Kanienkehaka of Kana:tso Request Ground Penetrating Radar For Missing Kanatso:ronon

Kanienkehaka of Kana:tso Request Ground Penetrating Radar For Missing Kanatso:ronon
Posted on July 7, 2021 | Jason Arbour | Written on July 7, 2021
On July 5, 2018, I Chief Jason (Rotisken:rakehte) Arbour requested ground penetrating radar from AANDC to locate our missing community members from Kana:tso. Your departments response to my request was: 

"The latter investigation is beyond the scope of our present research, which is primarily focused on establishing dates for the presence of an Iroquoian 'group' in the Hull region".

To adequately establish the presence of any Indigenous community or group, all records must be considered, not one record should be excluded in our collaborative comprehensive investigation. The number of persons associated to our community can only be determined by the appreciation of true diligence.
As you know, there is greater awareness and respect now for missing Indigenous bodies and burials grounds. Several Indigenous bodies in unmarked graves have been located on the property of residential schools across Canada. These bodies have been located by using ground penetrating radar equipment. Comparable to residential school grounds, our Kanienkehaka community is faced with the indistinguishable challenge of recovering our loved one's remains in unmarked graves.
The St James Hull Cemetery provides primary records that clearly illustrates Indigenous community members of Kana:tso were buried in the St James Anglican Cemetery in Hull, Quebec. To validate my assertion of unmarked Indigenous graves in the Hull cemetery, I have attached several primary handwritten burial records from the Hull cemetery. When personally inspecting the St James Cemetery for these Indigenous graves, I was not able to locate any tombstones or markings. 
Another disturbing fact is the St James Hull Cemetery has not digitally recorded our Indigenous burials. For example, when inspecting the St James Hull Cemetery online database for any of the attached records, it becomes unmistakable that the Hull cemetery did not register our Indigenous children burial records online. See: http://geneofun.on.ca/cems/QC/QCGAT0173/A
The Crown's relationship with Indigenous people is said to be based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. As Chief for the remaining Kanatso:ronon, and because every child matters, I am respectfully requesting that your department fully support the recovery of our missing Kana:tso community members, who are stated to be buried in the Hull cemetery. 
As Chief of Kana:tso, I must participate in the ground search and recovery of our missing remains, if AANDC will commission this integral part of our collaborative investigation. Niawen:kowa for your attention, time, and hopeful consideration, I look forward to Canada's response.  

Letter Response

From: Prime Minister | Premier Ministre <PM@pm.gc.ca>

Sent: June 30, 2021 3:50 PM

To: Tsit-Kanaja@hotmail.com <Tsit-Kanaja@hotmail.com>

Cc: Carolyn Bennett <aadnc.minister.aandc@canada.ca>

Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Dear Chief Arbour:
On behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of June 28, 2021.
Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. You may be assured that your comments have been carefully reviewed.
In your correspondence, you raise an issue that falls more directly within the portfolio of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to whom I note you have also addressed your correspondence. While the Prime Minister appreciates being made aware of your views, he will leave your comments to be considered by Minister Bennett.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.
K. Bentsen

Executive Correspondence Officer / Agente de correspondance

Executive Correspondence Services / Services de la correspondance

de la haute direction

About The Author

Tsit-Kanaja Kaniengehaga's picture

My name is Jason (Rotisken'rakehte) Arbour, Appointed Chief and Legal Representative of Kana:tso Kaniengehaga First Nation. In 1903 my family/band was disbanded from our Indian resserve and place of origin at... More