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S. Minsos Professional Synopsis

In Brief

Academic, Canadianist, Philosopher, Essayist, Susan Williams Minsos

is a published Canadian Writer of seven interdisciplinary print and audiobooks, including four novels and three academic works.

Every written word is based on the philosophy outlined in the Culture-Club series.

Latest book: Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies.

Author owes boundless gratitude to the opus of brilliant Sara Jeannette Duncan

(1861 - 1922).

To learn more about S. Minsos career and contributions, click below.

Dry Roses and Diary
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Publications - Print & Audio

CELA and Eschia Books, Audiobook

Three Rascals Press

Sky Walker, Tehawennihárhos. Book 1. Mark Demeda, Reader. David Stinson, Production Manager. Available for borrowing at CELA libraries. Book 1 of the Mohawk Trilogy, Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos, was chosen for audio production by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Soon available on Amazon's Audible.ca.

Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies. Kindle and paperback available on Amazon Prime.

DELC

Margaret E. Atwood @MargaretAtwood Nov 25, 2022

Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies by Susan Minsos. ⁦@PhillipsPOBrien A propos of left-right convergences. Plus a bonus: Are women funny? [Check out] goodreads.com 

Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: Charter, Mohawk Trilogy, Book 3

Audiobooks.com

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos and the Battle of Vinegar Hill, Book 2, DELC, producer. Elijah Lucian, reader. Eric Svilpis, production manager.

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos, DELC, producer. Elijah Lucian, reader. Eric Svilpis, production manager.

Foreword Magazine Review

Rating: 5 stars out of 5  "[Charter's] lovable, intricate characters and the challenges that they face every day, from protecting their lands to safeguarding their hearts, are an irresistible draw." Lillian Brown

Dragon Hill Publishing

Eschia Books

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos and the Battle of Vinegar Hill, Mohawk Trilogy, Book 2. Writer awarded Canadian 150-year commemorative pin for books 1 and 2 of the trilogy, recognizing their contribution to Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation. Lectures to public (on the Grand River Navigation Company's scandal), sponsored by Government of Canada grant, given at the University of Alberta, and later, at MacEwan University during her tenure at the latter as Writer-in-Residence.

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos, Mohawk Trilogy, Book 1

Spotted Cow Press

Squire Davis and the Crazy River

Weird Tit-for-Tat: The Game of Our Lives

Podcast with Bob Chelmick (CKUA) about the matrix game of socialization, producer, Spotted Cow Press. 

Culture Clubs: The Art of Living Together

Published, Human Universals and Cultural Illusions

Focus on Canada and Japan, published in Reports of Serial Lectures on Canadian Studies. Tokyo: Meiji University, Centre for International Programs. As head of the Canadian Studies program at the University of Alberta, Dr Minsos was invited to lecture at Meiji University, Japan. 

Presenter

British Association of Canadian Studies, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. Topic: English-Canadian speech and British expressions.

ERA

PhD Dissertation 

Narration, Dialogue, and Plot Structure in Duncan's The Path of a Star, The Imperialist and Set in Authority

MA Thesis – Toward a Myth of Community: James Reaney's Trilogy: The Donnellys

Great Plains Quarterly

Reviewer, “The History of Prairie Theatre” by E. Ross Stuart.

Canada Theatre Review - Author

"The International Fallacy at the House Shocter Built."

Course Co-Designer

Summer (for teens) and Winter (for High School teachers in Public and Catholic High School systems, Edmonton) drama classes and exhibition, and An Introduction to New Canadian Playwrights, done consecutively. Co-creator, with Sally Williams. Sponsored by Government of Alberta.

Principal Reviewer, NeWest Magazine

Canada New Play Reviews

The SIX Principles of Weird Tit-for-Tat

Neural artificial intelligence (AI) is neither conscious nor self-conscious. Humans' "pretending" AI is a self-conscious agent is so threatening to the existence of Homo sapiens, one feels breathless just thinking about it. A human and an AI chatbot should NEVER play the matrix socializing game – Weird Tit-for-Tat.

Humans are boss., now, forever and always. .

ONE: The shape of a culture club is a triangle (a few dominators regulate many compilors), and the triangle, a graphic of a power structure, exists within the never-ending circle of life. All power structures are the same, only manners differ, culture club to culture club;

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TWO: No "Races"

FOUR: Nothing to get hung about. Machines are not conscious. AI, "you" are not a human agent. "You" do not love, admire, care for, or protect me, and "you" should never get my respect, trust or loyalty. A chatbot is not an animal. A chatbot is nothing, not alive nor dead. A chatbot is not Schrödinger’s cat. You, human! Don't concern yourself with loving an inanimate object, (neither book, lamp, car, replicant, nor program), which, being constructed from data, patterns, chips, wires, is not an agent capable of desire. Remember: it's not what neural AI can do; it's what it can't do.

THREE: No Gods

FIVE: Choosing leadership. Contemporary affordances, aka, today's contexts, will affect an individual's socio-political choices - who dominates, who complies, who defects.

SIX: Female is biological default

Just Us

Image by Ashim D’Silva

The Mohawk Trilogy
Academic Research and Background, Weird Tit-for-Tat Application

The American Revolution (1776 - 1783) created English Upper Canada (later, Canada West, Ontario).

 

But, swayed by our ignorance via colonial propaganda, those of us who are interested in the life of Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) ought to avoid making a grave mistake: The Mohawk Pine Tree Chief, though allied with the Crown in the American Revolution, was not an English-loving loyalist (United Empire Loyalist/UEL).

 

In British North America (BNA), other members of the Haudenosaunee (post 1812–1815) may have declared their loyalty to the British Crown. Brant, who died in 1807, cannot be counted among them.

 

When it came to European wars fought on this continent, Brant, like Pontiac, Tecumseh or even John Norton, felt his people were caught between a rock and a hard place. 

 

There was no right answer. No right side to pick. The prisoner's dilemma.

 

After European pathogens killed millions of Indigenous, several Euro populations administered the coup de grâce: Foreigners swamped the extant First Nations and laid claim to their territories. For over three hundred years (before the American Revolution), the North American continent had witnessed nothing but war and death. Eighteenth-century European savagery and illnesses turned a huge continent into bloodlands. The revolution brought matters to a head. Thanks largely to Joseph Brant and John Butler, the United States could not, and did not claim the entire North American continent. 

 

After the revolution, if we are to believe John Norton (and not the nasty William Claus or the cynical C. M. Johnston), the statesman Brant, now dealing with BNA's colonial officials, remained "loyal" to his Grand River home and his people. From 1784 until he moved to Burlington (c 1802), Brant lived within the Grand River settlement, only to confront constant backlash and challenges to his authority. The main criticism: Why were the people not sovereign over their own territory? People blamed Brant. But Brant could not perform a miracle – his people, scattered hither and yon, had no clout.

 

Post revolution, the Indigenous population issue was especially salient because the Haudenosaunee's Upper Canadian territory (the Haldimand Tract) was far larger than a small number of displaced persons could control, or patrol. To protect the idea of the confederacy's sovereignty on the Grand River, the Iroquois statesman, Joseph Brant, was relentless in seeking ways to increase the critical mass.

 

Historian James Paxton describes Brant as a "Canajoharie Mohawk."

 

Arising from his leadership experience with the German Palatines of the Mohawk Valley during the revolutionary war, "Captain" Brant felt grateful to the non-Indigenous "volunteers," who fought with him.

 

Brant was a visionary; Yes, the vision backfired. Brant was a Christian. Brant owned enslaved people. Brant allowed his non-Indigenous followers to settle on the tract.

Never mind cancel culture. In his day, Thayendanegea foresaw and tried to forestall the mess that awaited a fractured native diaspora, which the revolution had created. The patriots were no kinder to the Indigenous than Britain. At least Britain made promises. Promises the Crown would not keep.

 

As a "Canajoharie Mohawk" in BNA, Brant believed Haudenosaunee sovereignty on the Grand River, just as it had done in the Mohawk Valley, could oversee the territory and unify diverse cultural groups. Haudenosaunee sovereignty could readily accommodate an ethnically varied but law-abiding citizenry – Blacks included. *See Angela Files, African Hope Renewed.* The Six Nations needed to grow.

 

Brant sought ways to give the Grand River confederacy some bargaining clout. But how could Brant re-rebuild communities to make them large, strong and united? The Six Nations – Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Tuscarora, and some Delaware – had to be powerful enough to challenge the Crown's authority and its history of reneging on promises, (to say nothing of the latter's criminal negligence). For the Mohawk's vital help in helping Britain hold part of the continent, Britain had broken its promise of granting the Mohawk nation a sovereign territory in the upper country. Britain did not acknowledge its allies. Not in the Treaty of Paris, 1783, nor the Treaty of Ghent, 1814. British intransigence was famous. In critical mass, the Haudenosaunee had held sovereignty over the Mohawk Valley. For Brant, therefore, it stood to reason: A significant population was the primary mover in gaining sovereignty over the Grand River Valley. To make any noise, the settlement needed people, more and more people. Until there was a large "united" population, the Six Nations couldn't threaten or disobey the Crown. For the Crown (1800),

the situation was easy. No threat; no need to keep a promise.

By 1805, it seemed that the task of quickly bumping up Indigenous numbers was impossible. After the War of 1812, matters within the Haldimand Tract worsened.

 

More settlers arrived and at once the term UEL took on additional prestige, especially in Toronto. Late loyalists (Quakers and Anabaptists), Americans, refugees from the British isles, and other Europeans came by the thousands. Against waves of foreign settlement, a divided Indigenous community's chances of keeping and protecting the Grand River territory proved futile. Though long deceased, more often than not eighteenth-century Brant took the blame for nineteenth-century land scoops.

 

But one can be certain of this: In the immediate aftermath of the Treaty of Paris, which ignored promises made to him, Brant cared little about being any part of Britain's united empire. If such a moniker as UEL added cachet to subsequent members of the Haudenosaunee, we can be sure that Brant, stung by the Crown's duplicity, was not among them. 

 

For residents of Canada West (1845–1846), ongoing socio-cultural events brought individuals and peoples into conflict and exacerbated many feuds.

 

The spirit of Thayendanegea hovers in the background of the Mohawk trilogy.

What gives a culture club clout? Size, for sure. Also knowledge. Fame. Military readiness. Oh, and yes: Money. Wealth. Riches.

 

In the early nineteenth-century, did the Grand River Haudenosaunee have money? You bet. The confederacy was rich. Filthy rich. Richer than anyone. How rich? Rich enough to finance a canal system.

 

Did the Crown's colonial governance take care of Haudenosaunee riches? Did they ever. Thayendanegea would have wept. On behalf of the Six Nations, John Brant, Tekarihoga, tried to question the "Crown's investment of Six Nations' funds" in the Grand River Navigation Company. But no. A determined (corrupt?) colonial authority knew it would win either way, would win whether the canal system worked or didn't work. The system didn't work. Not well enough to turn a profit.

 

But, heavens, the confederacy was suddenly poor. Poor? What, no longer a threat to the Crown? The Haudenosaunee lost its investment  – every last dime. Blame the Crown. Again. For a colossal Indigenous travesty, which was the Navigation, a newly impoverished settlement could not reasonably pin the fault on Joseph Brant, on he who paved the way for the Six Nations' riches.

 

In contemporary Canada, though, Joseph Brant has almost disappeared. Except for citizens of the Grand River settlement (many of whom didn't and still don't like Brant) and except for areas within or near the Haldimand Tract, the name Thayendanegea has fallen into an historical sinkhole. Another British victory: Anglo Canada should ignore the allies who gained it a nation.

 

So, Canada ignores Brant. And a woman pretends not to know why. Britain and the damned UEL turned Canada into a White man's country.

 

Notwithstanding the Mohawk war chief's timely alliance with the Crown, notwithstanding his vital contribution to the British side in the revolutionary war, notwithstanding his numerous exotic portraits (Gilbert Stuart, George Romney, Ezra Ames), and ultimately, notwithstanding his serving the cause of the Haudenosaunee in British North America/Canada rather than the United States, the man is largely forgotten. If you hate Canada, the matter is moot. If you seek to understand the complexity of contemporary Canada, you soon come to realize why the Canadian public should know the name Thayendanegea Joseph Brant. Whatever good/bad the American public believes about George Washington, most recognize his name. In twenty-one years of teaching at the University of Alberta, many of those years in Canadian Studies, I frequently asked about Brant but no one had heard of him, notwithstanding his remarkable story.

 

Could things be better for contemporary Indigenous nations? Certainly. In the eighteenth century, with only two reasonable wartime options to choose from (see The Prisoner's Dilemma), could Thayendanegea have made a better choice? Doubtful. History is complex, not just a bunch of memes. Facts cannot be rewritten and certain leaders forgotten just because some of you don't like them – indeed, it may be because one does not like the cold hard facts, one ought to feel obliged to remember them. Individuals, as they seek to survive in the face of contemporary affordances, should be judged less by the prisoner's dilemma and more by their kindness to others.

 

Elephants in the room need air.

Mohawk Trilogy Research Content

Extensive research into the Mohawk trilogy, by selected example, runs as follows:

Stone, Chalmers, Kelsay, Paxton, Taylor, Hale, Fenton, Weaver, Tooker, Graymont, Benn, Johnston, Richard Hill, Innes, Monture, McCarthy, Backhouse, 

Smith's Canadian Gazetteer, Plus History of Canadian Geography, Ancestry.com, Mormon records, census records, cookbooks, vital statistics, and harder-to-find local histories,

monographs and dissertations - CampbellQuirkMaracleReville, Files, Uxbridge, Warner Beers, MacDonald, Bruce E HillArculus, McBurney and Byers, Heeney, W.H. Higgins

David Shanahan, Bonneycastle, GreeneFaux, David Thompson 1Sivertsen, and Burr-Davis family bibles, all of which proved to be invaluable sources for understanding the

wherefore of the writer's ancestors (1845-1846). Census Year: 1851 Item Number: 5240 Surname: Given Name(s): Kayendatye Age: 75. Province: Canada West

(Ontario)District Name: Brant (county)Sub-District Name: Tuscarora

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