Both of the Reserve newspapers this week were humming with very newsworthy items that directly pertain to the theme of this blog. In this instance, I have decided to include the current material here, and as well add the new information to the relevant previous post (of the 38 below).
1) Ava Hill was elected as the Six Nations Chief Councillor, winning by two votes against the incumbent Bill Montour. According to Turtle Island News, November 20, 2013, p.3, of the 20,520 eligible voters, 1,057 cast ballots making the "voter turnout of just over five per cent". So the obvious question is, what will this mean for Six Nations and the surrounding communities over the next 3 years. Perhaps a flavour of this can be found in Chief Hill's statements during the candidate debate as recorded in Turtle Island News, November 6, 2013, pp. 2-3). Here she expressed a wish to work with the Confederacy Council (HCCC), "in an attempt to mend the division between the two". Alas, virtually everyone who has tried this over the years since 1924 has failed. Chief Hill wishes to "hold regular meetings with leaders from all factions and government on Six Nations". This also includes Mohawk Workers and Men's Fire. Perhaps oddly, the former Councillor said, "I'd love nothing better than to see our traditional government in place" (author's bold printing) - meaning the Hereditary Confederacy. This statement is unusual, considering that Ave Hill is Chief of the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC).
Other recent quotes are also of come concern. Apparently she has got "connections", "in the national political scene". When it gets a bit puzzling is when she says, the federal government doesn't tell me what to do. The people in the federal government shudder when they hear my name. I challenge them. According to Two Row Times, November 6th, 2013, p.4, by "connections" she appears to mean the Assembly of First Nations. Also, according to the last source, The federal government is using the excuse that they will not deal with us because we are a divided community. Imagine how powerful we would be if we joined forces and went to parliament hill and said settle our land claims right now". While this may be just some off the cuff self - aggrandisement, it is also what one would expect from a person self absorbed with their own importance (facts or no facts). It is only my opinion, but there will likely come the day when we will long for the "good old days" under the leadership of Bill Montour. It all remains to be seen. Time will tell - she may be the best leader the community has ever seen. Her actions will speak much louder than her words. Of course, my question, as per the theme of this blog, is, "will the new Chief be willing to allow the facts to over ride beliefs in a number of contentious issues?"
2) In Two Row Times, November 20th, 2013, p. 3 there appears an article, What about SN litigations against Brantford and the Crown?. The reporter questions the status of these negotiations, and asks whether they are likely to be settled within his lifetime.
The current Director of Lands and Resources (an Elected Council mandated division) is Lonny Bomberry, a lawyer. He updated the reporter as to the current situation. Bomberry said that concerning land, most of these land patents, which put in third party hands, were given illegally, he concedes, 'The problem with Canadian law is that after a while if you don't exercise your legal rights to get it back, your rights disappear''. This refers to what the present author has spoken about before under "Statute of Limitations". The reporter then states that, Bomberry seems intent to be patient and wait as long as it takes, meanwhile, if deals can be worked out with developers to at least accommodate Six Nations something, he is all for that. Bomberry told the reporter that in a way municipalities such as Brantford are off the hook, based on a decision by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in the Salmon Arm case which puts the responsibility of negotiating on the shoulders of the Crown, not the municipalities. In what seems to be a revealing statement, Bomberry says that continuing to push forward in the Courts may not be "cost efficient". Specifically, Litigation is expensive and it can drag out for years, ....... And especially something like this when you need historical experts. It could take years. I suppose we could push that issue if we wanted to, but we have chosen to try and get this worked out through negotiation, that's always the easier way to do it.
In looking at the wording of Bomberry's replies, the present author is led to wonder whether he has been shown a copy of the "Holmes Report" which basically makes it abundantly clear that the Province of Ontario has an intact and valid land registration system, and that all of the land claims cannot be supported - hence the Federal Government not agreeing to stamp any of them (except a couple of minor ones such as those relating to the land the railways obtained relatively recently). Just reading between the lines, I wonder whether because Bomberry is well versed in the law, he has read the Holmes Report and knows that Six Nations are up against a brick wall, and so he would rather focus on the claims where Six Nations alleges that the Federal Government is responsible for the supposed fiduciary issues relating to monies placed in trust for the Six Nations, involving "wrongful management".
If Bomberry has not been given a copy of the "Holmes Report" of 2009 (which I have discussed in detail in earlier posts), then it seems only fair and responsible to do so - even though commissioned by The Corporation of the City of Brantford in 2009 and submitted to Justice Harrison Arrell of the Superior Court of Ontario. Thus, in my opinion, Lonny Bomberry, the Director of Lands and Resources for the Elected Band Council should be privy to a copy of the "Holmes Report" in order to understand how it will be impacting the decisions of the Superior Court of Ontario. Also, the representatives of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) should also have access to this document since, although not officially sanctioned or recognised by for example the Federal Government of Canada, they have legitimacy in the eyes of a significant number of Six Nations members. In my view, unless anyone wants to play Don Quixote, and in a futile way tilt at windmills, the facts have to eventually be acknowledged so that everyone can move on knowing what is valid and true.
3) Since the newspaper, Two Row Times, is the new kid on the block, it is expected that there will be some shuffling around until a strong working group of employees can be assembled. What I noticed this week, was that the newspaper, instead of reflecting the Community at Six Nations, is also reflecting of the White leftist anarcho-communist "supporters" of Six Nations. One would presume that there is a difference. So now, in addition to Senior Writer Jim Windle (a non-Native activist from Brantford), we now find two very significant additions to the staff - well actually one in two roles. The General Manager is Tom Keefer, who is also, along with Six Nations member Jonathan Garlow, the second member of the Editorial Team. As has been noted in a number of blog posts, Mr. Keefer, a non-Native, has a long and sordid history with Caledonia. His unabashed Communist Party and Ontario Anarchist Party ties apparently do not concern his employers. See here for example. A google search will turn up a great deal on his "work" with CUPE 9303, and his radical past. Perhaps he has given up after his many years at Concordia University and later at York University, on working to obtain a Ph.D. in Political Science. In 2010, according to his curriculum vitae seen here, he was in year 6 of his doctoral programme - so now year 8, well beyond the allotted maximum in most such settings. I am sure that there is a story as to the departure, or leave of absence, and I will add a link if this can be located. I am predicting "creative differences" with this assembly of publishing staff, but only time will tell.
4) The HDI (Haudenosaunee Development Institute), a wing of the HCCC, are in the news again - and they are in serious trouble according to Two Row Times, November 20th, 2013, p. 3. It appears that they just can't get a break in the Court system. This all stemmed from the City of Brantford's injunction against protests at construction sites there, where the HDI tried to enforce its own development regulations on the city's disputed lands. The original ruling by Judge Harrison Arrell levied fines of $350,000 plus $68,000 in Court costs (these later reduced to $25,000). The Appellate Court upheld the ruling, and so a second appeal was launched which also upheld Justice Arrell's original decision. Those against whom the fine was levied include Aaron Detlor and Hazel Hill of HDI, as well as Ruby and Floyd Montour, Charlie and Mary Green, Clive Garlow, and "persons unknown". So who will pay? Apparently due to the financial situations of the various parties, it is likely that only Detlor (who is a lawyer) and Hill will likely be, "holding the bag" and "slapped with the heavy fine". The reporter could not obtain information as to whether, since the HDI was acting on behalf of the HCCC, they will have some responsibility in the payment of the fine. The reporter states, What this will mean to the HDI is yet to be seen as the judgement legally clips the HDI's wings in such matters, at least as far as Canadian law is concerned. The Brantford Mayor believes that this decision will have Canada - wide effects on other groups who chose to engage in disruptive land disputes, and on the Canadian communities who are impacted.
Turtle Island News, p. 5, reported that the Men's Fire assembled to put a stop to construction on the Erie Ave. development project (Guswhenta), which although headed by a non-Native Steve Charest, the latter's two partners are both Six Nations members who had made a deal with the Mohawk Workers, including Brian Porter. Men's Fire want the HDI involved (which means the application fee paid in full). One wonders if the project will seek a Court injunction, the problem with that is that it would further pit Six Nations group 1 against Six Nations group 2 supporters. More factionalism at its worst.
The HDI has been busy on other fronts. According to Turtle Island News, November 20, 2013, p. 7, Money is flowing into Confederacy Council coffers as the first annual payments for a green environment deal with energy giant NextEra come in. Legal Adviser for the HDI, Aaron Detlor, stated that the monies received are going into an account that the HDI "has no access to". Hazel Hill, Director of HDI, said that the chiefs don't know what they will do with the money, adding that, HDI will follow through on post construction monitoring of all the sites. Recall, that this group has no legal authority, only what the non - elected chiefs (HCCC) gives them. Hill stated that, "the Confederacy process flows through the clan system, 'The people have the opportunity to participate through their chief and clanmother'".
I can see one problem right away, which I bold printed above. The majority of people at Six Nations have no idea as to what their true clan is. "Clanology" has developed recently to help people to get in touch with their Clan (inherited through the mother's mother's side). So HDI is saying that the majority who cannot "fit" with the Longhouse system for whatever reason can expect no sympathy or hearing from HDI. Hill full well knows the situation at Six Nations, and the barrier that poses. She does admit that, Six Nations people don't necessarily understand the traditional process. Nor are Six Nations people, necessarily understanding of, or willing to adhere to, the Confederacy process. I don't ever recall hearing that the traditional process involves extracting money from naive or gullible Whites who think that by ponying up, their problems will go away.