About the Kanienkehaka of Kana:tso
Kanienkehaka means (People of the Flint).
Kana:tso means (Pail/Pot).
Our Kanienkehaka nation had occupied the Ottawa-Hull region since time immemorial. Our ancestors had named the place Kana:tso because the cascade resembled water falling in a pail. Kana:tso was the place our nation quarried flint, hence the name Kanienkehaka. Our main Village (Kanata) was located on the east shore of Brasserie Creek in Hull. Before archaeological excavation, this area was littered with works of flint, you could find arrow heads, tomahawks, skinning tools and everything we made from flint, as this location was our main workshop. Our Kanienkehaka Nation did not just rest at Kana:tso, we also had a fortified Kanata in Torbolton, Ontario that people call "Big Sand Point".
In the early sixteen hundreds, our Kanata at Big Sand Point was attacked by the French. This cowardly attack was stated to have taken place in the middle of the night, while our men, our women, and our children slept. The attackers killed, pillaged, and burned our Kanata as well as food supplies to the ground. This massacre was almost an outright success, luckily some Kanienkehaka survived the terrifying horror.
In 1660, there was another attempt of massacre by the French on the Kanienkehaka of Kana:tso. This attempt was led by Adam Dollard des Ormeaux. Ormeaux was a French immigrant who had only been in North America for two years. Ormeaux led his militia up the Ottawa river to plunder and slaughter us Kanienkehaka. Fortunately, we Kanienkehaka received notice and led a defense party down the river to intercept, Ormeaux's fate was rendered. See (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Dollard_des_Ormeaux). In 1800, an English man named Philemon Wright left Massachusetts and led his militia up the frozen river to Kana:tso. To Philemon Wright, we Kanatso:ronon were known as the Canada's. Philemon Wright said he was going to live beside us in harmony, and if we had any concerns, we should contact his government. Immediately this large group of immigrants began cutting down our trees and took possession of our land. Philemon said no one would disturb the Kanatso:ronon if we stayed adjacent the river. In 1843, only four years after Philemon's death the settler state desecrated our ancestral burial grounds. Our family's burial ground was located just a short walk below our Village. This is where today's Museum of History is presently located. The sacrilege act unearthed twenty or so skeletons, two wolf skulls and several sacred relics. The bodies unearthed were covered in a red hematite.
Only five years after Canada's confederation of 1867, a severe epidemic of Smallpox infected our Kana:tso Village. The Secretary of the State for the Provinces (Indian Branch) paid Dr. Malloch of Ottawa $125.00 for his attendance. Being furnished this disease proved fatal in several cases, over half the sick remaining were under the age of twelve years. By 1882, our Indian Village was enveloped by encroaching immigrants.
In 1901, L.Genest, Police Chief of Hull sent a letter to the Secretary of State for the Provinces asking if the land occupied by the Indians was a reserve according to settler law. The return letter stated "as of today" the land belongs to Mrs. Scott of Hull, as she pays city taxes for the land. Mrs. Nancy Louisa Scott's maiden name was Nancy Louisa Wright. Mrs. Nancy Louisa Scott was daughter of Tiberius Wright, who is the son of Philemon Wright. Nancy Louisa Wright married a Judge named John Scott. John Scott was also the first mayor of Bytown. In 1902, only three members of our community found themselves in Court, district of Ottawa (cases 535, 536, and 537), attempting to defend our land from Mrs. Nancy Louisa Scott. We Kanienkehaka stood no chance in the settler court, indigenous people were not allowed legal representation until 1960, leaving questions regarding ethics, integrity and lawful jurisdiction. As a result, the Court's eviction date was set for April 15th, 1903. We Kanatso:ronon were to have all our houses, property, and personnel removed on or before this date. I have personally requested the written transcripts for the cases 535 threw 537, so I could review the case. I has been stated by LAC archivist that the transcripts were burned in a Hull courthouse fire circa 1978 and are no longer available. To this present day, the loss of Kanatso:ronon traditional land, burial and resources, has not been acknowledged by the settler state, however, we still reside here hidden in plain sight.
Everything stated above is and always will remain the truth, my name is Jason Arbour, I am Kanienkehaka/Onkwehonwe from Kana:tso and this is HIS-STORY.