What’s really going on in Tyendinaga with Real People’s Media
A response to slanderous allegations and misinformation promoted by the Two Row Times and the Turtle Island News.
1. The action by the Mohawks of Tyendinaga to prohibit the passage of trains through their territory was the lynchpin of the cross-Canada blockade action in support of the Wet’suwet’en and the #shutdowncanada and #rcmpout movement.
2. The visit of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to meet with the Mohawk Bear, Turtle, and Wolf clans in Tyendinaga was a groundbreaking and truly profound moment in the resurgence of traditional Indigenous people organized through their hereditary clan systems.
3. The voice and experience of this movement has been amplified by Real People’s Media, a media company owned by the people and operated by the Bear Clan in Tyendinaga, and which is integrated and embedded in the movement of the Onkwehon:we clan peoples seeking a future outside of the Indian Act.
4. The movement in Tyendinaga – which stopped trains for nearly a month in Canada’s busiest rail corridor – has been targeted for infiltration and destruction by the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police, who are a branch of the Ontario Provincial Police. The efforts of the Tyendinaga OPP to influence the political direction of the camps was further revealed in a February 25th audio recording of Officer Marcel Maracle.
5. On the basis of a traffic stop which yielded no ticket or charge, Tyendinaga OPP officer Marcel Maracle pulled over an RPM volunteer driving RPM co-founder Tom Keefer’s vehicle on March 5th. While pulling him over, the OPP FALSELY claimed over the police scanner that the RPM volunteer was on the Sex Offenders Registry. Officer Maracle warned him that “If you’re in our community of Tyendinaga for any time and people find out you’re on the Sex Offender Registry it could be a problem for you.” The RPM volunteer was then branded a “convicted offender” and a “danger to the peace of security of our people” in a post on the Tyendinaga OPP’s Facebook page.
7. The police department immediately sought and obtained an order from Band Council to permanently ban the RPM volunteer from the territory with no independent investigation of the matter. Follow up with the Toronto based detectives responsible for running the Sex Offender Registry confirmed that the volunteer was in fact NOT on the registry.
8. The Tyendinaga OPP operate in concert with the so-called “Tyendinaga Men’s Council” an unofficial body led by two wealthy business men without Clans or Onkwehon:we names – Shawn Brant and Terry Maracle (brother of Tyendinaga OPP officer Marcel Maracle). This imposter organization has repeatedly threatened violence against Mohawk people at the Wyman Rd. Camp, whipped up vigilante violence against so-called “white activists” and “sex offenders,” has sent threatening text messages to silence opposition, and has shown up to peoples homes in the middle of the night to fight them.
9. On the basis of the audio from the traffic stop, Shawn Brant and Terry Maracle held a meeting and issued a statement on March 5 from the so called “Tyendinaga Men’s Council” based on the information they received from the Tyendinaga OPP. Their statement calls for the “permanent removal” of Tom Keefer and the “Keefer Camp” and the “use of all necessary and appropriate force to bring them into effect.”
10. Following their meeting, two men who were drinking at Brant and Maracle’s meeting went to fight RPM co-founder Seth Lefort at his home in the middle of the night, and Terry Maracle went to meetings with the Mohawk people at Wyman Rd. the next night carrying a war club and threatening violence. The Tyendinaga OPP were on hand to arrange the conditions for violence by setting up a roadblock so that only supporters of Brant and Maracle could reach the camp and turned back camp supporters.
11. This close co-operation between Shawn Brant and the Tyendinaga OPP is not a new phenomenon, but has been ongoing for years. The following audio is an eyewitness account of how Shawn and his goons – with the active complicity of Tyendinaga OPP Police Chief Jason Brant and his police officers, stole the business of Isaiah Miracle.
12. Another account by lawyer Ian McLean details the extraordinary conduct of the legal system in regards to Shawn Brant and Tyendinaga OPP Chief Jason Brant.
13. The slanderous attacks on RPM staff and volunteers coming from Jonathan and Nahnda Garlow of the Two Row Times are not surprising. The Garlows hi-jacked and stole the Two Row Times from its rightful owners, lied about their own indigenous identity (neither have Clans or a voice in the Haudenosaunee or Mohawk systems), drove out Longhouse supporters from the paper, and turned the paper into a house organ for Band Council and a select group of Grand River tobacco industry multi-millionaires.
14. The Garlows stole in excess of $250,000 from Mohawk businesswoman Kelly MacNaughton and the friends and family members of the Keefer family who made the investments to start the paper. The Garlows gained control by running a smear campaign against the two owners and illegally forcing them from the paper on “temporary leaves of absence.” Coincidentally, Jonathan Garlow and Shawn Brant are good buddies from way back and their families are friends.
15. Likewise, the slanderous attacks made by Turtle Island News writers Donna Duric and Lynda Powless repeating the lies of the Tyendinaga OPP, and Shawn Brant and Terry Maracle are to be expected. Powless has long held a grudge against Tom Keefer for starting the Two Row Times newspaper, her only print media competition in Six Nations. Compare the correspondence between writer Donna Duric and Tom Keefer to what was actually written in the article.
16. RPM has also discovered ‘leaked audio’ from CBC journalist Jorge Barrera showing that he was incorrectly and manipulatively quoted by Powless and Duric for their story.
17. The moral of the story is make sure you know what’s going on before you jump into the debate and share the latest slanderous article from the Two Row Times and the Turtle Island News, or for that matter the Tyendinaga OPP and its Men’s Council auxiliary, or fake online accounts claiming to be the Tyendinaga Police. The same kinds of slimey allegations and smear attacks are currently going on in Wet’suwet’en country, with right wing media outfit Rebel News doing the dirty work of the TRT and the TIN. RPM journalists and Wet’suwet’en supporters are being set up to have physical violence done to them, so be careful what you promote on social media.
18. As of today, the CGL pipeline company continues to build in Wet’suwet’en territory and the RCMP continue to protect them. The struggle to support the Wet’suwet’en people and their system of traditional governance remains important. Solidarity camps in Six Nations and Akwesasne continue. Support them and come out to the gathering in Akwesasne this weekend!
19. Stay unified, stay focused, and don’t participate in the COINTELPRO style attacks on the solidarity movements for the Wet’suwet’en and those who support Onkwehon:we Clan governance systems. LET THE PEOPLE WITH THE CLANS, DO THE TALKING FOR THE PEOPLE WITH THE CLANS.