In Euro-Western culture, it is tradition to give a gift of silver on a 25th anniversary. The Canadian constitution's 25th anniversary occurred [on April 17] and I believe a gift of silver has already been given by Six Nations [of the Grand River Territory]. The Silver Covenant Chain of Friendship was one of the first treaties made between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans. Beginning with the Dutch in the early 1600s, Covenant Chain treaties were made with the French, English, other tribes and, eventually, with the Twelve United Colonies of the Americas long before Canada became a country. The Covenant Chain became a symbol of the relationship between the Haudenosaunee and other nations. It served to connect us or bond us together in friendship, as brother to brother, sister to sister and nation to nation.
Unfortunately, the Canadian government has done everything within its morally bankrupt power to tarnish that once shining link between two nations. Six Nations is a matriarchal society. Ironically, Six Nations people who live on the reserve are denied full access to the human rights complaint resolution system, a temporary measure that's on its 30th anniversary. The government obviously knows this and surrounding communities of Six Nations would know this if they would read some proper history books.
The Canadian government needs to stop being parental towards Six Nations and start being thankful for a nation that introduced democracy to the world, influenced North Americans to ''allow'' women to vote and have an equal voice, and cultivated most of the planted food we eat. Canada must be sincerely respectful and sit down at the negotiating table to shine those many tarnished silver links that both nations' forefathers in their great wisdom forged together out of friendship and not try to choke Six Nations with it!
- Timothy Edward Reynolds