Real Peoples’ Media has released edited transcripts of the meeting between the Mohawk People and Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller. These transcripts are being released in a context of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) misrepresenting and misleading the public about the character of the meeting on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on February 15, 2020. For the PDF transcripts click here.

EDITED TRANSCRIPTS

MEETING BETWEEN THE MOHAWK PEOPLE 

AND 

MARC MILLER, MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS CANADA

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY

RE: TYENDINAGA RAIL SHUTDOWN, FEB 15, 2020

Note: These transcripts have been edited to streamline the discussions for reading. Words like “um” have been edited out. Also edited out are some small talk or side conversations with people in the audience when breaks were called that were not part of the official discussions between the Mohawk People and Minister Marc Miller or his staff. Nothing with relevance to the discussion regarding Wet’suwet’en, current actions across the country or the encampments at Tyendinaga has been excluded. 

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Shortly before 10:30am Minister Marc Miller arrives at the Wyman Road encampment. The table which was originally on the tracks has been moved to just off the tracks. Minister Miller has brought three of his staff members with him, including Deputy Minister Jean-Francois Tremblay and his Chief of Staff, Mike Burton and someone whose name wasn’t noted. On the other side of the table are the Mohawk spokespeople as have been chosen by their clans to represent the people in the meeting. The temperature is about minus 12 degrees and there is a wind and light snow falling. It’s cold for everyone.

Bear Clan Representative, KANENHARIYO:(Seth LaFort)

Bear Clan Representative, KANAKTIYOHSTHA (Linda LaFort)

Turtle Clan Representative, TEHAHENTE (Frank Miller)

Turtle Clan Representative, KARENNIYO (Caroline Van Every)

Wolf Clan Representative, THOHYANOKEN (Storm Brant)

Wolf Clan Representative, KAWENNIIOSTA JOCK

Wolf Clan Representative, KAIATIHTAKAEH (Jackie Hall)

MINISTER MARC MILLER: You guys sleeping out here?

CROWD: Yeah

MINISTER MARC MILLER: oh man. I woke up early, I was in White Fish River Nation yesterday, to visit the community and we went to Lac Seul near Sioux Lookout to lift the water advisory that had been in place for seventeen years.

CROWD: That’s a long time

MINISTER MARC MILLER: Too long, too long.

CROWD: Why did it get like that?

MINISTER MARC MILLER: Why did it get like? Should have been done a long time ago…

CROWD: “seventeen years is a long time” Crowd: “Hey guys…we’re just going to wait for now, OK guys” “Marc are you getting cold?”

MINISTER MARC MILLER: Hey James, I’m OK…My heart’s warm.

CROWD: Let me be the first to say, welcome to Tyendinaga.

MINISTER MARC MILLER: Thank you. Does everyone know who’s with me today?

CROWD:  No, who’s with you?

MINISTER MARC MILLER: This is my deputy minister [inaudible] Mike Burton the other redhead, my chief of staff.

TEHAHENTE: I will attempt to translate a little bit, it is our custom that when we have visitors, that we observe that at the fireside, at the edge of the woods is where we see the smoke rising. So we come to you in all respect and we welcome you to our territory and the first thing that we do is that we say that anything that has affected you recently, the tears from your eyes, we say that we go and take the finest soft leather from the belly of a fawn and that’s what we’ll use to wipe away your tears so you can see clearly and also so that we can see you. And also we say sometimes death, and we call it death because what happens when there’s great concern or trauma or anything of that nature, we say that death goes into your ears and causes a blockage and what we do is that we go to the other side of the sky world and we’ll bring the finest eagle feather and that’s what we’ll use to pull that out from your ears so that you’ll be able to hear clearly to understand what’s being said. We say that when there’s trauma, it causes a blockage in our throat, that blockage in our throat makes it difficult sometimes to say what’s on our mind and what’s on our heart. We say what we do is that we give the finest water, we go to the other side of the sky world and bring back the finest water, the purest water, as pristine the ever was. That’s what we use to metaphorically for you to drink so that washes away that blockage in your throat so that you able to speak in a proper correct manner. So these are the words that were asked to be spoken today to welcome you to our territory, and to further discussion. After that, we’ll go for something to eat.MINISTER MARC MILLER: thank you.

To read the full transcript please click here