Leadership struggle continues within Cayuga Nation: What’s next?

Kahnawake Warrior Society answers call to assist Cayuga families

– By Gabriel Pietrorazio

Following a Haudenosaunee Confederacy Grand Council session that took place on Sunday a decision was made to send 30 to 40 Onondaga Nation men to Seneca Falls to protect Cayuga families.

Aside from the Onondaga, calls have been made out to certain Mohawk communities, which has attracted the attention of the Kahnawake Warrior Society.

Authorized by the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs at Kahnawake, the council granted permission to form the Kahnawake Warrior Society in 1972, which sought to serve as a “defensive vanguard” as a national defense and public security force in the Kahnawake territory and even beyond.

FL1 File Photo

Guided by the traditional teachings of the Kanonhsonni’kéha, or “the way of the Longhouse” while upholding the Kajanere’kówa, members of the warrior society are honor bound, focused on protecting and preserving the Mohawk and fellow sovereign nations from tyranny and extinction.

Beyond their teachings, the warrior society is expected to uphold and enact “any political determinations made by the Confederacy’s Grand Council, individual National Councils, or territorial Longhouse Councils,” their website reads.

Louis Karonjaktajeh Hall, a foundational figure of the warrior society authored the Warrior’s Handbook, a pamphlet that condemned passivity that was exhibited by Iroquois leaders.

Instead, Karonjaktajeh advocated for the use of force whenever collective rights were at risk, which led to the formation of an active militia.

Karonjaktajeh even designed the symbolic Kahnawake Mohawk Warrior flag, which is popular in Canada whenever the flag wavers overhead during the blockading of railways, highways and even ports in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s struggle in stopping the construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.
The warrior society also serves as the envoys of peace in international disputes and disturbances, including the escalating intertribal conflict between two Cayuga Nation factions.

Just hours after the Saturday showdown went viral on social media, Paul Delaronde, a founding member of the first Kahnawake Warrior Society called upon men from all across the Six Nations to “grow some” and “get out there” in a Facebook video posted by his son, Skaionwatison Delaronde.

Delaronde asks, “I like to know where are the men? Where are the men from the rest of this Confederacy and to step up to the plate?”

“Everybody wants to wear a warrior shirt. Everybody wants to fly the Hiawatha flag. Everybody wants all the things that are symbolic, but nobody wants to take on the responsibility and I wish that the men would start ‘growing some,’ and go ahead and defend and protect those people and remove a dictator like Clint Halftown,” he continued.

For Delaronde, the Cayuga peoples’ struggle is a collective one and he hopes that other men from the Haudenosaunee shall acknowledge the significance of mobilizing in Seneca Falls after 12 properties owned by the Cayuga Nation were demolished.

“Don’t say it’s a Cayuga problem. No. Anywhere there’s land and our people involved, it is all our problem,” Delaronde emphasized.

Reflecting on his past as a former active member, Delaronde wishes going back 30-years to regain his youth and join fellow warriors, some of whom are already settled at Cayuga territory while on-watch for the possibility of retaliation from the Cayuga Nation Police.

“I mean, I wish I could go back 30-years, and I would go down there, but I’m not a kid no more and I wouldn’t be much help over there,” he explained.

Instead, his son Skaionwatison has taken his place for this journey by trekking from Mohawk territory across the Grand River to Seneca Falls, all in the matter of a day.

In a Facebook Live video that aired on Monday, March 2nd, Delaronde called for men to come drive down to the Cayuga territory to see the situation for themselves, just like how his father once did.
“You should all load up in a car and come down here and see for yourself what’s going,” he said.

With an unknown number of Kahnawake Warrior Society members on the ground, acting a defensive and protective force against the Halftown faction, the call still strongly rings across the Six Nations.

“You all preach the good talk. Well, actions speak a lot louder and we all know that,” Delaronde added.
Previously, on “Inside the FLX,” John Kane, the host of “Let’s Talk Native” told FingerLakes1.com that sending men in the fallout of a tense and deescalating situation may instigate further conflict.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: John Kane, host of “Let’s Talk Native” says reinforcements coming to support Cayuga Nation families (podcast)

“The vast majority of people who are not Cayuga would love to support and help resolve the situation, and including some of the people who may be on their way now. The ultimate goal that most people have is to help. I just don’t know if sending a bunch of people on the heels of some of those violent videos out there is really a good idea,” Kane expressed.

Want the latest headlines in your inbox each morning? Click here to sign up for our Morning Edition and Sunday Insight newsletters. They are dedicated to keeping you in the know. You can also download the FingerLakes1.com App for Android (All Android Devices) or iOS (iPhone, iPad)
Support Local Journalism