Updated 4 July 2014.
I woke up this morning to find that overnight the online version of "The Sachem" (see here) included information about the title of this posting. In addition an article in "Two Row Times" hard copy edition addressed the same topic, and later, articles in "Sun News" came to my attention. All spoke of the response of Six Nations to the decision of the Haldimand County Council about removing the barricade blockading Surrey Street (a County road). The content of each will be provided below:
1) The Sachem, dated 25 June 2014 included an article entitled, Six Nations "does not support" removal of blockade. Below I have included some quotes from the article which are coming from the elected counterpart (and bitter rival) of the hereditary council. So the bottom line is that the Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) has weighed in with respect to the Haldimand County Council's unanimous decision to remove the barrier blocking Surrey Street in Caledonia.
Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) is “urgently (calling) on the (Haldimand) County Council to reconsider,” removing the blockade from the entrance way of Surrey Street in Caledonia, located at the former Douglas Creek Estates.
A press release was issued by SNEC shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25 following a release sent out the day previous by Haldimand County Council detailing its intentions.
SNEC’s statement in response to Haldimand County Council’s press release minced no words: “Six Nations Elected Council does not support the County Council’s decision… (SNEC) believes that Haldimand County’s decision and proposed actions will only serve to cause unnecessary problems by disrupting the peace that has been maintained there for some time.”
“Mayor Hewitt’s statement about ‘working with its neighbours’ and ‘moving forward in a unified fashion’ is contradictory to Haldimand County’s resolution to remove the ‘illegal blockades’ without first consulting with its neighbours in Six Nations. Actions speak louder than words and Haldimand County’s decision and proposed actions, if carried through, will only deepen the divide on all sides as opposed to creating unity.
“The provincial government has taken no meaningful action in the past eight years to resolve the Douglas Creek Estates Land claim. Six Nations Elected Council calls on the Haldimand County to refocus their efforts by working with Six Nations Elected Council to end the provincial government’s inaction.”
2) Information from Two Row Times of 25 June 2014, Mayor Hewitt ups the ante at Kanonhstaton, p.3:
It appears that the reporter here does not believe that Mayor Hewitt is simply trying to clean up the site, and provide access along a County owned road. The reporter appears to see deeper or more nefarious themes lurking in the background. He, in my opinion, linked the action of Council to the, two recent provocative incidents created by Haldimand residents, Gary McHale and Randy Fleming a week apart which brought back memories of the 2006 shut down of Argyle Street.
The reporter (a White Brantford resident) goes on to say that, To cool the situation down at the time, David Peterson, former provincial Premier was sent in to negotiate a settlement, which eventually brought down the barricades. That included promises to turn over disputed land in Burtch, Townsand and South Cayuga, which has yet to happen eight years later.
The move by Haldimand council has put the Six Nations community on high alert
3) Information from Sun News of 25 June 2014, Native Band Opposes Removal of Long-Controversial Caledonia Blockade:
See here for the perspective of Sun News. This article repeats much of what has been said in this and the previous blog postings. It also states that the removal of the blockade may not happen, "without a fight". Chief Ava Hill of the Elected Band Council (SNEC) stated that, she disagreed with that sentiment, and said removing the blockade would only "deepen the divide on all sides."
She blamed the federal and provincial governments for failing to negotiate, and wants to meet with provincial Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer.
The article also has a link to an interview with Gary McHale which provides excellent and accurate information. In particular note the statement that the lawyers for Six Nations all agree that the disagreement that provoked the original uprising in 2006 is actually over the misappropriation of funds and other monetary matters, not a land claim - despite what many activists would have you believe. I have elsewhere noted that the land claims were withdrawn by the Elected Council as of 1995, but that the Hereditary Council continues to maintain that it is a land claim. Things get confused when former Elected Chief William Montour negotiated with Samsung, maintaining that Six Nations had unceded lands in Dunn and South Cayuga Township (an unsupported claim), in order to extract a very sweet deal worth $65 million over 20 years. So Six Nations individuals from many walks are maintaining that the real issue is primarily over land - so things get further confused.
In the video Gary states that he wrote letters to each Councilor hoping to capitalize on the fact that elections were on the horizon. He reportedly told them that he was prepared to picket their homes in order to make a point. One wonders if this action influenced the Councilors in some manner.
Note that the picture at the header of the article shows former Six Nations Elected Chief William Montour, NOT Mayor Ken Hewitt as the caption indicates.
4) Information from Two Row Times (TRT), July 2nd, 2014, p.7, The people say no to Hewitt's plan for Kanonstaton:
A bit late, but anyway, the White reporters at TRT have provided what can best be described as "predictable" reports on the reaction on some of the Six Nations residents, and their White supporters, to the plan of Haldimand County Council. Clearly, there is an element, how large is impossible to say at present, who are locked in a time warp and still think that the former DCE is "ours", and that it is just a matter of a short while before the Ontario Government will be handing over "Kanonhstaton" to ........................ well, that part is not clear. There is the legal entity (Six Nations Elected Council), and those who have usurped the process and have abandoned all pretense at recognizing anything except their own entrenched world view - the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council "representatives" - the militant HDI and Men's Fire. Anyway, back to the specific content of the article which states that, Plans are being made to respond to the intimidation of Caledonia provocateurs that have been harassing those at the Kanonhstaton site for the past few weeks. But the plans are to fight hate with friendship, family and fun. Well, that sounds lovely, but history teaches us that this is just spin, designed to gloss over the fact that violent militants still lurk behind the scenes ready at a moment's notice to spring into action and create another "Caledonia 2006". Why would I say this? HDI have threatened to initiate a wave of violence that would make 2006 pale in comparison (see up posting for more information). Here the Two Row Society, a gathering of Onkwehon:we and non-Native supporters of Indigenous Rights and land claims, had recommended, that they reestablish the communication network to quickly alert Six Nations residents and allies if there should be any further provocations at the site by Gary McHale and others. Those of use who call Caledonia and vicinity home know exactly what that means - militants will be streaming down 5th and 6th Lines (Stirling Street Bridge was torched by Six Nations activists in 2006 closing this access route permanently) ready to commit terrorist acts to defend their twisted world view.
Apparently, according to the White reporter, The controversial burned out trailer visible from Highway #6 will also remain in place as a memorial and reminder of the fire bombings against Six Nations during the hottest of times in 2006 and the summer of 2007. Really. I realize that some at Six Nations do blame "anti reclamation" forces for the burning, but there is no evidence as to the perpetrator. As I have said so often, at Six Nations, belief trumps everything including the facts. Click here to read what has been reported in a newspaper that is unlikely tainted by biases in the matter. Where is there any report anywhere that any of the criminal arson acts were committed by anyone other than Six Nations members or their supporters? I recall the tire fire on Argyle Street, the torching of the Stirling Street Bridge - all "accomplished" by Six Nations members. The trailer was firebombed by Caledonia residents? That is a bald faced lie unless this reporter, who has said the same thing in the past, can provide anything remotely resembling evidence that anyone outside of the Six Nations and supporter group committed incendiary acts. Good luck.
This Two Row group outlined further plans involving camp outs and kumbaya stuff, but this just deflects from the plans for illegal acts such as, putting up a fence around the entire site ASAP. Six Nations do not own this land, the Ontario Provincial Government owns the land. If a Caledonia group decided that they were going to place a fence around Queen's Park, would that fly? How about any Ontario owned land? In the double standard world in which we much endure, Six Nations will almost certainly be permitted to put up the fence (probably funded by taxpayer dollars or the money HDI has extorted from developers in the heydays of 2006 to 2008), but should Caledonia residents do the same - surely people can predict what the response would be from the Ontario Government in their racist attempts to deal "firmly" with the non Native Status individuals. I perhaps need to remind the Government and others that many who reside in Haldimand County are mixed descendants of Six Nations and early settler families who are not eligible for a precious Status Card with all its entitlements. Thus Six Nations membership is to an extent arbitrary - some of that coming from Six Nations and some from Federal Government rulings which impact Six Nations rights to decide who is and who is not a member of the Community.
Bloggers Comments: As I have maintained all along, the Provincial Government made a bad move in negotiating with terrorists, and the "agreement" was basically offering a bribe of lands that Six Nations had zero legal rights to, and that the Province happened to own and so could use as a bargaining chip. I will have a lot more to say about this attempted sell out (without the authority of the Federal Government who has the say in any Aboriginal Affairs matter of any consequence), by our Provincial Government. Basically, should the Provincial Government follow through on any of this under the table agreement, all hell will break loose - there is a lot at stake, but the matter needs to be addressed and the Six Nations given the "bad news".
First, a proposed "solution". Points would be gained by Six Nations deciding to obey the law and taking proactive action - dismantling the barricade themselves. Alas, this will never happen because it is the Hereditary Council who claims authority here. They are not on speaking terms with the Elected Council, and cooperating with the latter would mean recognizing that they have some legitimacy in the governance of the Six Nations Reserve. History shows that while potentially productive, due to politics, it will never happen. Recently the Chief of the Elected Council stated that dismantling the blockade is a bad idea - so now we have the top brass for both Councils on board - although it would be a first if this translated to seeing the two bodies work together cooperatively.
Second, a comment on the Federal - Provincial potential overlap (conflict). It is actually the Federal Government who would need to become involved. Options including saying "you have no valid claim" (the truth), or deciding to transfer the land from the Ontario Land Registry system to the Indian Affairs Land Registry system which is under Federal jurisdiction. So it is an illusion that the Provincial Government can make any binding decisions. In a panic they bought out the developer after the riot in April of 2006, but it is Provincial land. If they were for some politically motivated reason to decide to transfer the land to Six Nations, this would impact Haldimand County in a negative way with huge losses in tax revenue.
As to the content of the above article, what SNEC says will be supportive of the stance taken by their hereditary counterpart, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) whose enforcement and extortion arm, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, has been in the forefront of the "reclamation" (theft) of the Douglas Creek Estates housing development. They can make political hay by temporarily cooperating with their adversary. While the HCCC has absolutely no official status (being replaced by an elected system in 1924), it carries moral authority as the supposed embodiment of the traditional governance system dating back to time immemorial (although by 1924 showing inertia and severe dysfunction). Of course "colonialism" was blamed for the latter issues. There is a chronic shortage of personal responsibility at Indian Reserve 40, so with ample finger pointing, the accusation of "racism", the handmaiden of "colonialism", is the convenient attribution. Six Nations are always (in their minds eye) the victims. The concept is deeply ingrained in the psyche of Six Nations members on or off the Reserve - and many in the general population who have failed to do any meaningful research have bought into this world view. Those of us who live here and have done their homework know that this is simply unfounded propaganda.
So what does SNEC have to say about the County's legal right to enforce the laws applicable to all within its jurisdiction? True to form, they take the opportunity to assert bogus rights and pretend ownership of the former Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) when in fact the land was obtained by a violent insurrection perpetrated in April of 2006. Despite the evidence that the land was surrendered in 1845 by 66 Chiefs in Council, and the fact that the "reclaimed" land is presently owned by the Provincial Government and duly registered in the Ontario Land Registry on title in the Cayuga Land Office, radical activists at Six Nations have held local people hostage for 8 years - dictating what can and cannot occur at DCE. On the proximal surrounding land two contraband cigarette shacks and a hamburger outlet have been built. The Provincial Government paid the legal owners $15 million to keep the land in limbo and allow the illegal occupation by Six Nations activists to continue since 2006. In addition about $10 million was paid for OPP policing (much of it overtime), as well as millions more to those affected by the insurrection, including those brutalized and assaulted when all fetters of civilization were removed and Six Nations thugs and their White Communist - Anarchist supporters were given carte blanche to do as they pleased when the OPP refused to answer 911 calls to any areas where the rioters held sway.
So today, Six Nations wants the Provincial Government to turn over DCE to them (whether the HCCC or SNEC is a huge problem because each sees itself as the legitimate authority at Six Nations). If they did so it would be tantamount to giving in to the demands of terrorists. If Six Nations was given this land they would not be paying taxes to anyone. The taxpayers of Ontario and Canada would be footing the bill. The taxpayers of Haldimand County would have to pick up the tab on a yearly basis too. The County as already lost 8 years of tax from the development, and if the land was put into Six Nations hands, and added to the Reserve land base, they would not be paying one penny in taxes (to Six Nations Council or Haldimand County) even though using infrastructure provided by the taxpayers of Canada. Expect a major backlash when the entire tally is presented to the citizens of the County, the Province, and the country - with the realization that there will never be any income, only disbursements - and for ill gotten gains. The land was surrendered 170 years ago, and there is not one shred of evidence to warrant a reconsideration of the purchase by the Crown. Sour grapes and "Indian givers" is an apt description - if not politically correct.
If this transfer is allowed to go through, it will be the thin edge of the wedge as it will set a precedent and encourage militants to grab other lands throughout the Haldimand Tract on some thin pretext or another. It is fortunate that there is irrefutable evidence that Six Nations own no land beyond the present boundaries of today's Reserve. However if the Federal Government will not stand by negotiated settlements and surrenders and the hard evidence in the Indian Affairs Papers (RG10 Series) at the Library and Archives Canada, and the Province won't honour the Ontario Land Registry system, no property is safe from the acquisitive eyes of Six Nations "grabbers". Just as an example, they have decided to declare that the beautiful historic building on Edinburgh Square in Caledonia is, based on some twisted logic, their land. I warn all from Port Maitland to Dundalk - Six Nations has its eyes on your land - it is only a question of when and how they will move to "reclaim" the land, and give it a new name - DCE is now Kanonhstaton (The Protected Place). If DCE was ever given to Six Nations the floodgates would be opened!
It is time to take a stand, and fully support our County Council. Whatever assistance they need we must be prepared to offer it and send the usurpers back to their own territory. There is too much at stake for any compromise - particularly since the land was formally surrendered 170 years ago - and having to revisit this signed, sealed and delivered transaction so many years later is a grotesque insult and an immense waste of time and resources.