Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs Statement on Oxycontin

If you look to the ways of the Haudenosaunee, there is nothing in our teachings that would promote the use of mind changers. Throughout history, our people had to deal with mind changers ever since the Europeans brought alcohol over in their ship. This almost destroyed our people. We got off the path created by Shonkwaiia’tison (our creator). He put us on earth to give thanks, appreciate and take care of all creation so the future generations can continue. When we use mind changers we cannot fulfill these responsibilities or stay on this path.

In Karihwiio (The Good Message), it tells us that the alcohol was not meant for the Onkwehonwe. It was meant to be a medicine for those non-natives that work hard all their lives. He gave them alcohol to cope with the hard life they had to live. It was not intended for the Onkwehonwe. We started abusing our women, neglecting our children, and stopped doing our ceremonies all together.

When he gave us the Kaianerekowa  (The Great Law) the Peacemaker introduced three guiding principles for us to follow here on earth, skennen (Peace), Kasastensera (Strength), Kanikonriio (Good Mind). If we use mind changers, then we are working against these principles. We cannot use a good mind to unify our people for a common purpose which is to create peace amongst one another and live in harmony with our environment.

In our Creation Story, it tells us if you are using mind changers, you are mimicking Sawiskaron, being selfish and greedy. You don’t care for anything else. He has gotten you off the path that Tharonniawa:ken has put us here on earth to have Katenro (compassion), Kanonkwatshera (love), Kanonwaratentshera (give greetings and thanks), to all of creation.

Oxycontin is no different from any other mind changer that has come across the path of the Haudenosaunee, except that it is taking the lives of our children. Children are the seeds of the future. Plant love into their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow (from the Native American code of Ethics). As a Nation to continue into the future, we need to instill our ways in our youth, so they can fulfill their responsibilities to Shonkwaia’tishon.

Satati tsi Nihsewano:ton, Sateweienst tsi Nisarihoton, I:non Nienhense! Speak your language, learn Your Ways, You’ll go far!


Ehtho Niiotonhake Ne Onkwanikonra

( Let it be that way in our minds )