Category Archives: Environoment

Stop the Sludge/Support Six Nations Land Defenders–> Hamilton Event

STOP THE SLUDGE! SUPPORT SIX NATIONS LAND DEFENDERS! Speaking Tour
Friday June 29th
7-9 @ Corktown HARRP (187 James St. South)

Join us to learn about struggles to stop the sludge plant at the Headwaters of the Grand River and how to support Six Nations activists who are being criminalized for defending their land.  Speakers from Six Nations and Dundalk share their experiences, followed by an opportunity for discussion.

STOP THE SLUDGE!
How would you like to eat food that was fertilized with hazardous human waste? What if that same waste leaks into our local rivers?

In the lead-up to a July 7th walk in Dundalk, Ontario, to show the growing and united opposition being mobilised against these dangerous developments at the headwaters of the Grand and Saugeen rivers, we will be joined by James Cooke of citizen groups Stop the Waste Park (http://www.stopthewastepark.com/) and the Southgate Public Interest Research Group (http://opirg.org/southgate/home.html).  During this public info night we will learn about the unfolding events and struggles against a dangerous project to build a new waste processing (‘sludge’) plant at the headwaters of the Grand River, as well as resistance to this project from those at the frontline of this environmental struggle.

The story on the sludge plant:

In February 2012, residents of Southgate township and the town of Dundalk, Ontario drove their vehicles onto the access road leading to a construction site. The so-called “eco-park”, located near a school at the edge of town, was to be developed into a sludge-to-fertilizer processing plant.

This land protection action, 145km northwest of Hamilton, Ontario at the head waters of the Grand River (O:se Kenhionhata:tie), has stopped construction of the plant which would have processed the human sewage, industrial and medical waste that would be shipped in from Toronto. The out-sludge would then be sprayed on fields as fertilizer for our food.

With the support of Haudenosaunee land defenders, and a mobilized and highly knowledgeable local community, the blockade’s energy and strength continues to grow and there is grounds for optimism about the impending court date in July which would see the zoning rules disallow further development.

Check out the AW@L Radio interview with Ruby Montour (Haundenosaunee elder, land defender and Grandmother) and Dundalk resident James Cook (Southgate Public Interest Research Group), who have been blockading further development of the site, in a bold and brave land protection effort: http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/awl/2012/05/stop-waste-park

For more information on the proposed sludge plant, and to hear plans of ongoing and upcoming actions on this water issue, visit:

– http://stopthewastepark.com/

– https://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-the-Bio-Solids-Plant-from-Being-In-a-Town-or-near-Housing/282799498412223

SUPPORT SIX NATIONS LAND DEFENDERS!


On June 25, the April 28 Coalition kicked off a speaking tour in Toronto with the  launch of a new Six Nations Land Defenders Legal Defence Fund to support front line Haudenosaunee land defenders who have been criminalized and targeted by the state.

Francine “Flower” Doxtator is a Haudenosaunee Land Defender, grandmother and a member of the April 28 Coalition from Six Nations. She will be in court on June 26 in Cayuga to continue dealing with charges stemming from a February 18 incident at Kanonhstaton, the Six Nations reclamation site near Caledonia, where she and others confronted racist agitator Gary McHale’s planned incursion onto the site known as “the Protected Place.” She was later recharged for allegedly breaching unjust bail conditions when she attended the April 28 walk for “Peace, Respect and Friendship,” where people from Six Nations marched with allies under the banner, “We Are All Treaty People.” For more information on Flower’s case see: april28coalition.wordpress.com.

At Six Nations, the last six years have seen harsh criminalization of Haudenosaunee Land Defenders. Dozens of people have faced criminal charges and several have served substantial time in jail. In Brantford an injunction was passed making it illegal for anyone from Six Nations to be involved in land claims protest within the city; in Flower’s case we see further criminalization of land defenders with bail conditions that attempt to keep her away from already reclaimed land.

We are reminded of our collective strength and the potential for support within activist communities when over the last two years unprecedented levels of support has been generated for the G20 defendants and some of those convicted and that currently there are massive outpourings of solidarity and support to the legal defense funds of Quebec student associations. It is important to remember that the same level of financial and physical support has not arisen for Indigenous Land Defenders and other front line struggles. This needs to change.

We must continue to build support for Six Nations land defenders and other everyday struggles against colonization. We must also remember that all of us living on the land are treaty people, and we as treaty people must work to overcome these outrageous and heart breaking violations of treaty and human rights by building support for our friends and allies at Six Nations.

This event has been organized by Hamilton members of the April 28th coalition.

If you have questions about other work the April 28 Coalition is doing, please contact: april28info@gmail.com

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Filed under April 28 Coalition, Court Support, Development, Environoment, Hamilton, Injunctions, Political Prisoners, Six Nations Land defenders Legal Defence Fund

Solidarity w Six Nations: Upcoming Events

Three upcoming events on Six Nations’ Grand River Territory

April 28: Walk and Gathering for Peace, Respect, and Friendship
Caledonia and Kanonhstaton, Six Nations Territory

April 29: Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity 101:
an introductory workshop
– Waterloo, WPIRG

May 4+5: Aboriginal Land Rights and the Rule of Law: book launch
Brantford, Caledonia, Ohsweken

April 28: Walk and Gathering for Peace, Respect, and Friendship

At 2 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2012 the Six Nations [Haudenosaunee] people of the Grand River territory and their allies will be holding a walk and rally for “Peace, Respect and Friendship.” The main focus of the event is to remind the Canadian people and the Canadian government that Six Nations land rights and treaties need to be respected.

(read more)

Get on the Bushttp://april28coalition.wordpress.com/our-transportation-registration-form/

April 29: Indigenous Sovereignty & Solidarity – 101: An Introductory Workshop

Waterloo, 2-5:30pm, Math & Community Building (MC), room 2034- University of Waterloo, WPIRG

(link)

The need to recognize indigenous sovereignty, land and treaty rights, and to root all of our intersectional struggles within a framework that incorporates anti-colonial perspectives, is increasingly understood to be a central feature of contemporary social and environmental justice work.

This series of workshops will introduce participants to the basics, as well as some of the complexities of engaging in indigenous solidarity work. Trainings will be interactive and will heavily utilize various popular education techniques, as well as some formal presentation.

All workshops are free, and open to both students and community members. Snacks and bus tickets will be provided, and childcare is available upon request.

Workshops will be held in the Math & Community Building (MC), room 2034- University of Waterloo. Registration is required.

Email tammy@wpirg.org to register.

May 4 and 5: Aboriginal Rights and the Rule of Law

Brantford, May 4, 7-9pm, WLU Odeon Theatre, 50 Market Street
Caledonia, May 5, 1-3pm, Haldimand Public Library, 100 Haddington St.
Ohsweken, May 5, 7-9pm, Old Council House, Fourth Line at Chiefswood.

You are invited to a book signing and author talk with University of British Columbia law student and author, Laura DeVries.

CONFLICT IN CALEDONIA:  Aboriginal Land Rights and the Rule of Law

About the book: Most people know that in 2006 an ongoing struggle in the communities of Caledonia, Brantford and Six Nations began. This book examines the way the conflict in Caledonia was publicly portrayed by those involved in its first two years. It asks why the conflict began, explores how it is linked to broader debates about Canadian law, citizenship and history, and offers ideas as to how the crisis could perhaps have been averted and why the government and Six Nations have been unable to reach resolution.

“I used chapters from this book in my third-year Indigenous history course. The book provides a wonderful analysis of the Caledonia situation.”
-Prof. Gary Warrick – Indigenous Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus.

FREE ADMISSION
More Information call T.R.U.E. c/o Jim Windle at 519-732-5700

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Filed under 6NSN, April 28, Brantford, Caledonia, Development, Environoment, Haldimand Tract, Injunctions, Kitchener-Waterloo, Negotiations, Ohsweken, TRUE, WPIRG

Six Nations Solidarity Network, Brantford, Eagle Place


Floyd Montour (left) of Six Nations shares some of the ordeals he’s gone through while taking part in protests at developments where the property is under a land claim. He was speaking at a gathering Sunday afternoon at Kanata Village where people met to deliver information pamphlets about development in the Eagles Nest tract, and a public meeting on March 28th at Bellview School.

From the Brantford Expositor, March 15

Anything Eagle Place residents want to know about an unresolved native land claim that bears the name of their neighbourhood and developers’ plans for massive subdivisions, they can learn at a public information meeting at Bellview School gym on March 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

About 30 social activists from native, non-native and union groups gathered at Kanata Iroquois Village for a strategy session on Sunday, then hit the pavement of most streets in Eagle Place, distributing flyers advertising the event.

The Brantford-based peace group TRUE -True Row Understanding through Education -is mounting the event to educate the public about the 200-year-old Eagle’s Nest Tract claim that is at the heart of a dispute that is pitting Six Nations Haudenosaunee activists, the city and builders against one another in occupations, work stoppages, arrests and stymied development.

The organizers also want to ensure the neighbourhood is aware of peaceful native intentions, and the extent of plans by a group of developers to bring nearly 1,200 homes to the area, despite the claim.

The southern part of Eagle Place is also a key area of concern in a waterfront master plan that a council and consulting team has been working on for the past nine months, which could curtail development in the area.

“We stand by the principle that there is a legitimate claim, it should be respected and it should be negotiated,” said Steve Watson, national representative for the Canadian Auto Workers, who was at the head of 15 activist union members.

“The rights of the claimants should not be ignored. Unions have to fight to get respect for their rights. We have a convergence of interests.”

Seven times the city has tried to run a water and sewer line across Erie Avenue to service a 99-home subdivision by Birkett Lane that is still stalled. Each time, activists have been there to stop them.

The developers believe they have clear title to the land, and show deeds from the land registry system tracing ownership back to the original person they claimed acquired it legally.

Tom Keefer, with the Canadian Union of Public Employees and co-ordinator with the First Nations Solidarity Working Group, which brought eight activists, said that organization has been supporting Six Nations since the occupation of a housing project in Caledonia four years ago.

He hopes the educational exercise over the Eagle’s Nest Tract claim will head off the angst that has engulfed Caledonia.
“This is an expression of union solidarity with indigenous struggles,” he said. “We see a lot of similarities in this case as elsewhere. The government breaks treaties like employers break collective agreements.”

Bill Squire, with the Mohawk Nation, complained that organization is not allowed at the table in negotiations since Caledonia that have yielded no result.

“We are on the outside, not able to participate in the negotiations,” he said, while expressing his gratitude over the arrival of non-native, union and other groups.
“Development in Brantford has been running amok,” Jim Windle, head of TRUE, told the gathering.

“The problem has been that is on land under claim that has never been surrendered. Negotiations have been going on, and while that is happening, development has been taking place anyway.
“As a human being, I can’t sit and watch this continue to happen. There is an injustice here and we’re trying to bring the truth out.”
– – –

BY THE NUMBERS
The Erie Avenue-Birkett Lane area is a green stretch of contested, mostly floodplain, territory on the south end of Brantford. It also is where developers have filed plans of subdivision to build a total of nearly 1,200 housing unit:

West of Erie Avenue and north of Birkett Lance -428 unit subdivision plan submitted by Harry and Helga Noderer in 1992, conditions not yet fulfilled.

Northwest corner of Erie and Birkett -99-house subdivision by Cambridge Heritage Management Corp. approved, but repeatedly stalled by native protests.

147 Birkett -219-unit subdivision planned by Stirling Bridge Ltd., application in progress.

339 Erie -60-unit townhouse complex by Multani Homes, application in progress.

Dover Avenue -38-unit townhouse complex by Multani Homes, application in progress.

104 River Rd.-Eight-house subdivision by Jack, Ruth and Ross Shrum, plan of subdivision conditions not yet fulfilled.

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Filed under Brantford, Brantford Expositor, Development, Environoment, TRUE, Unions

Interview with Everett Giles regarding the Edwards Landfill

Everett Giles, former Saint Lawrence Resin Plant worker, discusses his concerns regarding the Saint Lawrence Resin Plant and Edwards Landfill.

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Healing Our Mother Earth with Strategies on Landfills: Environmental Summit Nov 5-6 on Six Nations

A summit is to be held November 5-6 on Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. Liaisons from First Nations Communities across Ontario have been invited, as have liaisons from municipalities along the Grand River, to participate in dialogue and formulating strategies for mutual environmental concerns.

The summit is open to observers, though participation is limited to invited liaisons.

One specific goal of the summit is to come together to identify contaminated landfill sites across southern Ontario.   More broadly, the objectives of the summit are as follows:

1) To increase awareness among municipalities and groups about landfill issues.

2) To identify ways to work together to advance this issue, e.g., coalition

3) To identify legislative responses to landfill issues, including consideration of the creation of a Grand River Waterkeeper

4) To identify ways to get rid of garbage without the use of landfills.

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Concerns over Possible Reopening of Toxic Edwards Landfill

Concerns over Possible Reopening of Toxic Edwards Landfill in Cayuga

The Edwards Landfill is located in an area recognized as a significant wetland by the Ministry of Natural Resources, and is part of the North Cayuga Slough Forest and the Carolinian forest.  Opened in 1959, it was zoned as a landfill prior to the creation of the Provincial Wetlands policy, and remained exempt.  It was not rezoned, and retains its Certificate of Approval.  Although the dump is at times dormant, it has never actually closed as per Ministry definitions.

A local Cayuga group, HALT (Haldimand Against Land Transfers), formed in 2004 to prevent the contaminated site from becoming once again active.  After pursuing legal channels within the courts for four years, HALT is now working with the Hoskanigetah, a group of Haudenosaunee committed to protecting the land and upholding the Kianerekowa (the Great Law of Peace).  Cayuga is adjacent to the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, and is situated within the Haldimand Tract, land granted to Six Nations as per the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784.

In 2007 and 2008, activists from Six Nations and HALT, as well as from London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, and Hamilton worked together to turn away trucks attempting to enter the site, despite noncompliance with Ministry of Environment regulations.  Current evidence suggests that there will be further attempts to reopen the site, despite its continuing toxicity. Many of the concerns stem from evidence of illegal dumping by the now defunct Saint Lawrence Resin Plant.  Specifically, high incidences of livestock death have been reported on farmland bordering the site, and suspected water contamination resulting in human illness.

A “Review of 2006 Monitoring Report for Edwards Landfill” confirms that “the historic waste areas…are badly contaminated, in particular with PAHs (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons)”.  Wilf Ruland, the professional geoscientist conducting this review, also writes that, “The existing hazardous wastes on the Edwards Landfill property pose an ongoing threat to both groundwater and surface water quality for as long as they remain on the property.  These hazardous wastes have been there for decades, and I am concerned that leakage of contaminants into the local groundwater flow system has occurred…it is possible that contaminants will be spread around the site and washed off of the site into local surface water ditches during rain…this may be beginning to occur.”  Wilf Ruland expresses concerns about how these issues are handled in the Annual report, and gives a series of recommendations, calling for these serious issues to be dealt with adequately and promptly.

In response to these and other concerns, The Hoskanigetah and HALT are demanding further environmental assessment and for the provincial government to take responsibility for the Edwards landfill site and to clean it up.  The Hoskanigetah have recently released the following message :

“By the process of consensus, be it known that the Hoskanigetah of the Grand River have come to one mind that the contamination that came from the former Resin Plant of Cayuga is a hazard to life wherever it was illegally dumped.”

As such, the Hoskanigetah will prevent the reactivation of the site, will conduct their own environmental review, and assert their “jurisdiction and Sovereign rights confirmed, outlined, and guaranteed in perpetuity by the language of the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784, and the Two Row Wampum of 1604.”  They state, “…we the Hoskanigetah will no longer endure the attempted subjugation of our responsibilities, freedoms and collective rights” when it comes to protecting the land, and maintaining the well being of future generations.

The message from the Hoskanigetah can be found in full at http://www.6nsolidarity.wordpress.com



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Six Nations concerns over Edwards landfill

Six Nations concerns over Edwards landfill
July 29, 2009

As pressure continues to mount against the North Simcoe Landfill, an irresponsible waste dump that “was set up with a 1950s mindset,” a delegation from the Hoskanigetah (Six Nations Men’s Fire of the Grand River) warns about the possible re-opening of another dump site: the Edwards landfill, just outside of Cayuga, Ontario.

According to the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, “the Edwards landfill contains highly toxic material from an old resin plant in Cayuga which was dumped there in the 1950s, along with other medical, industrial and commercial waste.”

For several years now, members from the Six Nations community have been working alongside the non-native environmental coalition, HALT (Haldimand Against Land Transfers), to make sure no more waste is added to the dump.

Historically, they’ve taken the same approach that activists and the Council of Canadians are now taking with the North Simcoe Landfill: namely, they’ve filed legal challenges and, whenever trucks arrived to pile on more waste, they physically blocked access to the dump site. Fortunately, the trucks always turned back.

Their reason for opposition is straightforward, and too familiar for indigenous people in Canada: There are a number of serious health concerns among people living in the region of the Edwards landfill and several other nearby dump sites believed to hold waste from the former Resin Plan.

Commonsense (and basic human rights) tells us that each and every report should be investigated by the government and that the sites themselves, particularly the Edwards landfill, should be remediated.

Unfortunately, like the radar contamination sites effecting the Mushkegowuk Cree Nation, it just hasn’t happened.

And now, the Hoskanigetah warn, preparations appear to be underway for the landfill to receive more waste in the near future.

Read the full piece here:

http://intercontinentalcry.org/six-nations-concerns-over-edwards-landfill/

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Filed under Edwards Landfill, Environoment, Uncategorized