Like Father, Like Son??? Editorial on Shawn Brandt’s Arrest

July 9, 2007 at 1:07 am 10 comments


Steve and son, Ben hanging together in Ontario summer heat. The only difference between skinheads and Harper’s government (or any of the past) is if you put on a suit and hold public office, your racist endeavors become ‘legitimate’. So why doesn’t the mainstream protest? Illusion is everything.

By Khanentenitha Horn

MNN. July 4, 2007. On the June 29th “Indigenous
Action Day” the Canadian government had set all
kinds of traps for us to fall into. We held thousands
of gatherings to make our presence and issues
known to the public without one act of violence.
Corporate Canada tried to stir up phony accusations
against Mohawk Shawn Brant of Tyendinaga.

The Ontario Provincial Police OPP closed down the
Trans-Canada Highway and CN Rail closed down
their tracks that run though our community. “He
made us do it”, say the cops and the corporation.
Shawn’s been accused of “mischief” for thinking
about it. Why isn’t the OPP charging itself for
closing the 401? Why isn’t CN being charged for
closing the rails?

The OPP Commissioner Julian “Little Mouselini”
Fantino told the media he had been negotiating
throughout the day with Shawn, who was “reasonable,
cooperative and spoke against violence”. On July 5th
Shawn turned himself in as he promised. Then the
serpent with a forked tongue revealed its true colors.
He was imprisoned without bail until August 25th
when he has a preliminary hearing. This is called the
“bait and switch” tactic.

Phil Fontaine of the Canadian government’s Assembly
of First Nations didn’t need to stand in front of the
colonial police forces of Canada and threaten us
with punishment if we stepped out of line. In 500
years of colonialism we never once did that.

Why didn’t the entrapment exercise work on us?
They don’t understand how we think. The police
are part of the hierarchical colonial system. So
is Phil Fontaine. The slaves do what the people
at the top tell them to do. They take advantage
of those below them and so on downward.

Many at the bottom are the disaffected youth.
Some are homeless. They end up in the streets
of the cities huddled together trying to survive.
For years Shawn Brant was part of a group in
Toronto to help them. He fed them and took
them to his community, Tyendinaga, where he
gave them a feast.

These people were discarded by their families.
The politicians passed laws making it impossible
for them to make a living in the streets of Toronto.
The police removed them from the downtown
area to hide them from public view, just like the
ndigenous. Brant was one of their main spokesman.
Now he’s being punished for standing up to corporate

Many of the immigrants from Pakistan, India and the
Middle East come from clannish close knit families,
with strong ties to their communities. They arrive
here with nothing to make some money from our
land and resources and maybe to return home. They
are dropped into a loose society. Some families are
losing their kids.

These young people find themselves in a society
without restrictions, surrounded by many enticements
like alcohol, drugs and perversions. They break away
from their close knit community and some get lost.

Many find they are unwanted and can’t fit in no matter
how hard they try, because of their skin color, their
background, they talk different, look different and have
strange customs. They don’t understand how the sense
of exclusion and alienation is a normal part of North
American Euro life.

Resentment builds up against the dominant society.
The right wing skin heads, bullies and others who feel
rejected from mainstream society are shouting at them,
“Go back to Africa, your own country. You’re a drain
on our society”. Look who’s calling the kettle black!

They don’t see that these pathetic souls are seeking
the same kind of sense of belonging that they themselves
don’t have. Playing on their anger and bitterness makes
the European rejects feel like they are “somebodies”,

This sick dynamic is part of the dominant society’s
cultural mystique. We Indigenous do not want any
part of it. We want to maintain our identities as
Indigenous and our communities. Some of our young
people are caught up in this. We Indigenous don’t want
to lose our kids to the dominant messed up social sewer
where anything goes.

Many Indigenous youth say, “We are being pressured
by our parents and elders to keep in touch and not lose
our identity. They warn us if we go to that big city, we’ll
get lost. Better come back to your roots”. Many leave
anyway. This is where someone with an agenda can
come into their midst and take over their minds.

The young Arabs in England are being given messages
of hatred and militancy, “Go back to your culture and
your roots”, and “Everybody hates you”. These children
of non-Indigenous and immigrant societies are heavily
manipulated by television, movies, the internet and access
to information everywhere. Many closed societies are
beginning to fall apart.

We Indigenous are not falling for it. We have jurisdiction
in our land and in ourselves. We have to think about the
future unborn generations for whom we hold the land in
trust. Unlike the oppressor class that holds what they
stole from us in trust for themselves. Our children were
stolen from us. We were victimized by the invaders. We
do what we need to do to survive. We are in a defensive
mode. They are in a self-destructive mode looking for
ways to crucify themselves in keeping with the ancient
themes of their past.

We tell our children to “be who you are”. We have faith
in the integrity of what nature made them to be. We can
produce the kinds of people our societies need to have
healthy communities. We are capable peoples.

None of us fit at the bottom of the barrel where colonial
society wants us to be. In our world, we are all in the
open and equal. Our indigenous identities are an asset.
Canadian identity is becoming a liability.

Before the June 29 day of action, the message directed
at us was to be afraid, to be angry and to be provoked
into violence. They thought we could be induced to
take part in self-destructive actions like some of the
Muslims and other immigrant groups with pent up
hatred and confusion. They wanted to be able to
justify arresting us as “insurgents” and “terrorists”.
They want to keep the jails full of our young people.
After all, that’s what a lot of them were built for in the
first place. We are not easily led because we are in
the habit of thinking for ourselves and we don’t have

We are not easily deceived because we don’t easily
trust outsiders. We don’t fall for the temptation to
get something quick or for the excitement of the
moment. We know the white man brings drugs, money
and enticements to try to lead us to destruction.
We have and will maintain our integrity.

We showed that we are proud and composed. Unlike
a lot of youth in colonial society, we are not attracted
to gratuitous violence. We watch carefully, weigh
everything and then take action. The devastations
in our societies have been created for the most part
by the settlers. We have always been on the defense
and stick together. They have tried to pull us apart
and make us individualistic. Ours is a group identity
which is our strength.

The societies trying to take root on our land are
spontaneous. They do something because they feel
like it. “Don’t wait until tomorrow. Get it today!”
They are never satisfied. They have lots but it’s never

The hierarchical system is being imposed on the
whole human race. The oppressive class have taken
the idea of democracy and created a system of torture
and control to serve its own ends. The UN is homogenizing
the world into one world government to control everybody.
Individual states will disappear.

The Kaianereh’kowa/Great Law was never meant as a
system of control. Dekanawida and Jigosaseh knew
everyone was meant to be free. Those who joined the
Iroquois Confederacy maintained their freedom,
independence, government and culture. They did not
give up anything to a controlling conglomerate.

Organized “gangsterism” is not a natural part of human
nature. It’s a perversion that emerges when people’s
indigenous social ties have been broken. Such a system
of control will always fall apart. The human being will fight
against control and abuse. Every person in the world wants
to be free.

Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News

See: “Canada”

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Entry filed under: Canadian Government, CN, highway 401, Indigenous Action Day, O.P.P., Shawn Brant, Stephen Ben Harper.

Sunday Sermon by Crystal Methodist – Blue Light Special on Redemption Famous Stupid People # 24


  • 1. 900ft Jesus  |  July 9, 2007 at 8:44 am

    damn, you sure know how to bait a hook! Snagged me with the hillarious picture of Stevie & Co., skinheads – couldn’t stop laughing – then held me with the serious post.

    So, what’s Brant being charged with? What’s the justification for no bail? Is anyone taking legal action against this? What do you think the Feds hope to gain by pissing off so many people and demonstrating again through their bullying the need for native protests?

  • 2. JJ  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Good editorial, I like the reports she writes.

  • 3. JJ  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Hey, look at that, it didn’t think I was spam!:)

  • 4. 900ft Jesus  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:49 am

    some people tolerate anyone – even the intolerable, JJ (Aliens III)

    First Nations remian non-violent – commendable. Brant uses civil disobedience and goes to jail. What’s the answer? I believe the CND government got away with, and continues to get away with shoving Native issues to the bottom of the pile because there is no pressure on whatever gov. is in power to do anything about Native issues. How can we, as Canadians, (all Canadians) improve the state of First nations rights?

  • 5. 900ft Jesus  |  July 9, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Here is an excellent editorial on this issue:
    “Aboriginal Day Proved its Point”
    by D. Cuthand, Regina

  • 6. harpervalley  |  July 9, 2007 at 11:51 am

    jesus……ahhhh, hit me with a few questions why don’t ya???? brandt’s been charged with mischief and has priors , one which he deeked out on so they won’t grant him bail. i’m sure legal action is being taken, don’t know what yet but i’m sure brandt will use this to ‘further the cause’ by arguiing in court that he was on his own land (401 is mohawk territory) having a campfire with friends as a means to protest and demonstrate that the government is oh so wrong.

    for the feds it’s more delay tactics and ‘make ’em look back’…..anything they can to not enforce their own rule of law that says natives are their own sovereign nations. they just won’t give up control, the mineral rights etc.. good old colonialism….’the sun never sets on the empire’.

    jj…haha, ya, no spam trap for you today! ya, i like kahentenitha’s writing too….interesting writing recipe…from the heart ad a blend of knowledge and wisdom. shake will and stir in a few bites of mild acid.

    jesus…civil disobediance from the government’s perspective. from mohawk perspective just another day on the land 😀

    canadians have to continue to pressure the governments to recognize and abide by their constitution which contains royal proclamtions to allow indigenous nations their sovereignty and traditional territories. support is always welcome, lending a hand, sending money to MNN, buy some of their cafe press products, let them know you support them…..send clothing and other articles to six nations still holding caledonia……see the blurbs at the end of the article. thanks!

  • 7. harpervalley  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    thanks for the link, jesus……what gets me is brandt is being charged with mischief. considering he held a bonfire with friends and aquaintances on traditional territories (despite it being a highway), rule of law , if followed, would find canada guilty of innumerable things. instead, the government enforces it’s laws on those who do not act in accordance.

    brandt should be dealt with by six nations….not the canadian government. but perhaps this is another piece of leverage to pry open the whole can of worms….let’s hope he argues in court about his sovereign rights and the media opens their eyes a bit more.

  • 8. Bruce  |  July 12, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I’m a little late on this post, but Stevie looks a lot like Shrek in that photo. And that kid has no future at all.

  • 9. lame  |  July 31, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    hehe picture was editet on photoshop…one of the faces is fake…its obvious

  • 10. harpervalley  |  August 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    lame…..ah, that’s a big ‘duh’, buddy.

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