"On June 1, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect. It creates new security measures for international travel to and from the United States, even to and from Canada or Mexico. The new identification requirements of the initiative were the impetus for a new partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety.
The U.S.-Canadian border runs through Akwesasne, a community that is part of the traditional territory of the Mohawk Nation, and part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Confederacy.
As an online Indian Country Today article stated regarding the WHTI, “Leaders of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, the elected community government for the northern portion of the territory, have vigorously protested a plan by the Canadian Border Service Agency to arm its border guards on the island of Akwesasne on June 1.”
The initiative and armed border guards are symbolic of a much deeper issue – namely, the historic and modern dominating imposition of government dictates on the originally free Indian nations of North America by Canada and the United States.
For more than 500 years, being subjected to such dominating impositions has been the pattern for Native nations and peoples. For millennia, hundreds of distinct nations lived on their own lands completely free and independent of Christian European authority. But, according to a version of history embraced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1823, Christian European potentates issued papal bulls and royal charters of colonization, and sent their representatives forth “to seek out discover and find,” any lands “of the heathen and infidel, which before this time have been unknown to all Christian people.”"
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(Indian Country Today 6/5)
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