Looking Over The Edge

Originally printed by Akwesasne Phoenix Sundays, Nov. 14, 2004, Issue 4

Indians first targetted by Big Brother

How government bloodhounds plan on tracking Indians. It’s a sinister joke. It’s evil. Where does this come from? The Mohawks of Kahnawake and Crees of Quebec will be guinea pigs for a worldwide “Smart Card” system!

These new super ID cards have been on the wish-list of the Powers That Be for years. They want everyone to have one. They want to keep track of everything that everyone does.

But their dream keeps getting shot down. Human rights activists say “Smart cards” are an invasion of privacy. Mainstream America won’t have it. So the control freaks have decided to do an end-run around all the idealistic do-gooders.

That’s why the project has surfaced in Indian Country.

Smart cards are being passed off as a make work project in Kahnawake. An American company located in Virginia, close to Washington D.C. has persuaded Canada’s Department of Indian Affairs to fund the project. The new card will replace the present Indian Status Card. It will be used to tighten security measures by making it possible to electronically track those who have the right kind of blood according to their ways of reckoning.

The work is being done in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The plan is to make smart cards for all of the Aboriginal nations.

Anteon, the private American company heading this project, is a world leader in card technology. The team also includes Laser Card Systems. A November 22, 2004 letter from lawyer, Mark L. Cushing of Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, of Washington DC, to Mike Bush of Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, provided some of the details of the scheme.

Anteon is preparing specifications for a new facility in Kahnawake. When they are sent, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake will be asked to find a place for the set up. The project has never been publicly discussed, but some of the machinery is apparently already on location.

As Mike Bush of Mohawk Council of Kahnawake says, this card “will prevent fraud and satisfy the border crossing requirements, while bearing a unique logo for each community and including ‘additional’ information.”

Former Kahnawake chief, Joe Norton, has been hired as a consultant. His services are appreciated because he brought the Assembly of First Nations on board. Joe Norton, Amanda Grainger and Mark Cushing met in late October 2004 in Ottawa with the AFN. The AFN then met with the Minister of Indian Affairs and got his support.

So this is how things work in Canada. A private American company with ties to the U.S. government gets an idea. They sell it to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. Joe Norton sells it to the AFN, which sells it to Indian Affairs. It’s probably not even necessary to slip another revision of the Indian Act past Canada’s sleepy M.P.’s. And there you have it. Smart cards get their foot in the door and Indians get ruled by American Big Business.

But it doesn’t stop with us. Anteon is anxious to expand its business throughout Canada. And it thinks it can do this with the help of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. Mark Cushing has strongly requested that Mike Bush and Mike Delisle of MCK meet at its headquarters in northern Virginia outside of Washington DC so they can “make this work.”

Let’s stop for a moment folks to think about what these folks are up to.

This is not your ordinary mom and pop tobacco shack business plan. What better way to keep track of us than stapling smart cards to our ears? They are the electronic bloodhounds of the 21st century.

And what have bloodhounds been used for? They catch people to put them in jail.

Remember the plan to route the new larger, deeper Seaway channel around Kahnawake? That will turn Kahnawake into an island. Like Alcatraz.

So why are they doing this to us? Sure, people need jobs. But aren’t there lots of other more important things that need to be done? Mohawk immersion. Health services. Things like that? Is there any real justification for all this spying?

If this is a democracy, why do they need all these control mechanisms? Who is doing this to us, anyways? And why is the MCK cooperating? What kickback are they receiving for putting up their own people as test mice? Why are they putting up these mazes so they can watch us run through them?

We are the most vocal Indigenous people in Canada. If they can get this scheme past us, the rest of North America will be gravy. Before long they will have smart cards on everyone in the world.

Look at the procedure that is being used. Has this come before a public meeting? Has anyone told us why we need this identity card? Has anyone told us what it can do?

And has anyone considered the consequences of letting a private American company have this much control?

We all know how hard it is to get the North American public to understand our point of view. Our whole history has been one of abuse and misunderstanding. Is this smart card going to make anything any easier?

No.

Once it’s in place it will be even easier for them to inhibit freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement. No one will be allowed off of the new Alcatraz without a smart card.

Whether it knows what it is doing or not, the MCK is inviting external control over the people.

So far there is already an internal agreement with Indian Affairs. Did this get passed before the Canadian Parliament? Has it been passed by any resolution of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake? Where’s the principle of democratic representation here?

Have they forgotten completely about the Great Law of the Haudenosaunee?

The colonization of North America began in Virginia. It was started by a private company chartered to a foreign monarch. Nothing has changed in 500 years. We’re still having to defend ourselves from a private foreign company situated down in Virginia.

What next? Implanting micro-chips in babies at birth? Why do they need to track us anyways? And who is doing the tracking? Where does it all stop?

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News