April 19, 2011

Bikers ride over Indian mound

Chief ‘disgusted’ as bikers ride over sacred Iroquois site in High Park

By Jayme PoissonSix Nations Chief Arnie General stands on a mound of dirt in High Park, propped up by a cane.

“I feel very disgusted with the people here in this area,” he says. “Maybe not all are of the (same) mentality, but those who don’t care about my people.”

General, accompanied by Clanmothers and faithkeepers from the Six Nation, came to Snake (or Serpent) mound Monday evening to visit what many believe are ancient Iroquoian burial grounds dating back 3,000 years. As the group walked to the site, a clan of teenagers dispersed, taking their BMX bikes with them.

The teens and other bikers have been using the site, no bigger than a football field, for about six years now. It’s carved into rounded hills, ramps and dips. Tire tracks mark the dirt. For the many who believe the site is sacred, it’s the ultimate disrespect.
Comment:  This is a typical example of how people "honor" Indians in the real world. If it was a non-Indian church or cemetery, there's no question that the city would ban the bikes. But a sacred Indian burial ground is different.

For more on sacred sites, see Pro-Colonization Propaganda in Up and The Ghosts of Celilo.

Below:  "Chief Arnie General stands on what many believe are ancient Iroquian burial grounds in High Park. The area is currently used by BMX bikers." (Jayme Poisson/Toronto Star)


Anonymous said...

Haven't these white folks seen Pet Cemetery? Don't they KNOW what can happen if they F*** with our burial grounds?! I say we haunt the s*** outta these biker kids.

Anonymous said...

looking at some of the comments on there, damn those Canadians are racist aren't they?

dmarks said...

Anon1: The curse of the IBG.

jaine said...

that's pretty appalling, the Council needs to step up and stop it

HideStyle said...

Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I think it would be really cool if the Iroquois people got together with the BMX kids, and spoke with the city officials about the both problems. First being the Iroquois burial grounds being disrespected, and the BMX kids not having a place to ride other than said burial grounds. I'm sure these kids don't mean disrespect, and it's really the town turning a blind eye to both factions of the comunity.

Just an idea.

Jaine said...

nice thought, and sometimes it works - sometimes though people or kids actually don't care and only perceive something being 'taken' from them.

HideStyle said...


That's true, especially with adults. I guess I was speaking from my BMX/skateboarding past, and how the adults in my community would have rather fenced off the whole city, than let us have a space of our own. Therefore, pushing us to the edges of town, just like these kids. And yes, they probably do feel like it's just another group of adults taking something away form them. And in this case, it's for a very good reason, but they're going to have a very hard time seeing it that way unless they can come together in a mutually beneficial way. I think the Iroquois and the BMX kids would be a team that the community would have a hard time ignoring.

Jaine said...

oh I agree Hidestyle, if they can get together and work something out it would be great. I was also coming from my own community's experience with boy racers who ignore the facilities put in place for them and tear up other roads and fields as they like.

Tom said...

I am looking at how it says that it is a suspected burial ground. Would that not mean that no one knows for sure whether this is a burial ground? Indian or non-Indian, I would hesitate to ever desecrate a burial ground of any shape or form. I don't think this is a unique mentality. I believe if someone could simply prove that this is indeed a burial ground, the area would have to be cornered off and restricted. That no one has proven this area as a burial ground, implies that perhaps it is not. After all, it is in the community's best interest that any bodies of deceased individuals in the area be known. There have got to be serious health implications surrounding an issue like this. Take care of the proof, and you take care of the problem