Onkwehonwe-Neha: A Guide to Integrating into Turtle Island

Editor’s Note: We have noticed a great deal of controversy following the release of “Énoncé de valeurs: Des clés pour mon intégration à Gatineau.” This strikes us as curious, since documents of this sort have existed for centuries, without causing similar uproar. To cite one well-known example, we present the following English-language translation of the pamphlet, “Onkwehonwe-Neha [Our Ways]: A Guide to Integrating into Turtle Island,” published in 1557 by the Haudenosaunee and given to each new immigrant on arrival to Haudenosaunee territory.

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Indian Affairs Gets a Gender Reassignment

I now have unchallengeable objective proof that I’ve lived too long in Ottawa, and it’s this: I caught myself today wondering how the bureaucrats are going to say the new acronym AANDC, the stand-in for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. For over a century, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (known also as the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs) was Diane or Diand, or even at times Diana. Now I imagine it will be Andy or Andick, both of which lead me unavoidably to the conclusion that gender reassignment has taken place and The Man now really is that.

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The Continuing Story Of A Continuing Relationship


There was a time when Aboriginal peoples and Europeans newly-arrived to this land conducted affairs between them with mutual respect. There’s no need to romanticize the character of these relations. It was an era of alliances, political intrigue, war, and nastiness. But even warfare indicates respect. It bears an implicit acknowledgement of a foe’s strength and independence. In the initial phase of contact between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of this land, indigenous peoples had the advantages. They knew how to live on the land and how to navigate the rivers and the forests, and in battle there were more of them. Perhaps this is why mutual respect characterized the early relationship. Continue reading “The Continuing Story Of A Continuing Relationship”

The Haudenosaunee

Over the coming weeks, I shall be writing a series of articles concerning the Haudenosaunee, known also by the English renderings, “People of the Longhouse” or the “Six Nations Confederacy,” and by the derogatory Huron term rendered in French as “the Iroquois.” As I am myself a citizen of the Haudenosaunee, I will begin the series with some historical considerations written from my personal point-of-view. Along the way I will present something approaching a narrative of the Haudenosaunee, the intentions of which will be: Continue reading “The Haudenosaunee”