In this week's issue of Turtle Island News (January 15, 2014, p.20) we see another of the "Six Nations Future" announcements. The last one, pertaining to the McKenzie Meadows Development, failed miserably. This one will more likely succeed.
This represents a cash grab of the most blatant underhanded fraudulent variety. Here Six Nations is putting pressure on groups far from the Reserve and extracting money from them - "so there will be no future problems of the work stoppage kind. A little co-operation, and things will go smoothly - just 'consult' and pay us our 'requested' consultation fee. You know all the nastiness that has happened in the past, surely you do not want a repeat of Caledonia 2006". That is a synopsis of the reality. Here follows the official announcement, which of course hides the truth.
The Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) announces to the Six Nations Community that they are seeking input for two proposed wind projects, "Gunn's Hill Wind Farm" in the Township of Norwich, Oxford County, and "Port Ryerse Wind Project" east of the town in Norfolk County. Ok, lets pause here for a moment to examine geography. Neither Oxford nor Norfolk Counties are or were within the Haldimand Tract, and so Six Nations do not even have a tenuous claim. It makes about as much sense as Six Nations asking for payouts for developments in the Alberta Tar Sands. That being said, lets look further into the document. Here is the bottom line, which is always money. Specifically, in relation to the Gunn's Hill Project, The proposed benefits include a potential 10% equity investment in the project which is estimated to generate revenue in excess of $3 million over 20 years, or a default royalty payment of $1,000 per MM/Year for the 20 year term of the FIT Contract ($360,000). In addition the developer is offering two (2) $4,000 annual post-secondary bursaries for the 20 year term of the FIT Contract. The Port Ryerse Project has a somewhat lower take, but mentorship of an on-reserve Small FIT solar development and a proposed Joint Venture development of future non-contracted renewable energy projects within which Six Nations could potentially own up to 15% in each contemplated project.
Sweet! One problem. Why is the town of Port Ryerse or for that matter Haldimand County not the recipients of these benefits? Why do Six Nations warrant any consideration whatsoever in these Projects? If some bogus claim to the Haldimand Tract can not be put forward, the only other option would seem to be reference to the bogus Nanfan Treaty of 1701 which has been entirely discredited. An exhaustively researched document on this subject can be found here. It rightly concludes that the treaty is completely invalid, since the Five Nations formally yielded any interest in the territory to their conquerors, the Mississauga, in June 1700. The Six Nations do not have a legitimate claim to one rabbit on the soil or bass in the waters of Southwestern Ontario, except on the Six Nations Reserve, let alone the huge sums of money that will flow like water simply because the power companies and their government enablers will not stand up and say, wait a minute, what is the rationale for including Six Nations in any consultation here? Why not consult with the residents of Waterloo? At least they have a university there with scientists who could provide expert input on the projects. There is a term that applies - "protection money". They continue to get away with it. Chicago north.
If these "gifts" without strings granted to Six Nations for no legitimate reason at all continue, one day someone is going to blow the whistle - and it will be time to pay back the ill gotten gains - that is assuming there is a government interested in truth and justice - indeed, I am a bit sceptical too. It is all about keeping a lid on things, and doing what it takes to avoid another Caledonia. Alas, since the Hereditary Council in not part of this deal, I foresee serious issues on that score alone, and unless they get their cut of the take, the deal is not going to happen - that is if history serves as a guide.
Update: Based on the Turtle Island News (28 January 2014, p.5), we have an answer as to how the HCCC might be placated so that the "deal" is not terminated. Here the Six Nations Elected Band Council will still negotiate with the above parties, but members of the entire community will be given the opportunity to invest in the project. Here, Investors will receive a 10 percent return for the next 20 years such that, If a community member invests $50,000, he or she could earn $5,000 a year for 20 years for a total of $100,000 and the return of the principal. Sweet - 10% guraranteed - and the company saying that if interest rates increase this will be reflected in the payout! Not that there are all that many at Six Nations with 50 grand to spare, but it is the idea.
Furthermore, there is another project near Port Ryerse coming into the picture with similar gains. Also a company from Quebec called Boralex has agreed to discuss possible projects, along the Haldimand Tract, in which Six Nations would own up to 15 percent of each project. Of course my perspective is that there is zero "unceded" land left in the Haldimand Tract, why shouldn't the residents of say South Cayuga Township derive the benefits - why Six Nations who have no aboriginal claim, nor any treaty rights that relate to the Haldimand Tract. So many misconceptions. This whole matter needs to go to the Supreme Court such that a ruling can let all developers know the truth of the situation, and unless the project is on the present day Reserve, Six Nations have no special rights that would entitle them to any consideration outside the current Reserve. Until then just mention Caledonia and expect "compliance". It seems to be working and no one in Government seems to have the guts to challenge the baseless claims. What a pathetic and sad situation. The Federal Government being held hostage, and encouraging it. Is this Canada, or some 4th dimension where things are all topsy turvy?