May 1/97: Another perspective on Warrior Societies


Rotiskenrakete/Warrior Society Communique
May 1, 1997

Justice Minister Rock's proposed changes to the Criminal Code is wide-ranging and meant to outlaw Native Warrior Societies and label them as "organized crime". This sweeping new legislation will restrict the rights and voice of Indian people across this continent. If we can't voice our opinion and show our opposition to what the Canadian Government is doing to our Nations, then how are we to survive? The Warrior Society has been demonized and labeled as a criminal organization by the government and media as part of a strategy to criminalize the Rotiskenrakete. Mr. Rock, here is an explanation:

The Kaienerekowa - Great Law of Peace has provided a way for the People to pursue justice, harmony and survival. The Rotiskenrakete - Warrior Society is part of this. The understanding of the word "rotiskenrakete" is "the burden of peacekeeping and harmony is on our men". The Warriors/Rotiskenrakete are also protectors of the Haudenosaunee - People of the Longhouse, and of the Kaienerekowa - the Iroquois Constitution. It is the collective responsibility to our present and future generations that our ways continue.

Adodarho and the Chief Statesmen are responsible for promoting peace, not war. If the territories are threatened, the authority to defend the people is transferred to the War Chiefs. There are many duties such as teaching, public speaking, protecting human rights, in other words to promote the welfare of the People. Many times they have had to respond to deadly confrontations with the American and Canadian police forces and even armies. During those times, they have reacted with consideration, control and discipline.

Traditionally, according to our Law, all of the males within the Confederacy are Warriors, and their roles include being grandfathers, fathers, brothers, and uncles to all of the people, from the youngest to the oldest. In this responsibility, women also play a vital role. Our system is divided into two parts of equal importance: the Women's Society and the Men's Society. Each has separate functions and responsibilities, though in any final political decision, four principles remain: Skennen, Ioriwiio, Kasastensera, Tekaiehnawakeon - Peace, Righteousness, Strength, and Unity. Therefore, violence and crime are not our way.

The responsibility of the Warriors and Women is an honorable task. Hence, Mr. Rock should be educated as to what a Warrior Society really is. It is the power of the people in action.

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