Monday, 9 December 2013

The Guswhenta (Erie Ave.) Development Fiasco Tumbles to New Depths

As reported in Turtle Island News, December 3, 2013, p. 7, the Guswhenta fiasco continues to get more complex and more bizarre.  The layers of complexity seem to continue to grow, and still no solution in sight.  At a recent “information” meeting there was a farcical “bar scene” with a drunk heckler, also someone who instigated a brawl, and as well Chief Monture of the Men’s Fire saying that a meeting at Kanata was invalid, such community events should take place “back home down there” (Ohsweken), back in “the bush”.  And the meeting reached new heights (actually lows) with Bill Squire (of the Mohawk Workers) and Aaron Detlor (legal council for the HDI) squaring off in a juvenile name calling session, with Squire asking Detlor who his mother was, with the latter retorting that, At least  I know who my Mohawk mother was.  This confrontation seems to stem from the apparent fact that Detlor is not a Community member and few know what connection he has, if any, with Six Nations.  As if things could get any stranger, instead of providing information on Guswhenta, Squire put charts on the wall about the HDI finances, the Band Council’s McKenzie Meadows Project, and old Confederacy letters questioning the legitimacy of the Chief and Clan Mother names for the first family among the Mohawk (Turtle Clan, Dekarihogea).  It seems that Porter and his Guswhenta development group were at a loss – their main concern being that it is getting to the point where the viability of the project is going to be an issue – delays of this nature being perhaps the kiss of death for everything.  The moderate words of respected elder Jan Longboat did perhaps allow some of the participants to see the immature depths to which their behaviour had descended.
So the bottom line is that the Men's Fire and HDI continue to square off against the Kanata Mohawk Workers, each believing that they possess the right to "negotiate" with the developer (a conglomerate of White and Native individuals) to direct what happens in the old Eagle's Nest Tract, when in reality neither have any legal rights whatsoever.  In fact, the land was out of Six Nations hands before 1850, and to assert any rights to direct what happens in this part of Brantford does not jive with the facts.  Much ado about nothing.

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