Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Confederacy Chiefs Demand to Meet with Premier Wynne

The online edition of "The Sachem" includes an article entitled, Six Nations Chiefs Want Meeting With Premier, 18 August 2014 as seen here

On 15 August 2014, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) called for a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne about the fence that crosses Thistlemoor Drive, and most particularly to try to strong arm her into accepting the temporary (it has expired) "protocol" which they had negotiated with her when she was Aboriginal Affairs Minister (but under vastly different circumstances).  The article states as follows, with a review of recent events provided by the reporter,

The province did not support construction of the fence – labeling it unilateral action – and invited the Confederacy to be part of talks with Haldimand County and the Six Nations elected-band council to find “long term sustainable” solutions for the Argyle Street South property. Confederacy chiefs met with Zimmer in Ohsweken Tuesday, August 12.


The hereditary government of Six Nations is calling for a meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne following what it says was a disappointing meeting with Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer over the issue of a fence being built on land subject to a land claims dispute. 

The meeting did not "go well" because Minister Zimmer had the audacity to request that all interested parties be present (Elected Council, and County of Haldimand).  HCCC, through their enforcement wing the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), insist that they will only meet with Ontario if no one else is present.  To them, having the Elected Council present would be tantamount to admitting that the latter, the legally constituted authority since 1924 for acting on behalf of the Six Nations Band Members, had any authority.  The HCCC are inflexible, in their mind's eye, despite reality, they are the only legitimate governing body on the Reserve.  As the article states,

The Confederacy, which has been working on a resurgence of the traditional system, is most upset the province let a communications protocol between it and Ontario lapse after two years. The statement said Zimmer would not discuss renewal of the protocol, which was made when Wynne was Aboriginal Affairs minister.

The author of the article also gives a summary of the dispute over the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) since 2006, saying,

Members of Six Nations occupied the site in 2006, claiming it was unsurrendered land. Ottawa says the land was surrendered in 1844. Talks between Ottawa, Queen’s Park and Six Nations broke off in 2009 and the situation has settled into a peaceful stalemate. The province bought the land off the developers in 2006 for $15.8 million.

It is interesting that the author, Daniel Nolan, is among the few to actually acknowledge the fact that Ottawa has consistently stated that the land was surrendered in 1844 - few in the media have ever been willing / able to state what is a correct fact about land ownership in relation to this matter.  I am impressed.

As is typical, the spokesperson for the HCCC provides the standard response which reflects the HDI demands, as follows,

Confederacy spokesperson Hazel Hill said in the statement that Zimmer indicated “he might be prepared” to renew the protocol if the Confederacy took part in the talks with the county and band council and only if the discussions “resulted in a positive outcome.”

“The protocol was a good faith attempt to build a relationship between (the Confederacy) and Ontario and now it appears Ontario was simply using the Communications Protocol as a means to exercise control over the Haudenosaunee,” Hill said.

The Confederacy wants the meeting with Wynne to “repair the damage that has been done to our relationship” and establish a relationship that respects the treaty relationship between the Haudenosaunee and the Crown.

Unless the HDI get their "demands" met in toto, no negotiations, then, as we have learned from their earlier statements, there will be "grave consequences".  If the Government gives into threats of this nature, then they will be used as a doormat for all times - until the Indian Act is revoked and the Reserves are dissolved - which is ultimately the only viable solution to a problem for which there is no other viable solution.

To get a sense of what the HCCC perspective is on the matter, from their publishing wing on Reserve, we can turn to the article in "Turtle Island News" of 20 August 2014 (p.2), entitled, Confederacy calls on Ontario premier Wynne to "rebuild trust".  Apparently after the meeting with Minister Zimmer last Tuesday, which sparked a heated stalemate, ...... the Haudenosaunee Chiefs and clanmothers said they were "disappointed in the direction Ontario appears to be taking, in refusing to renew the two year old Communications Protocol between the Confederacy and Ontario".

Lets pause here and reflect on what is being said.  Basically it is the same statement we have heard for some time now.  Paraphrasing, the HCCC / HDI are saying we want to meet with Ontario only, no one else present, and under "our rules of engagement."  The sheer gall and arrogance is mind boggling. 

Much of the rest of the article is either a repetition of what we have heard recently, or what is included in "The Sachem".  Some new words are entered into the mix, such as the HCCC, calling on Wynne to "help restore the 'fair and honest' communication process ............ ", but Ontario is insisting on, multi-party discussions to find long - term, sustainable solutions with regards to the DCE land.  Well fancy that, and they are standing their ground too.  Then "yawn" more of the same old same old.  So lets turn to the inevitable Editorial which will reinforce the Six Nations (sorry, Haudenosaunee) position.

The Editorial (p.6) is entitled, Wynne hasn't kept her promise ..... and now she's too busy.  I am not sure what "promise" the then Aboriginal Affairs Minister made.  There was an ad hoc agreement, but "promise"?

Supposedly Premier Wynne said, two years ago, upon signing the document, that, "This communications framework represents building stronger and more sustainable relationships.  I believe that the Confederacy can be a partner to help find a long-term solution for everyone.  I wonder if the HCCC, the HDI, and the Editor have forgotten the word "partner", meaning one of many, not one - to - one.  Therein lies the sticking point.  Ontario refuses to see any viable solution coming from a unilateral meeting with just one faction - and that is what the HCCC / HDI is a faction.  They don't speak for Six Nations, officially that is the role of the Six Nations Elected Council - but the HCCC / HDI are making a grab for power.  If Ontario meets their "protocol" it will like saying, "we recognize you are the legitimate authority at Six Nations.  That will never happen. 

Apparently the agreement also included atavistic phrases from history which I know and understand, but with all due respect, I fail to see that someone who has not spent years studying Six Nations history and culture could appreciate the meaning of a phrase such as the wish to be, guided by the principals of peace, friendship and respect as embodied in the Two - Row Wampum and Silver Covenant Chain.  So in all probability these words to an Ontario Minister are mere platitudes that have something to do with being good friends and honouring previous agreements.

In the view of the Editor, For the first time in its history, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs extended its nationhood security to include a new partner  .....  Ontario.

Kathleen Wynne brought that air of trust with her.  And the Chiefs agreed to trust.  But where is she now?  After a heated meeting with her Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, a clear about face on the idea of communications protocol has hit home.

So everything was all fine and dandy until the new Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer blundering in carrying a dose of reality.  So Kathleen Wynne is now aware of what it really means to sign an agreement with the Confederacy without other parties in the matter being present - an acknowledgement of their sovereign rights to represent the Six Nations people.  And now that the green energy park is underway, and the Confederacy is no longer needed, Now Ontario wants the Confederacy to know its place.  And its place is to jump when Ontario's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs calls a meeting; they are to show up along with the band and council and county.  That seems to be a pretty accurate assessment.  However, The Confederacy is calling on Wynne to broker the peace that they feel Zimmer has broken.  Good luck with that!  Apparently the Chiefs are upset that Premier Wynne is "standing beside" Zimmer.  What did they expect?  Well I know, but I have my feet solidly placed on the ground of reality.


No comments:

Post a Comment