Category Archives: TRUE

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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Hundreds to Gather for Peace and Friendship Walk and Rally in Caledonia on April 28th, 2012

April 28 Coalition
Media Advisory
17 April 2012

Hundreds to Gather for Peace and Friendship Walk and Rally in Caledonia on April 28th, 2012

Caledonia – April 20th, 2012 marks the sixth anniversary of the OPP raid of the Six Nations reclamation of the former Douglas Creek Estates, which cast a national spotlight on Native land disputes in Canada.

In an historic event, hundreds of non-native supporters are busing in from eight Southern Ontario cities to peacefully rally in Caledonia and walk to a celebration at Kanonhstaton, the former Douglas Creek Estates on Saturday April 28, 2012.

Following years of inaction on unresolved land and treaty issues at all levels of Canadian government, Native and non-native communities are rallying together in unprecedented numbers to demand that Six Nations land rights be respected.

Tracy Bomberry, a Six Nations spokesperson for the April 28th Coaltion says “It has been six years since Kanonhstaton (“the Protected Place”) or the Reclamation began in 2006. Much has occurred since then. Our people have stood up and raised our voices and many connections, friendships, and relationships have been built. However, at the same time nothing has been done by the Canadian Government to address our treaties and land rights.”

This day of celebration and its lead-up events are being organized by a broad based group calling themselves the April 28th Coalition. Luke Stewart, a historian and lifetime Haldimand Tract resident, is one of the group’s spokespeople. Stewart described the march as “a call to honour and respect our historical agreements, and move toward a peaceful future of healthy coexistence, not colonial subjugation and corporate land theft.” Stewart added that “the April 28th Coalition is comprised of residents of Caledonia, Oshweken, Hamilton, Kanonhstaton, Brantford, Dunville, Kitchener, and other small towns along the Grand River as well as supporters from Toronto and beyond.”

According to Caledonia resident and group spokesperson Katherine Moesker “This day can mark the beginning of the reconciliation of relationships between two communities. We cannot move forward if we all don’t take a stand and decide to work together. This event can be a powerful statement to anyone who witnesses it: we can show the world that it is possible to grow closer together as a community despite what has happened in the past.”

Tracy Bomberry and Luke Stewart are available for comment.

For more information: kanonhstaton@gmail.comhttp://www.april28coalition.wordpress.com
Twitter: @kanonhstaton • Facebook: Kanonhstaton Six Nations • Youtube.com/kanonhstaton
Phone: 905-481-0072

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Community Walk and Celebration for Peace, Respect and Friendship

 April 28 Coalition
Press Release
3 April 2012

Community Walk and Celebration 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.

Whether native or non-native, all of us residing within Canada are treaty people. We have both a moral and a legal imperative to uphold the nation-to-nation agreements made on our behalf by the British Crown and Canadian government with indigenous peoples. It was treaties such as the Two-Row Wampum which gave us as non-indigenous people the right to settle in what is now called Canada, and as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affirms, these treaties are still in force and they must be honored and upheld.

Six years after the land reclamation began at the former Douglas Creek Estates, the time has come to stand together and respect the words of our ancestors, to call for our treaties with Six Nations people to be honoured, and to bring together our communities and allies to celebrate the principles of Peace, Friendship and Respect under the agreements that our peoples made together – the Two-Row Wampum, the Silver Covenant Chain, and the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784.

At 2pm on April 28th, 2012, we will be gathering at Edinburgh Square, a Haudenosaunee park across from the Caledonia Fairgrounds in the Township of Caledonia and then we will peacefully walk down Argyle St. to the site known as Kanonhstaton. At the site there will be a potluck, live music, games, activities and discussions to which all people – from Six Nations, Caledonia, and all other communities – are invited to attend.

Organizers will also be hosting two events leading up to the walk and gathering. The events welcome all community members who wish to talk about the walk and gathering; ask questions about the reasons behind the event; or just want to meet organizers. There will be a BBQ in Kinsmen Park on Saturday April 7th at 1pm. There will also be a information and Q&A night at the Caledonia Public Library on April 19th at 6pm. All are
welcome.

Phone: 905-481-0072| Email: april28info@gmail.com |Website: http://www.april28coalition.wordpress.com |Twitter: @kanonhstaton|Facebook: Kanonhstaton Six Nations |Youtube: Youtube.com/kanonhstaton

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“Truth and Reconciliation” Rally, Caledonia/Six Nations, February 27th, 2011

“Truth and Reconciliation”

Caledonia/Six Nations, February 27th, 2011

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).

McHale has approximately 20 supporters.

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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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Six Nations Men and Caledonia resident Ken Hewitt share perspectives

From the Dunnville Chronicle

There was standing room only when four members of the Six Nations Mens Fire began to speak about their role as protectors of land. When they finished, Caledonia resident Ken Hewitt explained his petition asking for an inquiry into the actions of the OPP and OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.
Three years ago such a session was beyond anyone’s imagination. On the eve of Feb. 28, people from the two communities shared information in the Wilfred Laurier University Theatre in Brantford.


Later Mayor Marie Trainer heralded this as a start of something. Resolution will come from the grass-roots, not Toronto or Ottawa, she said.
In her introductory remarks, organizer Marilyn Vegso said the evening was an opportunity to hear from Six Nations and Caledonia citizens and to move people toward understanding and friendship. Resolution can only be reached by the communities of Six Nations, Brantford and Caledonia, she added.

The Feb. 27 session was organized by TRUE established by Vegso and her spouse, Jim Windle. The name is an acronym for Two Row Wampum understanding through education.
Members of the Mens Fire sitting on the panel were Wes Elliott, Gene Johns, Kelly Curley and Stan Farmer.

With the purple and white beaded Two Row wampum draped over his hands, Farmer explained that it represented two people living side by side but not interfering in the others laws and customs. The treaty was first struck with the Dutch in the early 1600s and then adopted later by the French and British.

“This document I hold here in my hand is a living document,” Farmer said. “This was supposed to last forever.”
Elliott pointed out that under Section 35 of the Canadian constitution, treaty law supersedes Canadian law. Last February, provincial and federal negotiators told Six Nations negotiators that they were at the table under the Two Row and the Silver Covenant Chain, another treaty of friendship, he added.

Farmer and Curley offered a brief overview of Six Nations history. Before the peacemaker arrived, nations were at war. When the Great Law was created, it became a way of life and is not a religion, explained Farmer.

The Men’s Fire is thousands of years old and was rekindled three years ago after OPP raided Douglas Creek Estates in 2006.
“We are to promote peace at all costs. Once peace is broken it is our job to protect it,” Farmer said of the men’s role. “We were born to protect the earth, to protect our families, our nations, our clans. We can’t surrender nor will I ever.”

At this point, Hewitt took his place on stage. He pointed out that Caledonia residents know very little history and very little about their native neighbours. This has led to racism in some, he added.
Hewitt laid responsibility on governments who did nothing while watching protests, violent clashes, road closures, halted construction and personal attacks. Communities must stop battling it out with each other and put their joint efforts into pressuring government to act, he p>Believing the Ipperwash inquiry policies have failed, Hewitt hoped his inquiry will bring out the truth in Caledonia and the surrounding area and will lead to better policies.

In launching the petition for an OPP inquiry, he gave people in both communities the opportunity to push for the truth. With Brantford and Six Nations endorsement of the petition, their case for an inquiry will be stronger, he added.

Expressing concerns about local economies and social costs, he called on leaders and adults to act responsibly, put “local nonsense” aside and find solid ways to move community interests forward.
“My passion and my hope is that one day we will be the beacon for all others sharing the same struggles,” said Hewitt. “Haldimand, Brantford and Six Nations will be known for its successes in working together rather than its failures.”

Brantford resident Garry Horsnell asked why Six Nations men protect land they will not get back because the federal government will not expropriate land from third parties. Curley responded saying Six Nations had a right to that land even if is a house on it but only if no people are living in it.

Ruby Montour of Six Nations challenged Hewitt on two tier policing. He said that’s not how he describes policing but he has seen mistakes made by police toward both sides. The confusion comes from police ranks above, he added.

Developer Steve Charest presented a few documents to members of the Men’s Fire. One outlined a 1997 agreement between Six Nations and Brantford for economic benefits to both communities. Six Nations protests began in the 1990s, he added.

Then Cheyenne Williams was honoured for bringing awareness to DCE in 2005. She was a 17-year-old mother of a two year old and realized places for children to live in Six Nations were not plentiful.

In Oct. 2005, she and Janie Jamieson began an information mission about the Haldimand Tract. On Feb 27, 2006, they stayed in DCE and then decided to remain there.
“As a woman, I’m a keeper of the land and I bring new life,” she said. “Our women are very strong and they stand beside our men.”

After the session, H-N MPP Toby Barrett said comments about land protection and the Great Law were made by Williams and others when he visited DCE in March 2006. He carried that message from the site to the Governor General of Canada.

Brantford resident Brian VanTilborg has attended TRUE meetings since they began last year. “I realized a solution would not be found without a dialogue with Six Nations,’ he said.
In his opinion, tension and racism has not reached the level arising form DCE. VanTilborg, who was a Brant NDP candidate in the federal election, noted that TRUE is now bringing Caledonia and Brantford issues together creating an opportunity to work together to get government to do its job.

Copyright © 2009 Dunnville Chronicle

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