County, provincial officials meet behind closed doors

Dunnville Chronicle: Haldimand County council members were unable to comment on discussions with representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.

For about 30 minutes on March 2, council met behind closed doors with senior negotiator John Nolan and assistant deputy minister Doug Carr who oversees the negotiations and reconciliation division of the ministry.

Neither could provide any information on meeting discussions.

In general terms, Coun. Craig Grice commented on gist of the meeting.

“It relates to lines of communication finally opening up,” he said.
In his opinion, some ideas made sense but others did not and some were non-starters.

“I would hope the powers that be at Six Nations would recognize that it’s about what could be if we want to truly move forward,” stated Grice.
He said a positive point of view was discussed and described it as stepping out of the problem to find an answer.

“It’s got to start somewhere,” Grice pointed out.

The closed meeting occurred nine hours after three Six Nations women asked developer John Voortman to stop construction of 46 townhouses in Hagersville. He agreed to contact provincial officials to ask them to negotatiate this land dispute with Six Nations.

More than a week ago a Six Nations, Brantford and Ontario draft memorandum was leaked out to the public after a closed Brantford council session.
Grice indicated that Haldimand’s discussions were not in the same vein.

The Brantford Expositor identified the memorandum as a provincial document and an interim agreement. Within it were clauses about potential financial benefits to Six Nations, acknowledgement of multiple claims and rights assertions of Six Nations in Brantford and other parts of the province and encouragement for expeditious federal resolution of outstanding claims.

Other memorandum clauses set out discussions as confidential, a three-month abeyance of Brantford’s injunction against the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and individuals and abeyance of Six Nations elected council’s lawsuit against the city and province.

In turn, the province agreed to give the Haudenosaunee $100,000 to pay for talk costs and Haudenosaunee leaders were to use their best efforts to halt all development delays to give talks a chance to succeed.

Further talks about memorandum were scuttled after Confederacy chiefs heard about the leak.
Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton said the chiefs will look at another avenue to address related issues.
-with files from the Brantford Expositor

Copyright © 2009 Dunnville Chronicle

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