An eyewitness account of the arrival of Shawn Brant and Terry Maracle’s so-called Tyendinaga “Men’s Council” threatening vigilante violence against the Wyman Rd. Wet’suwet’en support camp.

Jackie Hall reporting from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

By Jackie Hall, RPM Reporter

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY – I am Kaniehkehaka Kaienerekowa Kanonsehsne women/mother first, and a reporter second. I have kept quiet about the events that transpired this past weekend in tyendinaga, out of respect for the attempted peace talks.

It broke my heart to witness first hand, the division and violent tactics used by a group of inebriated men, in the dark of the night on Saturday, March 7th, 2020. 

Shawn Brant.

I was on my way out of camp at approximately 8:30pm, when I was called back. As I was approaching the camp, I recognized Shawn Brant, who I have had words with prior, when he was attempting to install fear and shame into the support camp. I stopped to talk to him on the road leading up to the camp, and asked him “what was going on?” He said they were “just there to talk”, I made him promise me no one was going to get hurt, and he agreed to that promise. Shawn went on to say he’s not the leader, and that I should talk to Terry Maracle.

I parked outside the checkpoint, watching the live video one of the men were streaming on the Akwesasne People’s page. When I heard voices being raised and tensions rising from the supporters’ side,  I felt it was my responsibility to keep the peace amongst the people.

I walked into the middle of the two groups, and I shone a light on the faces of the “mob of men,” as they were called by their one leaders, Terry Maracle. Terry walked away immediately, when his face became visible. I went to speak with him directly, because of what Shawn Brant said a few minutes prior. 

Terry Maracle.

When I approached Terry, I asked him what his intentions were. He said that they wanted to make sure there were “no pedophiles in the camp.” So, I said okay, the person your talking about is no longer here, we can figure this out. And we walked back to the group.

As I stood there in the middle of the argument, listening and observing, I talked to a few men in an attempt to calm them down. I asked them what their intentions were, and a few said they were there to tear down the camp. It was clear that this group of men, calling themselves the “Men’s Council” were not organized, and were under the influence of someone else’s direction, and not thinking with a clear mind.

These men came with intentions of inflicting violence on a peaceful support camp, full of mostly Onkwehon:we people (men and women). These men were being led by misinformation and deceit, through claims such as “there’s pedophiles in the Keefer camp”.

Text messages sent to Kanenhariyo by Terry Maracle.

First of all, the man they accused of being a “pedophile,” a videographer who was helping with Real People’s Media, released a statement describing his charges (he is not charged with being a pedophile), explaining the situation and clearly stating that he never stayed at the camp and had left Tyendinaga with no intentions of returning. This statement was released on March 6th, two days before the mob came to Wyman.  He has since released another statement and evidence detailing his communications with Toronto Police that indicate that his name is no longer on the Sexual Offenders Registry.

Secondly, consistently calling the support camp, the “Keefer camp,” is an attempt to discredit all the hard work the Kaniehkeha:ka people and their allies have put in over the last month. Continuously shaming the people for their continued support of the Wet’suwet’en, by saying that no trains are being blocked, so the camp serves no purpose, is further misinformation. The trains were never blocked, and there never was a blockade. CN Rail was simply told they couldn’t pass through Mohawk lands, just as in Kawehnoke, where the bridge isn’t blocked. Only people supporting the Wet’suwet’en on the side of the road.

Once the men were able to air out their grievances, many calmed down enough to talk; with the help of a man who came to aid in the peace talks. After many realized the truth of the matter, they left. Once the ones who came to fight realized there would be no fighting that night, they left. The ones who remained, agreed to meet at the community center at 3 pm, the next day.

The following day, we gathered for the meeting. The people who supported the camp showed up early and on time, in a respectful and peaceful manner.

Terry Maracle and his mob showed up late. When they came to the meeting, most would not sit down, they just stood with their arms crossed in an attempt to intimidate the people across the room (men, women and youth). The ones who did sit – such as Terry who felt the need to bring a war club to the meeting – made it very clear they were not interested in peace. 

The man who helped calm everyone the night before was there, and helped to mediate the discussion along with two Bear Clan women. I sat silently, as it is not my place to discuss internal issues. After speaking for a bit, it was agreed the support camp would be taken down from Wyman Rd, by Wednesday, March 11th. It was also agreed it would be done silently, with no public posts.

It was an emotional moment to hear the Bear Clan women tell the so-called ‘Men’s Council’ how intimidating they are to her and how unsafe those men made these women feel in their own home. The ‘Men’s Council’ claims to want to protect the women and the children, but they meet in the middle of the night, and show up at peoples’ homes drunk trying to inflict violence on them.

This so called ‘Men’s Council,’ is not an organized group of men. Some were clearly under the influence of hard drugs, as it was visible during the meeting. The group was formed in reaction to misinformation and deceit, and they are failing miserably at upholding their supposed mission statement of “concern for the safety of the women and children”.  When women from Tyendinaga were emotionally pleading with them, it should have been clear they were failing as men. But not thinking clearly, they didn’t fully understand the women’s pleas.

Shawn Brant sharing Terry Maracle’s post breaking the agreement not to announce the end of the camp.

A few hours later, Terry Maracle posted about the camp coming down on Facebook, when it was agreed by all at the meeting to not post about it. Maracle continues to call it the “Keefer camp,” in an attempt to disrupt the peace. Even when asked by women from Tyendinaga to take the post down, it remains up. The so-called Men’s Council continues to spread lies that a sex offender was knowingly allowed to work for RPM, (anyone who knows me, knows I would not knowingly work with a sex offender).

Things have now reached the point that there is a fake Tyendinaga Police Department account that is continuing to post false information and internal issues for the world to see.

Although this videographer has a past, he has attempted to fix the damage he has caused by not disclosing his past criminal history. He has made available the recordings and transcript of his calls to the Toronto police that show that he is not a registered sex offender, and has asked the Tyendinaga Mohawk OPP officer to retract their statement that gave cause to the so called Men’s Council.

It should also be pointed out that the Tyendinaga Mohawk OPP officer who pulled over the videographer, and made it public there was a sex offender working for RPM, was Marcel Maracle – Terry Maracle’s brother. Real People’s Media has documented this in our article on how the Tyendinaga OPP is using COINTELPRO-style tactics against RPM and the Wet’suwet’en solidarity movement.  

At no time did this so-called ‘Men’s Council’ attempt to meet with the support camp in a respectful and peaceful manner in accordance with the Kaienerakowa.

The actions of these men are concerning, and the lack of remorse and responsibility is dangerous to the people of the Kaniehkehaka nation.

Who will hold them accountable?