, such as the Eastern Cherokee; while others require as much as ½ such as the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. Blood quantum refers to the degree of Native ancestry for an individual of a specific racial or ethnic group. Many tribes don’t impose a blood quantum as condition of membership but that does not mean that they let just anyone enroll. Usually, applicants seeking membership must still prove they’re direct descendents of original tribal enrollees.

And just because a particular tribe may accept you for membership, or adopt you formally into their fold, that won’t automatically make you eligible for certain US federal programs, benefits, and money. Most US federal programs designed to benefit Native Americans do require a minimum blood quantum in order to be eligible for services, including grant monies.

Since Strong claims he is Potawatomi because his grandfather was Potawatomi and born on an Indian reservation, using the information available to the public made it quite easy to trace his genealogy to his great-grandparents — none whom are listed in any official records as having any Native blood. And tracing them wasn’t difficult considering that Strong is from a small, rural southwestern coal mining town and grew up in Homer City — a town of 1,844 in the heart of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Tiny hamlets like Homer City that dot Indiana County’s landscape are the kind of small towns where everybody knows everybody else’s business and unlike a big city, the chances of there being people with the same exact names and birthdates and spouses (as shown in old censuses) are slim to none. So, assuming that Eugene Strong isn’t using a stolen identity, and assuming that the available historical data, including old newspapers and military records, are accurate; the genealogical records for both of Strong’s grandfathers and all four of his great-grandfathers are as follows:

Eugene F. Strong II’s paternal grandfather, Ernest Walton Strong (aka Ernest W. Strong) who was born in Kansas in 1891 to Albert and Clara Strong (née Brengle).[10] Albert Strong was the son of a German immigrant father and Scots-Irish mother. Clara was born to a pioneer couple in Indiana in 1869-70. Clara’s father was Richard Logan Brengle (aka Richard L. Brengle), a Civil War veteran[11] and a minister born in 1835 Kentucky and Mary A. Brengle (née Vermillion) who was born around 1835 in Illinois.[12] The Brengles were listed as “white” as were their children[13], and so were the Strongs.

Ernest Strong’s birth date, birth place, and race (“white”) listed in the 1900 US Census and in the US 1910 Census match his WW I draft registration card. Sometime after the end of WW I, Ernest Strong met and married Goldie Clawson (born about 1902, died in 1975)[14], daughter of Sarah Mae Clawson (née Greer) and Jonathon Clawson (all whom are “white”)[15]. Ernest Strong and his wife Goldie raised a family in Lucerne Mines, Indiana County, Pennsylvania and achieved the American Dream.

When Ernest Strong died at age 86, the Indiana Evening Gazette and the rest of the community bid a fond farewell to the decorated WWI veteran, mining company employee, preacher and magistrate. He had lived a full life and experienced many things. But being a Potawatomi Indian born on a Michigan reservation was not one of them. So that rules out Eugene Strong’s paternal grandfather.

Going back to the beginning with the newspaper archives starting with his maternal grandparents’ golden wedding anniversary; we see that this was a pretty expensive soirée according to the write-up in the Indiana Post-Gazette which described this lavish celebration as a “party for about 100 guests that was held in the daughter’s home.”

To be able to accommodate 100 guests, all in formal attire, presents and food galore, you would need a mansion. Eugene is named as one of the great-grandchildren who presented the great-grandmother with her corsage. From the looks of the old newspaper photo accompanying the article, this shindig was no casual affair. Cross-referencing the names of the couple and their adult children through the old census records and the Social Security Death Index, we find that the “Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Smith” listed in the write-up on this fancy party were Eugene Strong’s maternal grandparents — Robert Lee Smith (aka Robert L. Smith) originally from Michigan and Viola “Betty” Smith (née Snyder) from Pennsylvania.

Since Eugene’s grandfather Strong wasn’t the Potawatomi (or Ojibwe) Indian born on a Michigan reservation, we now turn our attention to his grandfather Smith.

Robert L. Smith was born in 1889 in Marine City, St. Clair County, Michigan[16] to Ellen Clara Raymond (born in 1867 in New Baltimore, Michigan and died in 1940 in Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan[17]) and her husband Robert Abel Smith — all whom are listed as “white”.[18] According to the Michigan state government’s database, there are no Indian reservations in either Saint Clair County or Macomb County. So, if Eugene’s grandfather Smith was born in Saint Clair County, he was not born on an Indian reservation.

The 1930 US Census show Eugene’s grandfather Smith as married to his second wife, Viola, who was born Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Robert. L. Smith and his wife Viola and their children are all listed as “white.” At some point the Smiths moved to Viola’s home state, Pennsylvania and Robert Lee Smith died in Homer City, Indiana County in 1970. It was one of their daughters who married Eugene Strong’s father, Eugene Strong, Sr. All of this rules out Eugene’s grandfather Smith as being the Potawatomi Indian born on a Michigan reservation.

Although the issues of race, gender, and socio-economic class converge in ways to perpetuate and support an entire system of unearned privileges (white privilege, male privilege, and middle class privilege) that gave rise to many mixed race people “passing as white” if they looked European enough to pull it off, there is no way to prove for certain that Eugene’s grandparents or great-grandparents were part Native.

Even if one of his great-grandparents was part Native, that still does not square with the fact that Eugene lied by claiming that his grandfather was Potawatomi and born on a reservation when all available public records indicate otherwise.

The issue here is that someone publicly claiming they’re something that they’re not as part of an elaborate ruse to get his hands on federal monies intended to benefit Native people who really need it.

The issue is about a “non-profit” organization whose director is asking for the public to donate money to his group so that he can buy 5+ acres of borough-owned land and capitalize off of its Native cultural significance.

It’s really sad that so many people out there fortunate enough to have good jobs and money to throw around prefer to donate to charities and non-profits (which only seem to exist to provide cushy jobs and cash flows for high-level executives and administrators from the middle class), that take up trendy causes while real individuals in desperate need go without.

A common sentiment among many in the Native community is that the comfortably off would rather spend money for museums to warehouse empty cradle boards while living Native women and children suffer in grueling Third World poverty on isolated reserves with contaminated soil and drinking water — complete with untreated maladies such as permanently disabling conditions stemming from malnourishment and untreated helminth infections caused by parasitic worms; marginalized and excluded on the perimeters of society and then told that if they’re not making it, it’s their own fault.

Not counting the Intellius background report, the genealogical research on Eugene Strong includes 48 different historical records — none of which supports his claim. So either all those records are wrong, or Eugene Strong is wrong.

The info section on his Facebook page under the part “About Eugene” states “YOU CANNOT BUY SACRED!” Yet, he is openly soliciting money from an unsuspecting public at large to do just that. He also stated on his Facebook page in the info section that he is Potawatomi, and his grandfather was Potawatomi — which has not been proven to be true.

What is proven to be true is that Strong is trying to capitalize off of a Native American burial site through attempts to get federal grant money earmarked only for Native Americans and cash donations from the public at large in order to get 5+ acres (or more) of land sitting on an ancient Native burial mound plus a nice cash stream for himself and the non-Native people on the executive board of his “non-profit” group — including Mark Gruber, the former anthropology professor and ex-priest fired from St. Vincent College for using his office’s computer to “create and download pornography[19] of young men, some who may have been underage boys.

The McKees Rocks borough just granted Strong a permit to hold his “March for the Ancestors” (his Walkathon for money) again on September 17th and 18th, 2011. Giving Eugene Strong and his group a permit to march is effectively giving them permission to use the public square to bolster their scam. Why should we be forced to give shysters a platform to aid in their fraudulent designs?

Last year, he paraded his dead son’s ashes as part of his ploy at his 2010 “March For the Ancestors.” He told news reporters that “he and his group plan to apply for federal grants to pursue their cause”, which is to buy the borough-owned portion of the mounds which was valued at $267,400 according to an Allegheny County property assessment website and much of that land is vacant.[20]

How about this for a reality check: Civil and decent people don’t pimp their dead child’s cremated remains in an attention-whoring scheme to “steal the sacred” by misappropriating one Native community’s culture in order to hijack another Native community’s burial ground for a bargain basement price — using other people’s money to boot — all in order to make a buck by erecting a tourist center and charging admission fees, while violating NAGPRA protocols and federal laws for repatriation and protection of Native burial grounds.

That’s not “honoring” anyone’s ancestors or “saving” anything. It’s capitalizing off of dead Indians at the expense of their living descendents, and the public at large that is being scammed into donating money during these tough economic times towards Eugene Strong’s shambolic venture.

Anyone supporting Eugene Strong in this endeavor apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the word “integrity”, much less have any themselves.

If Strong really, truly cared about “honoring the ancestors” in the McKees Rocks mounds, why is he fighting so hard to silence the voices in the closest culturally affiliated Native community?

Why is he bypassing the appropriate authorities and chain of command in that community and thumbing his nose at NAGPRA regulations?

Why did he and his buddies tell a real Indian, a Bear Clan Mohawk named Nikki Maracle who is traditional Longhouse, that she is “misguided” and doesn’t know her own people’s history?

Is this how someone “honors the ancestors” — by cutting out their descendents and denying them a voice at the table, and violating protocols despite repeated requests from Native people who have asked Strong to step aside and let them handle it?

Are Indian graveyards and empty cradle boards on display in tourist centers more important than real, living, breathing, thinking, feeling Native people?

One of the best ways to “honor the ancestors” is to have some consideration for their Native descendents today. Eugene Strong has not done this, and neither have those who are supporting him and his “non-profit” organization, the Mounds Society of Western Pennsylvania.

[1] “Ancient Indian Burial Mound in the Rocks?”, by Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday August 7th 2010

[2] “Group honors, hopes to reclaim McKees Rocks burial grounds”, by Matthew Santoni, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wednesday September 22nd 2010

[3] Indiana Evening Gazette, October 11th 1952 — “Mr. and Mrs. William F. Snyder celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on September 28th. They were the guests of honor at a party given for them by their son and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Smith of Homer City. The party for about 100 guests was held in the daughter’s home. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder have two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. The anniversary cake was from their son and daughter, and Mrs. Snyder’s corsage was from her two great-grandchildren, Christine Strong and Eugene Strong II. The honored couple received many beautiful gifts.”

[4] Indiana Evening Gazette, December 29th 1951

[5] Indiana Evening Gazette, March 6th, 1978 — “Ernest W. Strong, 86, died Saturday March 4th 1978 in Cameron Manor. He was born on June 11th, 1891 in Kansas. Mr. Strong was a member of UMWA Local 488, Lucerne Mines, a justice of the peace in Center Twp., a minister of the Church of God and a Merchant Marines veteran of WW I. Surviving are two sons: Eugene and Leroy, both of Lucerne Mines; one sister, Marie Kiley of Sorona, Calif.; 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Goldie; two sons: Leonard, who died in WW II, and Harvey. Friends will be received from 2-4 and 7-9 PM today in the Richard T. Bell Funeral Home, Indiana, where services will be held Tuesday at 1 PM. Chris W. Royer will officiate with interment in the Greenwood Cemetery, Indiana.”

[6] Indiana Evening Gazette, November 28th, 1961 — “Eugene Strong will celebrate his tenth birthday on the Ricky and Copper program on WTAE Channel 4 on December 22nd at 9:30 AM. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs., Eugene Strong of Homer City, R.D. 2.”

[7] “Yesterdaze”, Indiana Evening Gazette, Friday, September 1st, 1972:  “1962 — Spooner, Wisc. — A family of eight from Homer city, PA were involved in an automobile accident here this weekend when their stationwagon and house trailer plunged off Route 52 and rolled down an embankment. En route from Alaska, the travelers all received injuries. They were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith and their daughter, Mrs. Thelma Strong and her children Christine, Eugene, Shawn, Thelma, and Robin.”

[8] Indiana Evening Gazette, Monday, August 31st 1970 — “Three young men remain in Indiana Hospital today where they are being treated for injuries in a one-car wreck at 11 PM Saturday on S. Sixth St., three miles south of Indiana. State police identified the driver as Eugene F. Strong II, 18, of Homer City R.D. 2. Also injured were two passengers, Dennis Rostis, 18, of Homer City, and George Kalaus, 19, of Homer City.”

[10] US 1900 Census — Nickerson, Reno, Kansas; Roll: T623_496; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 196

[11] 70th Infantry Regiment, Illinois; Muster Date: October 23rd 1862;  Source: The Union Army vol.3

[12] 1870 US Census for Sugar Ridge, Clay County, Indiana

[13] 1880 US Census — Stanford, Clay County, Illinois; Roll: 182; Family History Film: 1254182; Page: 370B; Enumeration District: 154; Image: 0164

[14] Social Security Death Index

[15] 1920 US Census — Black Lick, Indiana County, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1573; Page 3A; Enumeration District: 89

[16] 1900 US Census — Marine City Ward 1, Saint Clair County, Michigan; Roll: T623_741; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 90

[17] Social Security Death Index

[18] 1920 US Census — Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan; Roll: T625_781; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 74

[19] “Lawyer: priest admitted creating pornography”, by Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tuesday November 19th 2010

Another Charlatan Exposed: Eugene Strong and the McKees Rocks Mounds

By Jacqueline S. Homan, author of Classism For Dimwits and Divine Right

Eugene Strong, Detroit Canoe Crossing and pow-wow on August 19, 2011
Eugene Strong, Detroit Canoe Crossing and pow-wow on August 19, 2011

There have always been charlatans claiming to be someone they’re not — from Anna Anderson, the pretender who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas whose entire family was shot by the Red Army contingent in the Ural Mountains hamlet of Yekaterinburg during the October Revolution in 1917 Russia, to all of the phonies claiming to be taught by Native American medicine men and spiritual leaders like James A. Ray, the self-proclaimed New Age guru who charged thousands of dollars for a sweat lodge ceremony that resulted in three deaths.

While some of these frauds do what they do for financial gain, others do it for status. One such charlatan is 60 year-old Eugene Strong of Clinton, Pennsylvania, a tiny hamlet nestled in the hills of Allegheny County in the Appalachian region of Western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.

Eugene Strong will tell anyone with an ear that he is the grandson of a Potawatomi man born on a Michigan reservation and that he speaks for his Potawatomi ancestors in his fight to secure the McKees Rocks burial mounds. With his freckled face and arms, piercing blue eyes and long reddish-gray hair, he looks more like a burned out, washed up old hippie who got wasted away again in Margaritaville.

Strong adamantly insists that he was spiritually appointed to protect an ancient Algonquin burial mound in McKees Rocks. He is the director of the non-profit organization he founded, the Mounds Society of Western Pennsylvania, which he incorporated in 2006 with help from the legal clinic at the Duquesne University School of Law.  The executive board of his group includes a well-heeled journalist, Cecelia Clarke, and Reverend Mark Gruber, a former anthropology professor from St. Vincent College. Clarke and Gruber compiled a 67-page book titled McKees Rocks Mounds Rising, with pending copyright, that they’re claiming is accurate. Except there’s a problem — theirs is a revisionist history. When Strong was confronted with that fact, he and his organization refused to retract their revisionist claims asserted in their book. There is a lot at stake regarding the McKees Rocks mounds, which is the largest ancient Native American burial mound in the US.

In an August 2010 Post-Gazette article, Strong claims his altruistic intent concerning the mounds, saying that he only seeks to “honor the ancestors” of the Native American community that once flourished there, and to preserve Algonquin cultural heritage. Strong’s protest march outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History catapulted him into the media spotlight when he demanded the repatriation of the ancient aboriginal skeletal remains that were unearthed in an excavation of the McKees Rocks mounds in 1896. Regional archeologist Mark Conaughy with the State Museum Commission said “it certainly is of significance” and posited that the mound was used as a burial site for important people in the Adena society, as well as for later burials for the Hopewell and Monongahela tribes. [The Monongahela were part of the Erie confederacy, a maize culture just like the Iroquois and eventually they became part of the Iroquois.]

But there are two problems. One is in the misleading classification of Native sacred sites, which serves to prevent the descendants’ tribes from making a repatriation claim (addressed further on in this article) and the second is that Eugene Strong is deliberately going about repatriation attempts all wrong — despite having been previously told several times what the proper channels and protocols are, with the full blessing and backing of those on the executive board of his non-profit group, including Cecelia Clarke and Mark Gruber who compiled the revisionist history in McKees Rocks Mounds Rising. The reason he stubbornly persists is because he wants to buy the mounds, and he has stated so.

US federal law specifies museums must work with tribal governments, not individuals, on repatriation issues. Dr. Sherry Hutt, national program manager for the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act says that “unclaimed items” not tied to a specific tribe, or confederacy of tribes, are available an online database to tribes that might want to make a claim for funerary objects and human remains. If a museum determines that a tribe requesting these things is indeed “culturally affiliated”, then the museum will cooperate with the transfer of ownership.

Carnegie Museum spokeswoman, Leigh Kish, says that Eugene Strong was told he is going about the repatriation attempts all wrong: “For the museum to be in compliance with federal regulations, we have to have a formal written request from a tribe recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs before we can even begin to review it.”

Initiating valid repatriation claims are difficult enough as it is for tribes meeting all of those requirements who have ancestral ties to ancient remains and sacred sites. Pretenders only worsen the situation.

Strong, who claims Potawatomi heritage and who claims to know Native history saying that he is guided by Mediwin and Potowatomi medicine men and spirituality teachers and elders, told Anya Sostek of the Post-Gazette last year that he had only recently learned about the proper procedure for making a repatriation request and that he is working with the Potawatomi tribe at the Gun Lake reserve in Michigan to procure repatriation.

The Iroquois, particularly the Seneca originally from that region, would be the ones to contact regarding matters of stewardship of the McKees Rocks mounds, and they are not inclined towards buying the mounds because you cannot buy or sell sacred.

The McKees Rocks mounds would unquestionably be in safekeeping in Iroquois hands, and if Eugene Strong was truly part Native American and truly plugged into his Potawatomi heritage and teachings as he claims he is, then he would know all this and the last thing he’d be doing is running to AIM pow-wows, wearing his “traditions” on his sleeve like a fashion accessory, in an attempt to get publicity backing from AIM as well as the benefit of AIM’s notoriously militant muscle to support his agenda.

And what precisely is Eugene Strong’s agenda? He insists it is to protect the McKees Rocks mound. But if that were true, why would he rudely tell Nikki Maracle — a well-respected Bear Clan Mohawk from Akwesasne, and a traditional Longhouse — that he refuses to step aside and let the proper people (Iroquois) look after these issues? Is that how one protects a sacred site and honors the ancestors?

The Seneca that once lived in that region had to be relocated to Salamanca, New York after their reserve in western Pennsylvania was flooded and taken by eminent domain for the construction of the Kinzua Dam. They are the closest “culturally affiliated” and federally recognized tribe that would be the ones connected with the McKees Rocks Mounds. The Seneca are Iroquoian.

If Strong is genuinely following a path of Native tradition as he claims to be, why would he stubbornly insist that the McKees Rocks mounds are Algonquin mounds even after being told by several credible people that those mounds are Iroquoian? If the objective is to protect them, why do this?

Strong, with the help of his cohorts Cecelia Clarke and Mark Gruber, is peddling a false history that cites the mounds as Algonquin. The mounds are described in his book as being 5,000 years old with a tumulus (the top part of the mound) that was constructed “by Adena people who first settled the Ohio Valley around 1000 BC” — approximately 3,000 years ago. The book’s forward states that archeologists, including Richard Lang of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, agree that a village adjacent to the mounds was flourishing by 3000 BC. That date, according to the book’s authors, was based on the recovery of stone tools and vessel fragments that were “made by people of the Archaic, or pre-ceramic era.”

The first red flag is in the book’s foreword by a member of Strong’s motley crew, Mark Gruber, the kiddie porn-indulging priest and fired professor turned Native rights activist. Gruber refers to the mound builders as “Adena people.” Maybe if he had used that college computer for actual Native American research instead of satisfying his penchant for pedophilia he might have learned something.

The use of names “Hopewell”, “Point Peninsula”, “Meadowood”, “Adena” and other archeological designations are often used to conceal the true identity of ancient burial mound builders because the archeology community decided over a hundred years ago not to denote tribal affiliations of mound builders in their reports. This practice, among others, allowed universities and museums to skirt the Native American Graves Protection Act that only protects burial sites of “known tribes.”

Because of this loophole, countless human skeletal remains and ancient funerary items remain in boxes — literally held hostage by universities, which are not going to divest their shelves and storage facilities of these items and admit that they had thousands of Sioux or Iroquois skeletons in their closets along with sacred funerary objects in their possession. As long as mounds are designated “Adena” (or “Hopewell”, etc,) they will continue to dig, justifying doing so in the name of “scholarly research.” The idea that invasive activities might be offensive to aboriginal communities that were nearly wiped out by genocide in the name of Manifest Destiny floated right over the heads of those who serve on the Mound Society’s board; those who compiled this book which Eugene Strong holds as a gospel truth. This book calls for further archeological digging and research at the McKees Rocks mound. Amazingly, invasive archeological and anthropological “research” activities fail to bother the “traditional” Potawatomi that Strong claims to be.

According to Fritz Zimmerman, author of A Photographical Essay and Guide to the Adena, Hopewell, Sioux and Iroquois Mounds and Earthworks, the word “Sioux” was an Algonquin word meaning “snakes” — which some say is a derogatory word for Iroquoian people (like the Erie Neutrals).

But whether the word “Sioux” is derogatory or not is questionable because Iroquois people have a tradition, a set of teachings known as “snake medicine”, which made them very special because many other Native American tribes feared snakes whereas the Iroquois learned a lot by observing them. So the snake medicine of Iroquois people is, unsurprisingly, included in the expressions of some of their sacred sites and burial mounds — the Snake Mound in Toronto’s High Park and the Serpent Mound in Ohio are two examples. [The Serpent Mounds in Ohio were built by the ancestors of the Erie Neutrals.]

Zimmerman also notes that linguists have made a connection between the Sioux, Cherokee, and Iroquois languages. All three of these nations’ oral histories also say they are from the northeast through the mid-Atlantic regions. Tool kits and burial practices were very similar between the early Sioux and Iroquois. Richard Maracle, a Bear Clan Mohawk chief, once said that at one time “the Longhouse was everywhere” — meaning that the roof was the sky, the floor was the earth, the eastern doorway was the Atlantic Ocean and the western doorway was the Pacific.

The Cherokee, Sioux, and Iroquoian languages are all part of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic family, which included the peoples living in most of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, the mid-Atlantic states, and part of Ontario, Canada. Many of the nations that are part of this same Hokan-Siouan linguistic family have also participated in burial mound building at one time or another in their history. And that includes the Monongahela, who populated southwestern Pennsylvania and who were absorbed by the Iroquois, their sister society, long before the first Europeans met the first Haudenosaunee.

The Monongahela region in western Pennsylvania was known by George Washington and several others to be inhabited by Seneca and Seneca/Mingo people, which included Queen Aliquippa, her father and her husband. Strong’s book lists her as a Lenape Clan mother and leader. The Lenape, Delaware, and Shawnee were Algonquin. They didn’t have clan mothers and they didn’t have burial mounds. This establishes that the McKees Rocks mounds were built by Iroquoians — not the Algonquins, who were always known to be nomadic. Oh my, what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive!

The linguistic family analysis, which is supported by oral traditions of many nations, buttressed by the journal entries of George Washington and other British colonial militia men, all points to the nations of the Hokan-Siouan language family as being the very same nations who were the ancient mound builders. This entirely leaves out those nations of the Algonquin language family as mound builders — Algonquin nations such as the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Odawa, Delaware, and Lenape (whom Eugene Strong insists Queen Aliquippa is from).

The second red flag is in the final paragraph of the foreword in McKees Rocks Mounds Rising which says that one of the goals and objectives of Eugene Strong’s Mound Society is to “present the mounds as worthy of 21st century archeological investigation.”

Given the not-so-great track record of the archeology industry, it is very hard to believe that someone claiming to be very committed to Potawatomi traditions, beliefs, and practices would be eager for further invasion by archeologists concerning this very special burial site. The archeology profession, like the anthropology profession, has given itself more than one black eye in its dealings with a threatened aboriginal culture — a culture that a remnant of North American indigenous holocaust survivors are struggling to retain in the face of racially motivated hatred centered on notions of racial inferiority.

So what motivates Eugene Strong to cling to a revisionist history of the McKees Rocks Mounds where his ultimate goal is to buy the mounds from the borough and the oil company that owns it?

The answer lies in examining the common personality traits of pretenders like Anna Anderson, James A. Ray, and all of the board members with undesirable backgrounds serving on the Mound Society of Western Pennsylvania who arrogantly insist that the Iroquois don’t know their own history. If Eugene Strong were given an Indian name, a fitting one might be Otah Oswegai:yo — a bird so full of crap it that it cannot fly.


Another Charlatan Exposed: Eugene Strong and the McKees Rocks Mounds

This is a follow-up report on Eugene Strong and the Mounds at McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania

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Supportive Media

The Taiaiako’n Historic Preservation Society has received much supportive media:


Snake Mound Video Aug. 28, 2010

Toronto Police Scott Mills Video in Support of Snake Mound Restoration

Eye See the Positive Video Series by Jeff Howard on Snake Mound

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Media coverage and debate

Over the Summer there has been a lot of attention from the popular/industrial media as well as discussions on various blogs including Blog TO. Much of what has been reported has not been well researched, much refutation to the doubting claims of the press can be found on this website. On this page we try to address some of the misinformation.

Refutation of  Torontoist Article, Activists Worry BMXers Are Riding on a First Nations Burial Site, by Steve Kupferman (an American living in Canada) April 19 & City and Firstnations Spokespeople says High Park Mounds are doubtful, April 21, 2011

“The Torontoist article from April 19, 2011  and April 21, 2011 is shameful and loaded with a lot of lies and things that can easily be contested in a court of law.
The Torontoist article,  “Activists Worry BMXers Are Riding on a First Nations Burial Site”, and  April 19, 2011 , “City and First Nations Spokespeople says High Park Mounds are doubtful” ,published April 21, 2011 by Steve Kupferman,  is incorrect as well as shameful.  It’s contents demand an explanation and retraction in print immediately.  We believe that the following points are in the public’s interest and deserve to be put in another article. Otherwise, the biased and insulting position of the writer, Mr. Kupferman, and by association, The Torontoist newspaper, will need to be addressed in a court of law. It’s contents demand an explanation and retraction in print immediately.  Furthermore we request a second article that addresses the following points. 
The following points deserve “Fair Comment”. The half-truths and untruths in the article can also be considered to be libelous and slanderous.
There is no “Truth or Justification” to have made many of the statements in the article.  The article is not based on facts and could be deemed “Malicious”.
The Torontoist and Mr. Kupferman have not made “Responsible Communication on matters of Public Interest”.

 1.     ” Rastia’ta’non:ha, a soft-spoken man with a head of dark black hair, wears a multicoloured tunic-like shirt that trails ribbons, and he carries a walking stick. He’s not a particularly imposing person, but when a handful of kids using some dirt BMX ramps located on a hill at the southeastern corner of High Park see him and some of his compatriots coming, with a few reporters in tow, they hop on their bikes and bolt straight away. They know why he’s there.”

We met Steve Kupferman, Jayme Poisson, and Nick Kozak at Grenadier Restaurant at 5:00 pm on Monday before driving to the Snake Mound. Since they did not know their way there, they started out following us in their car. When we proceeded down Centre Rd., we noticed that they were not following us. We waited for a few minutes, and they had not gone the same way we did. We went back to the parking lot, and they were not there. We then decided to go to the Snake Mound and wait for them there. Upon arrival, at Spring Road Parking Lot, they still had not arrived. We waited for a few minutes, and then decided to proceed to the Snake Mound from there. When we got to the edge of the South Duck Pond, we could see some people biking on the Snake Mound from where we were at. All of us had walking sticks and once we got close enough we could see that 2 of the 6 or 7 youths had shovels and were digging at the Snake Mound. As soon as we got to the south barricade, the youths took off and ran out the North entrance with their bikes as they had also been biking illegally in an area posted “no biking permitted” and “no access” contravening by-law 608:29 a-d. At that point the media still had not arrived.  We noted the defacing of the city signs, and one sign had been bent so the words could not be seen on it. A couple of our people, proceeded to the North end, and noticed that the north barricade had been knocked over by the bikers. Then at that point the media people had arrived, and had just missed the bikers illegally biking and building ramps. Once the media arrived, they began to ask us questions about the site and took photographs. One of our people called over to Rastia’ta’non:ha asking for his assistance in putting the north barricade back up. He walked over, and Nick followed him with his camera taking pictures along the way. Nick did take several photos of Rastia’ta’non:ha putting the barricade back up, which he could have used, showing the defiance of the bikers. Rather than doing he chose a photo of Rastia’ta’non:ha, that was intentionally taken as to make Rastia’non:ha look small, and to also make the damages that the bikers have done to the site insignificant. A photographer friend of mine pointed this out, and stated that picture was posted on purpose, to show lack of respect for Rastia’ta’non:ha. They could have also used the photograph that they took of Rastia’ta’non:ha bending the sign back to show the writing on it which they did not. As soon as Chief Arnie General pointed out that the youths were across the other side of the pond, the media took off and went to talk to the bikers. They stated they would be back and asked us to wait there for them. We waited there for them a while, they did not come back, and we left the site. It is believed that this whole scene was staged by the bikers and their leaders, because in the past Dave Stewart, a 40 year old bmxer, who posed as a parks employee and supplying shovels to the youths, knew of the meeting that was to take place @ 7:00 pm and also knew somehow that we were meeting the media at the park @ 5:00 pm. Strangely enough there were no adults present with the bikers, just 13 or 14 year olds. That way they can continue the myth with the media present, that it’s just kids who are involved with the illegal bmxing activity.  A tactic that Dave Stewart and Chris Silva their leaders have used before when police have been called numerous times to enforce by-law 608: 29 a-d.

2. “the Taiaiaiko’n Historical Preservation Society (many of whom refer to him simply as “Dave”), contend that the bike ramps are located directly on top of what they call “Snake Mound,” an Iroquoian burial mound, possibly 1,000 years old, or even older.

Whatever the mound was 1,000 years ago, right now it’s absolutely a BMX park. Bikers have sculpted the steep dirt slopes into an obstacle course surprising in its scale and complexity. It’s hard to imagine it having been built without backhoes.”

We informed Steve and the other media, by the press release, and in person, that the Snake Mound is 3,000 years old not 1,000 years old. It is also not officially a BMX park, as City by-laws prohibit this kind of activity in High Park off of the paved pathways. Youths and adults have destroyed this site with shovels, as we have located at least 20 shovels over the past 2 years on site, no backhoes or heavy equipment was ever used to create the illegal jumps. The illegal jumps were removed in 2009, and then rebuilt by the bikers again illegally in 2010.

3.      “On closer inspection, they’re all about 14 years old. Their first reaction when a reporter calls out to them is fright. But one of them, a boy named Alex, who is pint-sized but brave, steps forward and handles the interview.”

The media has portrayed Alex and his friends as being very polite.  Contrary to this, comments have been made by the bikers onhttp://www.blogto.com/news_flash/2010/08/resident_wants_high_park_bmx_ramps_gone/.  Mark / November 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM Don’t worry about money Cornelia. Thanks for your support, Alex has a rake and a shovel, and thats all we need. Mark / November 18, 2010 at 6:36 PM To any respectful bikers out there, my friend Alex and I are trying to build some dirt jumps behind the tennis courts at 45 Southport street. Any help, no matter how small would be greatly appreciated. They are not as good as the ones at High Park, and they never will be due to limited space, but still, they’re better than nothing.

Alex and Mark are friends… and Mark certainly had a lot to say on TO blog site .

Mark In replying to a comment from Cornelia / November 19, 2010 at 8:07 PM

It’s actually not legal. I was digging today, and the landowner said I could still bike there, just not dig, which kind of defeats the whole purpose…

Mark In replying to a comment from sdisturber / November 26, 2010 at 5:47 PM Hey assmunch: Maybe the cow will jump over the moon someday. Oh, and by the way, I still haven’t seen you in court, numbnuts.

Mark In replying to a comment from sdisturber / November 30, 2010 at 3:59 PM idsturber, I’m sorry for not making my meanings clear in my last comment. What I meant was, that before the jumps were closed, I had no idea it was illegal to ride in the park.

Polite? Terrorist Threats, Racist Comments….

CHRIS SILVA / December 6, 2010 at 6:26 PM Hey Corn-holio,
I’ve never done any diggin’ at High Park but I did ride them and I will continue to whenever I’m not surfin’ your Corn-hole!
Drifter made a huge impact on my life, you must understand I’ve never touched drugs in my life and I thanks Drifter for showing me an example of what NOT TO DO. Dave (I will refer to him as Dave in present tense) is now clean and learned from his own mistakes, clean over 3 years I might add! Everyone is allowed to make mistakes in their lives as long as they learn from it and it makes them a better person.
He also did teach me to stand up for myself and speak out when someone is talking bullshit… and you Corn-holio are full of bullshit.
This is my last reply to this blog cause it’s fuckin’ retarded and I have better things to do with my time.

Go Away / August 15, 2010 at 12:12 PM Hey Rhodes, F@CK OFF!!!!

DH / August 15, 2010 at 7:08 PM I’ll like to do an environmental assessment of Rhode’s house. How many species did his home displace? In a park with a giant pool, baseball diamonds, PARKING LOTS and other buildings, this guy is worried about dirt mounds. Give me a break.

Brian In replying to a comment from sdisturber / August 20, 2010 at 10:16 PM Aha! I’m pretty sure I saw this troll, SDISTURBER, poking around in the dog poop bins in the off leash area collecting choice specimens to take back to it’s newspaper-filled, hamster-piss drenched bachelor apartment. I’ve got your number SD and it’s YOU who’d better watch out, you squirrel molesting creep

dvc In replying to a comment from red / November 6, 2010 at 9:31 PM You wanna know something? Adrian Rhodes is the type of person that needs to be carried out of this city by the scruff of his neck and dropped into a large body of water without a life preserver.

lilred In replying to a comment from sdisturber / September 3, 2010 at 5:09 AM

laugh my ass off ..maybe your ancestors shouldn’t have traded their land for a box of liquor…you dont have a clue what they did ciz you weren there.but it seems they lost the land somehow eh?? traded for tobacco maybe?? a blonde?? i think if you want ppl to stop and listen ..you need to say things they will take seriously ..cuz honestly ..YOU are a JOKE..its ppl like you give the rest of the natives a bad name… you know what a natives favourite wine is?? give us back our land!!!

Marcus In replying to a comment from sdisturber / November 28, 2010 at 7:35 PM we also traded blankets with you…blankets with small pox ahaha the British conquered you, live with it. done and done

shutup In replying to a comment from Cornelia / December 7, 2010 at 8:41 AM If I wasn’t out riding my bike, I would be exploring some of my other hobbies. These include graffiti, theft, and smoking crack. But seriously, I have never seen a single citizen be harassed as they pass these jumps. But I can assure you, if these jumps are demolished, Park citizens will be harassed, every car parked in high park will have its windows smashed and tires slashed, and every building will be littered with fresh graffiti.

Comments on You tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sw4eL4rGGE

you fcucking stupid drunk crack head natives i was riding my bmx bike there today try and stop me from riding my bike in my citys park  2000kx125 6 days ago

thats why you natives go and drink and shoot up in that park and smash your bottles and leave your needles around , i love how your guys respect the land !! go back to your 6 nations 3rd world countrys out in thunder bay or the HALFWAY HOUSE ON QUEEN ST . 2000kx125 5 days ago

you stupid natives at the end of the day i just like riding my bike and getting exercise !! try and stop me !! 2000kx125 2 days ago


Rustee24  Apr 19, 2011 4:42 PM

Six Nations? The Caledonia Terrorists? Up theirs. They are nothing but thugs and thieves, supported by the cowardly OPP and their puppet-master McGuinty.

Who are the  Terrorists, thugs and thieves? Not Six Nations people. As clearly seen by the racist and terrorist posts of bmxers, as they are the Terrorists, thugs and thieves!

4.      “Rastia’ta’non:ha, for his part, has been cataloguing evidence on the Taiaiaiko’n Historical Preservation Society website. On Monday, he narrated a PowerPoint presentation of some of his most compelling proof to an appreciative audience at a Roncesvalles Avenue café. He has oral history; he has astrology; he has an arrowhead, and some fragments of what might be bone or ceremonial objects, but could also just be rocks (DNA analysis on the bone is, he says, pending). He also has some interesting but inconclusive ground studies by an archaeologist allied with his organization. What he doesn’t have is independent verification of his claims.”

The independent verification, was requested of the City through Kevin Bowsher’s office, whereas THPS had offered to foot the bill for the GPR to be done throughout the park, at an estimated cost of $40,000, costing the city nothing . Why would the city refuse such an offer, and then hire someone who is un-licensed, and as a shoddy record? One can only suspect is that they hired someone who they knowingly has not found evidence at many other sites, so that way the city can use this archaeologist’s reports as a way of writing off the whole park, which is what they have done with the reports. It’s obvious that the city did not want to allow an archaeologist in the park to do their assessments that would actually verify that there are burials in the park. Mr. Williamson and ASI has a record of threats and intimidation of other smaller archaelogical firms in Ontario, thus today making ASI the largest firm, because it has been noted that they have “vacuumed up all of the contracts”. This was also the case in Toronto until March 2011, when the city finally posted the initiation of the Archaeological Master plan, to open bidding, something they have not done, in the history of such plan, as they have automatically given the contract to ASI. Now that THPS has raised questions about ASI and Ron Williamson’s https://taiaiakon.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/att00080.pdf ability to perform archaeology and do it legally, investigations are pending from both the City and Ontario government levels since we have made them aware of many of his questionable activities. Because ASI has been awarded so many contracts in the past, they are unable to keep up with requests for the reports in a timely fashion, therefore many of their staff are un-licensed due to late reports or not submitting reports at all.

As explained at the presentation on Monday evening , because of time constraints ( 2hrs) this only allowed THPS to do a short presentation on its efforts to prove what has been found at High Park. In order to give the issue justice, the presentation should have been for a whole day. We have more than just oral history, astrology, an arrowhead (3000 years old) some fragments of bone and ceremonial objects. As we have boxes of ancestral items that have been collected from the surface of the ground from Bear Mound, Snake Mound and other mound sites in High Park. Only a small portion of recorded data was shown. There is only a requirement by the Ontario Ministry of Culture of 1 artifact being found on a site in order for the site to be registered as an archaeological site. The number of artifacts found on site, would easily register the site as an archaeological site once a site is registered, any alterations done to the site without an archaeological permit, carries a fine of up to $1,000,000.00. The Bear Mound is a registered archaeological site, and has been by the Ontario Ministry of Culture since 2003, not just a rumored archaeological site as suggested by the author of this article.  Ground Penetrating Radar was performed by The Archaeologists Inc, in 2008, verifying the existence of 3 large burial pits in the Bear Mound, an independent study done by licensed Archaeologists. Steve Kupferman referred to these scans as “inconclusive” whereas at the meeting Rastia’ta’non:ha stated that Mr. Ronald Williamson, an unlicensed archaeologist for the last 11 years, said that the scans were inconclusive and that THPS and the Confederacy does not agree with his conclusion and that we believe that the scans are conclusive.(https://taiaiakon.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/letter-for-dave-arcgeology.pdf)  This is the statement that should have been used by Steve instead.  Steve’s statement was asked by Rastia’ta’non:ha to be retracted, Steve refused to retract the errors in his statements. Steve also asked Rastia’non:ha what it would take for the city to prove to us that there was nothing in the Snake Mound? Rastia’ta’non:ha responded by telling him that we are offended by any such suggestion as we know what is there and have already collected much tangible evidence and documentation on the sites in High Park, and we know there are burials there. Little does Steve know that in the fall of 2009, The Archaeologists Inc did submit a proposal to do GPR throughout the park, including the Snake Mound, and that proposal was refused by Kevin Bowshers office. Instead City Parks hired an un-licensed archaeologist to do Stage 1 and 2 assessments throughout the park. Mr. Williamson and ASI already have a record at various other municipalities of doing shoddy and questionable work whereas they have lost many contracts to other bona fide licensed archaeologists to come and clean up the messes they have created.(  https://taiaiakon.wordpress.com/archaeology/ron-williamson-not-a-licensed-archaeologist/) High Park is just another example of Mr. Williamson not being able to find anything, meanwhile they have created an Archaeological Master plan, including most of High Park with archaeological concerns. THPS have been able to find much tangible unquestionable archaeological material throughout, and not just rocks, as suggested by Steve Kupferman .

Mr. Kupferman claims that THPS doesn’t have independent verification of its claims.

Our website is loaded with proof of our claims and from many independent sources.

Additional Critique : Toronto City Council has ignored HPACC requests to meet with their representatives, as there has been no meeting of HPACC since last September 2010.

Toronto City council has allowed the desecration of  High Park, despite the years of .pdf files in which the protection of High Park was requested as well as the concerns of HPCAC.  The LAWS/Bylaws must be enforced whether the area is “believed” to be a Mound or not. 

From 1885- 1922 Documentation has been found in the form of old “Globe” articles available at the Toronto Archives and views of some of these articles are available through Google Books on-line, as there is reference to an ” Indian Tombstone” previously located at the Northeast corner of High Park, removed when Bloor Street was constructed. This “Indian Tombstone” was a petroglyph rock containing the symbols of the mounds within High Park.

Another important fact that has been totally overlooked by the author of this article is the fact that by-law 608: 29- ad has been violated, and by his taking the side of the BMXERS , he is encouraging the breaking of a City By-Law.


The author is also encouraging the destruction of an environmentally sensitive area, and has been designated by the City of Toronto since 1978. At that time it was recommended by the City of Toronto, that the area be cordoned off with fencing and not publicly assessable.

ravine and natural feature protection area

Also in the article the Torontoist refers to Chief Arnold General, as an elder. Yes he is an elder, with much respect in many places, the author failed to mention, that Chief Arnold General is a Six Nations Confederacy Chief who holds a hereditary title within the Six Nations Confederacy, as Beaver Clan Onondaga Chief. The Torontoist failed to mention that there were Clanmothers and Faithkeepers on site that day and did not ask them any questions to see what they had to say about the situation. Very disrespectful of our women titleholders.  The author doesn’t know that these same and other women from Six Nations, came to High Park in the summer of 2009, and walked the park from the Bear Mound to the Snake Mound and determined that all of the mound sites in High Park needed to be preserved and protected at all costs. That’s the direction that THPS has followed in this issue and will continue to do so. The action of the Torontoist , along with all of the others named in an article posted on the Torontoist on April 21, 2010, to discredit the mounds in High Park, the Clanmothers, Chief Arnold General, THPS and Rastia’ta’non:ha, will only lead us to take further legal and civil action.

There is already a whole page on our website devoted to Mr. Williamson and ASI’s questionable activities Ron Williamson Not a Licensed Archaeologist  throughout Ontario, including Mr. Nahrgangs Kris Nahrgang questionable claims of being  a chief. Jet Island email-Kris Nahrgang (disgusting attitude towards the ancestors)

To address David Donnelly’s slander, a white lawyer, who claims to be a spokesperson for the Huron-Wendat. What’s your clan and nation David Donnelly? None you say, we knew that you are not Onge Onwe, as Michel Gros Louis ( Tharehtade) , traditional leader of Huron-Wendat questions your right to speak on behalf and represent the Huron-Wendat, as David Donnelly carries no wampum to speak on behalf of the Huron-Wendat nor does he legitimately represent the voices of all of the Huron-Wendat people.

Letter from Heritage Preservation Services 2008

The Torontoist also claims that Huron-Wendat represented by David Donnelly are and the Six Nations are satisfied with ASI’s reports on High Park that they are not mounds. Unfortunately the opposite is true, when it comes to the legitimate government of Six Nations Confederacy. Six Nations Confederacy Letter Concerning Mr. Williamson & ASI reports

Band Councils have no legal jurisdiction outside of their reserve boundaries, and should never be consulted when it comes to land or sacred site issues.

It was also mentioned that mounds in the Red Hill Valley turned out not be mounds, when Williamson and ASI doctored aerial photographs from the 1950’s. There is much evidence that they were mounds, including a report on “Pea Hill” , a 4,500 year old mound destroyed by Mr. Williamson and ASI within 2 hours with a backhoe, when bone fragments, red ochre, 2 pioneer children ( Lands) , and a copper axehead ( 4,500) years old had been found.Pea Hill Report Red Hill Valley.

There are some photographs on our website showing the destruction of the mounds, and a Neutral/Erie Longhouse village in the Red Hill Valley gallery

The Torontoist article from April 21, 2011 is shameful and loaded with a lot of lies and things that can easily be contested in a court of law. We are most certain that now you have put it in  writing and also provided names discrediting, slandering, defaming the mounds, Rastia’ta’non:ha, the Clanmothers, Chief Arnold General ,THPS, and all of our supporters, legal and civil action will take place very soon. Damages of our sacred sites and slanderous actions against us will be pursued.


Email from a supporter of the Mounds in High Park:
It is a sad day to report that the Ancestral Burial Mounds in High Park, Toronto, ONT are being allowed to be desecrated by the city and questionable leaders and archaeological “consultants”.  Especially unlicensed ones.
It is even sadder that a Seneca man who has devoted about 10 years of his life without personal gain or monetary reward, is being ridiculed as well.  It is saddest that an Onondaga Chief, Arnie General, is being made to look like a fool.
It is disgusting that Traditional Clanmother’s who visited the High Park Ancestral Burial Mounds on Monday, April 18, 2011, weren’t even interviewed in the articles.
And what are we going to do about it?
Well, we have “opponents” including one Chris Nahrgang, an alledged Kawartha First Nation’s “Chief” that no one ever even heard of until the last few years when some of the Archaeological “consultants” got involved with him.  Then, we have an attorney mentioned in the article that is SUPPOSEDLY representing First Nations, but apprently failed to do that at another location where hundreds of ancestral remains were destroyed in Canada. 
We have all kinds of people, claiming to be something that they are not,
OPPOSING the fact that there are Sacred  Ancestral Burial Grounds in High Park, Toronto.
Here’s the first slap in the face.  Read the comments from the article to get slapped again and again if you are an Indigenous Person.
Is the article about preservation or even investigation of High Park Mounds? Or more about denigrating the purpose of a People and propping up a BMX park there?  In Ontario, journalists bascially can have an opinion, but it is felt that this went too far.
Then another paper did this story:
Read the slap in the face. Then read the 125 comments to get slapped again and again.
Now read todays article and be sickened:
Now read the truth:
Pass this on and comment where you can. This is intolerable behavior on behalf of Toronto, the city, the “consultants”, the bureaucrats, and shameful of those who say they are representative and others are not. Every mound is sacred and deserves to be preserved, whether it is “culturally significant” (whatever that means), or a smaller number of ancestral remains in several ossuary “pits” which ground scanning methods have confirmed to be at High Park. 
These newspapers need a few good people to straighten out what the truth is in this matter.
I pray that you can help.
Feel free to circulate.  There is a “Refutation” on this site link. PLEASE comment there as well:
Now, there is a terrible racist post on the High Park Mound Video at youtube which affects ALL “Indigenous People”:
“Snake Mound 2.mov” at:
The BMX’ers and Mountain Bikers who are destroying the Ancestral Burial Grounds with no regard for the laws on “No Biking”  are riding once again on The Mounds in High Park.
The racist post is very upsetting and should concern ALL of you.  Here’s the  racist comment/post from yesterday (apologies for the language, but the comment needs to be seen as it was actually posted , and responded to) :
“you fcucking stupid drunk crack head natives i was riding my bmx bike there today try and stop me from riding my bike in my citys park
2000kx125 17 hours ago “
If you are not an “Indigenous Person” nor live in Toronto, these words should still concern you!  There have been many more such comments directed toward those helping to preserve the Ancestral Burial Mounds, and we can only expect these kinds of comments to escalate as the warmer weather draws these law-breakers into the illegal area of the park.  If you have a youtube account, please consider posting something in response to this racist statement.  But, please do so “in a good way”.  No foul language please.  We ask that you send this email to your friends who may be able to help in anyway.  Through Prayer as well as action.
For those who have friends in Toronto please alert them to the upcoming event as per above. Attend if you can.  Media/reporters will also be at the event and are welcomed.
(Some reporters have been sent this email as well)
These kinds of abuses can NOT be overlooked and we cannot stand silent when this kind of racist and hate language (and actions by the bikers) is indulged in.
Please stand with those trying to overcome the illegal biking on the High Park Ancestral Burial Grounds by adding the videos and links to your youtubes and facebooks.  Please address this racist and hate-filled comment.  Please circulate this posting.  There are many who are in various groups which can help in this matter.  Let your voice be heard no matter where you are, that this kind of racist language is not acceptable anywhere!  And, of course, show support for those trying to Save High Park Burial Mounds of the Ancestors.
(The poster of this racist/hate language self-reports to be about age 41-45 at his profile link :
http://www.youtube.com/user/2000kx125 He is not a child or youth who wants to ride his bike in an illegal and culturally important area of High Park in Toronto.  These kinds of statements are insulting to say the least. This is a very important issue. Niawen gowa in advance!
To address racism/hate, and to help in this matter on behalf of the Traditional  Indigenous People involved, feel free to send this to others who regularly correspond as well.  Prayer and help is requested.  Hopefully, this will reach at least upwards of 700 people by this posting alone. Imagine what Prayer (and action) can take place if all of you network and forward this or at least links and portions of this post as well to those who care about these kinds of issues, no matter where you are…

Kevin Bowser’s erroneous statements from the article:

he said. “That area has probably been used for biking for 20-30 years.”

Note: There is no proof that the area has been used for biking for 20-30 years, in fact others who have been using the area have stated that the major damages have occurred within the last 4-5 years. BMXing did not become popular in Toronto until the late ’90s.

Bowser said ” the city did at one time look into the history of the land and found no proof that the land was actually a burial ground at one time.”

Note: Robert Orr, an anthropologist, did find burials in High Park from 1885-1922. These burials have been recorded in news articles formerly the “Mail” now the Globe and Mail as well as Ontario Archaeological resources.

1922 High Park Site -Robert Orr Report

There has been enough archaeological material found on the surface of the ground, to prove that it is an archaeological site, many times over.

Kevin Bowser, manager of parks for the Etobicoke York District, said “no one is permitted in that part of High Park and staff is working with the police to enforce the law.”

Note: The agreement made with City Officials and Police with the Indigenous people and their supporters on August 28, 2010 did not include police enforcing the law on Indigenous people going to the site to hold ceremony. In fact an allowance was made with them to continue to hold ceremony at the site, and only bmxer’s and bikers would not be permitted at the site. Indigenous people have treaty rights which permits them to be there at any time, for fishing, hunting, gathering, camping and ceremonial rights. See treaties posted under links area. Indigenous people and their supporters will continue to use the area for ceremonies irregardless of Kevin Bowsers erroneous statements and methods will be used to stop the continued use by bikers and bmxers from further destroying our ancestors resting places. See report and map designating High Park with ANSI designation. All of the park is a protected zone.

High Park ESA Report

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Prior to settlement by Europeans, the areas now known as the Junction and Baby Point were forested by white pines. While the Wendat and Mississauga inhabited this land for periods of time, it remains a small part of the traditional homeland of the Iroquoian peoples, the Erie/Neutrals and Six Nations. The Junction as we know it, is part of an important Indigenous Peoples trade route that travels along the ancient shoreline of Lake Iroquois from Montreal to Detroit being used as such for at least 10,000 years. The Iroquois Lake Trail also intersected another ancient Indigenous Trade Route, the Carrying Place Trail, which followed the east side of the Humber, Onguiaahra Eagua, ( Little Thundering Waters), passing through the Erie/Neutral, Seneca, and Mohawk village of Taiaiako’n to Lake Simcoe, formerly Lake Toronto. The passageway from the west side of the Humber to the east side was at the village of Taiaiako’n , village at the crossing, which is where Toronto ( Gi:yondo, or Tondo) , got its name, meaning log in the water. There was a great white pine that laid across the Humber River where the people could cross the river and continue their journey on the Carrying Place Trail to the Lake Iroquois Trail. Traces of the existence of former trails remain in the road names: Indian Road, formerly a north-south trail, linking it with the Lake Iroquois Trail and Indian Road Crescent. The Indian Road Trail is now known as Parkside and Keele, a trail that was used by Indigenous peoples to travel to the area known as High Park, to bury their dead, as there are many burial and ceremonial mounds in High Park and area around the park . Indian Trail Road was renamed Parkside Drive and another street just to the east of Parkside Dr., was then renamed Indian Rd.

Map of Lower Humber Toronto
Map of Lower Humber Toronto
Map of Carrying Place Trail
Map of Carrying Place Trail
Map of Baby Point Site- Taiaiako'n
Map of Baby Point Site- Taiaiako’n
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