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Nombre de messages : 182
Localisation : Verdun, métro LaSalle
Date d'inscription : 29/04/2005

Tiohtiake Empty
MessageSujet: Tiohtiake   Tiohtiake EmptyMar 20 Déc à 12:17

Quotes from :
West Island Tsi Tetsionitiotiakon: First Nation Presence
By: Douglas Jack, Ou Ee Ii Jay Ii
December 30, 2002

" In order to find peace with each other and with our environment, we need to understand the pattern of exogenous (>Latin for "generating from without") resource exploitation in which we are involved worldwide. Our challenge is to become "indigenous" (>Latin for "generating from within") to our time and place. We need to become the specialists for this place, its people, physical, plant and animal resources. As individuals welcoming each other, we become a collective resource for the earth.

We need to resist the habit of re-inventing ourselves out of the situations, which we have gotten our-selves into repeatedly over millennia by the same invention. Turning to heritage as a model for understanding and transformation allows us to see a larger picture. We can think cyclically rather than linear. The habit of western religion / economics is to divide the world into good and bad rather than seeing them as part of the same force. "

Tiohtiake, the name Kanien'kehaka speakers give to the greater region of Montreal including the west, north and south shores and all the islands means, "place where the people split". As an allegory, it also means "Place where the nations and their rivers unite and divide" referring to Tiohtiake's role as a multi-cultural confluence for much of Eastern North America's peoples and as a river archipelago.

It is assumed 'Tabula Rasa' (>L. 'Blank Slate'), that lands were empty. For Tiohtiake (Greater Montreal region), the greatest river confluence, richest soil, warmest climate, most diverse flora & fauna for all of Quebec & the maritime provinces to have been empty as Quebec heritage societies claim defies reason.
Anthropologist, Henry F. Dobyns makes his pre-contact American population analysis based in knowledge of First Nation lifestyle as well as eco-systemic research of food and resource production capacity of populations and regions among other indicators.

By these estimates it is possible that pre-conquest populations approached one seventh of today's Tiohtiake population. Presently 3,500,000 people live in Tiohtiake (the greater Montreal region including the archipelago, north and south shores). At one seventh of this figure, one could thus estimate approximately 500,000 ? Kanien'kehaka, Wendat, Algonquin and other people living throughout Tiohtiake with another 500,000 ? living in the rest of Quebec pre-contact. Dobyn's estimate of USA and Canadian pre-contact population is 18,000,000 or one twentieth of today's population at 360,000,000. From this proportion one might estimate 175,000 ? people in Tiohtiake and 87,500 ? on Montreal island.

The efficient agro-forestry (Butternut, Hazelnut, Cherry, Peach etc.), wild plant harvest (herbs, algae, berries, mushrooms, edible bark, tree seeds, water plants), wild animals (deer, bear, fish, etc.) and field cropping (Three sisters Corn, squash and beans and much more) techniques of Kanien'kehaka and Wendat farming would easily have supported 500,000 or a much larger population.


Iroquis (Spelling on Cover) Foods and Food Preparation by F. W. Waugh, 1916, p.3.
Agricultural Methods and Customs. The Iroquois as Horticulturists
One of the outstanding features of Iroquois material culture was their aptitude for agriculture. This was at first concerned largely with the cultivation of corn, beans, and squashes. The importance attached to these may be noted from the fact that they were called the Three Sisters, ase na'degoda'no'daa (On.) and were included among those beings to whom religious ceremonials were addressed.

p.4-5. So important, in fact, were Iroquois agricultural activities that, at a later date, when it was desired to punish them effectively, this was done by annihilating their granaries and cornfields.
Among the more important expeditions of this kind was that of Denonville, who, in 1687, destroyed an immense amount of corn, including the standing crops of four villages, a work of destruction which is said to have taken seven days to accomplish. In 1696 Frontenac, who invaded Onondaga country, spent three days destroying growing corn, which extended from a league and a half to two leagues from the fort. The expedition of General Sullivan, in 1779, furnishes many interesting items.1 It is stated that at Chemung, an Indian village of forty houses on the Tioga, a cornfield of sixty acres was destroyed. Around the great village of 'Chinesee Castle' there were cornfields of 'not less than two hundred acres, the whole of which was pulled up and piled in large heaps. . and consumed to ashes.' There were seventy dwellings at this point, besides a similar number of outhouses or granaries. We also find it reported that forty Indian villages, besides many scattered houses, were burned. The quantity of corn destroyed was said to have amounted to 160,000 bushels, with a vast amount of vegetables of every kind.

In Tiohtiake we can map and calculate ecological harvest potentials for:
* Oak/ acorn, Butternut, Hazelnut, Cherry, Plum, Pine, Spruce, Maple, Birch, Elm and other nut, fruit, greens, sap, seeds, edible bark, roots etc. producing trees, orchardry,
* 'three sister' corn, beans & squash etc. field agriculture,
* 'encouraged-wild' food harvesting of berries, herbs, mushrooms, seeds, honey, pollen, roots etc.,
* water-plant, algae etc., fish, crustacean, etc.,
* wild small and large game, bird, frog, snake, insect etc.
* soil/ water, tree/field, waterway/land, nutrient recycling ecologies,
* production and harvest techniques, canoe transport, food storage capacity, etc.

" Often times when a non-native person speaks about the contribution that native people made to the world, such things as the cultivation of corn, certain varieties of beans, squash, tomatoes and grains are cited.
It is true that all of these contributions are significant. It is necessary, however, to point out that the most important and longest lasting contribution that native people developed and gave to the world was the idea of a free world, where all men and women could live in brotherhood as equals... To the Europeans these values were 'primitive'. Only recently has the world come to appreciate the need for such values if the earth is to survive ". Blanchard

Within each community each specialty was organized into Societies or "Caucuses" (Haudenosaunee term meaning "Grouping of like-interests"). The vision of each individual was sacrosanct but she or he was also given the collective structures to pursue these visions with others. Each society managed or owned the re-sources and products of their craft. Decision-making was made collectively upon a progressive owner-ship of the individual within the society. The young apprentices had less say than the elder master but were collectively invited to unite their voices and in this sense were honoured.


Before the Lachine Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway, First Nations cultivated a system of rivers and lakes throughout North America and Tiohtiake. These waterways allowed for the cultivation, exchange and enjoyment of huge quantities of goods both locally and internationally. The waterways themselves were productive and allowed access to farming of watercrops, algae, bird, fish and shore mammal nesting and enrichment. Canoes used on these waterways allowed for human populations to live intimately with this most productive of earth's biospheres and to pass heavily laden without impact. This First Nation heritage is essential for understanding ecological and farming productivity for today's human population. Please refer to Carte Topographique de l'ile de Montréal de 1542 a 1642 as well as Carte Historique de Ville de LaSalle in mapping section.

The port of Montreal lies downstream on the St. Lawrence River from the Lachine Rapids. Historically, First Nations used the St. Pierre River, flowing into the St. Laurent near rue Rheaume in Verdun facing the middle of Ile des Soeurs from Lac aux Loutres. This shallow four kilometer partially reed-filled Otter Lake drained the Montreal 'southwest' (Cote St. Luc, Montreal West, Notre Dame de Grace, LaSalle and Verdun) along the Cote St. Paul and Cote St. Pierre escarpments. Again Rivière St. Pierre flowed from the western end one kilometer (and possibly linked by one kilometer of low water filled marshland close to Lac St. Louis as a continuous waterway for canoes). Lac aux Loutres existed up until the early quarter of the 20th century. This ancient waterway for canoes around the height of the Lachine Rapids made Montreal a passageway for the communication & trade of many nations of the eastern continent well before European encroachment.

Many constructions such as the Montreal aqueduct follow ancient river channels or roadways on top of culverted drainage sewers. Lance a l'Orme is a rare surviving example of an ancient stream still flowing into Riviere des Prairies from Kirkland to Pierrefonds and entering Lac des deux Montagnes in Senneville. Of some forty-five small rivers and ten or so lakes on the island many would have been passable by canoe and formed a fabric for agriculture, communication and trade.


Tiohtiake peoples traded actively with nations within a 1000-kilometer radius stretching north-south from Hudson's Bay to Pennsylvania and east-west throughout the Great Lakes to the Maritimes. People walked, canoed, communicated, shared life and traded a substantial number of goods within this active trading region. The canoe is capable of carrying many tonnes depending upon its size. People traveled to & communicated with nations throughout Turtle Island including Central (Isthmus & Caribean) and South America. This hemisphere was in continuous contact and communication. Patterns of continental civil relations and exchange grew from time immemorial extending over tens of thousands of years.


First Nation's users and inhabitants of the West Island lived with a mix of forestry and field agriculture. Forests through photosynthesis, nutrient and water cycling convert up to 95 % of solar energy into matter. It is recognized through the United Nations Environmental and Scientific Organization UNESCO that agro-forestry can produce ten times the seed and nut matter than field culture and up to one hundred times the edible or useful bark, herbs, wood, berries, fruit, mushrooms, birds, animals and products of all kinds. Forests moderate the hot sun of summer and the cold winds of winter. Forests actually induce weather patterns from the sea. The Kanien'kehaka were traditionally cultivators of the forest. Huge butternut, hazelnut, acorn, cherry, peach, sumac trees provided enormous quantity and quality of micronutrients, plant protein and starch. Forests maintain stable stream and river water levels for canoe transport. Trees dig deep into the earth for nutrients and water. Field agriculture is nourished by interspersed trees. When the European came not understanding this productivity, they cut nut orchards, which had taken generations to develop in order to plant their field crops.


It is considered that 25% of the world's foodstuffs come from traditional American First Nation agro-science and genetic development. This science took thousands of years to develop by a people who took eco-productivity and sharing seriously.


Lac St. Louis & its marsh shorelines were major fish spawning areas before infilling of shorelines with steep non-productive shorelines. Wetlands were drained for housing, sterile landscaping or mosquito control. Policies of encouraging bird / bat-nesting sites as mosquito & other insect feeders are more effective than chemicals. We have not learned that working with nature's abundance can be far more productive than mechanical or chemical processes. The St. Lawrence river was a major run for Atlantic salmon, other fish and eel species before the logging, mono-culture farm silting, pollution & damming of the St. Lawrence and its tributaries. Elders from the fifties before the backfilling of Pointe Claire's marsh shoreline (Parc Bourgeau) remember Pike fish at four and five feet long in this marsh. Lac St. Louis was linked into the island's rivers, streams and lake aqua-culture of plants, trees and fish by canoe. Please refer to Carte Topographique de l'Ile de Montreal 1542 - 1642 with 45 island rivers & ten lakes.


Historical drawings show the area of LaSalle, Lachine etc. with 'Three Sisters': Corn, Beans and Squash agriculture (Molson Brewery Gallery). Proteins & starches were harvested from Butternut, hazelnut, other nut & seed trees (agro-forestry) & field crops. The following description of indigenous agricultural practices is a model drawn from a southern Florida nation practicing Three Sisters agriculture.

Their Number Become Thinned, Native American Population Dynamics in Eastern North America, Henry Dobyns, U. of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 1983, p. 225.
Reassessment of Timucuan Sedentarism.
One might question whether amaranth-chenopod cultivation would not have exhausted plant nutrients from sandy soils even more rapidly than simpler maize, bean, and squash cropping. Amaranths and chenopods send down fairly deep tap roots and develop thick clumps of other roots. Amaranth roots reportedly raise nutrients to the zone where maize roots can reach them, so amaranth is today recommended for companionate planting by organic gardeners. Without understanding the mechanisms involved, Timucuans were able to observe that maize grown with amaranth yielded better than maize planted without it. In the Timucuan horticultural pattern, the amaranths, together with beans and maize in hills, maintained soil fertility and ensured that maize plants obtained the nutrients they required. *Page 4

Archeological research from the Mississippi valley shows (from grave remains of individuals) that vegetable foods formed the bulk of diet and meats were consumed only on a bi-monthly basis. Many nations along the Mississippi were of the same Iroquoian language heritage. The Agro-forestry and 'Three Sisters' agriculture of First Nations provides vegetable foods for a nutritionally balanced diet. Corn and beans together are one of many food combinations, which yield complete proteins. These foods were only part of a vast selection of First Nation nutritionally balanced options. Our image of the North American native as primarily a meat eater may reflect their forced refugee status post contact. Animals are traveling vegetables that may be harvested during trying times.
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