drew taylor harden: "do i need a passport or a ouija board?"

On this post about my new Canadian passport, a friend left a link about the Iroquois lacrosse team that was refused entry to the UK because they carry passports from their Iroquois nation, not Canada.

A few days earlier, I blogged about Oka.

And everyone here knows about my troubles at the US border.

This excellent Op-Ed in the Globe and Mail pulls it all together.
Do I need a passport or a Ouija board?

I have a theory, though I can't prove it, based on several recent visits to the United States. Specifically, it's based on going through American customs as you get ready to board a plane for that country. And I wonder if the Iroquois lacrosse team that was stranded at the airport in New York this week is thinking the same thing.

On their way to England to play at the Lacrosse World Championships – a game the Iroquois invented, by the way – the 23 members of the team were prevented from boarding the plane because they insisted (as always) on using a passport by the Iroquois Confederacy. English officials were afraid the team would not be allowed back into America afterward, now that the airports have much stricter immigration rules. After some swift negotiations with the State Department and in particular Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an agreement for this particular event was worked out. Still, it was not enough. They missed their plane, and their chance to play. Getting in and out of America can be such a pain.

Ever since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, crossing that imaginary border between our two countries has become increasingly difficult. Contrary to popular jurisprudence, at the border you are now assumed to be guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. Everybody now needs an official passport to go south. Even the Canadian Indian status card – I never left Canada or home without it – is no longer accepted to cross the 49th parallel, one customs agent informed me. Native people on their own continent must whip out their Canadian passports to prove who they are, in order to travel to Turtle Island.

I never knew Canadian native terrorists were such a threat down there, Tyendinaga's Shawn Brant notwithstanding. His claim to fame, if you remember, was blocking the 401 several years back, thus making a thousand or so white people late for work. Hardly an Osama bin Brant. . . .

Read it here.

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