On February 27th, 2011, at the fifth anniversary of the Six Nations land
reclamation of Douglas Creek Estates, Gary McHale, anti-Native activist and
executive director of Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE),
announced his intention to hold a “Truth and Reconciliation Rally” in Caledonia,
In 2006 people of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory reclaimed land in
“dispute” for more than 150 years in order to stop development of a Caledonia
subdivision on stolen land. In reaction to the reclamation, Gary McHale and his
followers set about a political movement to end what they call “native
lawlessness,” “land claim terrorism,” and “race-based policing”. CANACE has
bolstered continued support for their propaganda against “reverse racism” and
“two-tiered justice” that, according to them, victimizes the mainly white
residents of Caledonia and Canadians more broadly. Following the patters of
white backlash movements since the gains of the 1960s civil rights movement,
CANACE misappropriates the language of civil and human rights, and readily
proclaims its work to be part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.
In 2009 leaders of CANACE played leading roles in trying to establish the
“Caledonia Militia” and on March 21st, 2010 they called an “anti-racist” rally
on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to bring
attention to the “race-based policing” that discriminates against white people.
Anti-racist and Six Nations solidarity activists organized to denounce the
escalation of racism and colonial violence on both occasions.
Now Gary McHale and his followers are attempting to appropriate the language of “Truth and Reconciliation.” CANACE is demanding that an official apology be issued to the people of Caledonia from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ontario government, and Six Nations peoples. CANACE intended to erect an “apology monument” on Kanonhstaton (Six Nations reclaimed land). In their press release for the event they demanded a similar apology from the government as that given to the First People of this land in relation to the unconscionable atrocities of the residential school system.
We must stand united against this outrageous attempt to compare the hardships
experienced by Caledonia residents to various genocidal and racist projects of
assimilation, expulsion and extermination. We must uphold the political,
historical and emotional significance of apologies issued by the Canadian
Government to people wronged by the state and society. The First Nations
Solidarity Working Group as a part of the Six Nations Solidarity Network calls
on all anti-racist activists and supporters of Indigenous struggles to send a
clear message to anti-Native activists: attempts to erase the ongoing theft of
Indigenous land and continuing crimes of the Canadian government against
Indigenous people and nations of this land through the spectre of white
victimization will not be tolerated!