My Sister Receives Her Mohawk Rights!

A shappyq update on my family’s story – The Indian Thing – which I recently posted about my family losing our Indian rights and quest to regain them.   My sister, Pamela Latham, has received her Mohawk rights!  The process can take up to 3-4 years – she waited just a year.

Here are her first reflections – I will interview Pam in March when I visit Niagara Falls.

On Jan. 26th, 2010 I received confirmation that I am now registered as an Indian and as a member of the Upper Mohawk Six Nations Band.

This acknowledgement from my Grandfather’s roots is very important to me. There is no stigma to who I am, something my grandfather taught me early on. Though I’d been taught the stigmas of being an indian, I embraced my heritage because my grandfather embraced me.

He taught me to be proud, work hard, love the land, love God, love who you are and where you came from. Everyone tried to squash that – or so it seemed.

Thank You Grandpa, for I was a weak “little bit of a thing”. You wouldn’t settle for that with me, You gave me hope, laughter, joy and faith. When things got rough, you taught me to make a statement.

That’s my “Indian Thing” — to be proud, work hard, love your land – no matter who you are.

I want to thank Six Nations for the honor they have given me.

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4 Comments

Filed under A Story Doula Kind of Story, The Indian Thing: History. Identity. Family.

4 responses to “My Sister Receives Her Mohawk Rights!

  1. Presidents’ Day holiday trip to Six Nations – Monday, February 15, 2010

    For those of our family and all its different and interesting heritages – this is Pam Latham’ perspective about our trip to the Six Nations yesterday. She called me later and encouraged me to share my perspective. What it means to me:

    We had a wonderful visit. The server at the Cafe gave us directions to the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford. We went through the museum and it had much more than the last time I was there – which has to be at least 10 years. Canada and their “floating” holidays. Since it was Presidents Day here in the States, Canada elected to have a “Family Day” so the gift shop at the Centre was not open. It is leased out and run by an individual family who opted to take the “Family” holiday.

    And then we were able to tour the school building on the grounds where My Dad, Pam’s grandfather (Uncle Albert), Aunt Allie, others in their immediate family of Mary & Isaac Hill’s children – went to school. They still teach some classes there – and there is now a big push to learn the Mohawk (other Five Nations as well) language completely. There is a library in the building and the librarian was there and showed us around – very informative. The interesting history she was able to relate – Wow!

    The most heartwarming happening to me was connecting with the lady at the Centre’s museum’s desk. She was a Jacket Hill !! Named Sarah Ann Jones. Sarah Ann is the granddaughter of my Dad’s (& others) Aunt Mary! Grandfather Isaac’s and Great Aunt Christine’s sister! How wonderful and she was so personable, truthful (hey, you know the Hills -smile) and just a great source of who to see on the Reserve.

    Pam wanted to see Mary & Isaac’s farmhouse / homestead (600 hectare /acre farm). Sarah Ann didn’t know off hand but gave us places where we could research – like find helpful descendents of the Donald Davis family. Donald Davis was the neighbor who found Grandfather Isaac after he was attacked and seriously injured. I remember talking with a grandmother Davis who had a granddaughter Valerie (Davis?) who would be 10 years younger than me. Also, helps pinpoint information in all kinds of records. Unfortunately all the public libraries were not open yesterday either. So plans will be made for another series of trips, I’m sure.

    All in all, just a wonderful day – to me and Pam & Marcus (American History teacher).

    P.S. Ryan, if you will, please email this to Dan & Wes – I think they just might be interested, too. If not, they’re “boneheads” (smile) – Aunt Shirley has spoken. It think it would be worth their while OR – please give me their email addresses – I can kindly “harass” them. LOL

    Paulette Moore’s website (Pam’s sister): http://www.storydoula.wordpress.com

  2. “I Have Sorrowed . . . “
    Poetry Profile / Introduction
    by Shirley Jane Jacket Hill House
    Wed. March 27, 2002

    This poem is very special to me. It offers one of my views of my Native American heritage. Like my father, grandfather and great grandfather, I belong to the Upper Mohawks of the Grand River, Six Nations at Ohsweken near Brantford, Ontario, Canada. With the Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora, the Mohawk People are joined together to form the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Our name for ourselves is “Haudenosaunee” or People of the Long House. My earliest memories of going with my Dad, Acklin E. Jacket Hill, to visit family elders, relatives and friends at Ohsweken and elsehwhere in North America instilled in me the need to learn and keep in my heart the history and tradition of my Indian family heritage. My quest ever continues and I love to share it with everyone and especially all who have the same interest and curiosity.

    *And now re-connecting with my cousins, Pam & Marcus and Paulette in the quest for our Mohawk heritage – Pam & Paulette – their grandfather Albert Jacket Hill, is my uncle, my Dad’s brother.
    *I have been researching my family tree branches since I was a teen (I’ll be 60 this year – 2010) so all this recent interest and activity is heartwarming to me – for sure!

  3. Pingback: Forms and Information on Restoring Indian Rights | Becoming Mohawk

  4. Pingback: Forms and Information on Restoring Indian Rights | Restoring Mohawk

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