Monday, 10 November 2014

Cayuga Bridge: View One Week After the HDI "Ordered" the Construction Company to Stop Work

As reported in a recent posting here, on 3 November 2014 the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) brought the repair work being completed on the 90 year old Cayuga bridge to a complete halt.  The question to be posed and answered in the present blog posting is, "what is the status of the work one week later?"  I will explore this matter via a set of pictures I took at the site today, 10 November 2014.

Considering that the HDI (the extortion and enforcement wing of the Hereditary Confederacy Chiefs Council - HCCC) has no official status viz a viz negotiating with any level of government be it County, Provincial or Federal, threatening the work crews at the Cayuga bridge about "action" should they not halt the construction is nothing more than an illegal act of a group of citizens with absolutely no authority, except that they assign to themselves. 

Their rational for initiating this action is ostensibly because the bridge work is infringement on the tow path of the Grand River Navigation Company (built in the 1830s) and river bed land claims.  The true reason is that they have not been able to get the Provincial Government to hand over the deed to Douglas Creek Estates (DCE), and they need to flex their muscle in some manner to get the attention of Toronto.

As the Federal Government has indicated, and the legitimate Six Nations Elected Council has accepted, there is no valid land claim which would require return of lands in the Grand River Tract now in the hands of third parties.  The land in the Lower Grand River was surrendered in a series of claims largely from 1834 to 1849.  There is no unceded lands whatsoever in the vicinity of Cayuga.  The tow path began upriver in North Cayuga Township, north of the Ruthven historic site, since the dam at Dunnville backed the water up to an area a mile or so above Cayuga.  So even if one could stretch things to find some sort of tow path claim, it would not involve the lands where the bridge is being repaired.  In addition, by the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 the Six Nations were granted permission to "occupy" the lands on both sides of the Grand River, but there was no ownership in fee simple, and the River bed lands were never mentioned - the lands were vested in the Crown and could only be sold to the Crown such that the latter would issue Patents to the purchasers who bought the improvements of individual Indians.  All such issuances were addressed by the Six Nations Chiefs in Council.

Secondly, there is no treaty covering the lands around Cayuga.  The so-called "Nanfan Treaty of 1701" is a document where the then Five Nations offered to turn over lands in what is today Southwestern Ontario to "Our Great Father the King of England" with the hope that he will grant hunting rights.  Alas, the land in question, were taken via a genocide of unspeakable proportions during the 1640s and 1650s which completely annihilated the aboriginal people of Southwestern Ontario, the Attiwandaronk (Neutral) people of the Grand River Valley and their neighbours.  However, by 1696 the Mississauga and their allies had destroyed the 8 villages constructed by the then Five Nations on the conquered lands and drove them back to what is today Upstate New York.  So doing the math, the Five Nations had absolutely no rights to the lands they so generously offered to surrender to the King of England since they were taken from them by conquest 5 years earlier.  Further emphasizing the fraudulent nature of this "treaty", which is actually about hoped for permission to continue hunting in these lands, the original document has neither the Colonial seal of New York nor the Privy Council seal of the Crown so it is a total fraud, and the document is an item of historical interest only.

Knowing that there is no valid land claim, and that the treaty under which the HDI claims entitlements is bogus, then the question is why would a construction company acquiesce to the demands of the HDI to stop work?  Why did they not call the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) whose Cayuga detachment is only two minutes away?  Why have they not applied to the Superior Court of Haldimand County in Cayuga for a Court injunction to remove trespassers especially when in similar cases the Court has fined HDI members and affiliates along with their non - Native legal council up to $385,000?  Many postings to this blog have been devoted to this subject.  Perhaps they have, but the information has not made it to the news media.

There is another matter also which is highly pertinent to the situation in Cayuga.  To the best of my knowledge, the HDI are not occupying the site, but have "warned" the construction company that they must stop work, and that they will simply "keep an eye out" for any infractions (meaning the company ignoring the threats or obtaining a Court injunction allowing their employees to return to work under the protection of the Court).  It is important to note that the HDI has logistical problems in areas away from the immediate orbit of the Reserve.  Whereas they can have a few hundred thugs at a site in Caledonia or Hagersville within minutes, Cayuga is a relatively long way away and they would have to traverse a lot of non Reserve lands where they could be apprehended by the OPP between home and their destination.  Under these circumstances, and especially if there was an immanent Court injunction, the HDI would have trouble in assembling sufficient available thugs.  Of course the question as to why they would be available on a moment's notice is a valid one.  The availability to occupy a site or shut it down for any period of time other than a few hours could only be accomplished by those whose jobs were "flexible".

Since I had no evidence as to any change in the situation from one week earlier, in other words that work continues to be at a standstill, the only thing to do was investigate.  Since it was a sunny day I decided to visit the gravesite of my parents, and enroute I "popped in" to Cayuga to scope things out.

I parked on the west side of the bridge (on the largely unoccupied side of Cayuga), and walked east toward the Grand River.  What follows is a series of pictures showing what the site looked like today, Monday, 10 November 2014, at about 2 pm.

Entering Cayuga from the east along Highway 3

The above sign shows the name of the construction company which was doing the bridge repair work.  It is a large and well respected firm, well known across the Province.

The sign is correct, there is a large jog to the right which takes vehicles around the repair work and back to the original alignment on the other side of the bridge.

 Continuing west toward "downtown" Cayuga the extent of the work becomes apparent.

This was apparently the place where workers would cross the bridge to the other (north) side where most of the work was happening (at one time).

This is the spot on the north side of the road where workers enter or entered - the K rail is slightly ajar.

Looking toward Cayuga along the left or north side of the bridge with the current structure to the right.

The access to the main construction site is completely blocked off.

Work, the new bridge, in progress - well at a complete stand still at the time of my visit in mid afternoon on a Monday.

The Dufferin construction trailer and enclosure on the north side of Highway 3 just west of the welcome to Cayuga sign shown in an earlier picture above.  The Dufferin Construction website has detailed plans and visuals of the Cayuga bridge project as seen here.  This reflects what "should" be happening.

So, the evidence suggests that one week after threats were issued by HDI to "stop work or else", there is nothing happening in the way of repair work at the Cayuga bridge.  So how many millions of dollars is the HDI costing Canadian taxpayers "this time"?  Once a Court injunction is issued, if they fail to comply, how much in the way of fines will be levied.  Hopefully it will be along the lines of the decision of Justice Harrison Arrell of the Superior Court of Brantford in 2010 - in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for disrupting the work at construction sites in Brantford and failing to comply with a Court injunction.  Only the very stiffest of fines will put a crimp in the style of this rogue group which has carved a path of wanton destruction from Brantford to Dunnville and beyond.  They must be stopped as they are becoming emboldened - as happens when enablers don't drop the hammer on blatantly illegal acts including threats, intimidation and extortion.

Update:  17 November 2014.  Apparently the Ontario Provincial government has had enough.  Work will restart on the Bridge shortly, as detailed in the 14 November 2014 article in the "National Post" here.