Wulustukyeg Traditional Council of Tobic 
Current Affairs/Issues
HERE ARE THE LINKS TO OUR NEWS, ARTICLES, INFORMATION  ETC.
1)   INAC Validation 1
2)   INAC Validation 2
3)   INAC Validation 3
4)   INAC Validation 4
5)   Map Tobique First Nation Map
6)   Map Legend
7)   WTCT Position Paper On Tobique Dam (PDF)
8) NB Power/Hydro Quebec Sale Press Release Dec 18, 2009 (PDF)
9) Picture From Mt. Carleton Park Talking Circle
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TRADITONAL TEACHINGS pt. 1
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THE TEACHINGS OF THE ANCESTORS 

In the beginning our homeland Turtle Island, North America to the uninformed, was a paradise on Earth and it remained so until 1492. This is when our paradise on Earth began to be disrespected, denigrated, diminished and destroyed.

The primary destructive force that our European brothers brought to our homeland and which continues its destructive process into today is what has come to be known as the competitive so-called free market economy. What I call the Petrie dish paradigm. The progress and development paradigm that is so disrespectful and lethal to our Earth Mother. One that will eventually destroy Mother Earth and everything that lives upon her including the two legged’s.

The Petrie dish mentality is simply what happens when bacteria in a Petrie dish are permitted to consume, pollute and foul the Petrie dish environment to its logical and eventual self-destruction.

Our people’s paradigm, the one that preserved our paradise on Earth, is one of respectful relationships with Great Creator, Mother Earth and all of Creation. It is a paradigm of living in cooperation with all of Creation and being accountable to the Seventh Generation as opposed to being accountable to the bottom line.

Is the common ground that our two people are searching for to be within the paradigm of respect and cooperation or is it to be within the paradigm of competition and destruction?

If it’s to be the paradigm of cooperation then the break from the paradigm of competition must be total and complete.

As I see it in order for one to break completely from the paradigm that is destroying our Earth Mother, and in turn human kind, one must first recognize, acknowledge and accept that one is, in actual fact, locked away within the prison/paradigm of their own making.

When one looks at what has been done in the past 500 years in the name of progress and development under this paradigm, to our Turtle Island and all of her resources including human then one cannot help but see the destructive force of the so-called free market economy. This destructive force can only take and take and devour - it cannot give back.

In the present context there is now some effort to "give back". This effort however, is minuscule and a token gesture lacking heart or understanding. There are no daily, weekly, monthly ceremonies of gratefulness and thankfulness as a way of demonstrating and expressing heartfelt appreciation for the many, many gifts of Creator.

The so-called free market economy is hardwired to self destruct once it has devoured everything in its path. It will then turn on itself because that is all that it knows: to devour, destroy, kill and make war. This only leaves death and destruction in its wake.

Since such a destructive paradigm is without heart nor feelings it is neither responsible for nor accountable to the Ancestors, the People, the Seventh Generation nor Mother Earth. These are the words of the Ancestors.

We can change things if we are aware, if we pay attention to how we live and treat others. All we have to do is show respect. There are so many fearful, angry and selfish people today.

It is important that everybody gives up being so selfish. When we share the things we have with others then everyone will be taken care of. You cannot take care of yourself if you are taking from others. It will come back on you. The more bad you give out the more you will get back. If you give good, you get good back because it is all a circle.

A lot of people have lost their way but they still kinda believe in what they were taught. Even some of our people have lost their way, but they come to the traditional elders in times of trouble.

We are all Creator’s people. We still have our ceremonies to honor Creator. You had yours too. I tell everyone who asks, that they can find their ceremonies if they use the "good mind." Great Creator still speaks to all peoples on Earth. She will speak to you. One has to listen. You can’t hear from just reading or watching television. You have to return your circle. That will be hard because your forefathers covered your circle with confusion. Clear that away and there will be your ceremonies.

Indian people of the Earth are strong. Indian people are the original people of this Continent. We call it Turtle Island and we are indigenous to this land. We are strong too. We have had to be strong just to survive the great North American Holocaust.

You can see that we are still here. We’ll be here long after the Europeans are gone because they are destroying our Earth Mother. They could stop all of the destruction. I hope that they do; it will make this a better place for everyone.

There is enough money to make sure that no one is hungry and that no one is without shelter. This too will be hard to achieve because of all the greed. Greed is destroying what is sacred to us - our sacred Mother Earth! She must become sacred to all human beings because it is her who nurtures and sustains all of life.

Now is the time for everyone to honor Great Creator and honor themselves by remembering their ceremonies.

They must listen to the good voice inside of themselves and join together in one voice by using the "good mind".

Everyone must bury all the hatred for what the Europeans, big corporations and politicians have been doing.

We are doing our best, but sometimes we’re fighting the whole world. We’re trying to keep the world going a little longer.

Everything around us is trying to destroy us by getting us to forget our traditional spiritual teachings, our language and our way of life. This is why we are fighting for our land.

A long time ago the government and the church people tried to get us to get an education, be more civilized and make us forget what our Earth Mother - our land- meant to us. They thought that if we forgot, then we would move to their cities and assimilate as white people. That we would not be recognized as Indian. I guess they figured we’d die away. We didn’t go away. We are still here.

We still know what Earth Mother means to us and our languages are still spoken. We will continue our ceremonies.

Now we must join with the indigenous peoples and all peoples around the world, even Canadians are indigenous to some land, in respect for all life. We can do this by showing that we are stronger than all the forces that have tried to separate us and remove us from Mother Earth.

Everybody need to know that life is sacred; and that we are staying put. We will not be angry but determined. We will not be ruled by our hatred. Nothing will make us be filled with fear or hatred.

Politicians have no power over us. The corporations don’t have power over us. Not even the government does, unless and until we choose to give our power over to them.

Now we all must join together and know how strong we are. Great Creator promised that if we followed the original instructions then she would take care of us. She has proved that by the fact that people are still here. Also, our Earth Mother continues to fulfill her responsibilities. So, we are still here and our children will be following us. No one can stop the generations.

The important issue is how will we live? Will we live in fear and do as the authorities tell us and give us nothing in return? Or will we be strong enough to unite for the good of everybody? And for the Seventh Generation? I say we will!

We are now coming together with all our brothers and sisters all over the world. You

may not be seeing it yet but it is happening. None of us are going to be victims anymore.

Great Creator made everything equal. Human beings are the same to Creator as every other living thing.

Creator gave human beings the sacred responsibility to watch out for the rest of Her creation. This makes us the guardians

But look at what we’ve done. Instead of being the Guardians, some people have learned how to destroy because of greed. The animals and fish and the birds don’t do that, they just go on with their duties.

So we’ve got to help change people’s minds in order to get them to protect the land so that the Seventh Generation will have some place to live.

The woman is like Mother Earth. She brings life. If you hurt her you are going against Great Creator and cutting life down. You have to have man and woman for children to come into the world.

The woman knows how to take care of the life of the children. Man doesn’t know as much. He doesn’t pay attention to how to help them grow and learn. The woman understands things that the man never learned. She can make decisions on what is best for the welfare of everybody. Men are prone to rush into things like war. The woman can think things out in a slower more thoughtful manner because she is closer to Mother Earth.

Human beings don’t know all things. Each one is given a different ability. Some know some things and others know other things. No one knows it all. That is why we need each other. When we come together we can know more things. That’s what participating in ceremonies is all about. When we are together in the circle we are one. As one we can be more in "the knowing". In the circle we get closer to Great Creator and those different abilities unite for the good of us all. This is when everything becomes possible.

We know that nothing is impossible with Creator. Great Creator gave us Her abilities and she spread them around among us. This was so that each one of us would use our ability for good.

Creator also wanted us to realize that we had come together in the circle so that we could sense just how powerful She is. When we’re in that circle and living with it in our hearts great things happen every day which cannot be easily explained. She gave us the circle so that we can benefit from being one with Her and one with each other.

It is a privilege to walk upon our Earth Mother. We should walk in such a way so as to never leave our footprints. That will protect Mother Earth for generations to come.

What will the Seventh Generation do when they come to find that our Earth Mother will not provide for them because of what we did? Maybe they wouldn’t be able to live long enough to clean up the mess we made just so they could have a place to live. Think about how sad you would be if you knew your grandchildren suffered because of what you did.

In the words of Margaret Meed, a very wise Elder... "never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

All My Relations,
Dan Ennis

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ON THE THEFT OF TOBIQUE INDIAN RESERVATION LAND BY EUROCANADIAN SQUATTERS

In 1841 Moses H Perley was asked by the provincial government of New Brunswick to survey the Indian population of the Saint John River valley. The survey had two goals, to ascertain whether and how the provincial government should deal with the land reserves which had been set aside for the Indians of the Saint John River valley, as well as whether the provincial government should build schools for the Maliseet Indians. In his report on the Maliseet Indians he states that he visited settlements at Kingsclear, at Meductic, at Tobique Point and at Madawaska. He notes that he found about 400 members of the Maliseet Nation in those settlements along the St. John River.

The Moses Perley report is a matter of public record. At the time of his report the Tobique Indian Reservation consisted of 16,000 acres, extending eight miles in front of the river St. John and running back the same breadth four miles. Its population was 123 Indians.

Again from Moses Perley’s report: "there is a very fine piece of alluvial land, called the Tobique Flat, on which a considerable quantity of hay is cut annually. The grass this year has been sold for thirty pounds, to a person in the neighborhood, who agreed to pay cash but subsequently told the Indians that money was not to be had and they must take provisions. This, it appears, was a "customary" mode of dealing with the Indians. First to bargain with them for cash at a very inadequate price, and then taking advantage of their necessities to palm off inferior articles of provision at an exorbitant rate in payment".

From the Moses Perley report, another example of eurocanadians cheating and stealing from Indians: "In passing up the front of the Tobique Indian Reserve for about three miles above the Tobique Rock, cleared and cultivated by squatters who built houses and barns and appear to make themselves quite at ease. They pay no rent, acknowledge no title and from long impunity have become very insolent and overbearing. Besides occupying the land, they openly plunder the forest in the vicinity and dispose of it, in the face of the Indians, whom they will scarcely allow to set foot upon the land and invariably hunt off like wild beasts."

"As soon as the purpose for which I came was known, they drew themselves up in hostile array and would not communicate. One of the squatters in answer to an inquiry, told me, that he had lived on the land twenty years; that he had been several times sued, sometimes taken to Fredericton and sometimes to Woodstock, but beyond that, nothing had ever come of the suits; and, he supposed, could not. That he would never take a lease of the land, or pay rent, and if driven off, he would burn the buildings and devastate the land."

"He told me that he came on the land in May, 1810; this year he has put up a house, and got in a crop. He has taken possession of a clay-bank for the purpose of commencing the manufacture of brick, and also of a Mill forthwith. I gave him a notice to desist and quit the Property, when he admitted that he came here without any authority, merely because he saw many others do so with impunity, and he thought he also might as well have some benefit from the Indian Land."

"It was stated to me boldly by Mr. John Hanson that it had so long been the "custom" for every person to cut as they pleased on Indian Land, that they considered it right and lawful to do so."

While framed in paternalistically protective terms, Moses Perley’s report is part of the provincial governments process of dispossessing the Indians of their land and their culture under the guise of protecting them.

In terms of eurocanadian mind-set and attitudes toward our people, very little has changed in the ensuing 164 years.

In our two peoples’ journey toward that common ground of mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual acceptance, we find our people still waiting upon that common ground, waiting for our eurocanadian brothers who are still where they were in 1841.

I write this factual information in an effort to encourage people to read their history and their history of Indian and white relations since the time of the arrival of Europeans to our homeland. In the process to push our eurocanadian brothers toward that common ground.

The best way for our eurocanadian brothers to begin their journey toward that common ground is for them to release and let go of their collective and individual guilt. In its place they must take on responsibility. Responsibility, by first recognizing, acknowledging and accepting the factual history of the origins of the country that has come to be known as Canada. Through these initial steps the way will be open for reconciliation between our two Peoples and we may begin to live the teachings of our Medicine Elders..."we must love one another or die".

All My Relations,

Dan Ennis



10) Case Law -Peter Paul Ash Cutting (PDF)

11.1) Tobique NB Power doc (PDF)
11.2)Tobique NB Power doc page 2
11.3)Tobique NB Power doc page 3
11.4)Tobique NB Power doc page 4
11.5)Tobique NB Power doc page 5
11.6)Tobique NB Power doc page 6
11.7) Tobique NB Power doc page 7

12) WTCT Hydro Quebec Injunction

13) Wolastoqewiyik Proclamation 

TRADITIONAL TEACHINGS pt. 2

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OUR LINEAGE IS OUR STRENGTH

At some point, it was declared that the government of Canada (the Crown) had a fiduciary responsibility to the First Nations peoples of this country. They took upon themselves, unsolicited by the Native peoples of Canada, a trustee role that assumed responsibility for the well-being and welfare of the Indian people of Canada. Now, I exercise my fiduciary responsibility as a Native to dispute both the presumptuousness of such a decision, and, further, the failure of the Canadian government to carry that which it promised to do when assuming this responsibility. The failure of the Canadian government to carry out this responsibility has seriously affected all Indian people, including my own family.

That which began, on the part of the European colonizers, as a genocide relationship to Indian peoples, continues today. It just changed shape. The wanton destruction and outright killing of Indian people that took place in pioneer times destroyed whole tribes. Consider the Beothuk, the Saco, the Kennebec or Norridgewak Indians, if you doubt this. Where are they today? Who can speak for them?

The Wulustukyeg are still here, but they are facing another form of genocide, one that is tearing Indian people and their communities apart. Tactics to divide and conquer, destroy from within, are promoted through the imposition of the white reserve system, white government structure, white values, white language, white culture, white controlling legislation, the Indian Act, the British North-America Act, white education, white religion, white identity, white economic system, white justice system and white written treaties.

At the time the government of Canada presumed to assume fiduciary responsibility for Indian peoples, our people knew and used their own language. They knew their culture, their traditional teachings, their true Indian identity, history and traditional teachings. They knew the Sacred Earth Mother and how to care for her. They knew their birthright and their own spiritual identity. Today, our people know ver little, if any, of these things. I can attest to this firsthand.

When Tobique was established by the government of Canada, and our people, our ancestors, were forced to move from their camps, their homes at gunpoint, the total size of the reserve was 20,000 acres. Today, it is only 6,000 acres. No one knows how this happened. Our people have no awareness of how this happened. Does the government of Canada have an explanation of how this could have happened while they were exercising fiduciary responsibility for our best interests? How could we lose so many acres while under the protection of the government of Canada?

I am a Maliseet (Wulustukyeg) Indian born 60 years ago at Tobique, New Brunswick. For the first five years of my life, I could speak my Indian language. But after that, it was all in English. I was never taught anything in Wulustuk. I don’t know my language, my culture, my traditional teachings, my history, my Indian heroes, my spirituality or my real identity. My birthright was stolen by the White Canadian government. The government failed me and my family in a very profound and serious manner. It failed completely to fulfil its fiduciary responsibility to me, my family and our people.

It is interesting to note that the genocidal relationship has grown and changed over the past 500 years (since 1492) to meet the change in the times. The essential aim is still clear, however. The heart of our oppressors still sees the final solution to the Indian problem to be the elimination of Indian people as a distinct, viable and self-determining people. Take away a peoples’ language, culture, identity, religion and traditions and you destroy them. If you don’t know who you are, how can you be distinct, viable or self-determined? If you don’t know who you are, you become dependent and weak.

This tactic to destroy a culture is evident in my own family. The Canadian government is still party to this genocide. I need cover only five generations to prove this serious allegation. I will talk about my great-grandparents, my grandparents, my parents, myself and my two sons.

My great-grandparents knew their mother tongue, knew their culture, their traditional teachings, their traditional values, their Maliseet identity, and their traditional spirituality. But the imposed and enforced white reserve system, the enforced white religion, and the imposed and enforced white education was already beginning to have a negative impact in their day.

In my grandparents’ time, the negative impact was more evident. They could still speak their mother tongue. They still knew some of the traditional teachings, values and heroes. They still had some understanding of what it meant to be an Indian and they still had some understanding of the traditional spiritual ways. But slowly, the imposition and enforcement of all the outside values, teachings, religion and laws were eroding what had once been a solid foundation. Confusion about identity began to sneak in and crack the solid foundation that had been there since the beginning of time in order that all future generations would know their place on this earth.

In my parents’ time, they could still speak their mother tongue but they were beginning to lose some of it. There were doubts about identity. Based on their experience, they decided that conforming to the white ways would be in the best interest of their children. They felt that teaching the Indian language to their children would only hinder the possibility of their continued survival and safety. So they stopped teaching their children their mother tongue. They didn’t feel they really had any choice. This was when the genocidal process used by our colonizers gained a large victory. It was the real beginning of the death of true Indian identity for my family.

My parents had not been taught much about their culture. They knew nothing about Native spirituality. White religion had taken over. They did not know the traditional teachings or their own Indian identity, so there was little that they could pass on to their children, even if they felt it safe to do so. The enforced white reserve system would not permit that. The enforced white education system and religion would not permit that. And certainly the white imposed criteria for socialization (civilization) would not allow that. That is where it stood when it came to my own generation.

Due to my parent’s love and concern for their children, and their commitment to protect us from being destroyed or harmed, they chose not to teach their children anything Indian. Not the language, not the culture, not the traditional teachings or stories. Absolutely nothing. So none of those things that my ancestors preserved for millions of years in order that they be passed on to future generations, were taught to me or my siblings. We were robbed of our birthright and our identity in order to fit into white society, in order to survive as human beings. Therefore, I, in turn, could not preserve and pass on to my children so that the seven generations to come might know, all of those things that go into making an Indian - a Maliseet - identity.

As the French of Quebec know, and as most intelligent human beings should realize, if you do not have your own language, culture, traditional teachings and history, you are lost as a human being. Something is missing. Your identity gives you self-determination and that is the right and necessity of every human being.

To add insult to injury, we, as Indian people, also continue to lose more of ourselves in the terms of these Treaty rights. The small parcels of land we were allotted after the enforced takeover grow smaller every day. Tobique is a prime example. Treaty rights that my people held sacred - for medicine, health care, education and economic development - are being turned over to the provincial government. It is a calculated and underhanded way to devolve even more of this promised fiduciary responsibility for Indian people.

How could Canada take on a fiduciary responsibility to Indian peoples in the first place? Were Indian people ever asked about this? Did they ever willingly give consent? It was a scheme by the government to rob Indian people of their strongest weapon against annihilation - their sense of identity and autonomy. It was, and still is so today, a very deliberate and calculated effort by the government of Canada to destroy completely, the rightful and true owners of the land that has come to be known as Canada.

I stand today as a broken link in the chain that was to preserve Maliseet culture, language, traditions, teachings, history, religion and identity. I was robbed of my birthright because the Canadian government did not live up to its fiduciary responsibility - a responsibility they presumed to assume in the first place - to Native people in Canada. They failed the Indian people terribly and robbed them of their identity. They failed my family terribly, and the effects are evident today. That is why I intend to exercise my fiduciary responsibility to Indian people and the Seventh Generation and ask for accountability of this government before our annihilation is complete.

All My Relations,

Dan Ennis
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PROTECTING OUR BIRTHRIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION

We are acting with complicity to our own demise when we permit or otherwise neglect to prevent the continuing erosion of our birthright to live as our Ancestors did for thousands of generations, to live as self-determining people.

Our Ancestors lived for thousands of generations as self-determining people: living, preserving, protecting, respecting and passing on that birth right.

One may ask the questions what does that mean? What is our birthright as Indian people? My reply is simple: to live, enjoy and practice those same rights that out Ancestors lived, enjoyed and practices at the time of contact with the European invaders. Meaning to live, enjoy and practice our own spiritual ways, our own language, our own culture, our own Indian identity, our own institutions of government. It also means to enjoy our land and resources and to enjoy the freedom to move about Turtle Island - our homeland. In a word to continue to be self-determining people. Our ability to move about our homeland freely, much as our ancestors always did, is the focus of this essay. 

We dishonor the memory and efforts of our Ancestors when we fail in our responsibility to live, preserve, protect and pass-on that birth right to the Seventh Generation. We also ensure the demise of the Seventh Generation when we fail in that responsibility. 

When those transplanted Europeans insisted that our two nations sign treaties, they were very much aware of their intentions and of the need for such treaties. They were first and foremost protecting their own birthright as English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish people etc. in the event that things turned out to be not to their liking. Meaning Indians gaining the upper hand in the Europeans’ attempt to kill us off, and in stealing our land.

Those transplanted Europeans who committed theft and genocide are now able to point to those treaties as "proof" that they have rights to land and resources that they stole through genocide, deceit, cheating, lies and denial.

This is where our complicity comes into play. We as Indians are very well aware of the truth and reality of the origins of this political and legal fiction that has come to be known as Canada. Lets ask ourselves: What are we doing about it

Every Indian person has to act, to take action in some way, even if it is only by raising ones awareness regarding ones birthright as the original people of Turtle Island, which is one way of fulfilling our responsibility to the Ancestors and to the Seventh Generation.

The question that each and every Indian person has to ask him or herself is this: What am I, as an Indian person, willing to do so as to live, nurture, protect and pass-on our birthright.

Some things that we all must bear in mind when answering this question: We are the survivors of the great North American holocaust and therefore the children of genocide. The people whose forefathers committed genocide are the same people who are in positions of power today and who possess the power to continue their denial game when it comes to the origins of the America/Canadian nation states.

All that has been written in this article leads me to speak on our birthright, as affirmed by treaty, to pass freely across what is now known as the northern boundary of the United States.

In 1794 the United States and Great Britain signed the Jay Treaty. It recognized that... "the Indians dwelling on, either side of the... boundary line [shall have rights] freely, to pass and re-pass by land or inland navigation; and to navigate all lakes, rivers and water thereof, freely, to carry on trade and commerce with each other." The Treaty of Ghent in 1814 also recognized that right.

Since September 11, 2001 our border-crossing rights are being eroded even more while we stand idly by doing nothing.

For our people, crossing the white-man made border represents our treaty right. For the white-man it represents a privilege. These are huge differences in these two concepts that all of our people should bear in mind and more so for our elected leaders.

As this is, and always has been, our homeland and since this fact has been affirmed through different treaties, our people should be able to traverse our homeland freely without any fear of molestation or otherwise being detained by the American or Canadian forces of oppression.

In my grandmother’s time our reserve community had our very own "special Indian border crossing road" that extended from our reserve community right to the "American" border with no border guards, where we crossed the white-mans border unmolested. How did we come to lose this? And where were our elected leaders?

The Mohawk people still continue to maintain their border crossing rights and continue to maintain their own separate border crossing road within their homeland and have fought both the American and Canadian governments to hold on to their border crossing birthright. The Onandaga people have been issuing their own passports for the past 100 years as their way of demonstrating their birthright to self-determination.

There have been articles in both American and Canadian newspapers reporting on talks that have been taking place between American and Canadian governments which discuss border crossing issues. Were our elected and/or traditional leaders part of these border crossing issue talks? No, they were not asked to be part of these talks. In the same way that our people were not asked to be part in talks when the white-man made border was conceived and agreed to by those transplanted Europeans. 

My question is: if it is so easy and simple to accommodate the needs of eurocanadians and/or euroamericans, in terms of border crossing privileges, then why not the same accommodation for our people with our treaty protected birthright? At the same time where are our leaders on this issue? What are they doing about protecting our rights?

The present generation has a responsibility to both the Ancestors and the Seventh Generation to be as aggressive and forceful, if not even more so, in protecting our birthrights as our ancestors did.

 

All My Relations,

Dan Ennis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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