Under the Eight Points of Jurisdiction, the HCCC have sole jurisdiction over matters pertaining to land. Any dealings involving land must also be governed by the following principles therefore according to the HCCC rules,
- All Onkwehon:we (Native) Nations have equal rights to share Mother Earth’s bounty. They also share equal responsibility to protect and preserve the earth and what She holds.
- Land is not meant to be individual property. It is for us all to take care of and must be respected by all.
- Land has always been for our collective use and benefit. Our land is not limited to ‘Indian Reservations’.
Further, to its inherent jurisdiction to address matters dealing with the land, the HCCC have set out a specific Land Rights Statement to further articulate, in English, principles that are required when considering land. The HCCC lands rights statement states the following:
- The land is sacred to us. It defines our identities, belief system, languages and way of life.
- We hold the Aboriginal and treaty title to our lands collectively.
- Our treaty relationship with the Crown is still alive and in force and directs our conduct in our relationship to Canada. Within this relationship, the terms of the treaties continue to bind both our government and the Crown.
- We require a careful accounting for the Crown’s dealing with our lands, and the return of any lands that were improperly or illegally taken from our ancestors.
- We require an accounting for the funds administered or held by the Crown for the Six Nations people, and restitution of any unaccounted funds.
- It is not only within the context of our treaty relationship with the Crown that we see justification for such accounting and restitution. Canadian and international law is clear on the right of the Haudenosaunee to seek justice on these matters.
- In any agreements with the Crown concerning land, our goal is to promote and protect a viable economy for our people on our land – an economy that will be culturally appropriate, environmentally sustainable, and not injurious to our people and our neighbours.
- Our fundamental approach is that Six Nations lands will come under the jurisdiction, management and control of Six Nations people. The federal and provincial governments must not impose jurisdictional, policing, taxation, and/or economic activities as part of any land rights settlement.
Haudenosaunee Development Institute
16 Sunrise Court, Suite 600
P.O. Box 714