Update 27 July 2014: Today I did a circuit of the DCE site and there was no evidence seen of the installation of a chain link fence or fence of any description.
Update 29 July 2014: The HDI have begun erecting a fence on the north side of the property. See here.
1) Erection of Fence and Land Claim: Today, 16 July 2014, "Turtle Island News" (TIN), the, it is said, publicity and propaganda arm of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC), included an article entitled, Neighbours' encroachment, garbage, group's protests force security (p.2).
Here the article claims that, Installation of a long-awaited safety fence at Kanonhstaton started last week to enclose the "former Douglas Creek Estates housing development site in Caledonia". This would be the DCE. The reason given for this action is a plan, to mitigate a recent increase in disruption at the site from non-native political activists and encroachment by neighbouring homeowners who are extending their yards onto the site or have thrown old furniture and garbage onto the land. The work will be carried out by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) under authority of the HCCC, according to the Director and spokesperson of the HDI. This individual specifically blamed the confrontations over the past month on, non-native activists who bought a small piece of property on the site beside Gord's Garage - which the Director terms, "a trap for incitement. They're going to keep trying to come on (to the property)"; whereas the group who illegally occupied DCE in 2006, have maintained a protective presence on the land ever since. The Director boldly says that the land is no longer public, it's a private driveway. It's our land, ......... we've taken it back".
"Two Row Times" (TRT), July 16th, 2014 has an article on page 3 entitled. Fence going up to protect Kanonhstaton. Here we obtain much the same information as the report in TIN, but with a few additions of importance. The Director of the HDI confirmed that it will be a chain link fence that is erected around DCE, and that, sometime within 7 to 10 days, the construction of the fencing and a front gate facing Argyle Street, would begin. The Director also claims that the Plank Road (Argyle Street; old Highway 6) saying, That road is ours. Also the Director, spoke of the authority of the HCCC in contrast to that of the Elected Band Council.
In the TRT article the Director of the HDI reportedly said, that since the people stood as a Nation to reclaim the land, Band Council or the Ontario (Government) should have no say if we want to put up a fence or a gate, or building a meeting area.
Furthermore, "The people are not ready to take down that trailer right now because it represents violence that was coming upon us". In fact the violence was coming entirely from Six Nations with arson (bridge burning), blockading Argyle Street with gravel, burning tires, and a stolen and vandalized Hydro One tower, etc. How is this reality perverted into Six Nations being the victims of violence justifying leaving the hideous burned out big rig trailer in place. It is a symbol of Six Nations violence against the innocent victims of Caledonia and surrounds!! By leaving it present, it merely rubs salt into the wound any time we pass through the southern entrance (or exit) to Caledonia.
Comment: So basically the thugs and terrorists who stole the land in 2006, and who have trashed everything on the property except the wood ticks which are crawling all over the property, are claiming without authority (the land belongs to Ontario) that they have the right to build a fence around the stolen land. If Ontario permits this travesty, I predict that there will be much more civil disobedience than has been seen to date as citizens realize the message here. Why wouldn't locals, knowing it was an illegal fence on Ontario Government owned, land simply use local resources to remove it in whole or in part?
If allowed to actually construct a fence on land they merely claim, without any evidence, as their own it would set a precedent such that anyone can claim a patch of Ontario and call it their own and erect a fence to keep everyone else out. The HDI supporters are not special in this regard, they merely think they are. 230 years ago my ancestors owned a large Tract on the Grand River confirmed to them by the Six Nations in Council as they were "people of our own nation". I don't have this land in my possession at present - it was sold out of the family long ago. If I follow the HDI plan, then I will be able to go to the land, have some of my younger cousins camp out there, and start erecting a fence to keep out "non-natives" or whomever you want to call them and say, The land is ours. We owned it 230 years ago, and we've taken it back. Is this ok? There is no difference whatsoever with what the HDI have done and what I might propose to do if they set a precedent.
Also, according to the HDI, the elected representatives of the people are not the legitimate governing body. This despite the fact that around the world, countries are attempting to come out of the Middle Ages and authoritarian rule by demagogues and seek a way to introduce democracy into their languishing countries. When chiefs or heads of state are not accountable to the people, they are free to take full advantage of nepotism and favouring those who have "connections", and ensuring that there is no effective voice for those who disagree. So the HDI would have Six Nations slip backward, not to some utopian time (which in fact never existed), but into the era where anarchy ruled on the Reserve and most who had a way out left or just laid low and kept a low profile. I can guess who will rule with an iron fist if the HDI has their way. Kim Jong Un and "banana republic" rule is but a short hop away in time - unless the people become aware of what is about to happen.
2) The Expiration of the Protocol with Ontario: After a brief review of the "reclamation", the TIN article mentions that the meeting between the Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister, the Mayor of Haldimand County, and the Elected Chief of the Six Nations was, at odds with a communications protocol it [Ontario] signed with former Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne, now the premier of Ontario.
"It was a very bold move on her part, ........... "Nobody else had done that. It wasn't on conditions that the band had to be sitting there. It was a recognition of the Confederacy first and foremost. That's the process we've been working with. That expired (a few weeks ago). We've been waiting to renew that process".
The reporter continues, Last week's meeting, ............ took place only weeks after that communications protocol expired and there have been no attempts by Ontario to renew the protocol despite being contacted by the HDI.
The TIN article has the Director of the HDI attempt to rationalize why they were not at the negotiating table with the Province, County and Elected Council even though they were formally invited. The explanation given was that, the HCCC would be happy to meet with their Ministers through the process they struck when Kathleen Wynne, who was Minister of Aboriginal affairs at the time, and came to the Longhouse and set up a communications process with the Confederacy.
"She was ballsy in setting up a table to talk without condition that the Band Council or Haldimand had to be there, when no other government had done that". However the agreement, had expired in June 12, and that the HCCC has been waiting to renew that process.
Comment: It is probable the Ontario allowed the "protocol" to expire because that was the original intent, and it became clear in the intervening time just what the HDI, who represents the HCCC is. Words such as "thugs", "extortionists" have come into play - and it has been apparent to all that in the intervening period the HDI has engaged in actions that are illegal, questionable at best, and they have no legal authority whatsoever to negotiate with anyone - that is the purview of the Six Nations Elected Council who did meet with the representatives of Ontario, and Haldimand County. As a courtesy the HCCC was invited to send a Chief to attend, but they declined. They are well aware that the Federal Government will never give them the land because it was ceded in 1844 and they have the documents to prove it. So HDI hope that by leaning on the weak Ontario Government that they might get what they want - seemingly not realizing that as representatives of the Crown it would have to be the Federal Government who gave the ok to add the land to the Reserve. This is a problematic procedure even when a claim has some validity since it takes the land out of a County's land base and can no longer be taxed. Since it would be unfair to a County and its taxpaying citizens to "pick up the tab" it would likely be the Federal Government (the taxpayers of Canada) who would foot the bill. It would not create any "happy campers" among those who pay taxes in this Country.
This subject is expanded upon by the same reporter in an article appearing on the same page of TIN, and entitled, Ontario's rushed meeting produced decision to meet again. There is a lot of repetition here so I will fix on the part where there is some new information. In essence, the article is about the "expired protocol" noted above. The HDI Director said, That protocol ........ allowed for both Ontario and the HCCC to meet and discuss issues arising at, not just Kanonhstaton (the former Douglas Creek Estates subdivision) but on the Burtch Tract lands outside Brantford.
"We have been calling Ontario to discuss renewing the agreement but we are getting no where".
In the meanwhile trouble may be brewing in Caledonia as non-native activists continue to swarm the site .................
Next comes the warning, in light of these occurrences they [HCCC] are "deeply concerned for grave consequences" at Kanonhstaton over the ensuring summer months as the Ontario legislature takes a summer break.
Then the spin about the protocol (recently expired) is again mentioned, and as well as instructions for Ontario to remember that the Tsilhqot'in Supreme Court decision will apply to Six Nations (in other words the Elected Council does not represent nor is it the voice of the people). I discussed this matter in a recent posting and it is only wishful thinking that anyone is going to draw a parallel between the Tsilhqot'in and Six Nations situations. The HCCC spokesperson said that they want Ontario to return to the expired protocol provisions. However Ontario is very clear about the matter at this point. To be specific, Ontario is still holding the land in trust and has not turned it over to the Confederacy
Comment: Next in this article comes a statement that is absurd but which is always said, likely in the hope that people will have forgotten what the Federal Government has said in the matter - that Six Nations has no valid land claim to the property. Here are the words from the article, Neither the federal or provincial governments have proven any surrender of the lands has taken place. If one says this lie often enough perhaps some will believe them. Basically the HDI is saying that they can do whatever they want to do at DCE, and no one else has a stake or say in the matter - it is their decision alone to make. Considering their track record even after 2006 (work stoppages, violent encounters) it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and reversing victim status.
This is a self-serving group which represents its own interests, and who will get rich on the backs of those who give in to their wild assertions, and will be empowered to do just about whatever they please because no one is calling them to task. No one is challenging them - except maybe one blogger. I seriously hope that there are many both on and off Reserve who are seeing the HDI for what they truly are - and recognize the dangers in dealing with them on any level. If the HCCC wants to speak with some group they should not have assigned the HDI such a powerful role with, apparently, no checks and balance. Who is overseeing them? In theory the HCCC Chiefs and Clan Mothers, in practice ....................
Misuse of Funds?: **** It is not only the Elected Council researchers who have concerns about possible misuse of funds. People, even supporters, are (and have been) questioning HDI about what they are doing with the money they are receiving. The "transparency issue" raised its head once again at the meeting at the barricade above where the HDI Director spoke about the fence going up at DCE, and the expiration of the protocol with the Province. Then an female elder who was, one of the original group who took over the site Feb. 28th, 2006 questioned [Director] about the transparency of the HDI.
"As Haudenosaunee people, can we know what all these negotiations are about"? the elder asked of the Director who said that, "the door is always open". The elder then said, "I'm glad to hear that because there's a lot of people that want to know about the money and where it has gone". The Director then said they were currently "undergoing our audit" then explained about the, "three different columns" including:
1) Administration dollars
2) Lease money
3) Land acquisition money
In relation to number 2 above, the Director said, "that is restricted", apparently only, "The people through their clans and their families, if you are participating with your clan family and know the process of the Confederacy, that's who gets to decide that". Considering that most folks at Six Nations have no idea as to what clan they belong, it means that a select group of individuals will have the knowledge of where the monies are going from "lease money" but not the "everyday" citizens of Six Nations. This will probably come back to bite the Director in the ......... but only time will tell. The rest of this part of the answer to the Elder's question is gibberish to me, I don't understand at all what the Director is getting at. Expressions such as, "you stood as Nations even when the Chiefs told you to go home" is left hanging - perhaps not everything got recorded .................... It is all somewhat bizarre.