Tuesday, July 14, 2015


How can I trust the media mainstream media when Mohawks are made to be guilty for the death of Corporal Marcel Lemay?  The journalists were at the Inquest into the death of Marcel Lemay and NO CHARGES were brought against Mohawks.  There was no conclusive proof because evidence was tampered with, when trees were chopped down.  There was no autopsy report that told us who shot the bullet, no one knows.   In all honesty no one know who shot the Corporal.  His death was tragic.  A life was lost.  However, today another loss is felt that is the loss of truth.
Journalists are burying the truth under a mountain of false information and cultural perception. Because it is assumed that Mohawks are guilty.  Some have interviewed the sister of Corporal Marcel Lemay who said she forgave and was working towards peace.  Who did she forgive? No one knows who shot the fatal bullet.  I cannot forgive nor forget the media for making up stories, for implying the Mohawks are guilty.  They had the Inquest report and they saw or read that there was NO CHARGES against Mohawks, because of lack of proof.  Yet, journalists imply the Mohawks were guilty.  

Journalists are there to inform to help us understand our world in an honest fashion.  Journalists use facts and should be able to make the difference between malicious gossips, urban legends, and cultural assumption their role is to differentiate between lies and truth. Journalists are human and are subject to cultural biases and systemic racism.  This racism is part of a larger problem that is colonialism and a colonialist mentality.    Journalists are still playing cowboy and Indians or calling the cavalry heroes, those who murdered First Nation are heroes.  Bridges, lakes, cities, streets, schools are named after them.  It is the same as naming a building or street after a Confederate hero.  It would be the same as if we named a school Hitler or Mengele.  People will object to a school being named after Hitler but they are happy to name a lake after Champlain. 
As a child because I was the only girl playing with boys’ cowboy and Indian, the boys were the cowboys and I was always the Indian.   I was outnumbered 3 or 4 boys against one girl. Girls are supposed to be weaker than and not as good t strategy as boys.  Yet, I could outwit, outsmart, overcome and win.  Well, they were always surprised to see that I won.  Maybe this why I can empathize with First Nation and see them as winners.  I am comfortable being a woman as I know I have power over myself and my actions. 

Truth will set us free as lies shackle us and tie us down.  Lies create enemies perpetuate division and creates enemies.  By telling the truth we clear up the way to have an honest open discussion with each other.  I listen to you, hear your pain, feel your pain and empathize with you.  I do not see you as a victim in need of my help as I am no hero and do not have any solutions. By talking, discussing and being honest with each other we can find solutions. Because, we are equal yet different but equal nonetheless.  By sharing our knowledge, our concerns and our solutions we will be able as Canadians to be free. 

We came here seeking freedom and a new life, because back in France or England or Spain the water was polluted. Life expectancy was short.  Houses were built side by side.  When Cartier first landed he remarked there was chateau, no forts, no houses, no cities:  the area he called virgin land and uncivilized.   After Cartier came Champlain de Maisonneuve and the French aristocracy and peasants.  A feudal system was put in place and these men decided to civilize this part of the world, which they called India hence Indian. 

India was where they came landed.  Yes, they were sure they had landed in India it took a few hundred years to realize it was a new world.   Yet the word Indian still persists to be used.  We as Canadians never bothered to ask the people what their names were. We stole their identity. Just like we did to Jews, we took their religious book their Bible and then used it to gain control of the world by converting people.  They came with the cross (missionaries) accompanied by guns (the army) preached the Bible and stole the land a Native friend told me.  These preacher men wanted the people to be created in their image or what they perceived as such, so they appropriated people called them My Indians.

First Nation were appropriated by being renamed.  We speaking French could not pronounce Wendate so we called them Huron, Kanien’kehá:ka impossible to pronounce let us call them Mohawks or Iroquois. Let us say they are blood thirsty because women are leaders.  Truth be told they are the “people of the flint”.   Women were leaders.  This mentality still persists in Canada that Mohawks are killers, this is a lie.  No one knows which bullet killed Corporal Lemay no autopsy no evidence as proof was destroyed by the police.  The SQ chopped down trees destroyed evidence.  

In 1990 I started by reporting for CKUT the Inquest into the death of Marcel Lemay.  I had a radio show for ten years, as a result, Twisting Tongue. 25 years later I have a blog and I write about my own experiences with First Nation people, my own unvarnished truth.  I do not whitewash truth not do I distort facts.   Truth and reconciliation will be a reality when we as Canadians in all provinces stop lying and start telling the truth. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015


We hear that Fist Nation women are victims of abuse on reserves.  The media mainstream and even community radio will speak of violence against women at the hands of their men.  We are made to feel for them, see them as victims, think poor women.  They need our help.  Making us Canadian women their savior.  The women need me, because I come from a civilized society. 
As a Canadian woman, I was not prepared mentally or physically for what I lived through at the Inquest in the death of Marcel Lemay.  We were there to find out if charges could be laid and if there was enough evidence to go to trial.   Yet what I saw and lived through, made me, realize the how First Nation women were treated by security guards, the police and the media.  It was appalling and made me rethink what it means to be civilized. 

As a children we were told to trust the police. Our mothers told us the police are your friend.  They are there to protect you and make sure you are safe.  Maybe true for a Canadian who is white and Francophone or Anglophone but not true if you are a Native woman or Black.  At the Inquest I lost my whiteness I was no longer privileged.   My skin tone did not change.  My hair was still blonde and my eyes still hazel.  What changed was the attitude change in the police and reporters.  They assumed I was First Nation or a Mohawk whore hence a traitor to my own race. Because I had a press card from CKUT (community radio) did not sit with reporters. I preferred to speak with Mohawk women, joked around with them and sit in the unofficial Native section. 

My role was to listen and take notes about what was said at the inquest.  Calling in my report for the day. The next morning I would read what the various reporters said, it was quite different. I made sure that facts were accurate and not invented. Go on radio and make corrections.  Some stories were invented and never occurred.  I had nothing to prove, I was there to report events.  As journalists and a woman, I was there to inform the public and find out if charges could be brought against Mohawks or the SQ. Let us not forget evidence was tampered with as trees were chopped down by the SQ.  Was there enough evidence to go to trial? What recommendations could be made to prevent this from happening again?  However, some journalists’ including women worked on the hypothesis that Mohawks were guilty and criminals.  They became judge and jury and offered many invented facts.  They misinformed people and caused confusion and distrust. I chose to report events and facts not put my spin on the story based on a cultural hypothesis that stigmatized Mohawk women and alienated them further.

As I lost my white privilege and of identity I was made me walk quite few miles in the moccasins of my friend.  It took me many years to share what I went through, as I did not want to write out of anger or rage.   Time helped me see things as they were devoid of any emotion of resentment, rage, anger, my heart is at peace.  I also empathize with First Nation women, like Idle No More who want to have an investigation launched in the unexplained death of so many Native women. I empathize with the women who lost their lives on the Highway of Shame. Or the missing women from Kahnawake.  I only hope that my experience can help women Canadian women understand the plight of First Nation women.  The abuse they live through at the hands of men in authority.  What follows is what I experience every day.  I was not alone. I do not want you readers to feel sorry for me.  Because I know I am strong and made stronger as a woman because of my many friends.  I developed a thick skin and a sense of humor as a result.  

The police greeted everyone at the door of the Inquest. Their role was to make sure no one brought in guns or knives.  It was for safety reasons.  Yet, the search differed between women and men who were non Native and those who were Native. Non Native women and men went through fast, the stick used was passed on their clothes. Everyone was searched every morning and afternoon.  However, the stick police used to check for metal, used quite differently on First Nation women.  The officer would linger and rub between the legs.  Yes, the stick became a sex toy in the hands of unscrupulous officers at the courthouse. 

These men got their thrills cheap thrill searching First Nation women and their friends.  My reaction was I wanted to slap a guard.  My friend stopped me, by putting her hand on my back.  Their gross action sexualized the woman and made them feel like they were sex object and prostitutes.  They acted more like pimps than police or security guards.  As I kept calm I saw how historians said First Nation women were loose and wanted sex.  I understood that it was men who or were loose in moral and had raped the women.  First Nation women at least the older generation is shy and withdrawn because many had gone through residential schools and the sexual abuse of those schools.  Many First Nation women and men had suffered sexual and physical abuse at the hands of teachers and people in authority in Residential schools.   They learned that YOU DO NOT REACT, otherwise the beatings or abuse would be worst.  

Her hand calmed me.  She looked at me. Her eyes said Do not react, that is what they want. If you do they will throw you out.   I understood the unspoken language, but not the depth.  I was part of a community and was responsible for my actions. I was an individual in a community part of a society that had been abused.   Had I hit the man or slapped him, it would have hurt my friends.  I learned very fast to remain calm and let the sex pervert get his thrills.  Morning and afternoon he had a smirk on his face a very arrogant sex crazed smirk and condescending attitude.  He thought he was a big man, he was a little man with a delusion of grandeur. The worst or the best example of sexual abuse was yet to come. 

A woman`s bathroom is for women.  No men allowed.  Well not at the court house in downtown Montreal.  Definitely not during the Inquest.  A friend and I had to go to the bathroom, we always went two by two.  As a Canadian woman I am use to going to the bathroom with a girlfriend, we can gossip, talk about the guy we are dating. We talk about the guys, laugh and joke around.  We even make plans to drop the losers.  Yet at the Courthouse during the Inquest it was for safety and to make sure we had a witness.  Just in case something happened.  Something did! 
A male cameraman followed my friends and I towards the bathroom. We got in closed the door behind us and he pushed it open and walked in, camera on his shoulder and film rolling. You could see the little red light flashing.  What did he want, a quickie?   Maybe he wanted a scoop or a Pulitzer I guess. Why else would he follow two women inside the bathroom? 

My friend asked him point blank. Do you want to see my UZI?  No response from the camera guy. Film still rolling.  You could see the little red light flashing.  I whispered in her ear “Let us get the security” she motions with her eyes and there standing behind the cameraman another man who was a security at the Court House.  There were two security guards that accompanied the camera guy.  A second cameraman from another Television station pushes his way in.  A third one was also trying to come in to scoop the other two stations in the woman’s bathroom.  Did they expect an orgy?  Were they filming for a porn show?  Laugher is the best medicine. 

My friend give them “THE LOOK” as she screams as loud as she could saying I will give you a show I will show you the MOON.  She calmly turns her back getting ready to pull down her pants. At that moment two other women were coming in the bathroom, they were French speaking and asked the camera men why they were there.  The perverts left.  My friend and I exchanged knowing glances, and started laughing.  We never talked about the incident after.  A few years ago I did write some poems in my book “Little White Lies” as a catharsis.  Many Canadian women told me I was exaggerating. I am not exaggerating or inventing this story, I am only sharing it.  It is in a way done to back up those who went through Residential Schools, who were abused, physically, psychologically and sexually. 

I am writing this article to shed light on a problem we do not talk about in polite Canadian society. First Nation women are being abused by men in authority and most Canadian women who are feminist will not speak of the abuse done by Canadian men in authority.  In 1990, I went to ask help from feminists because radio personalities were verbally abusing Mohawk women on air. I visited many groups alone and at times with Mohawk women, the response was always the same, silence.  Feminist were telling me they are Warriors they are dangerous they hate us because we are White, they want to kill us.  

I am White, I have a French name and made many friends who are from various First Nation communities.  Because, I did not have an agenda and let the facts tell their story. I told the truth.  I did not exaggerate, demonize, criminalize or start with the false hypothesis or premise that First Nation women are dumb, unable to care for themselves and are sex objects.   I wanted to know the women as individuals and part of a community. 

Canadian women need to show empathy for the women. Empathy will lead to complicity among women and we will be able to make lasting and much needed changes.   Let us look at systemic racism.  Look at how men treat us as women and then treat the “other women” be it First Nation, African descent women or Asian women.  Let us take a look at the Indian Act and understand how free women, who played an important role in their society were deemed immature.  Truth and reconciliation start with us Canadians women and men.  We must demand that our governments make changes to the law and to the attitude and mentality of Canadians.   First Nation people can govern themselves with honor and dignity.  They are mature.  Let us stop imposing our laws on them, let them chose the way they want to govern themselves.  

As a child I was told that the police, was my friend, that day I learned that it was not so for everyone.  Security guards, cameramen and reporters played the intimidation game. The tragic lesson I learned on that day was that First Nation women are not respected and are looked down upon.    To claim to be civilized does not mean you are civil.  These men may think they are heroes as they intimidate a woman. They are a cowards and bullies. What was done was violence against women. We can talk about the other, how native men abuse women let us talk about how some (not all) Canadian men abuse First Nation women. The civilized ones can be uncivilized brutes. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015


25 years ago on July 11, 1990 the SQ raided a peaceful protest on the Kanesatake reserve.  The women were protecting the bones of the elders buried in the cemetery.   At sunrise when women were making breakfast and readying to welcome the new day, the Surete du Quebec (SQ) storm trooped the area.  Women play an important role in the community as leaders.   Kahnawake joined the protest and blocked Mercier Bridge.

The SQ officers were armed with guns, gas masks, concoction grenades and tear gas. They first used tear gas and concussion grenades on women and children. Then came the shots from riffles.  Bullets were flying and hissing.  Women were disoriented and threw themselves over children to protect them.  Some men had hunting rifles and shot back.  When the bullets stopped one police officer was found dead, Corporal Marcel Lemay.  Many women and children suffer from lung problems: water on the lungs, COPD or other breathing disorders. Mainstream media is silent!

It is important to note that the United Nations bans the use of concussion grenades and tear gas in times of war, because the combination is lethal and disorients the enemy.  Yet, by changing one element police all over the Americas use it on First Nation or Black people to disorient protesters and then they can shoot or water hoses them.  No outraged is heard. Why?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is another consequence of the raffle of bullets.  Women who felt bullet hissing near their ears experience fear when hearing balloons pop or a car backfire.  Their reaction was to throw themselves and the person next to them push them to the floor. No one seems to care about the mental and physical health of First Nation. They (journalists) still concentrate of the sensationalism by making themselves heroes by using lies and they never speak of the consequences of the raid on Mohawks. Liars are cowards not heroes!

Bad reporting has resulted in a division and unfounded fears in non-native communities.  Irresponsible journalists have caused misunderstandings based on lies.  In order to cover-up the truth, they invented and created a false reality.  They tried to frame First Nations stating they were armed with Uzi machine guns, they made links to organized crime such as the mafia. The real issue is buried under a mountain of lies, women and children were brutalized and aggressed.  Mohawks did not declare war on Quebec however Quebec and Canada declared war on Mohawks.

The POW WOW was started in 1991, the following summer with the purpose of healing.  A true healing can only happen if and when truth is told and people start writing honestly.  When the SQ STOPS playing cowboy and Indians! When governments STOP calling First Nation irresponsible and unable to lead themselves! Journalists STOP lying to justify systemic racism! Start telling the truth.  START admitting we (Canadians) made mistakes. START doing something about it. START by respecting First Nations. START settling land claims. 

A very wise First Nation woman told me in order to win, we need to have a clean heart. It cannot be done out of hatred or anger.  We cannot fight because we will become like those we fight. A person must tell the truth admit mistakes and work towards a solution. The Oka raid was a mistake, it lead to a crisis.  The force used by the SQ was abusive. In order for truth and reconciliation to happen non-Natives correct misinformation and disinformation.  With an open hand of friendship we can reach peace and we can be friends.