FanDuel - WFBC

May 30, 2006

Games against native Canadians forfeited.: Members of the Six Nations community have been involved in a dispute over land slated for private development in Caledonia, Ontario, since they believe the land belongs to them. Although a month-long blockade and protest is starting to die down, parents of Caledonian little league baseball players have forfeited games against Six Nations players, citing "safety concerns".

posted by smithers to baseball at 02:20 PM - 25 comments

"They are supposed to play against us. We are part of the league and we've been playing baseball against them for 30 years," Jamieson said. Ridiculous situation all around, but it sounds pretty silly to hear representatives of the Six Nations talking about "rules" and what people are "supposed" to do when they've been illegally setting up blockades, looting, knocking out power, and occupying land for many months.

posted by loquax at 02:32 PM on May 30

Ridiculous situation all around, but it sounds pretty silly to hear representatives of the Six Nations talking about "rules" and what people are "supposed" to do when they've been illegally setting up blockades, looting, knocking out power, and occupying land for many months. Yes, no native people should have any right to protest yet another treaty violation that steals their land for a private developer, or because something of value has been found on it, and the government wants to sell it to someone else.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:55 PM on May 30

The protests are a little more complicated than that, irunfromclones. It's all about the interpretation of a hundred-year-old interpretation of a hundred-year-old treaty. There's no clear right side and wrong side, so you can't with good reason blindly support any involved party. Essentially: 1. the little league forfeits are kind of silly; 2. but so was the blockade. 3. Despite our instinctive desire to assume so, no individual speaks entirely for the collective he/she represents or belongs to.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:03 PM on May 30

First of all, great post, Smithers ... Considering the fact that they can get Israeli and Palestinian kids to play soccer together on the same team, it should make us irate that this kind of racist paranoia exists here in Canada. Dr.John, I have to respectfully disagree with your assertion that there is no crystal clear right or wrong in this situation (standoff or forfeits). One thing should be crystal clear, and that is that Canada is an incredibly RACIST place, and the fact that "we" (knowing full well I can't speak for us all, there still is an assumed national "white" collective that does it all the time ... especially when forced to deal with "those people" meaning the Indigenous folk of this land) still can't/don't/won't recognize the incredible legacy of racism and oppression forced upon Indigenous people in this country should be a source of shame for "us" all. Yes, it is complicated. Yes, it is "silly". But what's even more silly is that a look in the mirror and at our past might be a step in a direction that could avoid this continued silly stuff. Remember, the crisis at Oka was ignited by the privileging of a nine-hole golf course over sacred land!!! Now that is silly! I'd apologize for the rant, but this racist BS really infuriates me.

posted by Spitztengle at 04:53 PM on May 30

Spitz, you throw around a lot of rhetoric, and some of it might even be justified. But what kind of straightforward and fair solution to the land dispute problem do you have in mind? Surely there must be one if right and wrong is so obvious.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 05:25 PM on May 30

As a Cherokee I do not think I "blindly" support a side. There are definitely very clear right and wrong sides as far as we are concerned. The federal government has broken every one of the "treaties" it made with Native American nations, and there were hundreds of them. One of the greatest deliberate acts of genocide ever perpetrated by a government was the U.S. war against the "indian". Given that, this makes me curious. Do the whites really think that the wild red men will scalp their children or massacre their families if they show up to play baseball?

posted by irunfromclones at 05:39 PM on May 30

Do the whites really think that the wild red men will scalp their children or massacre their families if they show up to play baseball? In return, do Natives believe that all whites think that way? If so, isn't that also a racist attitude? Or is it the fear of generalized violence (either started by angry Natives or started by revenge-seeking whites) that might erupt since the blockade incident is still fresh in everyone's mind?

posted by grum@work at 06:05 PM on May 30

We believe that most whites are completely ignorant of our history, our way of life, and what offends us. Whites never kept a single promise or treaty all these long years. Even now many nations are fighting in federal courts to keep treaty lands from developers or corporations. Here is the last incidence of violence recorded in protest of a treaty violation: At its conclusion, U.S. Marshal Lloyd Grimm (District of Nebraska) would lie seriously wounded, as would an FBI agent. Two Indians would also unfortunately be killed. Exposure to personal danger, extreme weather conditions, prolonged hours of duty, and absence from home were just a few of the many frustrations people of the Marshals Service faced at Wounded Knee. The emphasis here was not that two "indians" were killed, but that the marshalls were frustrated in having to deal with this situation. Information on this incident is now difficult to find, at least online, since many government agencies including the US Marshalls have blocked sources through federal injunctions. It seems that even now our government wishes no side but their own to be told.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:28 PM on May 30

Clones, I don't question that most whites are completely ignorant of your history, etc. When I was growing up, there was little mention of the atrocities visited upon Native Americans in our textbooks. These things are more widely known now, but still aren't talked about a whole lot. What I do question, though, is the way you use "Whites" and "U.S. Government" seemingly interchangeably. There's plenty of variation in the group you refer to as "whites", just as there is plenty of variation in the group commonly called "Native Americans". I understand your irritation and anger at the goverment (as much as I can from a place that is fairly far from your background, anyway) but it's kinda fucked up and hypocritical of you to lump all of us together like that. Not all white people are the government, dude.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:58 PM on May 30

And it's not kinda fucked up and hypocritical of you to lump all of us Indians together like that? To us, there is no difference between the white man that wants to steal our land for development and the government that violates the treaty to back him up. Or the whites who stand by and let it happen, or the whites who think indians would harm their children at a baseball game. How much more racist can you get? The people of the Six Nations damaged material things, machinery, buildings, not people. They know the pocketbook is the white man's most sensitive area. I agree, not all whites represent their government, but they should make it act responsibly. It is your white government breaking the treaty. Again.

posted by irunfromclones at 07:10 PM on May 30

Me: There's plenty of variation in the group you refer to as "whites", just as there is plenty of variation in the group commonly called "Native Americans". You: And it's not kinda fucked up and hypocritical of you to lump all of us Indians together like that? Dude?

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:14 PM on May 30

Sorry guys, I get kind of worked up about this. My apologies to you all.

posted by irunfromclones at 07:19 PM on May 30

Nice post, smithers. Baseball players as young as 5 were barred from playing against Six Nations teams, both on and off the reserve, by parents concerned about their children's safety, league officials said. No way this is about safety, not in games between five-year-olds, not in games on and off the reserve. These parents are using their kids to make a statement about the recent actions of the Six Nations community. It's a hateful statement, and the parents don't have the guts to make it openly, and so they are hiding behind "their children's safety." If you're going to do something on principle, and you can't bring yourself to state the principle when explaining your action, then you should probably rethink that particular principle.

posted by Amateur at 08:49 PM on May 30

irunfromclones wrote: As a Cherokee so back where I referred to irunfromclones and the rest of his posse that might have been, um, just a little bit more offensive than I realized? Sorry for that. I'm off to wallow in some white man's guilt.

posted by Amateur at 09:10 PM on May 30

if i was the parent of a child in caledonia i would NOT allow my child to play those games either. the situation is quite volitile and i am not prepared to risk my child's well being for something as inconsequential as a baseball game. the native population in the area has already broken the law, and has ILLEGALLY blockaded the main street to the town for over a month. with emotions on both sides running as high as they are it seems quite wise to remove children from the situation wherever possible. there has already been a lack of adherance to the law of the land, how can one trust a group of people to follow the laws now. if some militant grabs a child and holds him/her hostage, who then is responsible?

posted by tommytrump at 10:00 PM on May 30

tommytrump, I say this as the parent of two young children are you seriously drawing a line connecting civil disobedience to child abduction? And would you be doing that if the blockade had been orchestrated by local farmers demanding more government support? Also: everybody else here is using proper punctuation and capitalization. It makes text easier to read. Take a cue.

posted by Amateur at 10:39 PM on May 30

Yes, amateur, i am drawing a line connecting one illegal action with another. One criminal offence may well lead to another. Hostage taking is not the same thing as child abduction. Yes, I would be holding all citizens of Ontario to the same standards. It is not up to certain ethnic groups to decide which laws they will follow and which they can choose to ignore. I do have a question in relation to your rather SNIDE comment on my grammatical style. Just what part of English grammar does a - represent? I'd say that about 90% of the posts to spofi are NOT grammatically correct and chock full of spelling mistakes. Everyone does not capitalize and punctuate. Who are you any way, the grammar Nazi?

posted by tommytrump at 10:58 PM on May 30

The grammer nazi's were your elementary school teachers, tommytrump.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:08 AM on May 31

tommytrump's leap to "some militant" holding a child hostage is exactly the kind of fear-based thinking that will keep this cycle never-ending. I'll go out on a limb in saying that the potential for this generation of white kids to grow up in fear of "the Native" other goes up substantially when this is how this situation is dealt with. to answer Dr.John's question about a straightforward solution i would prescribe for the land claim dispute ... well, the answer is I don't have a simple, straightforward solution. Frankly, I don't think there ever is an "easy" solution when dealing with this complicated issue. That said, I do think that there are steps we can take to move forward in positive and progressive ways. For starters, we cannot sweep the blatantly racist attitudes that underpin all of these cases under the rug. Let's start there--admit and identify the racism(s) in action. Then, and only then, we might realize that what is being labelled as "silly" blockades or sit-ins might be recogizable as not being quite so "silly", rather as very justifiable. Secondly, let's not sugar-coat the predominantly white folks' responses as being anything less than based on racist beliefs, attitudes, and paranoia. Third, let's not treat these flashpoints as isolated incidents. (a) the Caledonia standoff is far from the first or only standoff arising due to Aboriginal land disputes. Perhaps if the government(s) would give this issue the attention it rightly deserves, then maybe it wouldn't be so complicated and right or wrong would be easier to determine for and from both sides. (b) this isn't the first time that white folk have refused to play sports with or against Aboriginal folk. Michael Robidoux (University of Ottawa) has written about teams from the Kainai (Blood) Reserve in Alberta being banned from league play for significantly less "threatening" reasons than these Six Nations people are posing to Caledonians. what might only be baby steps towards any radical or transformative change in the big picture of race relations in this country could have profound implications down the road. People in Caledonia (and Canada writ large) today may not have to (or even be able to ever) atone for the sins of our forefathers, but they (we) could take actions that make the world we live in today a better place for all. and that's all i have to say

posted by Spitztengle at 01:30 AM on May 31

Yes, amateur, i am drawing a line connecting one illegal action with another. One criminal offence may well lead to another. So, if you've ever speeded -- and I know you have -- then you're on the slippery slope to becoming an axe murderer, have I got that right, TT? The problem with the article is that it's vague about which parents pulled which children from the games. There was a punch-up that had some native teenagers on one side and some white teens on the other, and I suppose it's legitimate to at least be concerned that those kids or their close associates might nurse a grudge that could turn ugly in the parking lot after some baseball game, much like a sports rivalry gone wrong. But I think it's a helluva stretch to feel that a five-year-old would be targeted because some fifteen-year-old who has the same skin color as the five-year-old had sucker-punched some other fifteen-year-old of a different color.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:22 AM on May 31

Hey Amateur- classy response. Although now I guess I need to cross out your name on that arrow....

posted by irunfromclones at 11:46 AM on May 31

I basically agree with irunfromclones on this one. That's a blatantly racist attitude on display in Caledonia. What's more - it's pathetic. The Canadian government has been historically horrible to natives, and currently would just like to sweep them under the rug - out of sight and mind of the voting public (a Liberal strategy of many decades). I firmly believe the native voice is NOT heard in Canada, and it is our great shame. Yes the blockade was illegal. Yes it likely resulted in bad blood and conflict. No it absolutely did not put your children at risk on the ball field. If anything it forced people to stop ignoring a very real problem that they otherwise would. You're given a minor inconvenience - they're history is being systematically erased for profit. I do not buy one iota of Tommy's opinion on this. Not true in the slightest. These are fellow Canadians, Tommy.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:25 PM on May 31

tommytrump, I'm sure you're not arguing that all crimes are equally bad. And if "some militant" wanted to take your kid hostage, would the ballpark really be the place they would choose? It still looks to me like the parents of Caledonia are using their children to punish the children of Six Nations.

posted by Amateur at 07:15 PM on May 31

I do have a question in relation to your rather SNIDE comment on my grammatical style. Just what part of English grammar does a - represent? I'd say that about 90% of the posts to spofi are NOT grammatically correct and chock full of spelling mistakes. tommytrump, I realize that there is a lot of bad grammar around here, and believe me, it drives me nuts. OK, I'm a bit of a dick. In threads that are overrun with bad grammar, I just stay away. But I didn't say that your grammar was poor. All I said was that everybody here (meaning in this discussion) was using punctuation and capitalization. Truly, that makes paragraphs easier to read. Everyone does not capitalize and punctuate. Who are you any way, the grammar Nazi? Yes. I have a Master Plan for correcting capitalization, punctuation don't try to take away my em-dash, though spelling, and grammar here at Spofi. So far I have managed to convince you to put a capital at the beginning of every sentence. See? It's working.

posted by Amateur at 07:30 PM on May 31

I probably shouldn't have dropped this FPP and then just stood back to watch. I think it's deplorable that parents are using youth sport as an arena to perpetuate these tensions, which will likely make a significant impression on the kids for life. However... Secondly, let's not sugar-coat the predominantly white folks' responses as being anything less than based on racist beliefs, attitudes, and paranoia. ...if we could inject "ethnocentrism" and "misunderstanding" in here as well, I would feel a lot better. "Racist" carries some pretty serious negative connotations with it, and I'm not sure that everyone is necessarily that way. Put another way, I don't think I am a racist, but I know I'm ethnocentric every day and try to remain aware of it. Hopefully, sport can provide a forum where we can work our ethnocentrism out.

posted by smithers at 10:38 PM on May 31

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