Friday, November 03, 2006

Seeing the writing on the wall in Caledonia

“Federal representative Ron Doering told the crowd that the federal government's position is that we (Canada) own the land according to an 1844 surrender document but also conceded that "we might be wrong." He said government has put the onus on the natives to prove that.”

Mr. Doering says "we might be wrong", and no high level bureaucrat would say that if he was confident in the government's position. The room in Caledonia guffawed loudly at this, unwilling to accept the possibility that the Six Nations Plank Road claim, including the reclamation site, may be valid.

It is disturbing that so many of the political hopefuls in Caledonia are not ready and willing to address this reality. They pander to the fears and anxieties of a few and the prejudices of others by promising things that are simply unrealistic: 'Six Nations people should leave the land before negotiations continue.'

This is not going to happen. Six Nations will not leave. Negotiations for the Plank Road Claim are nearing the end. It is a foolish time to try to disrupt negotiations ... unless, of course, that is the goal of these politicos ... to disrupt the negotiations and prolong the process ... perhaps drag it out interminably. I am not sure why they would want to do that.

Trying to disrupt negotiations cannot have positive consequences for Caledonia.

The responsible thing for leaders or potential leaders to do would be to help prepare the town for a new reality ... the reality that the Plank Road claim may well be valid, that the provincial government will, thus, make a financial settlement with Six Nations for all settled properties, and that the reclamation site will remain in Six Nations possession.

Responsible leaders would consider all possible outcomes and work to bring people together regardless, instead of working to reinforce the prejudices and hysteria so blatant in Caledonia, and so unacceptable in Canadian society.


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