Anti-Native Rights Activist Gary McHale Charged with Assault
A public statement by Tom Keefer
March 17th, 2011
Longtime anti-native rights activist Gary McHale has been charged with assault today after he used physical force to repeatedly push Six Nations solidarity activist Tom Keefer at a so-called “truth and reconciliation” rally in Caledonia on February 27, 2011. The incident occurred in the context of an attempt by Gary McHale to provoke members of the Six Nations community by placing a 5 foot high wooden monument at the entrance of the Douglas Creek Estates (known by the people of Six Nations as Kanonstaton “the protected place”) as part of his so-called “truth and reconciliation” rally.
On 27 February 2011, over one hundred Six Nations solidarity activists gathered to hold a truth and reconciliation rally and celebrate the fifth anniversary of the reclamation of Kanonhstaton (the Douglas Creek Estates) by people of the Six Nations on 28 February 2006. Coinciding with the solidarity celebration was the counter “truth and reconciliation” rally held by Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE).
Gary McHale organizes a “Truth and Reconciliation” rally in Caledonia, demanding that the OPP, the government, and Six Nations people apologize to the “victims” of Caledonia. They attempt to erect an “apology” monument at kanonhstaton (the reclamation site).
On February 27th, 2011, Christian Peacemaker Teams participated in the rally supporting the people of Six Nations in response to Gary McHale’s so-called ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ Rally. In response to McHale’s letter to Christian leaders, two members of the CPT had the following to say:
Speech by Julián Gutiérrez Castaño:
My name is Julián Gutiérrez Castaño. I have come here from Colombia and I work for Christian Peacemaker Teams. I was invited to a rally responding to McHale’s so-called ‘Rally for Truth and Reconciliation’ in Caledonia. I also see that he and some of his people are trying to inaugurate a monument of apologies for the rightful reclamation of Kahnonstaton. When I first (mis)heard about the apology, I thought, “good, finally we are going to apologize to the people from Six Nations”, because they are the people who deserve an apology and the reasons can be easily found in the history of this place. If the apologies are not being made to them, this can not be a rally for Truth and Reconciliation. Rather, it would be a rally for ‘Lies and Violence’.