Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Six Nations, Caledonia, Tyendinaga, Desoronto

Message from Tyendinaga Mohawks:

Do you support the rule of law?

Do you want another stand-off like Caledonia?

Canada must honour its treaties and return stolen land.

Peaceful resolution of the land claim in Tyendinaga (near Deseronto) is possible if Canadians ask all of their governments to follow the rule of law; honour their treaties, negotiate in good faith and return stolen land. Please see phone numbers and addresses at the bottom to contact local officials and voice your support for justice, that has long been denied.

The claim of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is based upon the illegal disposition of some 827 acres [or 923 acres depending on whose counting] of land, known as the Culbertson Tract, in the years 1836 and 1837. The tract consists of land within the original Mohawk Tract granted to and reserved for the Six Nations by the Simcoe Deed, also known as Treaty No. 3 ½, in 1793. The basis of the claim is that no surrender of the Culbertson Tract was ever sought by the Crown nor given by the Six Nations, as required by the mandatory provisions of the Simcoe Deed. [Tyendinaga's Chiefs immediately registered their people's dissent but no formal legal process existed to pursue its return.] The [land] claim was submitted in 1995 and accepted for negotiation in 2003.

The Federal government has since tried for several years to get Tyendinaga to take a buy-out for the land. The people of Tyendinaga have repeatedly refused.

The town of Deseronto falls in the middle of the Culbertson claim. The Mayor of Deseronto said that the town's economic viability and survival depends on the development of Culbertson tract lands and began promoting the land for condos and townhouses late last year. Tyendinaga's Rotiskenhrakehte successfully stopped development of these lands and the developer publicly abandoned plans for a 30 million dollar project.

However, Thurlow Aggregates continues to operate a Gravel Quarry on Culbertson Tract lands. Despite the fact that Tyendinaga has requested its license be revoked given ongoing negotiations, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources continues to license the quarry for the removal of 150,000 tons of gravel annually. Federal negotiations are clearly in bad faith as they choose to ignore the 850 plus truckloads of Tyendinaga land that are removed every month. In January 2007, Tyendinaga's
Rotiskenhrakehte gave the quarry operator 60 days notice to stop selling off Mohawk land. The time for voluntary closure has lapsed and Tyendinaga has now assumed the burden of closing the gravel pit.

It is the Kingston office of the Ministry of Natural Resources that issues the permit to Thurlow Aggregates. Please call them asking that land acknowledged as having a justified claim against it should not be removed. The quarry’s permit should be removed until the land claim is settled.

MNR Kingston Area, Beechgrove Complex, 798 King St, W.,
tel: 613-531-5729 fax: 613-531-5730

dramsay.mpp@liberal.ola.org - Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Natural Resources

Please also contact Indian and Northern Affairs, requesting speedy and just resolution to this conflict.
Email: InfoPubs@ainc-inac.gc.ca Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604 Fax: 1-866-817-3977


and I would suggest cc the governor general: info@gg.ca

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

'Marshall Law' in Caledonia
Unfortunately the Ontario Court of Appeal identified Justice Marshall's errors in law too late to prevent the trauma, injury, terror and unfair conviction of 21 peaceful unarmed people sleeping or sitting by by the fire, in a muddy moonscape of a development site with its sacred topsoil scraped off.

Justice T. David Marshall is 'the law' in Haldimand County where the Six Nations Haudenosaunee people are asserting their aboriginal rights. Their claim is for the Haldimand Tract, six miles deep on either side of the Grand River from source (near Orangeville) to mouth (Lake Erie), traditional lands reserved solely for them after the American War of Independence. They are also asserting sovereignty as allies of the Crown, not subjects. They fought with the British against the Americans in 1776, and again in the war of 1812, where they turned them back at the Niagara River. They are allies of the Crown: Allies, and sovereign people.

Jim Prentice, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada referred to the Haldimand Tract as
"... the oldest land claim in Canada", so clearly the government has been aware of the issue for a very long time, since 1841 with the first objection to the 1841 'surrender'. With benefit of knowledge of what happens still today, I know that the government and the Confederacy signed an offer, which the government of Canada still today calls "signing a final agreement", just to befuddle the Canadian population. Just like the unions, the offer goes to the people for ratification and it was voted down, in 1841; but our government still "stands by" this 'final agreement', because that is all Canada has.

The federal government has consistently failed to address the issue in any meaningful way despite letters of concern dating back to 1841, and 29 specific land claims submitted since 1979. Six Nations has been led on a merry dance of filing objections and claims, negotiating ad nauseam without result, finally, frustrated, Six Nations Band Council took the government to court ... for a few years ... then "Now ... let's explore this matter instead ... " ... on and on the dance goes, the government's purpose being
to go nowhere.

So ... with the backing of the
Clan Mothers, who hold the aboriginal title to the land, the some seventh generation leaders of the reclamation have reclaimed the land themselves and finally managed to engage the government in real negotiations, so far ... but they are starting to stall. There was an interruption as negotiations were beginning, though, because Justice T. David Marshall granted the 'owners' and developers of the land an ex parte injunction to remove the Six Nations people from the site. Ex Parte is the term used when there is only one party to the injunction, and thus no opportunity for Six Nations to respond. If they were allowed to respond to an ordinary injunction, they would bring up the issue of the Constitution and Aboriginal Rights and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Human Rights Code, and all those interpretive laws of the land.

Justice Marshall lives in the Haldimand Tract. Justice Marshall, in fact, is a 'landowner' in the Haldimand Tract. The Haudenosaunee people know the laws of the land better than he does. They attended the injunction hearing anyway. They spoke anyway. They told the Judge, through a lawyer, that they were claiming the whole Haldimand Tract and since he was a 'landowner', he was in a conflict of interest and should recuse himself (withdraw). He became very upset, excused himself and left the courtroom for a few minutes. Then he returned and granted the injunction. He did not recuse himself. He told the Haudenosaunee people present that the injunction would be enforced, but they would be given a chance to leave the site. If they did not leave, they would be arrested and summarily convicted - convicted on the spot with no opportunity to defend themselves in court, in violation of their fundamental right to fair procedure, the Court of Appeal commented.

The injunction took effect at 2 p.m., March 29, 2006. Haudenosaunee women and children and men lined the entrance to the reclamation site that day, but the police did not come in. For a month, the people on the site were subjected to helicopters and planes flying over the site, a huge buildup of OPP in town in tactical gear, their activity everywhere, news that hospitals were clearing wards in preparation, multiple ambulances parked strategically nearby, more busloads of police officers, repeated warnings from police that they were "coming in tonight", and many many other psychological tactics, but they did not leave the site.
Judge Marshall got impatient and told police that if they did not remove the Haudenosaunee people from the site, he was calling them back to court to explain publicly why the court's order had not been implemented. The 'owners', Henco partners the Henning brothers, also pressured the OPP through the press to act on their injunction. The Mayor always insisted they must be removed (still does). The OPP brought in more officers, more ambulances, more helicopter flights and the tension in the town was palpable.

Later, the police said things had seemed to be 'ratcheting up' on the site. I was there. April 18, sitting in my car listening to the drumming and singing. The only ratcheting up was done by the OPP. Later they also said "there were some New York license plates" as if that was a reason to attack. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy spans the border.

Under pressure, the OPP enforced Judge Marshall's order, implementing the injunction by attacking suddenly with 150 Tactical officers at 4:45 a.m. on April 20, 2006. One youth and 5 white supporters were given a chance to leave the site, in fact chased off by OPP waving guns at them. The other youth there was dumped out of the hammock where he was sleeping, jumped on hard, and handcuffed. 15 Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters ... young women kicked awake with guns in their faces.

They ran some yelling, "We are supposed to be able to leave ... we are supposed to leave!" They were told by the Confederacy Council to leave the site in case of police approach. They were chased by police in vehicles and on foot, tackled and brought down hard, men tasered, one young man pulling out three tasers and throwing them back before the fourth finally brought him down. They were beaten if they struggled, and they all did, so some officers also sustained injuries but they all did. They were handcuffed and laid out on the ground, "all pretty beaten up" according to an eye witness, one of the 5 white people chased away who stuck around to witness despite OPP threats.

150 officers arrested 16 people, "all pretty beaten up"
, mostly young parents, some pregnant.

Then they were put into police transport vehicles, taken to the station. Four men were left restrained in a closed van for 4 hours in the unseasonally hot sun. All were processed, finger printed and
summarily convicted of contempt of court. One who gave his own name instead of the Canadian name assigned to his family in the residential schools, was held several days, was beaten, and had to spend a few days in hospital before he could be released.

Meanwhile, tactical OPP had control of the site after 5 a.m., with a few Six Nations people gradually appearing here and there to retrieve things, then a few more, then more and more as hundreds came quietly out of the bush from the back of the site,
led by the women who linked arms and walked the OPP back off the land. A grandmother chased a police woman who retaliated, and the grandmother was taken down and badly bruised with blows from five officers. Then her son and other Haudenosaunee men arrived and the officers fled, the police woman redfaced, grabbing and gripping a highpowered rifle in her hands fiercely as they drove away.

By about 8:30 a.m., the Haudenosaunee Confederacy people of Six Nations had retaken the site. Police ran away so quickly they left prisoner transport and other vehicles behind. At that point, the young men came forward and smashed windows, etc, until officers returned to retrieve the vehicles and until they drove them away. The last officer thought he'd try to tell them to stop, and they had to chase him into the vehicle. That got a lot of press. ;)

This is Marshall Law. This is not the law of Canada. Judge Marshall "erred in law", failed to afford "fair procedure" and failed to implement the proper legal solution. He implemented "force of law" when negotiation is always the legal solution, according to the Supreme Court. He violated basic human rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for not affording due process of law, and aboriginal rights to by not acknowledging the government's authority to negotiate as the legal solution.
Unfortunately the Ontario Court of Appeal identified Justice Marshall's errors in law too late to prevent the trauma, injury, terror and conviction of 21 peaceful unarmed people sleeping or sitting by by the fire, in a muddy moonscape of a development site with its sacred topsoil scraped off.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Aboriginal title/Canada? Greenfield/Brownfield?

Marie and the whiners playing worn out tunes of yesteryear ...

Last year I wondered how I would spend my time in retirement, what cause, what did I WANT to do to 'help'.

The human environment is always a concern. I live in desecrated downtown Hamilton. I love the old areas, the history, the beauty, the hands that have touched the railing. An old building saved from destruction and renewed is a jewel to me!

A big box or big (deadspace) office building replacing an old shopping or residential neighbourhood is Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

A suburb spraaaaawling all over a former farmer's field, no sidewalks, no trees, no store to walk to for a quart of milk, gotta get in the car and spew some fumes... get a quart of milk ... spew ALOT of fumes ... get to work ... spew some more fumes ... go visit a friend ... my idea of hell! (Mount Hope .... oh GROSS!!!) DEVELOPERS YOU ARE ON MY sh** LIST!

An ugly old industrial site is ... beautiful potential for a cozy new neighbourhood!! clean, green, already on the bus line, sewer line, bicycle friendly, pedestrian friendly, CHILD friendly, people friendly ... etc. etc. ... compact means more green areas left ... you get my drift.

As I was pondering this, Janie and Hazel and a few others took a short walk onto the DCE and changed my year and maybe my life. Wink Maybe all of our lives. Maybe changed the whole country.

Oh ya, did I mention, aboriginal rights ... always a lurking concern of mine too. "Uphold the honour of the Crown" and all that ... PollyannaCanada ... tell the truth ... acknowledge the horrors ... the ripoffs ... DO THE RIGHT THING fercrissakes!

So I am talking to Janie and it's slowly dawning on me ...

Destruction of the greenfields, commuter sprawl ...

This truly is a winning team ... a win-win team, in my books.


That's not a problem! HURRAH!! That's a HUGE VICTORY!!

Mayor Marie and greenfield developers who like the easy money?
You have met your nemesis.
It is the end.
It is over.

It is just NOT the way of the future. Just SOOOOOO 80's ... passe ... lights out ... that's all she wrote ... greenfields are off the development plate ... boundaries are expanding NOWHERE!!


Now stop the whinging and start learning about brownfield and infill development. And start thinking about human development, about why people want to live in Caledonia in the first place. I don't think it's because of sprawl and big box stores.

It is because of that lovely small town downtown.
Focus on filling that with residents and shoppers!

Oh and btw ... Those of us who live in the city are friggen tired of subsidizing the HUGE costs of infrastructure on the greenfields. Who the frig needs 50 miles of pipe and tubes to serve 10 houses?? yeesh!! Tighten it up, put it on a bus line, and share the greenspace that creates.
This is not rocket science.

Friday, December 01, 2006


I am confused. I worked in education for 25 years before retiring. Kids are taught that racism is not acceptable in Canada. I believed that too.

Now I am not so certain what Canada is about anymore because it appears that racism is acceptable in Canada ... but only against Indigenous people.

In fact, it appears that our government not only ignores but condones, incites and sustains racism against Indigenous people ... systematically ... purposely ... intentionally ... "on your behalf", they would likely say.

An example and an analogy:

Union and employer negotiators reach agreement on a tentative settlement ... an offer that will be taken to the union members for ratification. There is a public announcement of a tentative agreement but the contents of the offer are not made public until after it is ratified by the membership, and the public is repeatedly reminded that it is not a settlement yet. The media know that ... our governments know that ... the negotiators signatures only means that they agree to take it to the membership for consideration of acceptance or rejection. It's not an agreement until the membership says its an agreement.

First Nation and Canadian government negotiators reach agreement on a tentative settlement. Then the Minister of Indian affairs calls a press conference to make a big public splash, holds a big public treaty signing ceremony, lauding this 'historical', 'precedent-setting' and all round marvellous 'treaty', the contents of which are entirely divulged to the press and the public. It's an agreement when the government says it's an agreement.

Then ... the First Nations people diligently begin to consider the pros and cons of the offer and state their opinions on various elements as they move toward acceptance or rejection ... agreement to ratify or not to ratify

... and then the media say things like this:

Hard work, vision got treaty done
November 9, 2006
------ ------ Citizen

It never fails. The ink was barely dry on the historic ---- First Nation land settlement treaty when the sideline critics began to complain. First, the ---- Nation claimed the ---- treaty was flawed due to a claim overlap. ---- Chief ---- said much of ---- treaty settlement is on ---- land. ...

... and then Canadians say things like this ...

"What's the point? A few years down the road they will start blocking roads and claiming that those who negotiated this deal didn't have any right to make such decisions and therefore it's null and void."

... and the government can take credit for the fact that racism against Indigenous people in Canada is off and running again ... sustained ... for another generation.

... and the government pats itself on the back and says to itself ...

"HeHeHe ... our strategy worked again ... those Indians never learn, eh?
HeHeHe ... we tricked them ... again! HeHeHe!"

See the trap that ordinary Canadians fall into? It is the trap of believing our government ... the trap of believing that 'our government wouldn't promote racism, so this must not be racism ... it must be legitimate complaints'.
It is not.
It is intentional systemic racism promoted and sustained by Canadian governments.

Canadian governments intentionally sustain racism against Indigenous peoples of Canada by using selective, 'slick' negotiating and publicity tactics to convince Canadians that Indigenous people are 'unreasonable' ... 'can't be satisfied' ... 'can't get their act together' ... to convince us, without saying it publicly, that it is ok to be racist 'sometimes'.

It is not ok ... racism is not ok ... Racism is never ok.

I am ashamed of my government.

I am ashamed of my country.

I don't sing the anthem any more, except "Our home ON native land".

I am embarassed that we teach kids to be proud of this Canada.

Canada teaches us only to be 'tolerant and accepting' of visible minorities who came here by choice. The ones who were already here ... who, according to International Law hold valid title to this land ... the land we call 'our land' ... have been and still are mistreated horribly, continually, subtly, insidiously. Systemic racism in this land is older than Canada, and is also as new as today ... and tomorrow.

But ... I AM CANADIAN TOO! and I do not accept our governments' unfair and inhumane treatment of Canada's Indigenous people.

Fair and humane treatment of the Indigenous people of Canada remains a goal ... a dream ... but the current situation is a nightmare ... a nightmare of our own making ... because we sustain the governments that carry out this campaign of racism and hatred ... on our behalf. Canada is generally ranked by the UN as one of the best places in the world to live overall … except for Indigenous people ... they enjoy the quality of life of 63rd place on the list.

Yes, 'Virginia', the governments of Canada DO sustain racism against the Indigenous people of Canada. You bet they do!!

And so do we all when we believe our governments and we follow their example.

Tis the season ... Share the love ...

Tough love for Canada!

Send this blog ...

... to your MPP and MP, to your police and your church, to your school, school board, your postsecondary institution and its Board, the students' council or students' union, to your local newspaper and national paper, the national press services, to your club, to your running group, to your moms and tots group, to your entire email address book, to your local Chamber of Commerce, post a copy in your local convenience store, laundromat, every bulletin board you find, send it to your local and national Union, your senior citizens groups, your local Canadian Legion, your colleagues, friends and relatives, your professional organizations and publications, to online discussion groups and publications ... as many as you can find!
Send it to the United Nations, the United States, the International press services ...

Stay tuned for 2007 campaign:


(LINK coming ... ... January 2007)

Contact Granny at www.reclamationinfo.com

Friday, November 24, 2006

Growing up in Canada: One Canadian's acquired knowledge and experiences about ‘Indians’

I am a researcher by profession … an educational researcher. I am from a historically conservative rural/small town Ontario family, mainly refugees from the potato famine in Ireland, subsistence farmers, and horse people … people who understand and respect the land … people who picked stones out of the rocky land for generations without complaint, grateful for the living and the opportunity and the freedom it gave them.

I didn’t have to do any research to know the truth about Canada’s treatment of the Indigenous people who gave us shelter in this harsh land. It is part of the oral tradition in my family. My grandfather taught me respect for the knowledge and talents of Indigenous people … especially where it had to do with horses. My grandmother taught me compassion for “those poor poor people”.

My mother carried on that compassion … and she taught me why.

My mother had no tolerance for drunkeness or laziness. She would cross the street to avoid someone looking for a handout … unless it was an Indigenous person, in which case she would cross the street to give them some of her very hard-earned money and a few kind words. For some reason, she considered them more worthy. “They haven’t been treated very well.” she said. When I was older I asked “Who didn’t treat them well … us? “The government.”, she whispered (though we were alone in our own kitchen), and she told me not to say that to anyone.

Stricken by the poverty I saw at a reserve where we went for a baseball game, I asked my Mother “Why do they stay here.” She said “It’s beautiful here … (and it was)… and then she added “If they leave, the government will take their land. Shhh … don’t say that out loud.” “That’s not right!” I said. “Shhh.”, she said.

A few years before he died … about eight years ago … my stepfather talked about the war … WWII … which he spent inside a tank always wondering when a grenade would be thrown in … because they couldn’t see out and couldn’t keep it closed long as it was unbearably hot. They depended heavily on their scouts and snipers to clear the way for them. Those scouts and snipers were usually Indigenous men. He spoke of his great respect for their knowledge, talents and their incredible courage. “They were each worth two of us … we depended on them … and we were all the same there … and yet when they came back from the war they were treated … like dirt … they didn’t get the same pension as us and they couldn’t even go to the legion for a beer with us.” My stepfather was a quiet, peaceful, accepting man and the whirlwind that was us and our familes and our passionate ways often swirled around him, laughing or yelling, and he was always the calm in the storm. This was the first time (in 28 years) that I had ever heard him speak passionately … angrily … more than that …
He was white with fury.

I know why he told me … My passion for social justice was sometimes at the middle of the family whirlwind … but he wanted me to carry on that passion … so here I am.

Canada and that “SHHH” word

I admit it … I am shocked and very disappointed that there are not more Canadians actively supporting Six Nations' right to fair and honourable treatment without violence. Many Canadians know the same truths as I do. I guess it has to do with that “Shhh” word. Canadians are not supposed to talk about the way our government has abused, discarded, defrauded, murdered and oppressed Indigenous people. It is still not ‘polite’ to say that our Canadian government is guilty of centuries of criminal acts against indigenous people. It is certainly not polite to say that those criminal acts continue today.

My country is founded on a lie … the lie that this land was uninhabited … was “discovered” by Europeans. It wasn’t. It was stolen by devious means … pretending to be allies, making peace treaties but never intending to honour them, betraying the allies who helped us survive in this harsh land … who saved us from being part of the U.S. … stealing their land and resources and the money from their government accounts that was intended to fund their future, providing conditions of life for them that led to their deaths in large numbers, tacitly endorsing abuse and murder … trying to force them to assimilate and become Canadians, never affording their communities the support that other Canadian communities receive, even today … enlisting help from corporations that poison the land and the water … thus poisoning their food as their land and resources are stolen mass murder carried out over generations … carried out still … right now …
March 27, 2003: Clearcut Defiance


Wednesday, November 22, 2006: First Nation wants mine project stopped

Or try here:

Canada’s (“SHHH”) ‘Indian’ residential schools

Canada mandated, funded and supervised the ‘Indian’ residential schools. Canada has acknowledged physical and sexual abuse in the residential schools. Sexual abuse was rampant and untrestrained in the residential schools, before the days of birth control. What happened to the babies?

There is a CBC movie called “Butterbox Babies” that describes what happened to these "mixed race" babies from one area in eastern Canada. They were murdered and buried in butterboxes.
There is an eye witness account of a residential school in the west that had rows of baby skeletons hidden in its foundation, uncovered when the school was torn down in 1972.

Are we to believe that this practice skipped from one coast to the other without occurring elsewhere in the country? Not according to my mother: “It wasn’t just there.”, she said with great intensity, "We all knew."
It was common (“SHHH”) knowledge back then. It was, I believe, the primary reason for her compassion.

"WHY would Canada do all that?", you may ask.
the land that we call Canada still legally belongs to the Indigenous people, but Canada does not want to acknowledge that because Canada has been profiting from their land and resources ... so it has traditionally tried to oppress them, keep them in poverty, keep them in jail, keep them down, keep them quiet ... while we steal their land ... "SHHH"!

Where to now Canada?

The media’s current negative campaign against the traditional Haudenosaunee people of Six Nations is just another part of a long Canadian tradition of trying to force traditional people assimilate … become ‘Canadian’ like the rest of us ... and mainly, to GIVE UP THE LAND TO CANADA. However, the traditional people will not give up their traditional ways, and they will not give up their title to their land. Now that the land is becoming polluted, they are stepping up to fulfill their responsibilities to care for the land for the ‘coming faces’, because Canada is not doing that: Canada is draining the land of its ability to support life.

Canada’s hidden war of aggression against Indigenous people is now hobbled by instant mass communication, international law, UN oversight, and thus a need for at least some superficial public displays of concern ... like the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
Canada is now confined to even more devious means, tacitly supporting manipulation of and by the media, planting people on discussion boards, harassing and intimidating Canadians who speak out against injustice, stalling, demeaning, and still using violent aggression against Indigenous people as we saw on April 20, 2006 in Caledonia.

There is a lot of Canadian oral history of the 19th and 20th centuries that more recent Canadian arrivals don’t know … because it was hidden, spoken of in whispers … and it still is. It is time to speak up. It is time for Canadians to tell the government: We KNOW what you have been doing and we do not approve!! It is important that Canadians know … when you are complicit with the government in hiding the genocide against Indigenous people, you are guilty of a crime under the UN protocol of 1948. Our government expects us to act like criminals … hide the truth … “for Queen and country”??
I think not!

Oh Canada … my Canada … will you find a new and honourable way to live in peace with our closest neighbours and allies? … or will you find new and devious means to steal their land and resources and silence the traditional people? Will Canada seek peace … or lead us into generations of strife trying to protect the proceeds of its crimes?

Will Canada ever be a country I am proud to leave to my grandchildren … or will it continue to be a deceitful and vicious fraud? Will Canada continue to ‘SHHH’ the people who know the truth? Will Canada ever ‘grow up’ and behave decently?

There is a resurgence of strength and conviction among traditional Indigenous people today. The residential schools took a huge toll on the elders, and many died too young. Consequently, their population is young, half of them are children or youth. They are educated, they are healthy … and their eyes are open. They see the hypocrisy of Canada clearly. They see the subtle and blatant racism and genocide that is Canada’s policy. They know the oral history … and they don’t say “Oh, poor us, oh poor me.”


And they are. They are reclaiming their land and their sovereignty.
And I support them 100%. Our goals are exactly the same:
They want
Canada to act respectfully and honourably.
I want Canada behave respectably and honourably!!

... and if you think "we can't afford it" ??
... that's just another lie our government wants us to believe.

What IS the value of common decency!?!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Caledonia: Judge Marshall should recuse himself

Six Nations people again have to face Judge David Marshall ...

Sept.26, 2006: All parties blast judge over rulings on Caledonia


"lawyers for the province, the Ontario Provincial Police and the aboriginals said the judge was completely off base when he ordered parties in the dispute to report back to him as if he were their supervisor".

"... Mr. Justice John Laskin and Madam Justice Kathryn Feldman -- who shook their heads in apparent surprise as Judge Marshall's approach to the contempt proceedings was described. "
"Let's assume -- as I believe to be the case -- that the contempt proceedings were deeply flawed . . ." Judge Laskin said late in the day, prefacing a question. "

In my opinion, Judge Marshall has imposed himself in the reclamation process through his manipulation of his court and abuse of his power. The Attorney General is appealing Judge Marshall's order against the Six Nations people. The findings of the Court of Appeal have not yet been released. However, it appears clear that Judge Marshall's actions in relation to Six Nations were considered highly questionable by Ontario's Appeal Court. The issue of his ownership of disputed land was not raised.

Six Nations have made a claim for the Haldimand Tract and that claim has been accepted for negotiations, in progress. Judge Marshall 'owns' land in the Haldimand Tract ... a great deal of land, including his own home on the bank of the Grand. Judge Marshall was made aware of Six Nations claim to the Haldimand Tract at the time of the original injunction, and it was suggested he should recuse himself. He became very upset, red-faced, angry and in fact left the courtroom for a few minutes to compose himself. When he returned, he indicated that he would not recuse himself, and he continued the injunction proceedings. He later tried to personally control its implementation, by demanding reports in court (four times) about why his orders have not been carried out.

It should be said that some people of Caledonia and Haldimand County support the Judge's actions. That is not surprising, since they also live on Six Nations land. Their support cannot be taken as indication that Judge Marshall is right, because their interests are the same as his.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Judge Marshall is concerned that Six Nations claim could jeopardize his land holdings. Now he has also been raked over the coals publicly through the Ontario Court of Appeals, where the Attorney General is appealing his rulings.

This Wednesday, Six Nations and other people charged with offences during the reclamation will appear in Cayuga Court ...
people charged with offences relating to a claim for the very land the courthouse stands on ...with what chance of justice?

Judge Marshall should recuse himself. Lawyers should demand a change of jurisdiction. Even without the judge's displays of obvious bias, it does not seem right that people charged with offences relating to a claim for the very land the courthouse stands on would receive justice in that jurisdiction. You don't have to support all of the actions of individuals to support people's right to a fair hearing and a fair trial ... outside of Haldimand County and outside of the influence of Judge David Marshall.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Statement: Six Nations firm,
it did not surrender lands

Chief Allen MacNaughton
News Release
NOVEMBER 3, 2006

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER TERRITORY- Six Nations is standing firm in its position that its lands, six miles on either side of the Grand River, including the disputed Douglas Creek lands, and Plank Road lands were not surrendered by the Six Nations Confederacy Council Hodiyenehsoh.

The federal government, in negotiations Friday, maintained its position that Six Nations surrendered its lands, despite the lack of any legal surrender documents or proof that Six Nations intended to surrender any land .

The federal government is instead relying on questionable minutes made by an Indian Agent of the day. The federal government has also failed to explain,what happened to Six Nations lands and its trust funds.

Six Nations Confederacy Council Hodiyenehsoh (Chiefs) maintain its position that the lands have not been surrendered and will continue to work towards a peaceful resolution of the Reclamation of the Douglas Creek lands at Caledonia.

Allen MacNaughton/ Mohawk Chief
For further information or to set up interviews please contact:
Lynda Powless/ Confederacy negotiating team media advisor/ (519) 445-0898


The Plank Road Claim

Like highway 6, the Plank Road claim crosses the Haldimand tract (12mi), half a mile deep on either side of the old road. Caledonia itself sits on this claim, as does the reclamation site Kanonhstaton, formerly Douglas Creek Estates. Settling the claim to the site means settling the Plank Road claim.

The negotiators are right in the middle of that now: The federal government has said it stands by the 1841/1844 surrenders, though these apparently lack some basic requirements (Order-in-council, survey, ratification by the people of the confederacy). Six Nations says they agreed only to lease the lands, and they have not received proper payment. Next meeting November 14.

This map, apparently a government map from 1900, shows the Plank Road claim as a white strip across the Haldimand Tract, indicating that it was unceded as of that date.


Samuel Jarvis, the former government agent who engineered the surrenders of 1841 and 1844, was removed from his position for fraud shortly after. Thus, the federal government's position is not crystal clear.

The government of Ontario, it appears, has given a guarantee of property titles to current owners, indicating that if Six Nations claim to the Plank Road is successful, Ontario will make every attempt to compensate Six Nations for all privately held properties, so that no property owner is inconvenienced.

The federal government is now saying that they may not have a role to play in the land claim at all, which may leave Ontario clear to transfer the title to Six Nations, if that is the result of the presentation of evidence. There are complications in terms of what type of title this would be.

The process in claims involving potentially unceded territory that may be (illegallly) in private hands is a bit disconcerting: If the government cannot produce evidence of a valid surrender for sale accompanied by appropriate payment, the government simply concludes that that is the case and closes its file. This leaves the 'successful' Indigenous group to its own devices in reclaiming the land.

The Walpole band and the Mississaugas Nations are both currently in that situation. Toronto Islands is unceded Mississaugas territory. They have recently begun protesting expansion of the Island Airport, but otherwise indicate that they don't intend to unduly disturb residents.

It could be that Jim Prentice's statement last week will be the last word: if the federal government cannot defend its right to have sold the property then there simply may be no further federal involvement at that point. It would, then, be up to Ontario to negotiate the disposition and compensation for lands in the Haldimand Tract.

It seems a resolution for the reclamatuion site may be near ... but one hardly dares hope!

Of course ... it goes without saying, I guess, that if the Plank Road claim is already deemed valid for the current negotiations, then the Haldimand Tract claim, of which it is but a part, is also valid for negotiation on a parcel by parcel basis.
That will take some time.