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Canada: Natives Protest Land Confiscation

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    HAUDENOSAUNEE/SIX NATIONS LAND CLAIMS Dear Friends, Those who are able to provide support to the Caledonia protesters please do. This is a legitimate land
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2006
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      Dear Friends,

      Those who are able to provide support to the Caledonia protesters
      please do. This is a legitimate land claims issue. Not everyone has
      financial access to the courts to settle these things. And the courts
      don't guarantee justice.

      Some NC4P members have been out and below is a description from Brian
      of the Halton Peace Network.

      Blankets, water, food would be appreciated.


      From: <hpeacenet2004 @ yahoo.ca>

      CALEDONIA UPDATE April 30, 2006

      Dear Friends,

      My wife and I drove to Caledonia today and spent a while sitting by
      the river, walking through town and visiting the land claim site.

      I noticed a number of changes since my trip of April 22. Some of these
      are the result of the disgraceful mob actions of April 24.
      1. There are far fewer media present. I saw only a solitary CH TV
      2. The road is no longer taped off and it is possible to pass through
      by car if cleared by native security at the blockade.
      3. More flags adorn the site.
      4. We were told that significantly large burial grounds have been
      found on the site and that these will be investigated further in the
      near future.
      5. We were asked for ID to proceed past the barricade and had to leave
      our camera when we entered.
      6. Improvements continue to be made to the shelters on the site.

      We had the good fortune to meet with a Metis woman from New Brunswick
      who has visited elders in some remote places in Canada. Her words of
      confidence that a spiritual breakthrough is on the way to help heal
      the earth were very heartening.

      Below is the statement being distributed at the barricade, some news
      and commentary from the past week plus background information.
      Attached are photos of Caledonia: the bridge over the Grand, a
      downtown tavern, the blockade and traffic.

      The campfire is still burning.


      Joint Statement of Accomplishments by Haudenosaunee/Six Nations,
      Canada and Ontario April 26, 2006

      1. Peaceful Resolution The parties all recognize the need for short
      and long term resolutions that restore and maintain peace.

      2. Douglas Creek Lands We have established a main table through which
      we will work to resolve the issues of possession, use, development and
      occupation of the Douglas Creek Lands. Currently a working group is
      developing recommendations intended to lead to a resolution of the
      Douglas Creek lands issues. The working group will report to the main
      table in the short term.

      3. Relationship with OPP A liaison-working group representing
      Haudenosaunee/Six Nations and the OPP has been making progress towards
      a relationship that is focused on trust and respect which includes
      open communication and patience.

      4. Long Term Resolution The parties have taken steps to appoint and
      establish mandates for principal representatives who will have the
      responsibility to develop a detailed work plan to address and resolve
      the various outstanding issues in accordance with the April 21, 2006

      5. Disengagement Through building a relationship with the
      Haudenosaunee/Six Nations and the governments of Canada and Ontario
      and by working towards resolution of the short and long term issues,
      the parties are moving toward achieving disengagement which would
      result in the clearing of public roads and provide assurance of the
      safety of rail lines.

      Comments from Amnesty International
      April 26

      Dear Ms. Walker,

      I wanted to write back to let you know that your messages are being

      We're following the situation closely - we've had a lot of
      conversations over the last few weeks with members of the community at
      Six Nations and with other friends and colleagues with close family
      and close ties to the community.

      Amnesty does not have a capacity to do direct monitoring, mediation or
      other forms of crisis response the way some other organizations do.
      However we are definitely concerned that there be a peaceful
      resolution that fully upholds the rigths of the people of Six Nations
      and are in discussion with others about how we can best support that end.


      Craig Benjamin
      Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

      Amnesty International Canada
      312 Laurier Ave. East,
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 1H9
      1.613.744.7667 (ext. 235)
      cbenjami @ amnesty.ca

      Locals square off with natives
      500 non-natives rush OPP barrier
      Crowd jeers while police ask for calm
      Apr. 25, 2006

      CALEDONIA, Ont. ­ Shouts of "Coward!", "Who pays your salary?" and "Do
      your job" could be heard as a mob of 500 non-native residents fed up
      with an Indian blockade of Highway 6 rushed a line of police officers
      last night.

      Furious crowd members, fired up from a community meeting held at the
      local fairground, were in an ugly mood as they marched toward the

      They jeered about 75 OPP officers who stood shoulder to shoulder
      across the highway between the mob and the barricade for at least
      three hours, and yelled at police: "Open the road."

      Many waved Canadian flags and sang "O Canada" in between hurling
      racial taunts at about 100 Mohawks gathered at their barricade a block

      A group of non-natives attacked a police car with kicks after one man
      in the crowd was arrested in the fracas, and OPP officers had to
      struggle as the mob pushed them back at least 15 metres.

      By midnight the crowd had dispersed, leaving a group of about 60
      non-natives lingering near the site.

      Two hours earlier the scene was aggressive and angry as a crowd of
      more than 3,000 people, a third of the population of Caledonia,
      gathered to vent their frustration with the Indians' protest, in its
      56th day yesterday, at an open-air public rally.

      One person held a sign reading, "OPP/ RCMP/ Elected Government, Don't
      forget who actually pays your salary."

      A girl of about 10 waved a placard reading, "I'm a sitting duck
      protected by chickens."

      OPP Insp. Brian Haggeth told the rally that negotiation would be
      needed to achieve a lasting, meaningful resolution.

      "My officers are here for the safety of everyone," the inspector said.
      "We can get through this time of uncertainty together, safely and

      Moments later, after the crowd sang the national anthem, things got
      uglier. Police had to drag a man off a makeshift stage as he shouted,
      "Cut off their taxes."

      Another man shouted back: "Hate-mongers."

      Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer attended the mass rally, but did
      not speak.

      In an interview, she fought back tears as she spoke of the strains
      tearing at her community.

      "We've got families divided," she said. "We've got friends on both
      sides of the issue. We're hurting."

      She appealed for Ottawa to step up its efforts to resolve outstanding
      land claims with First Nations people.

      There was polite applause as rally organizer Jamie McMaster Jr. told
      the crowd that he supports the cause of the Mohawks, even though he
      disagrees with their methods.

      "The situation must be resolved peacefully," McMaster said. "If this
      is not kept peaceful, Caledonia will be ruined forever."

      Some members of the crowd passed around Canadian flags. Others passed
      out leaflets that said Caledonia was "being held hostage by terrorists."

      "Who's going to pay for our losses including property values?" the
      flyer asked. "They have terrorized a whole community for their
      political gain!"

      Trainer said she thought some of the anger would dissolve if the
      Mohawkstook down a barricade on Highway 6 south of the town, blocking
      traffic past the construction site.

      The barricade was erected Thursday, hours after an early morning raid
      by the Ontario Provincial Police in which 16 Mohawks were arrested and
      charged with mischief and assaulting police.

      Mohawks say police used pepper spray and Tasers on them.

      Earlier, Clyde Powless, a spokesperson for Mohawks blockading the
      highway, said he welcomed the rally of Caledonia residents.

      "It's good," Powless said before the meeting.

      "It brings them closer together ... They're saying the same thing I'm
      saying: `Wake up, government.'"

      "I think it's good," he added. "It's healthy to vent."

      The town's six schools were shut down because of the tensions on
      Friday, but students returned to classes yesterday.

      Meanwhile, no substantive negotiations are expected for two weeks, as
      federal and provincial officials have been given that time to assemble
      bargaining teams with the power to reach tentative agreements.

      One suggestion is to offer a buyout to Henco Industries Ltd., a small
      local company whose partially completed Douglas Creek Estates
      development is now occupied by a camp of dozens of Mohawks and supporters.

      There hasn't been any word about how much money would be offered to
      the developer for the 40-hectare patch of land, where sewer lines have
      been installed and two houses completed on land that Mohawks say
      rightfully belongs to them.

      Henco has given out a press release expressing frustration with the
      slow pace of talks, and calling for "immediate interim funding."

      Leaflets have been passed out for the past several days advertising
      last night's meeting, saying it was called by residents: "To voice our
      anger, frustration and disappointment with our government and its
      abandonment of our community, our safety, our businesses, our property
      values and our rights as Canadian citizens."

      The meeting wasn't organized by the local county council, but was held
      in the parking lot outside the municipal offices.

      Caledonia – Eyewitness reports of April 24 mob violence

      All I can say is that some Caledonians last nite very loudly, with
      lots of screamng profanity and anger displayed the worst of human mob
      behaviour. They were a disgrace to the Canadian flags they carried and
      to other Canadians. I was appalled, saddened and disgusted. I
      apologize, but I can't find anything kind or understanding to say
      about them in my heart.

      The Six Nations people stood quietly and with integrity throughout and
      most of us moved back to the fire to socialize and to allow the angry
      frenzy down the road to wear itself out.

      I am thankful that no one was hurt physically last nite, although I
      wouldn't say that the Caledonians behaviour wasn't harmful. It was. My
      feeling is that that kind of blood thirsty call for force and violence
      to be used was a significant factor in the attack on the Six Nations
      people at the site last week, the very morning after the OPP had
      stated in the media that they would only use force as a last resort.
      Last Thursday's attack on the Six Nations people, on their land, while
      they were sleeping, with women and children at the site, resulted in
      the need for the blockade on highway 6. The attack on these unarmed
      people cannot be minimized. It came complete with tear gas, guns,
      taser guns and pepper spray followed by a huge escalation of police
      and RCMP presence to intimidate and inflict heightened psychological

      We need to support the Six Nations people in Caledonia more than ever.
      If the police or government think the residents of Caledonia have
      given them their blessing to use violence then they need to think
      again. The world is a lot bigger than the screaming, angry, out of
      control mob at the front line last nite. We need to make sure that
      support is highly visible and let the powers that be know that we are
      watching and violence against these people won't be tolerated.


      Dear Friends,

      Following the incident at 6 Nations near Caledonia last night - I feel
      The need to present some balance. I was at Caledonia last night, and
      Have to report that it was one of the saddest occasions of my life.

      When I arrived at the Native site - I was welcomed, and thanked for
      Showing my support when others were showing hatred. When lines of
      Protestors approached the Native barrackade, we were asked by the
      Native Leaders to "go and sit by the fire" - to talk, and sing and to
      Listen to the drums. "There is nothing to see here. Nothing to do.
      We don't want anyone getting hurt."

      Native People spoke with great empathy for the people of the town of
      Caledonia. They said: "We understand how frustrating it is when the
      Government doesn't act. We understand how frustrating it is when your
      Property is taken away from you and devalued. We understand what it
      Means to feel helpless. That's why we're here."

      The few (300 or 400) that approached the site last night were not
      People who were concerned about the injustices in their own lives.
      They were racist bullies - plain and simple. They shouted slurs and

      The worst kind of betrayal is the betrayal by your own people. And I
      Had to look into the face of my fellow Canadians, waving the Canadian
      Flag, and could not walk to my car, for fear of being beaten. I was
      With 2 other women and 6 men - and we could not leave - because no one
      Could guarantee our safety in the face of the angry mob.

      And today, in the newspaper, the Native people were described as



      A touch of irony
      By Arlene Adamo, Newmarket
      The Hamilton Spectator
      (Apr 26, 2006)

      It was greatly ironic that the Caledonia resident protesters attempted
      to make a point by waving Canadian flags and singing the national
      anthem.The truth is that if not for the ancestors of the Six Nations
      people, the protesters would have been singing the Star-Spangled
      Banner and waving the red, white and blue.

      Alabama on the Grand
      By Kristin Smith, Hamilton
      The Hamilton Spectator
      (Apr 26, 2006)
      Re: 'Native blockade: Residents rise up' (April 25)

      I was sickened by the headlines. I felt horrified about the racist
      words and actions of a large number of residents in Caledonia on
      Monday evening. These images are shameful reminders of white people's
      backlash in Alabama, Texas, Kentucky and other Southern states during
      the civil rights movement of the 1950s. For those of us who support
      the demands of First Nations people, now is the time to step up and
      show solidarity. Demand accountability from the Canadian government.
      Insist on reparations to First Nations people.

      Comments from the local government


      Caledonia area news

      Dundas Star News

      The Expositor
      write to opinion@...
      include your name, address and daytime phone number

      The Hamilton Spectator
      write to letters@...
      include your name, address, and daytime phone number

      The Chronicle

      Ancaster News

      The Grimsby Independent and other Niagara Peninsula newspapers

      Historical timeline
      CBC News Online | April 21, 2006

      Six Nations natives and developer Henco Industries are involved in a
      land dispute over a 40-hectare tract near Hamilton, Ont. Here is a
      history of the land in question:

      For its loyalty to the British Crown during the American Revolution,
      the Six Nations is rewarded with a tract of land. The Province of
      Upper Canada permits Six Nations to "take possession of and settle" a
      strip of land nearly 20 kilometres wide along the Grand River, from
      its source to Lake Erie, totaling about 385,000 hectares.

      Henco Industries now says the so-called "Haldimand Grant" (named after
      the commander of the British forces) was merely a licence to occupy
      the lands, with legal title remaining with the Crown. Six Nations
      dispute that claim.

      Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe reduces land grant to the Six Nations to
      111,000 hectares.

      Six Nations grants its chief, Joseph Brant, the power of attorney to
      sell off some of the land and invest the proceeds. The Crown opposes
      the sales but eventually concedes.

      The Crown approaches Six Nations about developing Plank Road (now
      Highway 6) and the surrounding area. Six Nations agrees to lease half
      a mile of land on each side for road, but does not surrender the land.
      Lt.-Gov. John Colborne agrees to the lease but his successor, Sir
      Francis Bond Head, does not. After 1845, despite the protests of Six
      Nations, Plank Road and surrounding lands would be sold to third parties.

      The government recommends that a reserve of 8,000 hectares be
      established on the south side of the Grand River and the rest sold or

      Jan. 18, 1841:
      Six Nations council agrees to surrender for sale all lands outside
      those set aside for a reserve, on the agreement the government would
      sell the land and invest the money for them. A faction of Six Nations
      petition against the surrender, saying the chiefs were deceived and

      Six Nations would challenge that claim in a 1995 lawsuit and it is
      part of the basis for the current protest.

      June 1843:
      A petition to the Crown said Six Nations needed a 22,000-hectare
      reserve and wanted to keep and lease a tier of lots on each side of
      Plank Road and several other tracts of land in the Haldimand area.

      Dec. 18, 1844:
      A document signed by 47 Six Nations chiefs appears to authorize sale
      of land to build Plank Road.

      May 15, 1848:
      The land where the current development, Douglas Creek Estates, now
      sits is sold to George Marlot Ryckman for 57 pounds and 10 shillings
      and a Crown deed is issued to him.

      The Crown passes a proclamation setting out extent of reserve lands,
      about 19,000 hectares agreed to by the Six Nations chiefs.

      Under the Indian Act, the Canadian government establishes an elected
      government on the reserve.

      Henco Industries Ltd. purchases a company that owned 40 hectares of
      what it would later call the Douglas Creek Estates lands.

      The Six Nations sue the federal and provincial governments over the
      land. The developer calls it "an accounting claim" for "all assets
      which were not received but ought to have been received, managed or
      held by the Crown for the benefit of the Six Nations."

      July 2005:
      The subdivision plan for Douglas Creek Estates is registered with
      title to the property guaranteed by the province of Ontario.

      Feb. 28, 2006:
      A group of Six Nations members takes over the housing project,
      erecting tents, a teepee and a wooden building.



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