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