Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bizarre Twist in Dumping - Encroachment at Former Douglas Creek Estates: The OPP "Welcomed" to Assist with Confrontation!

Background to the Ontario Provincial Police Involvement in the Douglas Creek Estates Confrontation from 2006:  Since the embarrassing botched raid by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on 20 April 2006, and the horrible incidents of violence perpetrated by Six Nations both before and after this date - the OPP were basically persona non grata to many here abouts, as has been discussed in many previous postings.  They were in effect told by Six Nations leaders what their limits were, including the stark reality that if they were caught near the DCE site they could expect confrontation (translation - violence).  There was an instance where an officer responding to a call near DCE was surrounded by "protesters" and his life was clearly in jeopardy as his vehicle was surrounded by very angry "warriors".  He called for back up and, in what must be an almost unique event in the annals of policing, none was forthcoming.  In any other jurisdiction an "officer down" or "officer in immediate danger" call would result in all available personnel (even from other jurisdictions) rushing to the aid of the officer in peril, lights flashing and sirens screaming.  Nothing, the officer was left to his own devices.  It was actually a Six Nations member who ushered him out of the area and to safety.  Should anyone wish to read the specifics of this incident and other related matters, they can be found in Christie Blatchford, Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us, Doubleday Canada, Toronto, 2010.  An even more bizarre, in terms of law enforcement, situation has been the unwillingness to charge Natives for assaulting OPP officers, even when there is not only the sworn statement of the officer, but video taped evidence.  For some of these shocking examples (certainly to fellow police officers in other jurisdictions) see, Gary McHale, Victory in the No-Go Zone: Winning Against Two-Tier Policing, Freedom Press, Toronto, 2013.  See in particular, Chapter 7.

Six Nations Claims versus Province of Ontario Ownership Rights:  Between 2006 and 2014 Six Nations, particularly the Hereditary Council and affiliates such as the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) have considered the land to be Six Nations Territory, and will not let White people or the Ontario Provincial Police enter the premises - the former DCE, renamed Kanonhstaton ("The Protected Place").  The 40 hectares have supposedly been entered into the HDI's supposed Six Nations Land Registry.  In the view of the HDI, the Province of Ontario has given over right, title and deed to them.  However there is no documentation to support this assertion, and, importantly, the Elected Council, not the Hereditary Council (a competing faction) is the legally mandated entity at Six Nations to address matters pertaining to land (via the Land and Resources Department).

The fact is that in 2006 the Province of Ontario purchased the contested land from the owners, Henco Industries Ltd., and in effect placed the land in limbo (in trust) until they could decide what to do with it.  There was never any transfer from the Ontario Land Registry system to any purported Six Nations Land Registry - only in some fantasy world of HDI beliefs.  Despite the legal fact that the Province of Ontario owns the DCE (or Kanonhstaton if you would prefer), the "Welcome to Six Nations" sign and the Mohawk Warrior and Confederacy flags at the entrance reflect the fact that some at Six Nations still lay claim to DCE.  Allowing the OPP on Kanonhstaton to resolve issues would therefore be tantamount to admitting that Six Nations (through the HDI who claim the right to ownership and registration of the property) do not have secure title to the land.  Policing at Six Nations is the responsibility of the Six Nations Police, and this jurisdictional matter is tied to claims of sovereignty.

2014 and Six Nations Complaints about Garbage and Encroachment:  Recently I had blogged (see here) about the apparent hypocrisy of Six Nations complaints about the behavior of residents whose property abuts the DCE lands.  These families were among those most adversely impacted by the 2006 "take over".  Here we have a situation where this aggrieved group is accused of dumping on the abandoned property behind their residences, when Six Nations have been asked repeatedly to please clean up the ugly clutter left by them since 2006 all along Argyll Street at the southern entrance to Caledonia.  In 8 years, nothing, the property still bears the scars of the events of 2006 and the clutter that has accumulated since then. 

So some Six Nations members have issues about garbage and encroachments.  With the latter,   residents were expanding their lots onto DCE.  These actions have always been legal with abandoned land (in this case kept in limbo by the Province) - it is how I lost about one third of my registered acreage due to the actions, or lack of action, by the previous owner (although I did not find out until I had taken title to the land, and requested a new survey).

The OPP Arrive at DCE to Defuse the Situation:  So considering all of the above it was with a jaw dropping, "you have got to be kidding" response that I reacted to the latest update in the matter as noted in Turtle Island News, April 30, 2014, p.3, in an article entitled, "Fence bordering Kanonhstaton will go up after encroachment".  Recall that Six Nations has absolutely no legal rights to be putting up a fence on this property without the consent of the owners, the Province of Ontario.

The article reports that a Six Nations man attempted to pull out trees planted by one of the owners of property bordering DCE, and an altercation ensured with the resident calling the OPP.  Soon each party was joined by supporters with fellow residents filming the destruction of the trees.  Among those representing Six Nations was the HDI legal representative, the enigmatic Aaron Detlor, as well as a Confederacy Chief, and others.  Apparently some of the local homeowners did not approve of what their neighbours more proximal to DCE were doing, and expressed their displeasure to the Six Nations representatives who were there - thereby exposing the fact that there are two factions among the residents in the southern tier of Caledonia.

However, what is most mind boggling, and inexplicable, is that,  About seven OPP officers arrived to intervene with one officer saying he didn't care about the ownership of the land or the planting of the trees, but that he was there to keep the peace between the two groups.  Initially my interpretation was that the OPP were there as the Provincial police force to apply the law fairly and evenly to all groups irrespective of ethnicity.  However, on second thought, it is in keeping with their recently acquired "peacekeeping" duties (to protect the Natives from the local residents) in the two - tiered policing residents have come to expect since 2006.  See Gary McHale as noted above.

Why were the OPP "Allowed" to Intervene?:  What strikes me as quite perplexing is that the OPP were allowed by Six Nations to actively intervene.  However whether they actually stepped on to DCE or only on the lands owned by Caledonia residents is not clear.  It doesn't much matter, the actions of the OPP have been very consistent since 2006 - shelter the "Native" residents, and transport the "White" residents. 

It occurs though that if the land truly (in fact) belonged to Six Nations, then would not the proper party to call to during a confrontation at DCE be the Six Nations Police?  Since they were not called, nor, to the best of my knowledge, have they ever been called to DCE from 2006 to 2014, how can the HDI and fans continue to maintain the fiction of ownership?  Why have the Six Nations Police never been called to assist (anyone) at DCE?

The Province Responds:  Of course if the Province was doing its duty it would be reminding all that the HDI take on things is not only skewed, but utterly wrong.  The land belongs to the Province, plain and simple.  However, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs did spring into action last week, and, Notices were sent to neighbours .............. advising against the dumping.  I am not sure what "advising against" means.  Are there fines to be expected if the dumping continues?  What about the "encroachment"?  Why have the Six Nations not received similar notices at any point since 2006 to clean up the DCE dumping and vandalism to the property?  The Province, however, was apparently not prepared to tell Six Nations that they could not spend $25,000 to $45,000 to fence the land at the northern end of DCE.  I am assuming here that it will be the HDI who funds the project.  It is bad enough that the money (likely obtained illegally from "leaning on" naïve or "at wits end" developers), is being spent as if the land belonged to Six Nations; but if perchance the taxpayers of Ontario get stiffed with the bill, it would be reason for a "stern response" from Ontario taxpayers.

A Request by Six Nations Members to Assist in the Clean Up of DCE:  Again, in the "will wonders never cease" category, the front page of Two Row Times, April 30th, 2014 says "Come One, Come All" and shows Cam Staats on the DCE property with the residences at the north end of DCE in the background.  The caption reads, Cam Staats is one of a group of Six Nations people organizing a clean up of Kanonhstaton (former Douglas Creek Estates) on Saturday May 4th beginning 8am.  All people with good minds and who come in the spirit of peace, friendship are welcome to assist.  On page 3 there is more information, and Cameron Staats is in particular, inviting everyone who took part in the reclamation, in one way or another ........ Our Kanonhstaton remains like an abandoned child, so let's make her a showcase.  The invitation is extended to "allies" (hopefully not the Communist - Anarchist element), and neighbours - in other words White folk, for the sake of both Six Nations and Caledonia residents.  This is certainly a noble effort.  We will see how many of each group make an appearance.


Monday, 28 April 2014

Callous Disregard for Residents by Six Nations, Federal Conservative Government and Provincial Liberal Government: The Dunnville Grand Island Land Claim

After the horrors of the 2006 "reclamation" (illegal take over) of the Douglas Creek Estates property by Six Nations members, as events unfolded it became crystal clear that the latter had absolutely no empathy or regard for local residents impacted by their actions.  However, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to state in no uncertain terms that the evidence clearly demonstrates that there is no valid claim attached to that land (lawfully ceded by the Six Nations Chiefs in Council in 1844).  It is also the responsibility of the Provincial Government to stand four square behind their Land Registry system noting that all Crown Patents in the Haldimand Tract are valid and that owners can rest assured that their property rights are guaranteed.  Alas, none of these parties have acted responsibly, with the result that an air of uncertainty lies as a heavy dark cloud over any land transactions within the Haldimand Tract - no title is secure at this point in time.

A classic example of those impacted most directly (other than Henco Industries Ltd.) is the Rowe family who own the Grand Island Bar B Q on Lumber Island between Dunnville and Byng.  They are at present unable to sell his property due to the "contested" nature of the land, and neither the Federal Government nor the Provincial Government will step in to provide the hard evidence that the property was ceded in 1834.  I wonder if there is any evidence that Six Nations is concerned about the suffering of this man and his family - actually I don't wonder, because I know the answer. 

An article in the Sachem, seen here, will provide a sense of what Mr. Rowe was experiencing in 2012.  A comprehensive article is found here under the title, "Businessman's land battle"; or a similar article in "The Dunnville Chronicle" see here.  An update in the Sachem in January 2014, seen here, shows that Mr. Rowe, whose family has owned the property for 131 years, is still faced with the challenge of selling the property.  However the Grand Erie Business Centre is attempting to breath new life into the property since it is considered an asset to the business of the area.

A recent issue of the Sachem confirms that the problem has not gone away, and that Mr. Rowe is still squeezed between competing interests.  In an article of 18 March 2014, entitled, "Douglas Creek Estates:  The economic impact 8 years later" (see here), some local politicians such as the Mayor of Haldimand County, sees reason for optimism, not everyone feels the same way. Former Dunnville business owner David Rowe blames the challenges that he’s had with his business on unresolved land claims.

Rowe was the owner of Grand Island Bar-B-Q in Dunnville, which he has been trying to sell for several years. He said the issue of an unresolved land claim on his property has scared away interested buyers.

“A native land claim affected my property title, which prevented my ability to liquidate the land to pay off my debts,” Rowe said.

According to Rowe, Six Nations elected council, as well as the federal and provincial governments, have informed him about the claim on his 115-acre family property.

Lonny Bomberry, solicitor and lands and resources director with Six Nations elected council, confirmed that Six Nations started a legal process with the government concerning Rowe’s property in 1995, but the issue remains unresolved.

“Mr. Rowe’s situation is one of a kind,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley. “I know that many businesses have had some challenges recovering from the occupation. On the other hand, I know of many that have done very well since then.”

Buyers and sellers of land are not required to consult with Six Nations. Still, Rowe said he believes interested buyers are scared away because they’re not sure if the province will stand behind land title.

Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett said unresolved land claims continue to “cast a chill on business,” particularly the homebuilding and real estate business, eight years after Douglas Creek Estates.

“Unfortunately, people in the housing business have lost confidence that their buying and selling of land has the full support of government when there’s native activists involved,” Barrett said.

However, certain actions need to be taken - now.  The Provincial Government needs to report that a Crown grant was issued, and since the 1830s the land has been recorded in the Ontario Land Registry system, Haldimand County, Cayuga.  The government has to be willing to stand behind the truth, and not capitulate (or simply delay indefinitely) to the false assertions of Six Nations in this matter.  Perhaps this land claim should be set as an example and in the strongest terms state that if Six Nations believes that the Land Registry is in error, they need to produce evidence as to why, after 180 years, they as an outside party can step to the fore, make unwarranted assertions, and cause the financial ruin of a Canadian citizen who has a legally valid deed for his property.

I am very familiar with this property.  It is much like the Arbour in Port Dover where generations of my family have stopped in for a "foot long and a Glow".  At the Grand Island Bar B Q, it was the milkshakes, the rental boats, and the mini golf where my children and their cousins as well as two generations of adults would gather for a day of family get together.  My positive experiences here have led me to examine the facts of this dispute, and as a result stand 100% behind Mr. Rowe and his family in their attempt to seek justice.

The following map from the Haldimand County Atlas of 1879 (Page and Co.) shows that Lumber Island (Grand Island), above and to the right of the green patch in Byng, is part of Dunn Township.

File:Township of Dunn, Haldimand County, Ontario, 1880.jpg

Thus, the land surrenders pertaining to Dunn Township will show the early history of the transfer of ownership from Six Nations to the Crown in order that the latter use monies from the sale of their holdings here to augment the Six Nations Trust Fund.

In a previous blog pertaining to wind turbines, I examined the evidence relating to the surrender of South Cayuga and Dunn Townships.  I will repeat the information here.

Surrender Number 38 occurred on 8 February 1834, ten years prior to the general surrender of 1844, 21 of the "Sachems or Chiefs" of the Six Nations, doth grant, bargain, sell, release, surrender and for ever yield up to "His Majesty William the Fourth", the Township of Dunn, and the parts of Moulton, Canborough, and Cayuga Townships (later split into North and South Cayuga Townships) not already surrendered.  Those who signed included Henry Brant, Oneida Joseph, Jacob Martin, John [Smoke] Johnson, Laurence Davids, William Alvis, and Jacob Johnson, all well known and respected chiefs who participated in the surrenders of the 1840s which resulted in the Reserve taking its present shape.  See, Canada, Indian Treaties and Surrenders from 1680 to 1890, Vol.1, The Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 1891, pp. 91-94.  Soon after the surrender, Crown patents were issued to purchasers for the 100 acre lots that had been surveyed by Lewis Burwell, and the deeds were registered on title, and can be found to this day in the Land Registry Office in Cayuga.  So this begs the question, how can Six Nations claim "unceded" land in a parcel that was surrendered in its entirety, even the portion including the Grand River itself, in 1834.

In case Six Nations are trying to ferret out slight imperfections in the wording of the documents to further their probe for any "weaknesses" in order to try and recover lands to which there is not a hint of legal rights.  The surrender also mentions that the surrender, includes the waters of the Grand river, and furthermore, Together with all the woods and waters thereon lying and being, all and singular the rights, privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging, to have and to hold the said parcel or tract of land and premises, with their and every their appurtenances unto His said Majesty (pp.92-3).

It is unclear why Mr. Rowe's property is being singled out, but I recall a blockade and work stoppage in the 1980s on the lands immediately upriver on the opposite (north) side of the bridge connecting Dunnville and Byng.

Whatever Six Nations thinks they are owed or own, they are wrong.  The Federal Government needs to stand up and publically (not just in newspaper interviews with Department of Indian and Northern Affairs officials) announce that the records in the Indian Affairs Papers, RG10 Series, clearly and unequivocally show, along with the above surrender, that the lands have been correctly placed in the Ontario Land Registry system.  It is the duty of the Province to assert in the strongest terms that they stand behind their Land Registry, and if necessary then both levels of Government need to take Six Nations to Court should they ever attempt another work stoppage in the Grand Island (or other Haldimand Tract) area.  At that point a Court Injunction will be issued and if Six Nations HDI, CAP or other groups or individuals violate the Order in any manner, then fines and prison time will ensue if blatantly illegal activities here do not stop.  Someone needs to grow a set of .........., and show some teeth.

The evidence, based on my 35 years of research into the relevant records, and those presented to Justice Harrison Arrell of the Ontario Superior Court in Brantford in a recent Court ruling, needs to be made public, and someone in government grow a backbone to protect the legitimate rights of the citizens of Ontario and Canada.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Six Nations Poised to Disrespect and Shame Canada on the World Stage - Again

Here we go again.  I have heard all this time and time again, both recently, and in exploring the historical records, the same grumblings yearly back to the beginning of the "relationship" between the parties.  The spark for the present posting is an article written in "Turtle Island News", April 23, 2014, p.3 entitled, "Six Nations Band Council taking trip to New York to attend U.N".  In the past, Six Nations have used the United Nations (and earlier the League of Nations) as a platform to sound off on all of the perceived abuses experienced by Native people at the hands of Canada, who prides itself as a country which treats its citizens with respect.  Before reading the article I will predict here that the Six Nations delegation will try to convince the U.N. of the many perceived abuses Canada has perpetrated against its own Aboriginal peoples.

Background to Chronic Disagreements with Canada:  I think it is fair to say that Six Nations are by in large respectful of the (British) Crown, with whom they have had a largely positive relationship and shared history running between the years 1664 and 1867.

However, as Canada came to assert its independence, the British Crown began to transfer responsibilities to the "colonies" even before Confederation in 1867.  See here for a good overview of the subject.  Specifically, In 1860, the Management of Indian Lands and Property Act (Indian Land Act) brought about another fundamental change in First Nations' relations with the Crown. This Act transferred authority for Indian affairs to the colonies, enabling the British Crown to dispense with the last of its responsibilities towards its former allies. However, colonial responsibility for the management of "Indians and Indian lands" very soon became a federal responsibility with the creation of the new Dominion of Canada under the 1867 British North America Act.  

The next key development in the transfer of powers from the Crown to Canada was the "Indian Act".  Here, In 1876, the government introduced another piece of legislation that would have deep and long-lasting impacts on First Nations across Canada. The Indian Act of 1876 was a consolidation of previous regulations pertaining to First Nations. The Act gave greater authority to the federal Department of Indian Affairs. The Department could now intervene in a wide variety of internal band issues and make sweeping policy decisions, such as determining who was an Indian.

The various changes in the Indian Act and other legislation or attempted legislation show the complexity of the matter.  The "White Paper" of 1969 (attempting to repeal the discriminatory Indian Act), and Bill C-31 in 1985 to address inequities in relation to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are but two of the more important legislative initiatives.  Readers can consult the above reference for further information as applies to today.

In referring specifically to Six Nations, they have obsessed over three issues, pointing the finger of blame at Canada over three particular perceived "abuses"- all of which I have blogged about before.  These are:

1)  Colonialism: This accusation that Six Nations continues to be treated like a group under the thumb of some imperialist colonial regime inconveniently flies in the face of reality.  The mandate of Indian Affairs (and its successors) was / is to protect the interests of Native people who if, for example, were given land in fee simple, would likely in time of need sell the land and set the stage for complete assimilation.  This has happened before (back into early Colonial times) and the government has consistently attempted to keep communities intact - but can expect accusations of "colonialism" as their reward for the protection the Canadian Government efforts.  Colonialism in this context often refers to the perception of many at Six Nations that they are a sovereign people and should be given the rights of self - determination without government interference.  While this has a nice ring to it, if anything of this nature were to happen, and the Government of Canada turned over the keys to all programmes and services, anyone from here knows exactly what would happen.  The Elected and Hereditary Councils would be at each other's throats and nothing would be accomplished except a great deal of infighting and ultimately the irreparable tearing of the fabric of the community.  Many, however, live in a dream world unwilling or unable to picture what life would be like without Canadian laws, and Canadian taxpayer dollars.  Since no one living and working on the Reserve pays any taxes to Ontario, Canada, or even the Band Council to support the Reserve infrastructure, it should be evidence who is footing the bill for projects on Reserve - indeed, those Canadians living outside the Reserve boundaries who pay income taxes, and sales tax on virtually everything.  Just produce the "status card" and magically there is no need to bother paying any tax for most purchases.  Most Canadians would love to be free of paying taxes on gasoline - but they have no "status".  It seems like being given the privilege of a tax free life is pretty sweet - but is really "colonialism" so should it be abolished and we should install a system where everyone is treated the same - remove "colonialism", and we all pay the same taxes.  Seems eminently fair, and we wipe away all vestiges of colonialism (in this case special privileges).

2)  1924:  More blame that can be cast is over the shift in 1924 from a Hereditary Council to an Elected Council.  The myth is that this was imposed by Canada who used the strong arm of the RCMP to lock the doors to the Hereditary Council House.  In fact the action was in response to repeated and determined efforts by "progressive" elements at Six Nations (particularly among the educated Christian Mohawk) to ensure quality in their representatives (e.g., having some minimal educational standard).  As the Hereditary Council became more dysfunctional and uncooperative, the Federal Government gave in to the petitions and brought Six Nations in line with other Native communities (and the world) by instituting a body elected by the people.  Success means adaptation and change.  To remain static and accept something that is simply not working, is to remain mired in the past and left in the backwash as the whole world enters the information and technology age.  Romanticism about the "old ways" is fine, but deliberately choosing to walk the path to backwardness and marginalization and poverty only makes sense in the minds of those who expect to "be taken care of" - not having to work for what they get.

1924 is always a hot button issue here, despite the facts, it is always the big bad ole government who wiped away centuries of tradition.  Of course as all here know the Hereditary Council did not go anywhere and is still a viable and powerful force at Six Nations, doing it would seem everything in their power (e.g., by affiliated groups such as the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and Men's Fire) to ensure that their power is not only recognized, but in many cases surpasses that of the Elected Council.  This division remains the most divisive and acrimonious example of factionalism at Six Nations to this day, and to this day these parallel governing bodies still cannot agree on anything of consequence.  At least the Elected Council meets at regular posted intervals and they and their agencies have some modicum of transparency. 

3)  Residential Schools:  The third card to be played in the "blame game" is the Residential Schools.  However, whereas the horrors of this programme is very poignant in places such as Alberta, it is but another matter that has been "very controversial" at Six Nations.  Some refuse to "play the game" so that restitution money can be obtained, and are admirably honest.  As I have said before, elders who attended the Mohawk Institute have said, "at home we were beaten, went hungry, and learned nothing.  At school we were beaten, had three meals a day, and learned something".  In addition the Mohawk Institute is situated on the Six Nations Reserve and is within walking distance of the homes of many students.  Also many of the teachers at Six Nations were trained at the Mohawk Institute.  To use this as a battering ram against Canada, as an example of the abuses that they have supposedly experienced, is highly questionable.

Historical Attempts by Six Nations to Embarrass Canada on the World Stage:  It is one thing to have a dispute about this or that local issue and, if the cause is just, to push locally to effect a local (Canadian) solution.  However, history shows how a different approach (means to an end) has been deployed.  Over the years Six Nations members have sent delegations to England to meet with members of the Privy Council and the Upper House, and even the reigning Monarch, to address concerns.  The Four Indian Kings in 1710, Chief Joseph Brant Thayendanagea both before the American Revolution and after, Chief John Norton around the time of the War of 1812.  Their goal was to obtain redress for grievances (such as The Corporation of the City of Albany and the Van Horne et al. Patent claiming the very lands upon which the two remaining Mohawk villages were situated in 1776).  The chiefs were feted, wined and dined and had celebrity status in England.  However the successor, the Federal Government of Canada through the Indian Department and subsequent incarnations, did not inherit this goodwill.  There were legitimate complaints, such as questions about the Trust Fund monies, and the losses experienced by Six Nations due to bad investment decisions by trustees such as using primarily Six Nations money to prop up the Grand River Navigation Company.  These issues have never been adequately addressed by Canada and have remained open sores as far as Six Nations is concerned.  Complaints, some perfectly reasonable, and others highly questionable, continued to simmer.

In 1917, as Canada became embroiled in World War 1, Cayuga Chief Deskahe, Levi General, went to the League of Nations in Geneva Switzerland to present a list of grievances against Canada.  Irrespective of the veracity (or not) of his words, he created a lot of embarrassment for Canada.  The basis of his claim was the Two Row Wampum, whose link to proving Six Nations sovereignty was a given according to some Chiefs at Six Nations; and to many historians little more than a long standing belief without any supporting evidence.  The actions of Deskahe may have factored into the reasons why the Canadian Government installed an new elected system at Six Nations in 1924.  Deskahe's visit was considered by some to be a slap in the face of Canada, and very disrespectful, and at the very least controversial.  See here for the a synopsis of the life of this important figure in Six Nations history.

These accusations stand in stark contrast to the reality, which includes the billions of dollars in transfer payments and welfare payments made by the Federal Government using Canadian taxpayers dollars.  There is an old saying, "don't bite the hand that feeds you" but it is ignored at Six Nations.  Even with the current controversy over Bill C-10 which would criminalize the transport and trafficking of contraband cigarettes, a huge industry at Six Nations, leaders have demanded that the Canadian Government provide more handouts to compensate for poor choices made by people on the Reserve a generation ago.  So instead of self - reliance, we see more and more dependency - reliance on the Federal Government which is a huge cash cow for Six Nations.  Six Nations is one of a number of Native groups whose behavior has been criticized by prominent and forward thinking and successful Indian leaders such as Clarence Louie, Chief of the British Columbia Osooyoos Band for the last 29 years; and Tsimshian lawyer Calvin Helin, "Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty Through Self-Reliance", Woodland Hills, Ravencrest Publishing, 2008.  Too much dependency, not enough self - reliance.

The fact is that the Six Nations are not even aboriginal to the Haldimand Tract (the Mississaugas are aboriginal here) but rather Upstate New York, USA.  Also there is, unlike the groups under the "Robinson" category of treaties to the north and west, no treaty with the Six Nations.  The latter pretend that they have "treaty rights" based on a fraudulent document.  In fact the 1701 "Nanfan Treaty" is nothing more than a parchment detailing an expectation of an agreement about the right to hunt in lands they stole from the Huron and others in the 1640s and 50s through conquest (in this case genocide, eradicating entire tribes from the face of the planet).  These were lands, in Southwestern Ontario, that the Five (later Six) Nations did not possess at the time of the agreement in 1701.  The lands in fact were taken from them by the Mississauga 5 years earlier (1696) by conquest.  Hence even if the Nanfan document is something more than a mere trade agreement, it is still bogus since it pertained to lands that the Five Nations did not own.

There have been numerous legislative changes and add ons over the years, with the Canadian Federal Government taking on a less paternalistic role and attempting to address the needs of the diverse Bands across the country.  However it is typical to level accusations of paternalism and other trumped up charges.  If it was ever determined that Canada was doing an outstanding job in addressing the needs of all First Nations peoples, the entire "Indian industry" (including the Chiefs of some Reserves padding their own bank accounts and those of family members with taxpayer dollars) would come crumbling down.  However just about every possible negative epithet has been leveled at Canada, who consistently seems damned if they do and damned if they don't.  It is ironic that Canada is being blamed for stalled land claims, the criminalization of contraband cigarettes, and so on yet is supposed to magically address the realities that cannot be fixed by anyone except those who are members of the Six Nations Community.  Self - reliance is the key to moving forward into the 21st Century, but that holds perils and risks - so better to just play the blame game and dispense with any pretext of the need for personal responsibility.

Present (2014) Trip by Six Nations Contingent to the United Nations:  Based on the information in TIN, the Elected Chief is planning to attend a U.N. meeting in May to address the, "continued imposition of legislation on aboriginal people"......... "without our free, prior and informed consent".  The Chief and two advisors will also bring up the issue of land rights.  It is the stated goal of Chief Hill to help, "to shame Canada because they like to portray that they're a champion of human rights".  They apparently hope to learn about better ways to cope with "colonialization".  Of course the listeners at the U.N. will not have the evidence with respect to "land rights" to hand.  Those of us who have access to this documentation look forward to the day when these claims are addressed in front of a panel of experts who can examine all of the evidence and determine the truth.  As someone who has examined all of the records in the matter, I agree with the statement of Justice Harrison Arrell of the Ontario Superior Court that if the matter is brought to Court, Six Nations have a "very weak case" - this based on the report submitted during the 2008-2009 Brantford Injunction case where the researchers provided a description of the specific land surrenders with references that any interested party can check.  The Six Nations Lands and Resources Department has held copies of these records since the 1970s.  Since the Six Nations land researcher is among those slated to be present at the U.N. in May, one wonders what he is thinking when he has had access to all these records for over 40 years.

So more shaming of Canada for alleged and unproven abuses.  The reality though is that they will have the ear of those who want to believe what they are hearing, whatever the truth of the matter.

I am hoping that the money to "shame Canada" is not coming from the Canadian taxpayers, which would be the ultimate irony and the ultimate insult.  This is money being spent on an unjust "cause" and if they want to perpetuate myths, then the money should come from their own pockets.  Perhaps it does.  Perhaps someone will ask this question at the U.N. meeting.

Fair and Equitable Resolution:  In situations such as this it makes me think that the only way things are ever going to improve for all parties is to state, the tap dispensing flowing funds is being turned off.  Without question the average Canadian taxpayer would like to wash their hands of the whole business, but also want to be fair.  First though, the false land claims would need to be addressed in Court.  If there are any proven irregularities in the Trust Fund or other issues, then it too should be explored as far as the remaining records will allow.  However, if in the course of exploring all of the evidence it is proven that Six Nations have been over paid, and that there are debts with interest that has accrued, these funds will have to be returned to the taxpayers or liens placed on any and all assets.  There needs to be a reimbursement for the immense expenses in the multi million dollar debacle that was Caledonia 2006.  It is only fair, especially considering the fact, as expressed in the opinion of the Superior Court of Ontario, and the Federal Government researchers, that there is no basis for any land claim by Six Nations.  In other words there is no data of any description that would justify the allocation of any parcels of land to Six Nations.

The one way street with Six Nations playing the role of victim, and Canada as the ogre, will have to be examined in the cold light of the evidence and things need to be made right before any and all can go on with their lives without the "Sword of Damocles" hanging over their heads.  However, it is my opinion that this is not the route Six Nations wishes to travel.  There are significant risks associated with exposing the evidence and the truth to the light of day.  Perhaps this is why with all the bluster, many would prefer to continue with the status quo, and reap whatever benefits can be garnered by a creative interpretation of the facts (e.g., leaning on land developers, wind turbine and pipeline corporations for "compensation and accommodation" monies).   Many will continue to hope that  the public will remain naive enough to accept the Six Nations view, thanks to a tendency to identify with the underdog, the perceived victim - irrespective of the truth.  It is disheartening, but not unexpected, to see the truth held in such low esteem - and subservient to an array of "causes".


Six Nations Complaints of Dumping Garbage at Former Douglas Creek Estates: Invalid Land Ownershp Beliefs and Possible Hypocracy

Background to the Douglas Creek Estates Controversy:  On 28 February 2006 the approximately 40 acre housing development known as Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) in the southern tier of Caledonia was "reclaimed" by Six Nations.  There are irrefutable facts that the land was on title in the Ontario Land Registry system (the deeds going back in sequence all the way to the Crown grant are in Cayuga), and that the land was ceded by the Six Nations Chiefs in Council in 1844, and ratified by 66 Chiefs in Council in 1845.  However in the 1980s the Elected Council decided to contest what the ancestors had done based on whatever perceived irregularity could be found - there were bound to be some because few record collections from 150 years ago will be without missing documents.  So the land claims researcher was able to come up with 29 claims which were filed with the Federal Government.  The objective here was to use Canada's legal system to create a list of "contested" lands, in the expectation that some sort of settlement, involving land or money would eventuate.

The Lands and Resources Department of the Six Nations Elected Council had decreed that DCE was the subject of a land claim and was therefore "contested" land.  Negotiations between Six Nations and the Federal Government for return of land ran into the brick wall of evidence.  The Federal Government maintains that the land was properly ceded in 1844, and that the Ontario Land Registry system pertaining to this property is valid.  The claim for the return of the land was abandoned in 1995, and the focus from that point was on monetary compensation for Trust Fund irregularities and similar fiscal issues such as investments in the Grand River Navigation Company.  However on the Lands and Resources website the original 29 land claims are still visible, and the reader could be easily led to believe that these properties were still on the table.  Lands and Resources does not seem to have done anything to clarify the present status (that the focus is on monetary compensation), and many believed that Six Nations "owned" Caledonia - something I have heard at meetings time and time again - and no one has ever stood up to clarify the matter.  The Federal Government has also not been sufficiently open about the facts, leaving open the door for people to make assumptions and act upon them.  Thus people who had not read the Council Minutes from the 1840s (local copies are in locked cabinets at Lands and Resources but require a Band Council Resolution to view - at least that was the case when I checked 20 or so years ago) would be subject to being led down a false path.

Facts, evidence and the truth do not mean much in some quarters - beliefs rule.  The property was occupied by those who were "believers", and asserted that the land belonged to Six Nations.  The Ontario Provincial Police botched a raid designed to address a Court Order from the Ontario Superior Court in Cayuga, to remove the protesters (trespassers).  Six Nations members executed a violent take over of the property, "expelled" the OPP, and declared the land to be theirs, giving the property a new name, Kanonhstaton ("The Protected Place").

Debris and Trash Accumulate Deposited by Six Nations During the Takeover and Subsequent Events:  In the process of the "reclamation" many scars were left on the landscape.  What is worse is that the Six Nations involved deliberately created those unsightly monstrosities, and appear to take pride in keeping everything intact - 8 years later.  Eight years of driving by the hideously unsightly southern entrance to Caledonia.  The same 53 foot burned out transport trailer.  The same twisted barricades made of stolen Hydro One towers, and bedecked with Confederacy and Mohawk Warrior flags flank the entrance way.  The word "unsightly" does not quite do justice to what one sees.

Sachem photo by Jennifer Vo

Later in 2006, when desperation had set in on the part of the Province of Ontario, they provided compensation for the many citizens impacted by the physical and psychological violence, and purchased the land from the developers.  At the time the Hydro One tower was placed across Argyll Street and, oddly, instead of bringing in the SWAT team or the army and heavy equipment, the decision was to capitulate to terrorism.  The government even made the deal more enticing - basically, "if you remove the barricades, we will give you the former Burtch Correctional Centre" (in the "contested" Burtch Tract).  Lots of candy, and apparently low expectations on what Six Nations (the perpetrators in this situation) would do in return.  Apparently good will was not part of the mix.  Residents expected that the Six Nations would have enough pride to clean up the mess they had made along Argyll Street.  It was my understanding that the barricades and associated debris would be taken away.  It is not an unreasonable expectation.  It is 8 years later and the site has not changed - it is still a disgusting mess.  Since Six Nations apparently believe that the land is now theirs, and have given the property a special name, there is no reason to let the whole place "go to seed", and fall into a state of decay.  It seems to the present author that the Hereditary Council (who negotiated the deal) have shirked their responsibility.  It would have taken very little effort to organize a clean up campaign - after all, within a very short time every imaginable piece of heavy equipment was on site to destroy Argyll Street and the local infrastructure in the vicinity - so fixing the mess .............

Local residents had for years pleaded with Six Nations leaders to address the eyesore that was a painful reminder of the bad days of 2006.  No response.  No one seemed to care.

Complaints by Six Nations that Caledonia Residents were Dumping Garbage at DCE:  In "Turtle Island News", April 16, 2014, p.7 is an article entitled, "Kanonhstaton dumping escalating as Earth Day rolls around".  Apparently the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (who claim the land as "theirs") are, facing cleaning up the dumping of trash on reclaimed Six Nations lands in Caledonia.  Apparently the dumping is being done by, Caledonia residents who live adjacent to the reclaimed lands.

Thus it is with disgust, but not surprise, that I find out that the representative of the Hereditary Council charged with land development should engage in a rant full of righteous indignation about how the local residents (many of whom were adversely impacted by the all terrain vehicles and spotlights and loud music that pounded them for months on end from the DCE site) are being "racists".  The representative said, it is the same thing of that racism, that same kind of mentality they're using against us.  All we're thought of is as garbage.  Furthermore, it is a reflection on what those citizens think of our people.  A more rational interpretation is that the land has been abandoned for 8 years and has become infested with woodticks - so if those who claim "ownership" of this property don't care, why should local residents who have a legitimate beef with individuals who caused them so much distress.  Apparently, according to the Haudenosaunee representative, 15,000 saplings have been planted at the western end of the former Douglas Creek Estates.  Perhaps, I just have not seen this plantation in my perambulations.

Claims of Representatives of Hereditary Council as to Ownership of DCE:  In the above article the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) Director then spoke of a plan to establish a fence around the property.  However, as has been the case in the past, serious misinterpretations of the facts seem to be apparent here in relation to who at this time actually owns the land.  As far as I know, it is the Provincial Government who is holding the land "in trust" until such time as a true settlement can be reached - or until justice is done and Six Nations are told that as of the year 1845 they had absolutely no further legal claim on the land.  However, the HDI Director said, I have not spoken with Haldimand County and don't intend to.  It's Six Nations land.  It has been put in the Confederacy land registry.  I suppose that there is such a registry, but it has not a sliver of any sort of legal standing.  The Director added, it is Six Nations land, it is in our land registry.  There is no need to negotiate it.  Even if such a registry is in place, not only does it have no standing with Ontario or the Federal Government, it would have no legal recognition from the Elected Council whose Lands and Resources Department would be charged with establishing such a registry.  Since the Elected Council and the Hereditary (Confederacy) Council are essentially not on speaking terms (and have not been since 1924) it would only create another wedge within the Community. 

So in the world of reality, the local residents are pitching garbage on DCE, and in some cases are extending their own property lines into this unused and untended property.  Despite what the HDI Director says, and the sign says at the entrance to the DCE, it is owned by the Province of Ontario at this point in time (never removed from the Ontario Land Registry), and if the land is abandoned then after a set number of years, an adjacent property owner who has used the land (e.g., by ploughing or fencing it unchallenged) will be able to include this acquisition to their own property deed.

Does the Word Hypocrisy Apply?:  The main point here, however, is to juxtapose the present actions of Caledonia residents with the previous actions of Six Nations residents.  On the one hand there are complaints by certain Six Nations members about Caledonia residents using the DCE property as a dump.  On the other hand the Six Nations who claim this land, and even gave it a "sacred" name, had no problem in trashing the property in 2006, and have taken no steps whatsoever to clean up the debris field near the entrance - despite repeated requests by Caledonia residents.  Some might interpret these complaints about Caledonia residents dumping trash as an irrational and narcissistic way of thinking by some Six Nations members.  Some may be left wondering about the inconsistency, or apparent hypocrisy and tendency to see themselves as special, and as a group who do not have to play by the rules of a civilized society, but are outraged when others (who are not "special") mimic what they typically do with impunity.  All very much beyond the pale in my attempts to understand the reasoning here.  If the place looks like a dump, and there are no signs to say it is not a dump, so is it any surprise that it is used as a dump?  Two wrongs do not make a right, and I am not supportive in any way of what Caledonia residents have been doing - but these actions are perfectly understandable, considering the dynamics of events beginning in 2006.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Brantford Court Injunction and Fine Levied Against Six Nations Members: Answer as to Who Will Pay - Sort Of

It appears that the fate of the group of protesters facing a very stiff fine for engaging in illegal work stoppages in Brantford in 2008 and 2009, has been revealed.  Of course, since we are talking about Six Nations, and political implications, it is going to be complex and bring to light the inherent factionalism which permeates virtually every facet of dealings at Six Nations.  To those of us who do not attend Elected or Hereditary Council meetings (only reporters tend to be present), news of a settlement in the offing in the above matter (5 years after the Court Injunction and trial) was something of a surprise.  Recent articles from each of the two Reserve newspapers shed light on the matter - and highlight the immense divisions dogging everything in that quarter.

Article in Two Row TimesIt is apparently a surprise to just about everyone that the City of Brantford was offered a settlement in this case dating back to 2009.  This according to an article, Brantford accepts $125,000 injunction deal, "Two Row Times" (TRT), April 9th, 2014, p.2.

As a review of this matter, after numerous work stoppages at various construction sites in Brantford, the developers succeeded in obtaining an injunction against the Six Nations protesters (or "land protectors"), and as a consequence a series of well known activists, along with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), which is an arm of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC), including its director and the lawyer for this group (HDI), faced the prospect of coming up with the cash to pay a very stiff fine.

However, what is important to note is that the Court, thanks to the Indian Act of 1876, is unable to garnishee wages or in any way secure assets of the persons engaging in illegal acts as long as those assets are located on the Reserve.  Specifically, Section 89, states that, the real and personal property of an Indian or a Band situated on a reserve is not subject to charge, pledge, mortgage, attachment, levy, seizure, distress or execution in favour or at the instance of any person other than an Indian or a Band.  Thus an Indian can commit an indictable act and expect only jail time (if that) but will not have to pay any fine levied in the case as long as they ensure that all assets are kept on reserve.  If it seems unfair, and as if a double standard is being applied, that is correct, a non - Indian would have their wages garnisheed and their house sold or whatever it took to obtain the full amount of the fine, or a settlement for what they might reasonably have the ability to pay (by throwing themselves on the leniency of the Court).

I have blogged about the original circumstances and the judgment of Justice Harrison Arrell of the Ontario Superior Court in Brantford in 2009.  The amount levied as a fine was initially $1.2 million, reduced to  $350,000 plus interest against well known activists Floyd and Ruby Montour, some lesser known individuals, "John and Jane Doe", as well as Hazel Hill the (then interim) director of the HDI and Aaron Detlor the legal council for the HDI.  All along it was realized that only the latter two could be expected to have assets sufficient to pay a fine of this extent.  The HDI has for years been raking in thousands upon thousands of dollars by a mafia - like racket where developers are tapped on the shoulder to pay an "application fee" to permit the development of their own land (registered and on title in the Ontario Land Registry system).  The going rate was typically from $3,000 to $7,000 and to avoid trouble (work stoppages when a van load of goons arrived and would keep equipment from reaching the site).  Many developers thought it prudent to "play the game" and cave in to the extortion - like behaviour since there was little chance of any law enforcement body protecting their interests.  Since the "Ipperwash Inquiry" following the death of Dudley George, the Ontario Provincial Police, to avoid another embarrassing repeat of Ipperwash, have engaged in "peacekeeping" actions, not law enforcement.  If developers tried to legally remove the "protesters" trespassing on their land, even with a Court order, the OPP would side with the protesters and ensure that legal owners or their representatives faced arrest if they tried to go about their business when "protesters" were present.  The only recourse to those who refused to pay was to obtain a Court injunction (pre-emptive or post facto).  It is the role of the Ontario Provincial Police to enforce the injunction and at least take the offenders off site to be booked at the local OPP detachment - however this is not the actions taken by our "peacekeepers".  Developers might expect some assistance from the OPP as long as the numbers of protestors are small, and hoards of Six Nations reinforcements unlikely to arrive (as happened thanks to the proximity of the Reserve via 6th Line and Stirling Street at the Douglas Creek Estates "reclamation" in Caledonia 2006).  Generally, since 2006, when an Indian action is involved, we have only seen the Ontario Pathetic Police in Haldimand County.

The reporer in the above noted article noted that it is unknown who will actually pay the $125,000.  Apparently the Montours knew nothing of the deal, and according to the reporter, the fact that they have not been kept in the loop is troublesome to say the least, adding that, One of the premises of the HDI is consultation and what is obvious here is the complete lack of transparency concerning this settlement offer.  Apparently the City of Brantford lawyer, Kimberley Farrington, was herself surprised that an offer was made to settle as they had held 'faint hope' any monies would be recovered. 

The only entity in a position to pay the fine is either the HDI (swollen with, what some might say, are its ill gotten gains), or its lawyer, who as a member of the Ontario Bar would be required to pay debts owed or face disbarment.  To the present author this lawyer, Aaron Detlor whose summary legal profile is seen here, is a man of mystery.  It is not clear whether he is a Band Member or not.  The Mohawk Nation News calls him a "non-native ambulance chaser" - see here.  Apparently he took some proactive steps to ensure that his assets off reserve could not be touched, selling his house in Toronto in 2013, and placing all of his recoverable assets on the Reserve.  Realistically the only one who would seen to have any reason to settle is the one with the most to lose, Mr. Detlor.  If disbarred, he would no longer be a lawyer with a license to practice in Ontario.  Clearly this whole HDI shtick is not the "cash cow" that was the case in the years immediately following the Caledonia 2006 situation, when the HDI came from nowhere to enter the ranks of the many groups at Six Nations claiming to represent Six Nations in this or that situation with developers, government or whomever.  Mr. Detlor had previously hoped that the "Community" would pick up the tab for the fine.  Perhaps this is true, but that would pose problems for whomever was anteing up since being invisible is only going to open the door to more and more questions.  To the present author, initially it did seem most likely that the person with the most to lose would pick up the tab, whether with infusion of cash from HDI or not could only be a matter of speculation.

The reporter of the above article stated that, Having the City of Brantford able to collect funds from the HDI is not fundamentally different than the City collecting from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council itself.  The author then makes a very interesting comment which is worth quoting in full:

How and why is this being allowed to happen?

The precedent set forth here could feasibly cripple Six Nations' efforts to protect its interests on lands across Brantford and the Haldimand Tract if a municipal corporation can pass laws to effectively circumvent treaty rights, the Federal government's Indian Act and our structures of governance.

The big question that is yet unanswered, is who really made this offer and under what circumstances?

The answer was soon to come, via an article in the competing Reserve newspaper.

Article in Turtle Island News:  It is possible that my guess / surmise was at least partially or wholly wrong.  In "Turtle Island News" (TIN), April 16, 2014, p.4 there is an article, "Brantford injunction settlement may have sparked libel suit", where we find that the plot thickens.  Apparently Branford officials disavow of ever having spoken to the reporter in the above article, and thus in essence revealing confidential information.  Here, Brantford city council is investigating how legal documents outlining a settlement of the Brantford-Six Nations injunction case were leaked to an area newspaper that may also be facing a libel suit.  Thus it seems that the reporter, and "Two Row Times" may become embroiled in a legal suit. 

There are two parties who are allegedly upset with the reporter and the newspaper, the Brantford city council, and the Haudenosaunee Development Institiute (HDI).  The latter, a wing of the Haudenosaunee Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) are, "considering a libel suit".  The reason, since the HDI agreement lacked transparency (an accusation made by multiple individuals multiple times including the reporter for TRT), and that their actions were "troublesome".  There is an old expression, "if the shoe fits .......... ".  Apparently, according to the Director of the HDI, the reporter also "exposed my family to ridicule and hurt", by revealing personal financial information.  I am not sure is if there is a hypersensitivity here, or a hidden agenda, but the present author cannot see this sort of information anywhere in the article in Two Row Times.  Bear in mind that the author of the Turtle Island News is the editor of TIN, an avowed supporter of the HCCC, and that Two Row Times is a newspaper in direct competition with TIN.

The TIN article also reports that it is the HCCC who will be footing the bill, with nothing coming out of "community money", largely because five of those charged where in fear of losing their homes, pensions and being in financial distress.  This despite the fact that no one can come after assets on the Reserve, thanks to section 89 of the Indian Act.  The two lawyers informed of the acceptance of the settlement offer were Aaron Detlor of the HDI council, and the lawyer for two elderly activists well known to everyone hereabouts.  Apparently Detlor had informed the HCCC that all was lost and that the City of Brantford "was seeking $1.2 million in costs".  The HDI Director explained that, the money will come from administration fees the HDI has been able to raise through its programs, and not from any monies received from developments.  However, where the "administration fees" were found is not explained.  Apparently the Federal Government and the City of Brantford were about to launch, "a plan of litigation against the Haudenosaunee".  Furthermore, the Director of the HDI has concluded that the article in Two Row Times, "is jeopardizing the rights of the Haudenosaunee", and could "cripple efforts to recover lands".  The present author is unable to understand the rest of the concerns and rationale being expressed by the Director of the HDI, against the City of Brantford, the Federal Government, or the reporter of the TRT, so I will leave things here.  One wonders if the whole matter boils down to the reporter (JW) stating the obvious, which in turn touched a nerve in the Director of the HDI who has been under considerable criticism; and HDI may have become redundant (obsolete) now that the Elected Council's version of the HDI, the Consultation and Accommodation Policy (CAP) with their own lawyer, a Community member, Lonny Bomberry, is up and running and has made deals with the big players such as Samsung.

Response by TRT to the Accusations in TIN:  In responding to the threats of a libel suit made against the newspaper Two Row Times by the Director of the HDI (supported by the Hereditary Council), Elected Council member Helen Miller wrote a letter to the editor wherein she questions the Director's stated reasons for acting to effect a settlement in the above case.  She goes on to say that the assets of those who reside on the Reserve cannot be touched.  The only one vulnerable is the HDI lawyer, Aaron Detlor, and, the only butt the CC [Hereditary Council] is protecting is Detlor's butt.  Councilor Miller also notes that the Hereditary Council has changed recently, and not for the good since the HDI took over the helm.  She also questions why the Clan Mothers and Chiefs haven't had community meetings to update all on the development deals "negotiated" but the HDI, with everything shrouded in secrecy.  Furthermore, At this point in time the HDI/CC still hasn't accounted to the community for any money generated from the development deals or the fees charged to developers.  Neither has there been any accountability as to where the 'administration' money comes from.  People often ask: 'Who is funding the HDI?'  Councillor Miller speculates that due to the apparent close relationship between the Hereditary Council and HDI with the Provincial Liberal Government of Kathleen Wynne, perhaps this is the source of the administrative funding.

It is interesting that Councillor Miller chose to publish her letter in TRT, not in Turtle Island News which is highly supportive of the Hereditary Council.  One wonders if the former is aligning itself with the Elected Council and the latter with the Hereditary Council so each newspaper has a different "flavor".

Response of TIN to the Continued Infighting Concerning the Injunction:  The Editor of TIN, in an Editorial of April 23, 2014, p.6, talks about how the, fur has been flying over unsubstantiated claims that the Confederacy Council is somehow jeopardizing Haudenosaunee sovereignty by paying a $175,000 court fee imposed on the community by a provincial judge, who was way out of his league in imposing it in the first place.  The statement is not supported by anything but belief.  Justice Harrison Arrell was given the task of stopping illegal work stoppages, and he did that with a remarkable degree of success.  The statements of the Editor seem to come perilously close to libel - but I am not a lawyer.  It is the opinion of the Editor that the reason that the key to understanding the reasons for effecting a settlement in the matter was that the HDI were a named party in the Injunction, as well as John and Jane Doe of Six Nations.  In her opinion, the entire court fight was really a move to get rid of the Confederacy's department and leave the Confederacy once again without the staff to help push its land rights case in Canada.  In addition, according to the Editor, the Confederacy, led the talks that brought down the barricades and brought back Burtch before the talks stalled when the [Elected] band council walked from the table and has yet to provide a reasonable answer for walking.  The whole matter of the Burtch lands will be the subject of a later posting.

The Editor of TIN eventually got to the point in saying that, What paying the bill will do is alleviate pressure on Six Nations people living off reserve whose holdings could be garnisheed (pensions by the way can be) or confiscated to pay the bill and let's remember there are over 15,000 band members living off reserve who make up the John and Jane Doe named in the lawsuit.  Also, It was about helping the people.  To suggest it was anything else or to try to claim it was only to benefit Detlor who may live off reserve is in fact libelous since it accuses Detlor of misuse of community money to pay his own legal fees which has no basis in fact or truth and as such damages his reputation.  Since the HDI is about as transparent as a wall of granite, I am not sure how the Editor can come to such a firm conclusion.  Irrespective, the bottom line according to the Editor is that, The Confederacy has no way of knowing if the city would attempt to take the assets of Haudenosaunee living off reserve.  Should not Detlor know whether it is possible or likely that the Corporation of the City of Brantford would or could in fact come after assets of people who for example live in Toronto to pay for a situation in Brantford - is John and Jane Doe really some sort of coded warning to all Six Nations people wherever they happen to live?  Detlor is a lawyer called to the Bar in Ontario.  He should know the answer - however he is the mystery man, whose ties to the Community are a big question mark.  His agenda here is a matter for speculation since there is nothing on record that would clarify things.  So the Editor guesses, and the present author guesses, but do either of us really know?  The statement on the cover page to TRT (9 April 2014) that, It is unclear who exactly is paying the costs of the settlement is, at this point, entirely correct.  Some party or parties associated with the Hereditary Council would be about all one can say with reasonable certainty.

While the Director of the HDI may have concerns, there are a lot of issues of an even wider ramification.  What this whole business brings to the surface is the gross double standard allowing Six Nations to hide behind the Indian Act since there may not be any consequences to a protest which cripples developers.  All they need to do is to retreat back behind the walls of the Reserve boundary, and they are safe - using laws meant to protect them.  Instead they may, sometimes, with impunity create havoc in the surrounding community.  Perhaps the Indian Act needs "amending" - or gradually withdrawn in order to ensure that all Canadians are equal in the eyes of the law.  Right now that is just a sick joke where, as with the approach used by the Ontario Provincial Police, there is one approach for Six Nations, and another for other locals in the vicinity.

If one views this through the lens through which Caledonia residents must look, it is eminently unfair - there is no other way to see the matter.  If, next time, the City of Brantford (or County of Haldimand) were to use the law of the land, and work with the Federal Government, there is a real prospect of recovering "costs" which may be in the millions of dollars.  In the above case the settlement reached cut short this step in relation to the Corporation of the City of Brantford.  Perhaps the next time there will be no settlement, only the full weight of the law applied fairly and without prejudice.  At some point, it will be necessary to tally up all of the costs associated with the Six Nations Community action of 2006 and beyond in relation to Caledonia,  Here, with a Court case that may go all the way to the Supreme Court, and all of the facts laid out on the table, the Province, Federal and local governments stand to recover multi millions of dollars in what would be a just and fitting example to those who would flaunt the law and cause irreparable damage to innocent parties such as citizens of Caledonia who by chance happened to live in proximity to the Douglas Creek Estates. 

Long Term Solution - All Assertions of Sovereignty, Treaty Rights, and Land Claims must go to Court - Not the Negotiating Table:  I make no bones about it, I would desperately like to see the whole matter go to Court with every shred of evidence brought to bear on the task of determining the truth.  If one only seeks the truth, then the robust facts will speak loudly, and they will drown out the thin data that Six Nations could bring to Court - I have seen it and it simply would not measure up.  In the above Turtle Island News Editorial of 23 April 2014, the Editor said that the HDI had followed the wishes of the Hereditary Council (HCCC), and did not take the documents or treaties or wampums into court that could have saved them all.  That would have been a very unlikely scenario.  In fact Justice Arrell asked for a report by a treaty and historical research team in Ottawa, and based on the findings from the Library and Archives Canada, the RG10 Indian Affairs Papers, if the Six Nations wish to pursue land claims in Court, then they have a "very weak case". 

Surely all know that based on the real evidence (not on soft data such as hearsay or "oral history" that are subject to significant biases) Six Nations will lose.  I have detailed the fallacy of using the Two Row Wampum to address the matter of sovereignty; the fraud that was perpetrated by the then Five Nations in making the 1701 Nanfan request (it was not a treaty); and the indisputable fact that all of the lands claimed by Six Nations were ceded by the Chiefs in Council by 1848 (the last issue being the Burtch Tract which in the latter year the Chiefs agreed should be surrendered and sold with monies going to the Six Nations Trust Fund).  See here for detailed information on the evidence pertaining to all three matters.  So, bring it on, and let the facts speak - and be prepared for an unfavourable outcome that has the potential to shake Six Nations beliefs to the core.  Wishing it be true does not make it thus.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Contraband Tobacco, Bill C-10 and Six Nations: Threatened Violence and Protests Loom Over Haldimand and Brant

Background to the Bill C-10 Controversy:  The matter of Bill C-10, and its potential impact on one of the mainstays of the economy at Six Nations, contraband tobacco, has been heating up lately as the date of the probable passage of this Bill into law looms.  Threats of violence and other action which could / would impact Haldimand and Brant should the Bill pass, have even been issued. 

Earlier I provided some background to the problem as seen here.  First, a quick review of some of the salient points would be in order before exploring the latest developments.

The infiltration of illegal contraband (untaxed) tobacco into the Six Nations Community, which began about 35 years ago, was in large measure merely tolerated by many (including all levels of government).  No one was under any illusion as to where this tobacco being sold on the Reserve to anyone (age restrictions optional) was coming from.  It was being smuggled by boat and transport truck from Cornwall Island and other locations at the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve which is parsed into Ontario, Quebec, and New York geographical segments (the Reserve is within all these jurisdictions - and thus both Canada and the United States).  In the 1980s small huts began sprouting up everywhere on the Reserve, and most particularly in areas where there would be high traffic of White people (e.g., Highway 54 east of Chiefswood Bridge), and on the peripheries of Brantford, Hagersville and Caledonia.  Once the saturation level of these aesthetically displeasing shanties with associated traffic annoyances reached a tipping point, I sold my home and moved to an area where my family and I would not be daily (hourly) exposed to these establishments. 
Over time whole extended families began to invest heavily in this enterprise since, although technically illegal, it was not a problem once the product reached the Reserve.  One company in particular, Grand River Enterprises, became wildly successful with owners becoming in the process immensely wealthy - wisely expanding into other business enterprises.  They presently employ upwards of 300 Reserve residents.  The gravy train just kept moving and there appeared to be no significant impediments (although GRE was taken to Court in the USA to answer charges when their activities crossed some line or other). 
More information on this enterprise is found in abbreviated form here, or in detail here.  Some of the local brands shown below.

Basically people around here tolerated this illegal behavior because it was a livelihood to friends, neighbours, and kin.  So until 2014 everything was more or less status quo, with a few rough edges (arguments between "retailers" over turf; GRE in legal hot water and issues related to how much if any "taxes" they should pay on Reserve).  However once the Federal Government decided that organized crime was robbing taxpayers or billions of dollars, they decided to crack down via Bill C-10 (Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act) to criminalize the transport or trafficking of contraband cigarettes.  Six Nations got their heads out of ....................... the sand, and realized that they had been living in a dream world for more than a generation and had taken everything for granted and most had put all their eggs in one basket - not a wise thing.  So the panic mode set in. 

A picture of the GRE (Deutchland) factory in Germany is seen below.

Six Nations Takes Action on Bill C-10:  The Elected Council, the Hereditary Council, GRE, other groups all scurring around linking up with other communities engaged in the same illegal practices (e.g., Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Tyendinaga) to try to convince the Federal Government that the economies here depended on contraband cigarettes.  Alas, they did not have much leverage.  Cigarettes are a known health hazard and most of us have lost loved ones to nicotine addiction.  Not much sympathy could be expected from any quarter, considering the nature of the product.  The picture below is perhaps a little sensational - but the baby is purportedly a chain smoker.  Cigarettes are going to be a "hard sell" when lobbying politicians due to both perception and reality.

Here at Six Nations the Elected Chief, was recently elected on a platform of somehow uniting the major factions at Six Nations to address common causes (e.g., land claims).  Articles in "Turtle Island News" have been very critical of the Chief's actions - for example in terms of actions, generally excluding the Hereditary Council supporters, but in the arena of words and rhetoric, claiming a desire to include them.  So it has been the Elected Council who has led the charge to get the Federal Government to repeal Bill C-10.  Alas, they do not seem to have been able to come up with a viable plan.  The Bill is in second reading (shouldn't any action have been taken at first reading?), and will likely pass third reading within a month and go to the Senate for approval and the new provisions to Bill C-10 will become law likely by June.  Six Nations seems oddly resigned to the facts here, but they are presently in Ottawa attempting to lobby support to in some undefined way mitigate the likely economic fall out.  As is so often the case, instead of employing self - reliance as a strategy, Six Nations expects the Government to come to the rescue - despite on the other hand wanting government out of their lives, and espousing all sorts of adamant statements about sovereignty and self - determination.  Self - determination does not, apparently, involve self - reliance.  See book by Tsimshian lawyer Calvin Helin, Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty Through Self-Reliance, Woodland Hills, CA, Ravencrest Publishing, 2008.

So expecting some sort of government bail out, or rescue, Six Nations Elected Chief appears to realize that things are not going well.  At Six Nations, since Caledonia 2006, a rule of thumb has been, when cornered or when in doubt, turn to disruptive and anti-social strategies, they often work.  What the Chief does not seem to realize though is that when the product is cigarettes, public support will be difficult to achieve under the most delicate of negotiations.  But threats of dire consequences, a reflection of desperation and the fact that there was no viable proposal to the government, began to be expressed by those in authority.

Threat of Violence if Bill C-10 Passes:  Quite frankly, even understanding the dynamic here, I was shocked to learn that the Elected Chief had threatened that if Six Nations doesn't get their way - expect violence!

In "Turtle Island News", April 16, 2014, p.3 there is an article, "Elected chief warns Ottawa of 'threat of violence' if Bill C-10 approved".  This has an immediate visceral effect on those of us who saw the events of Caledonia 2006 and aftermath unfold.  There were assaults on citizens and police officers, intimidation of people just going about their normal routines (e.g., requiring them to have Haudenosaunee passports to get past barricades to drive to their own home), vandalism, arson and so on.  The situation brought out the basest of tendencies in a disturbingly high number of Six Nations Community members.  It is well known around here what "violence" means, and considering that people's livelihoods are on the line - who knows what escalation might occur.  The words, attributed to the Elected Chief, noted in the newspaper article were, "If this bill passes, there's a threat of violence that could occur in our communities".  Although the passage is open to interpretation, the way I read it is that Six Nations will turn their anger on local people, not Ottawa.

The threat was made after meeting with senators, and likely realizing that desperate times call for desperate measures.  If this is not an idle threat, and push does come to shove, there is one thing that is certain.  Residents of Caledonia and surrounds have had it up to the gills with the antics shown by Six Nations Community members.  If it becomes evident that Elected Chief Hill's words are to be interpreted literally, then I will include what was originally written in this paragraph - but I don't want to jump the gun - there is as yet no evidence that actions would follow words in this instance.

It is a shame that Elected Chief Hill appears to have not thought through the consequences of what was said.  People around here know full well what the terms Six Nations and violence mean when used in the same sentence. 

Perhaps Chief Hill was just overstating the case to make a point.  Lets hope so.

Last Minute Efforts to "Kill Bill: C-10":  The cover page of "Two Row Times", April 23rd, 2014 has two thirds of the page in gold, with the words, "Kill Bill: c10" at the top, and three red lines descending to the bottom of the gold area under the I, and the two Ls - making it look like blood dripping in three parallel lines.  Subtle .................  Of course since things are in a crisis mode now, out come the "supporters" and "solidarity" groups who have in the past used Six Nations to further their own causes.  In the article, written by the "TRT Staff" (which includes known non-Native Communists and Anarchists) of the above paper entitled, "Coalition created to fight Bill C-10" (p.7), they call the Bill, "an act to criminalize Native tobacco".  It is not at all difficult to figure out who the true author of this article is.  "They" invite readers to visit the website that has been set up in Toronto, namely

In looking at the content of this website, there are some expected and unexpected articles.  One entitled, "Tobacco: History and Health" starts with the following paragraph, As  I place Mr. X on a breathing machine he flashes me a look from his terrified eyes. I know this look well, the desperate cry for help of a drowning man. But he is not drowning in water. He has spent a lifetime drowning in smoke and his lungs are now so shattered that his tiring, heaving shoulders are unable to bring in enough air for his next breath. I will not be able to pull him back to shore. His lungs are failing, he is dying and he knows it. 

The last paragraph in the article is as follows, I would hope that just as tobacco helped nation build for the United States so too it may allow Ongwehon:we nations to rebuild their sovereignty and along with that other economic opportunities that are less harmful than commercial Tobacco. In the meantime, attempting to deny them this right will only lead to further poverty, marginalization and criminalization all of which are powerful contributors to ill health and chronic disease.

Dr. Chris Keefer is a physician in the emergency department of the Brantford General Hospital.

According to the TRT article, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 is taking a lead role in this venture (how their members feel about their dues going to this cause is another matter). Local 3903 is headed by Tom Keefer, an owner / manager of TRT, who has never made a secret of his Communist and Anarchist affiliations.  If history teaches us anything, this will mean "protests" on the doorstep of Caledonia - again - with the specter of chaos looming largely, as is the stated goal of these groups.

Before I read the article it occurred that they would need to find some cause to which Canadian citizens would be more sympathetic (cigarette sales will not evoke much sympathy) and put it into play.  Indeed, they somehow managed to bring in the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women and stretch it to fit the cigarette mold.  Then out comes the Two Row Wampum assumed treaty rights, and the supposed "attacks" by the Harper Government on Native people.  Immediately below the above article is an "editorial" entitled, "Stop Harper's war on indigenous communities" filled with righteous indignation and misinformation.  It would be more persuasive if Native people authored these articles.

Turning to the other Reserve Newspaper, "Turtle Island News" to see what they have to say about recent developments in the fight against Bill C-10, there is only a cartoon (p.6) showing the Native man with a ball and chain on his leg (the caption on the ball reads, "Disunity Since 1924") and a huge WWII type sea mine with a lit fuse and "Bill C-10" written on it.  The balloon over the man's head says, "This can't end well". 

Interesting that as yet in TIN there is no information about the White radical "solidarity" supporters affiliated with the rival TRT newspaper.  There is every reason to suspect (based on past behaviour) that TRT officials will, as they have many times in the past (before their involvement with TRT), use Six Nations to further their own radical agenda, with the primary targets of their venom being the innocent but convenient residents of Caledonia.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Consultation and Accommodation Policy of Six Nations: Example of Enbridge Pipelines, Inc.

Updated 25 April 2014.

An article, "Enbridge told to consult with community after hot council session", appeared in the most recent issue of "Turtle Island News", 9 April 2014, p.6. 

The Requirement of a Corporation to Consult and Accommodate When a Group Claims Aboriginal Status and Treaty Rights:  There is an inherent assumption here that there is a formal requirement that corporations who intend to proceed with projects that will impact lands within the Haldimand Tract, or even Southwestern Ontario, must consult with Six Nations.  Before delving into the specifics of the present concerns in relation to "Energy giant Enbridge Pipelines,  Inc.", it will be useful to determine what legal requirement is established in relation to "consultation", which in turn may determine what restrictions are placed on the actions of a company such as Enbridge working in Southwestern Ontario.  My question is, "what if they had been led astray, and a group is claiming baseless 'rights' to be consulted, and demanding accommodation"?  It must be acknowledged that the situation in Southwestern Ontario may bear little to no parallel with what occurs in say Alberta and British Columbia.

Six Nations Demands Consultation:  At a recent Elected Council session, as noted in the above article, two members of Enbridge's "advisors for the company's aboriginal affairs division" were grilled, and then told, by the way, this was not "consultation" (the formal part).  The assumption here was that Six Nations have rights, not defined in the article, which required that Enbridge consult with Six Nations about two pipelines which cross the Haldimand Tract, both on lands surrendered prior to 1849.  The question here is, "What is the legislation or policy that would require a corporation to consult with Six Nations about matters that do not directly impact the lands under Six Nations jurisdiction?"  If it is a more general environmental matter concerning say possible pipeline ruptures, then any consultation would, one would think, need to involve all stakeholders - which would be for example all people say downstream of the pipelines, irrespective of ethnicity.  It would appear that Six Nations have in place some requirement that corporations need to consult with them, irrespective of any other stakeholder.

        Possible Rationales for Mandatory Consultation -

a)  The "Grand River Notification Agreement" which was instituted in 1998, and has been in effect until at least 2013 when the most recent 5 year renewal component was set to be either renewed or abandoned.  See here for the details of the Agreement.  Here the various municipalities within the Grand River Haldimand Tract, and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) agreed to "consultation about land use issues", this might be the club the Elected Council was wielding against Enbridge.  However since this agreement about consultation is with local municipalities and the GRCA, it would appear unlikely that this document is pertinent to the present situation - especially since the clause, "This agreement is not legally binding on any of the Parties" would seem to rule out its application to the conflict between Six Nations and Enbridge.

b)   The "Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation - Updated Guideline for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Duty to Consult - March 2011".  See here for details.  Perhaps the Council's position that Enbridge was mandated in some way to consult might come under the Federal Government's purview.  However, this document appears to apply only to instances where the Federal Government is the primary party - which does not appear to be the case with the Enbridge matter where the problem appears to be only between Enbridge and Six Nations.  Besides, this provision applies only to Aboriginal groups (the Mississauga not the Six Nations are "Aboriginal" to the Haldimand Tract), who have Treaty Rights (Six Nations only have perceived "treaty rights" based on the fraudulent Nanfan agreement of 1701 - there is no treaty with the Crown as to Grand River lands).

***  So I ask the question, "Upon what basis does Six Nations claim to have a right to be consulted by Enbridge Pipelines?"  My guess here is that it hinges on the invalid Nanfan "Treaty" of 1701 relating to all of Southwestern Ontario, and Land Claims in the Haldimand Tract which assert rights to lands rightfully and legally ceded 170 or more years ago.  For evidence concerning these treaty and land claim rights of Six Nations see my posting here.  A number of groups at Six Nations, claiming legitimacy derived from the above two matters, have emerged subsequent to 2006 - after the government bungling of the "Caledonia crisis".  Here the Provincial and Federal Governments, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, have acted as enablers, as if allowing adolescent children to test the limits.  Apparently there are no limits, and in only one instance has there been any significant consequences to illegal actions taken by Six Nations.  Hence the latter have been quick to capitalize on this weak willed, weak kneed group to embark on an array of self serving and quite arbitrary (but always about money and control) plans which have the potential to harm local people, and more particularly corporate entities  In the midst of the swirling chaos, two groups, noted below, use the above underlined matters as rationales to demand that, for example, developers and utility companies throughout Southwestern Ontario consult with them, and pay a fee for the privilege of having demands forced down their throats.  One obtains its authority via the Hereditary Council faction, and the other via the Elected Council faction.

        Two Groups Potentially Requiring Mandatory Consultation by Enbridge -

a)   The "Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI)".  This is an entity which has arisen from the ashes of the "reclamation" of 2006.  A Wikipedia article, apparently written by an HDI official) can be seen here.  In relation to development of any kind, it acts as an enforcer the Hereditary Confederacy Chief's Council (HCCC, the "shadow cabinet" to the present Elected Council which claims historical and moral authority in all conceivable matters at Six Nations).  Here the HDI claims the right to extract application fees from developers, and to insert paid archaeological monitors to sites within Southwestern Ontario despite already having Elected Council approved individuals, trained by the Professional Archaeological Association of Ontario, on site.  The monies derived from these "deals", often emerging after a van load of goons appears on the developers doorstep, go into a fund where there is absolutely no transparency.  No one at Six Nations outside the HDI has any idea where these "community funds" go.  In any other jurisdiction they would be shut down, and taken to Court to answer charges of possible fraud and extortion - but this is Six Nations, and this is post 2006, so Six Nations makes their own rules, and oddly few seem willing to challenge them.  A recent "settlement" in the fine levied by the Superior Court of Ontario due to a violation of a Court Injunction has brought this matter into focus, and has effectively neutered the HDI.  I will post on this development in short order. 

Not to be outdone, the Elected Council, aware of the financial success of the HDI, has developed a "team" called CAP to serve their own interests (the Hereditary Council and the Elected Council are generally not on speaking terms - which means that the Federal Government is at a loss as to who should be consulted in virtually any matter of consequence).

b)   The Consultation and Accommodation Policy (CAP).  While not explicitly mentioned in the newspaper article, is seemed evident that Enbridge was being castigated by Six Nations Council members because, since Caledonia 2006, another new "policy" is in place.  In this case it is a child not of the HCCC, but of the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC).  This "policy" has impacted, for example, Samsung of Korea, in this case concerning their plans to install wind turbines along the Lake Erie shore. 

The "Team" claims authority within the bounds of the fraudulent Nanfan document of 1701, and more particularly within lands in the Haldimand Tract ceded by Six Nations 170 and more years ago, and to which they have not one particle of legal right.  I have refuted the pretext in many of the blog postings (for example see here), as have many others independently researching the matter, and collectively we have shown with proper references that:

1)  The Six Nations are aboriginal to what is today Upstate New York, not Ontario.  The Mississauga are aboriginal to Ontario by right of conquest, defeating the then Five Nations who had in an act of earlier genocide, murdered the indigenous Huron / Wyandot and others.  All Five Nations settlements were gone from Southwest Ontario by 1696, and they formally surrendered to the Mississauga and allies in 1700.  The British Crown purchased the Haldimand Tract from the Mississauga in 1784 in order that they could offer Six Nations a legal title of occupation to the lands of the Grand River.

2)  The Nanfan document of 1701, purportedly giving "treaty rights" to Six Nations, is not by any stretch of the imagination a treaty, only a sham piece of parchment, not worth the sheep hide it is written on.  The document was never given the Privy Seal of the Crown and had no status at any time - until recently "revived".  At any rate there was no Five Nations presence in Southwestern Ontario in 1701, they having lost all claim 5 years earlier, so it is invalidated on this basis alone.

3)  There is ample documentation that all lands not within the present Reserve boundaries have long ago passed from Six Nations ownership.  These land surrenders to the Crown were entirely legal and binding, signed by for example 67 Chiefs in Council, who frequently included a clause that they wished that future generations not challenge their decisions.  By 1848 all presently "contested" lands had been legally ceded.  In my view, it is not proper to go against the wishes that the ancestors had finalized so many years ago.  Apparently I am in the minority.

So, despite the evidence, and the 2010 opinion of Justice Harrison Arrell of the Superior Court of Brantford that Six Nations that should they bring the matter to Court, Six Nations would have a "very weak" case in relation to land claims, no one has challenged the "rights" of Six Nations.  As it stands they can coerce a company, and force them to "consult" (be raked over the coals if they do not see the wisdom of agreeing to everything Six Nations "proposes"), and "accommodate" which roughly translated means bowing to Six Nations wishes ("or else") and pay up.  The Six Nations are laughing all the way to the bank as the rich corporations are willing to cough up whatever is demanded rather than take Six Nations to Court and expose this illegal "policy" for what it is.

(CAP) formally emerged 24 September 2013, so is a relatively new player on the scene - although something similar but less formal was in place earlier.  Frankly, since I was out of the Country when this was quietly introduced, it passed under my radar until my return a few weeks ago when I began to piece together all of the evidence as to who was "leaning on" corporations such as Samsung.  The subtitle of their policy is, "A Policy to obtain free, prior and informed consent of the peoples of the Six Nations of the Grand River".  Free?  So that means all of the wind turbine companies paid nothing - which is not true, as I have detailed elsewhere in this blog.  So now can Enbridge expect that by "consulting", that part of the "accommodation" will NOT involve paying money?  The answer should be self evident.

In looking at the 7 page CAP description of their policies and procedures (see here), they refer to the United Nations policies on aboriginal peoples (Six Nations are not aboriginal to the Grand River, only the Mississauga can make that valid claim), International Laws, and duties of the Crown (which has "failed in their fiduciary duty"), certain procedures need to be followed.  They further state that they expect that they will be fully funded by others, and that others have responsibilities and duties - and that Six Nations have rights and entitlements.  To add to the narcissism of the document, it dictates that the Policy does not apply to third party private land owners - but only those who are "Members of Six Nations within the SNGR Territory".  This document is a unilateral declaration, it has no weight in law or precedence, it is simply a rationalization for what Six Nations have already been doing since 2006.  They state that they "fully expect" that "all Proponents, municipalities and The Crown to respect the terms of this policy". 

Here in the CAP policy manual they refer to "inherent rights, treaty rights, and title".  In effect none of these three apply.  To repeat, because it bears repeating, the Six Nations are not aboriginal to Southwestern Ontario and the Haldimand Tract, they are Loyalist refugees who were given a specified territory in which they could reside, but that the title to the Grand River lands is vested in the Crown - never has the latter been successfully challenged.  In the period leading up to 1848, all lands within the Haldimand Tract were ceded, surrendered and yielded up such that the only lands to which they have any rights is Indian Reserve Number 40, the Six Nations Reserve of about 46,500 acres.  See here for specific evidence of these false claims, as well as to rights by virtue of the Nanfan "Treaty".

There is even an "Enforcement" clause whereby if anyone fails to abide by Six Nations views in the matter, they will take actions including, "dispute resolution, legal action; and any other action deemed reasonable".  As to the latter, in the past Six Nations have included violence in the category of "deemed reasonable".  In case any believe that this would not apply today, in the most recent issue of Turtle Island News, 16 April 2014, p.3, there is an article entitled, "Elected chief warns Ottawa of' 'threat of violence' if Bill C-10 approved".  So the Chief of the Elected Council is warning all (not just the Federal Government) that if Bill C-10 passes, in other words cracking down on the transport of contraband unstamped cigarettes (sometimes known as purveyors of death), "violence" can be expected.  

The only groups who would agree to having anything to do with CAP are those who are extremely naïve, or believe that giving in to strong arm interests is just the price of doing business, and that to stand on moral and legal grounds is simply more trouble than it is worth.

Now that we appear to have established the rationale for requiring Enbridge to meet with Six Nations, we can return to the content of the above article.  Clearly Six Nations feel so empowered (since no one has stood up to challenge them) to assert a veiled threat that Six Nations could arrange to remove any pipeline that crosses their territory.  One Councillor said, "You're crossing the Grand River twice in our territory", he said.  "What happens if we want you off our territory?"  Of course this is an absurd threat because neither pipeline crosses Reserve land.  One crosses the River at Ayr, and the other just east of Caledonia (the latter crossing shown in the picture below taken 14 April 2014, with the River in flood).

It came as no surprise that "compensation" should be brought into the mix (with environmental concerns being shuffled out the door).  The Council Chief, "expressed concerns that Six Nations has not been compensated for Enbridge's use of Six Nations land".  I am confused, what land would this be?  The answer was not long is coming.  Elected Chief Ava Hill said the compensation 'has to be retroactive to 1960, when it was first put in.  It's called reverse accommodation'.  Actually the term threatened extortion may apply here - especially since Six Nations has absolutely no "rights" within the lands that the pipeline crosses.  If Enbridge caves in here, it will be a political decision, not a legal one.  Hopefully they will have the will to see justice done and will take the whole matter of land rights to Court.

There is further information on the "meeting" between Enbridge officials and Elected Council in "Two Row Times", April 9th, 2014, p.7 in an article entitled, "Enbridge gets a piece of Elected Council's mind".  If the statements recorded in this article are correct, then the representatives of Six Nations were arrogant and utterly rude, making accusations and demands that certainly appear to be unwarranted.  It appears that the Enbridge representatives assumed that they were meeting about environmental issues, and were not aware of any "requirements" for consultation and in particular accommodation, and were confused about the nature of the meeting since they assumed it was about the technical aspects of the pipeline process.  This is understandable since no one seems to have taken the time to explain that there is now in place "CAP", a completely arbitrary assumption of powers mimicking those of the weakened (due to the Brantford Injunction) Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) of the Hereditary Council.  Somehow Enbridge is supposed to read minds and know about policies grabbed from the air with which to pummel developers with claims of invalid legal rights.  The lands are not part of the Six Nations Reserve, they are privately owned and have been since the 1830s, and the lands on title in the Cayuga Land Registry Office.  The lands on which the pipeline (Line 11) and Hydro Transmission towers are situated (e.g., Lot 26, Seneca Township) are not even part of a land claim - and even if they were it would be meaningless since the lands were properly ceded in the 1840s.  The Council Chief told the Enbridge representatives that, there has been no accommodation or compensation of any sorts and wondered why, since the pipelines cross two unceded areas of the Grand River which is still under the Haldimand Tract.  My own ancestors held legal title to Lot 26 (claimed by Barefoot Onondaga members) from the earliest days, and so the claim by Council is specious. Perhaps I would be the proper person for Enbridge to consult with.  In working with me they would have to pay nothing, since the lands were ceded over 170 years ago, but I would request assurances that all possible environmental protection measures were in place.  Council is presuming powers that they in fact do not possess, over lands that they do not possess.  The "power trip" over the oil giant was, I am guessing, very pleasing to those who participated - except of course the Enbridge officials who must have wondered if they should be laughing or crying.  It would be truly pathetic if Enbridge caved in to Six Nations on this one - but it may be the lesser of unpalatable alternatives which include being perceived as being "insensitive" to Aboriginal wishes (although Six Nations are not aboriginal to the Haldimand Tract).

According to the article first noted, further "community engagement sessions" are planned.  I hope that Enbridge is aware of the difference between perceived rights and true rights, otherwise they are likely to get taken to the cleaners.  Just the price of doing business?