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.


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