Sunday, 8 December 2013

The HDI: Look Who is Swirling Around the Bowl These Days

It should be apparent to those who read this blog that I am less than enamoured with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), whose behaviour would give some the impression that they are the enforcers, the shakedown artists for the Hereditary Council - but who, in reality, march to their own drum with one object in mind - extract money from all "eligible" groups or individuals.  Some might even say that the mafia in Naples could take lessons from this group at Six Nations.  I of course will reserve judgement.
Frankly, when I see the HDI floundering, it does indeed warm my heart.  If their illegal and amoral activities get them into difficulty, well perhaps that would be true justice.  In Turtle Island News, December 3, 2013 p. 7 we find an update thanks to the excellent unbiased reporting in this source.  Here we find that the HDI is being bypassed more and more these days, almost as if it is becoming irrelevant.  In the boundary adjustment matter involving the City of Brantford and Brant County, the HDI were not consulted, and the various Government agencies such as Aboriginal Affairs and Infrastructure Ontario have refused to return calls from the HDI.  The power that they wielded but a short time ago appears to be something consigned to history.  None the less, Hazel Hill, HDI Director, continues to maintain that any development within the Haldimand Tract requires consultation of the Hereditary Chiefs.  The HDI maintains that it is not the Elected Council who have legitimate authority to deal with the Crown (despite their mandate via the Federal Government of Canada), but the Hereditary Council, whose interests and views are represented via the agency of the HDI.  Lately the latter find that calls are going unreturned, and no one is listening, so of course out come the threats, about “incidents”, “more reclamations”, protests – I don’t know how our people will respond to (this), says Hill with what some might interpret as a veiled threat.  What is different now, however, is that these threats do not seem to unduly disturb anyone.  Perhaps it is because most are now aware that if the HDI or others attempt to stop development, then a developer only has to seek a Court injunction which, of late, will be applied.  If the protesters refuse to comply and the developer loses money, the protesters will be named in a legal action and will expect to pay very stiff fines.  It does not seem to be as easy these days to get a developer to fork out 7 to 8,000 dollars to go through “proper channels” (the HDI) and ensure that protests will directed elsewhere.

Could we be seeing "desperation" in the following episode?  Another article in Turtle Island News pertains to the subject matter here.  On the same page as above we find, Hydro One hitting community with massive hydro bills.  As part of the ongoing “battle” with Hydro One, Aaron Detlor, in his role as a director of HDI, stopped crews from trimming the trees along 6th Line which were interfering with the transmission lines.  This prompted former Councillor Ross Johnson to call Detlor a “jerk” and former Chief Montour to add, a “jerk”, who does not even live in the community.  Apparently Detlor and the HDI were upset that Hydro One has not been "cooperative" in discussing Hydro One's work in lands that the HDI have decided are Haudenosaunee Territory.  Incredibly, this land is in the Bruce Peninsula, and includes the Bruce to Milton line.  This claim can only be described as a monumental stretch of what is believed to be under the purview of Six Nations (likely via an erroneous interpretation of the Nanfan Treaty) but is not supported by the facts; and the apparent petulance of the HDI representative speaks volumes.
On the same page of the same source is an article entitled, Community money may have to pay protesters legal bills.  It appears that the HDI (or its officers) currently owes the City of Brantford $375,000.  Actually there are a number of protesters involved here, but most are elderly, and based on what is reported in Turtle Island News, only the executive of the HDI, Hazel Hill and lawyer Aaron Detlor, are apparently in any position to make good on the payment of the fine.  The City of Brantford lawyer was quite blunt in saying that they are likely to be going after the “deepest pockets” to recover the fines.  In Detlor’s expressed view the City may be coming after the Communities money, so the community has to decide what to do.  Considering he is the one with the “deepest pockets”, the City may come after him directly, and it appears that he would like to see this as a Community matter and deflect any personal responsibility away and toward the collective body of the Six Nations.  There are monies from the various wind farm deals that could be tapped into to pay these costs, but Detlor knows that the only way this will work is if  “the community” recommends bailing out the HDI and its executive here.  Hey, good luck with that. 

Update:  The problem is compounded by the fact that Detlor, as legal advisor to both the HCCC and the HDI has recently been criticised by his employers, the HCCC, in releasing a letter as to the Chief's position on the removal of the Brant Children's Aid Society, without having obtained their full approval of this action.  See Turtle Island News, December 11, 2013, p. 7, Confederacy supports CAS removal, but transition plans unclear.  So it may be that the HDI is overstepping its mandate, or perhaps it is just one individual wearing two hats who assumes that they can speak for the collective body.

No comments:

Post a Comment