Category Archives: Haldimand Tract

April 28 Report Back: Walking for Peace, Respect and Friendship along the Grand River

Honouring our historical agreements through shared action

by Dan Kellar, The Dominion, May 14

On April 28th 2012, a thousand Canadians from across Southern Ontario participated in the Walk, Rally, and Potluck for Peace, Respect, and Friendship and joined with Indigenous land defenders and families who are tired of the inaction and disrespect shown by all levels of Canadian government, to demand that Six Nations land rights be respected.

KITCHENER, ON—If you travel south along the winding 50-kilometres stretch of the Grand River between Kitchener and Caledonia, you will pass farms fields, forests, a sprawling patchwork of towns with their own industrial sites and golf courses, finally coming to the edge of the Six Nations reserve, and eventually, Kanonhstaton, the “protected place”—a site of Haudenosaunee land reclamation and defense. A brief walk from Caledonia’s downtown, the site is still identifiable by the downed hydro tower at the entrance just off the highway, and the skeleton of the trailer burned in early 2008 by a gang of anti-reclamation settlers.

Located on the boundary between the Six Nation reserve and the settler town of Caledonia, Kanonhstaton has brought Indigenous land rights to the forefront of national attention over and over again in the past six years, gaining prominence rarely seen in land occupations since the 1990 Oka standoff.

Kanonhstaton is about reclaiming the land and stopping a housing development known as the Douglas Creek Estates. The initial action by the group of around twenty, mostly woman Indigenous land defenders was met with little protest locally, and instead garnered widespread support from settler allies.

But on April 20, 2006, the Ontario Provincial Police carried out a violent raid on the site, during which OPP tore open tents, tasered, pepper sprayed, beat, and ultimately, arrested 16 Indigenous people. That day, hundreds from the reserve flooded to the site in response to the raid, ejected the police, and proceeded to build road blockades. Following this unsuccessful eviction attempt, groups of white settlers began organising citizen councils and anti-native and anti-reclamation rallies, under a call for a return to the “rule of law and order.”

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Filed under 6NSN, April 28, April 28 Coalition, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Kitchener-Waterloo

New Interactive Map! – Haldimand Tract

Haldimand TractLINK

This map seeks to outline the territory of the Six Nations as set out in the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 and the recent struggles to fight off developers planning to profit on stolen land.

The map divides the Haldimand Tracts into smaller tracts based upon the history of land theft orchestrated by the colonial state. The accompanying text outlines the specific claims to that specific tract – contrary to the claims of the state. This history and the geographical boundaries are based upon the research of Phil Monture.

The geographical lines on this map are not 100% accurate and are made as general representations.

The markers indicate various specific land defense hotspots (most of which necessitated the use of direct action). Red markers indicate sites of struggles currently unfolding. Blue markers indicate sites of struggle that are slightly less active – although very much still sites of struggle.

The map has been compiled by a settler ally.

larger map includes detailed legend

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Filed under Brantford, Caledonia, decolonization, Development, Haldimand Tract, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ohsweken, Uncategorized

On “keeping it local” and “keeping it peaceful” in Caledonia

blog post by Laura McDonald, Kitchener-Waterloo

Yesterday, I participated in a “Peace, Respect, and Friendship” celebration, including a march from Caledonia to Kanonhstaton, the reclamation site just outside of town, and a gigantic party including a bouncy castle, spoken word, speeches, music, and a gigantic potluck.

It was overwhelmingly – no, exclusively – positive. The event was wonderful. I find it bizarre that we needed to reassure people that it was going to be (and now, that it was) “positive” and “nonviolent”. It frustrates me that anyone would assume it wouldn’t be. But I will reassure you anyway: the onlyhositility I witnessed at all today was from people opposed to the event.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

While walking through Caledonia, I saw a restaurant with a sign saying “Keep it local. Keep it peaceful.” A friend of mine took this as a semi-positive thing – at least they were engaging with the issue in a not-overtly-hostile way. That’s a valid way of looking at it, for sure. I, however, saw it as representative of some pretty big misunderstandings that I want to address.

1. Keep it peaceful. I’ll do this one first because it’s easier (and because it’s not what I really want to talk about). Combined with the guy carrying the “anarchists go home” sign all over the place, I saw this as reflecting a common lack of understanding of who activists and anarchists are and what they do.

Always being told to make sure our protests are “peaceful” (and thus “valid”) takes away any agency that we have in just being peaceful because we were going to be anyway. It’s always a surprise that we were peaceful, or assumed that we were forced into being peaceful by the police presence. Like with the recent rainbow demo at UW, this assumption that we need to be told to be peaceful is really insulting and perpetuates a lot of dangerous myths about activism – and people in general. (It also perpetuates a lot of problematic ideas about what constitutes a valid form of protest or civic engagement, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms!)

More specifically, people apparently thought “G20 Anarchists” were going to come to town and smash windows. Um, what? If you know anything at all about anarchists, you know that’s an absurd (and I mean really absurd) thing to think with respect to this event. But most people don’t know very much about anarchists, and don’t try to. For the record, these “G20 Anarchists” were there. Some even played key roles in the explicitly peaceful event, because THIS (walk, make giant banners, prepare food for giant potlucks, arrange busses, show support, etc) is what they do, far more often than smashing windows.

I also think this “keep it peaceful” statement could reflect a fundamentally racist assumption (which is also, importantly, rooted in a complicated experience that I absolutely cannot speak to) that anything relating to Six Nations and the reclamation site is likely to NOT be peaceful. This is clearly wrong, and I hope today helped clear that up.

I think there are reasons people have these misguided notions, in both cases. I hope we can all keep working to dispel these illusions.

2. Keep it local. This statement was clearly directed at the hundreds of people who bussed in from other cities. This says “you don’t live here; you don’t understand; this isn’t your issue”. I fundamentally disagree with this argument pretty much across the board. Indigenous rights, environmental destruction, “development”, nuclear power, civil rights, human rights absuses, whatever – we are all affected and thus have a stake in these things no matter where they’re happening. It’s incredibly dangerous to think we can only fight for justice in our own communities, and we can’t let people tell us that’s how it should be. The boundaries that denote “local” issues are false, in many ways, and I think we all have the right (and duty) to have a say in things going on elsewhere and also to ask others to join in solidarity when dealing with so-called “local” conflicts, as non-native allies were asked to join today.

But in this case there’s also a much more specific reason this bothered me. This is what I want to talk about. While I get why people in Caledonia might feel this way, to an extent, I don’t think that many people (in Caledonia, or here on Facebook) understand that this is local for me. This is local for all of us. Yesterday wasn’t just about Caledonia, or Six Nations, or Kanonhstaton. This is about the entire Haudenosaunee territory, on which I live. On which many of the people who came to the event live. This is about all of the territories on which all of us live.

This event was about the treaties to which we are all beholden, and which we, as settlers, need to fight for, because they have not been upheld by our government, at any level, and it is our responsibility to change that. It is our responsibility to recognize the tremendous harm that has been done – and is still being done – by the immense and intentional dismissal of these treaties by the Canadian government.

We are all treaty people, and we need to start acting like it.

*for more photos from the event see http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/photo/marchrally-solidarity-six-nation-reclamation-april-28/10683

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Filed under 6NSN, April 28, Caledonia, decolonization, Haldimand Tract, Kitchener-Waterloo, Racism, Uncategorized

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

Respecting historic agreements with the Haudenosaunee and walking to Kanonhstaton for peace

AW@L Radio: A discussion with Luke Stewart

Rabble Podcast Network, 20 April 2012

LINK:  http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/awl/2012/04/respecting-historic-agreements-and-walking-peace-april28net-discussion-hi

Show Notes:

The feature of today’s show is our discussion with radical historian Luke Stewart on the upcoming Rally, Walk, and Community BBQ taking place on April 28th in Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, hosted by the April 28th Coalition (http://april28.net). This discussion looks at the the intentions of the event organizers (both indigenous and settler), respecting historical friendships and honouring our treaties (such as the Silver Covenant Chain, The Two Row Wampum, and the Haldimand Proclamation) and the resistance to the event from business interests and white citizens’ councils, among other topics.

– Check http://april28.net for more information about the upcoming rally, walk and community celebration in Caledonia and @Kanonhstaton, Southern Ontario.
– Audio of the invitations for this event Indigenous Land Protectors and their Settler Allies.
This podcast is part of the weekly 2-hour radio show AW@L Radio on CKMS 100.3 http://soundfm.ca from 16:00-18:00 on Fridays.
Check the whole episode at: http://peaceculture.org/drupal/radio/aw@lradio-2012-04-13-fe.mp3

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Filed under April 28, AW@L, Caledonia, Haldimand Tract, Sovereignty and Haudenosaunee Passports

April 28th Coalition BBQ A Success: Walk for “Peace, Respect and Friendship” draws condemnation from local Caledonia politicians

from: Toronto Media Coop,
April 16

On Saturday April 7, 2012, the April 28th Coalition held a community BBQ and passed out information on the upcoming walk and celebration for “Peace, Respect and Friendship” on April 28, 2012.

The walk is a commemoration of both the 6th year anniversary of the reclamation of Kanonhstaton (former Douglas Creek Estates) of February 28, 2006, and the Ontario Provincial Police armed raid with automatic weapons, pepper spray, and tasers against people from Six Nations who were peacefully reclaiming disputed land near the town of Caledonia, Ontario, on  April 20, 2006. The land claim remains unresolved.

The community BBQ at Kinsmen Park was a fitting place along the Grand River to hold the BBQ and it was busy with families and others taking walks, people fishing, and those just enjoying the beautiful spring day. “We spoke to hundreds of people enjoying a beautiful long weekend along a beautiful river. Everyone was polite and attentive,” said Eugene Jonathan from Six Nations. “We had to buy more hot dogs and photocopy more flyers to give out. The day was a success.”

Two days before the BBQ, officials from Haldimand County emailed the April 28th Coalition urging the group to cancel the BBQ for “important public health and liability considerations”. The day of the BBQ, a Caledonia city councilor voiced his displeasure with the BBQ taking place in his Ward and the O.P.P. even showed up to see what was happening. The officer left after he was given some information about the event.

The walk has been the focus of many rumours and organizers of the April 28th Coalition handed out flyers promoting the public info night on Thursday April 19 at the Caledonia Public Library. “The Coalition is working hard to inform Caledonians about what we are planning for the walk,” said Laura Lepper, organizer with the Coalition. “One of the most important parts of our outreach work includes one-on-one conversations with Caledonians’ about the issues and the 28th event. This successful work has shown that we can’t underestimate the power of this method of grassroots organizing.”

The walk itself has caused stirrings in town as Mayor Ken Hewitt has urged Coalition members to cancel the walk, referring to the current situation as a “quagmire”. Mayor Hewitt told the Dunnville Chronicle on April 3, 2012 that he could “appreciate the intent” of the April 28th organizers, but that “I believe taking this into the heart of the community is not the right way to do it.” As the date for the walk gets closer, Hewitt’s condemnation grows sharper. On April 13, 2012, Hewitt told the Chronicle:

“They have no idea what they are doing or could possibly do to the relationships that are just starting to come together … They don’t care. They’re so entrenched and selfishly absorbed in their own agenda that nothing else matters. At what point does the desire to stand up for their rights infringe on our right? I believe they’ve crossed it and as I’ve said to them before, stay out of my community. You’re not welcome.”

Luke Stewart, an organizer with the April 28th Coalition and lifelong settler on the Grand River, has stated into response to Hewitt’s claims that outsiders are not welcome:

“What happens in one region along the Grand River watershed impacts and influences the whole watershed. I can think of no other group of people to organize for Six Nations land rights and to build relationships with than those whose traditional territory we inhabit and those who have settled on the Grand River. Incidentally, none of this will matter if our grandchildren, native and non-native, cannot drink the water, breath the air, or grow their own food because of politicians with short-term solutions and unrestrained land developments. We need to organize our communities around our watersheds and the health of those watersheds – not for the profits of land developers.”

The Coalition has said that it is not asking for anything more than the treaties and agreements with Six Nations be respected and that the solution to the “Caledonia crisis” can be found within those treaties.

For more information, visit: www.april28.net

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Filed under April 28, Brantford, Caledonia, Dunnville Chronicle, Haldimand Tract, Organizations, Racism

McHale Misrepresents “Truth and Reconciliation”

February 28th, 2011
Kate Milley

Thanks to biased media coverage, by the likes of Christie Blatchford, most Ontarians know Gary McHale as a “civil rights activists” or the guy who pressed charges against Fantino in relation to the Six Nations land reclamation or “Caledonia Crisis”. For five years now McHale and company have been escalating tensions in Caledonia, trying to erect various things on Six Nations land and to march on it. Following the patterns of white backlash movements since the 1960s, they misappropriate the language of the civil rights movement and make the unfounded claim that white people are the victims of racism and race based policing. McHale goes so far as to compare his work to that of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, even while in 2009 he helped to form the defunct “Caledonia Militia.” On Feb 27th McHale and Mark Vandermaas held a “Truth and Reconciliation Rally” to ERECT an apology monument on Six Nations reclaimed land (psychoanalysts would have a field day with this). Outrageously they wanted the Six Nations to issue an apology to Caledonia, akin to the one given by the Canadian government for residential schools. The violence inherent in such a move and this sickening comparison is obvious. It is no wonder, then, that right-wing extremists and white supremacists have long been supporters of Gary McHale.

Paul Fromm, one of the leading white supremacists in Canada, and best known for his support of holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, has advertised McHale-led events on the neo-Nazi website Stormfront. In fact Fromm has also attended several of McHale’s rallies. While McHale and Vandermaas steadfastly deny any connections to explicit white supremacist movements, the public should be aware that these men are forging ties to extreme right-wing groups even as they have the support of several elected Ontario politicians including PC leader Tim Hudak, MPP Toby Barrett, and MPP Randy Hillier. Vandermaas has made connections to members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a group identified in a FBI report as a “right-wing terrorist group”. Recently McHale and Vandermaas linked up with the International Free Press Society (IFPS). Several articles and announcements by them can be found on IFPS’s website, , and the VP of IFPS Canada was supposed to speak at McHale’s rally on Feb 27th . The IFPS was founded by Lars Hedegaard, a Danish man recently charged with anti Muslim/Islamophobic hate crimes. In 2011 McHale and Vandermaas authored a letter in support of Hedegaard as well as Danish MP Jesper Langballe also charged with hate crimes. On Vandermas’ blog you can find a speech given by Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Dutch Freedom Party. The speech is noteworthy as it bears an uncanny resemblance to Nazi propaganda grounded in anti-Semitic fears of a vast “Jewish conspiracy” to take over the entire world, for Wilder however this fear is of an “Islamic conspiracy.” Wilder has been brought up on 5 charges of inciting hate and discrimination against Muslims. While McHale and Vandermaas claim they are ‘anti-racist’ ‘non-violent’ activists inspired by Dr. King, their language, actions and connections reveal a much different story.

As Ontarians we should be gravely concerned by the formation of these kinds of political movements and the racist ideas they promote. Certainly we can all recognize this is not the path to Truth or Reconciliation.

Kate Milley is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, her research looks at historical and contemporary anti-Native movements in Canada.

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Filed under Anti-Native Activism, Brantford, Caledonia, CANACE, Christie Blatchford, Gary McHale, Haldimand Tract, Mark Vandermas, Racism, White Supremacists