Someone from Caledonia had called CHCH, but also present was a reporter for "Turtle Island News" as well as the editor of that newspaper; and a reporter for "Two Row Times". Clearly there was an sense of anticipation in the air. A "plant" came over to speak with CHCH - an American residing in Caledonia who was with US Steel (based on the jacket crest he was wearing). When asked why he and so many other unions such as CUPE supported Six Nations, the answer was that they supported them (unions) on the picket lines .........................
|Al Sweeney of CHCH talking to Turtle Island News and the HDI|
My correspondent was known to many there, and known to be less than supportive of the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council position. One reason being that all Court decisions had ruled that only the Elected Council were the legal representatives of Six Nations. Any meeting with HCCC or their representatives such as Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) were of a courtesy nature only. In reaching the barricade it turned out that the "suit" present was not the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, or the Mayor of Haldimand, but the legal representative for HDI, A D. He was asked what his clan was, since there have always been questions as to why a non-Native was representing Six Nations people (although it is possible, as he was reported to have said on one occasion, that he was Mohawk on his mother's side). He was unable to answer the question, and was clearly confused by it (meaning did not seem to have a ready answer, although he tried to speak his answers were not understood). A woman (curiously the very slight woman who tore the sign from the neck of the Caledonia marcher on the 5th) had a ready answer, as follows, It doesn't matter, we have accepted him because he is of the right mind. Ok, I guess that settles that.
|A D, in suit|
Judging by what was said or inferred from the talk going around at the barricade, people were awaiting the possible arrival of Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer, and Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt. It was general knowledge that there would be a meeting between these parties and the Chief Ava Hill of the Elected Council - but no one seemed to know where the "secret" meeting was to take place, or when, or whether they would make an appearance at the barricade.
It was rather ironic that at the time I was reading "Turtle Island News", July 9, 2014, p.2, where there was some useful information in the article, Haudenosaunee Confederacy says Ontario can end any violence. Here they reported that, The Haudenosaunee Chiefs Council, in a press release Tuesday said council received an invitation from Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer's office to attend a summit meeting Wednesday, July 9, 2014 that is expected to include representatives from Ontario, Haldimand County and the Six Nations Elected Band Council. It seems that the HCCC were left out in the cold (actually it was a lovely warm day in Caledonia) and held out vain hope that they would be consulted - so instead were "waiting for Godot" - yet as we will see later, they set this up themselves. Then in the article there is spin about how HCCC is taking steps to mitigate the damage caused by those nasty citizens of Caledonia who just won't give up trying to seek the truth and justice (not their words). Further on in the article it says that, The release said Confederacy Council, at its July 5th meeting declined the invitation. This of course begs the question, who were the group at the barricades, dominated by HCCC supporters, waiting for since the HCCC had declined being a part of the meeting? Clearly they as well as the newspaper article were unclear as to the venue of the meeting, saying, A summit was planned for today somewhere between Toronto and Six Nations.
The release also, reminded Ontario of a recent Supreme Court decision in the Tsilhqot'in title and rights case which determined that Band Councils do not have the ability in Canadian law to represent the collective rights and interests of the original peoples of the land. Having read this decision, I cannot see how the HCCC can extrapolate from this case to their own situation which is firmly rooted in a series of Court decisions such as Davey et al. v. Isaacs et al. (1974). So encore, despite an offer to participate, the HCCC thumbed its nose at the process and sanctimoniously bowed out. The release goes on to issue an outright WARNING, that they are, deeply concerned that there will be grave consequences for all people involved should the Crown's inaction continue.
The article gives a review of the recent decisions of Haldimand County Council concerning the barricade and the access road (Surrey Street), including the most recent proposed by-law to keep everyone off Surry Street, but, Hewitt could not say if the by-law would apply to both Six Nations people and non-native activists, although he hinted that it might apply to both. If the latter statement proves to be correct, then the Mayor is being entirely fair and not favouring one side or the other. Mayor Hewitt added that, "The problem is you can't write a by-law that picks race or culture or colour or culture," said Hewitt. "If nobody's there then there's no stage for any issues. I understand the argument of (Six Nations) people being there as the protector of land but if there's an agreement between us all that all people are unauthorized on that land then there is no need to protect it at this point. The present author could not agree more - Mayor Hewitt is reflecting the views of all who advocate equal treatment before the law. What Mayor Hewitt does acknowledge is that the County has no jurisdiction over the land surrounding the problematic streets (Surrey and Thistlemoor), which is owned by the Province.
The article ends with some frustration that, The Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Ministry did not return requests for comment again.
At about 2:30 everyone dispersed and the site was empty within a few minutes. I am supposing that word had been received that the "officials" would be a no show at that location.
Rest assured, there will be a lot more to come pertaining to this issue. I will try to provide the most up to date information.