Tecumseh

Tecumseh (1768 – 1813) – was a respected Native American Shawnee warrior and chief, who became the primary leader of a large confederacy in the early 19th century. Tecumseh was among the most celebrated leaders in history. He was known as a strong and eloquent orator who was able to get tribes unite under one confederacy to resist the expansion of the United States into their territories.

He fought the United States in the Tecumsehs War and the War of 1812. During the war, Tecumseh’s confederacy helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. However, after U.S. naval forces took control of Lake Erie in 1813, the British and their allies retreated into Upper Canada, where the U.S. forces engaged them at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813. It was in this battle that Tecumseh was killed.

 

Who was Crazy Horse?

Crazy Horse (1840 – 1877) – He was a great Sioux warrior and a leader in the Great Sioux War of 1876.

Crazy Horse’s participation in several famous battles of the American Indian Wars on the northern Great Plains earned him great respect from both his enemies and his own people.

Crazy Horse ranks among the most notable and iconic of Native American warriors and was honored by the U.S. Postal Service in 1982 with a 13¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.

The  worst part is I don’t remember ever learning about Crazy Horse in my history classes. Might have to do with the fact that I grew up in Canada, but his story still should have been thought in class when learning about First Nation people. Do you agree?

Why the Anti Seal Hunt activist must be careful not to include Inuits in their ban.

I know that I’m vegetarian, but I was raised Métis. So I know the proper way to hunt, respect wild life, prepare the meat and no waste anything. Wild meat that is healthier and taste better than anything you will find in grocery stores.

Seal meat is used for food and clothing Inuit families. Families that have been hunting within there traditional terrorizes for thousands of years.

Anti-Seal hunt must not include Inuit people. Otherwise the drive to protect seals will cause the genocide of a people. The First people who were here before Canada existed.

Mary Two-Axe Early – Equal Rights Activist

Mary Two-Axe, a Mohawk woman from Kahnawake, Quebec, was an indigenous women’s right activist that fought for equal rights for Aboriginal women after loosing her Indian “Status” under the Indian Act for falling in love and marrying an Irish-American electrical engineer, Edward Early.

navajo-1737988_1920I’ve personally always found this concept completely ridiculous. If I Chinese woman marries a non-Chinese man, she is still Chinese. A black woman marrying a white man, does not become Caucasian. While the Aboriginal people themselves had not previously regarded women as second-class citizens, the law reflected the Victorian European notion that women were legally the possessions of their husbands. So in other words, you were only truly recognise has Native American if you  through your father or through your husband, which is completely unfair.

When Native women looses her status rights, it means that she can not longer live on the reserve where she was born, she can’t own land there, she can’t participate in the band’s political life or vote in its elections, or be buried on the reserve with her family. Even if the marriage fails or the woman becomes a widow, she and her children could be denied housing, health care and education.

A friend of Mary’s had been ordered to leave the reserve and sell her house upon marrying a Mohawk from another reserve. She died the following morning of a heart attack. Mary believed that it was the stress from the discrimination that killed her friend.

pow-wow-2078482_1920The following year, Mary founded a provincial organisation, Equal Rights for Indian Women. She made many passionate speeches and presented numerous submissions to the government. She often met with opposition from male First Nations leaders, who feared that the marriage of Indian women to non-Indians would lead to assimilation and erosion. Technically the same could have been said about male Native American who married non-native women. They also argued that the cost of extending Indian status to thousands of non-registered First Nations women and their children would be too high for the bands to bear. Even the fact that there is cost involved in getting recognised as Native American is ridiculous. Did you have to fight to have your race recognise, had to pay for a registration card with renewal fees and could stand to lose your identity if you fell in love with the wrong person?

Two years later, Mary moved back on the reserve after inheriting her grandmothers home. The band leaders made it clear she wasn’t welcomed on the reserve. Since Mary couldn’t legally own property on the reserve, she passed it on to her daughter who had married a Mohawk from the reserve and therefore regained her Indian Status. She was able to stay as a “guest” of her daughters.

In 1975, the leaders of the reserved tried to have Mary evicted while she was away debating Native American Women’s Rights at a conference in Mexico. She was advised over the phone by her daughter. Mary used the conference to tell her own story to the world and after much international publicity, the eviction notice was eventually withdrawn.

crafter-1840247_1920Largely because of Mary Two-Axe Early’s efforts, Parliament passed legislation in 1985 amending the Indian Act to eliminate the discrimination that penalised Native Women from marrying who they want without reprisal. They also added a reinstatement process, so that Native Women who left the reserve and lost their Indian Status can reclaim their rights under the Act.

One week later, Mary was the first person in Canada to regain her Indian status at a ceremony in Toronto. She was 73 years old.

Mary was awarded a Governor General’s Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Law from York University, and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her work and activism.

Unfortunately, this is still happening in Quebec. For example, Tracey Deer, creator of Mohawk Girls, is facing eviction from her native Kahnawake now that she is married to a non-indigenous man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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