This page contains links to documentary material showing how the work of Gary McHale and his associates at CANACE is opening up the way for various white supremacist organizations to engage in anti-native activism. Although McHale and his associates insist that they are not racist, the discourse that they mobilize against first nations people is one that is based on a whole series of colonialist attitudes which are easily appropriated by organized white supremacists. It’s one thing for McHale and his followers to say that they are not racist and don’t support white supremacist organizations, but the question remains why do these white supremacist groups keep showing up at their events?
For a good backgrounder on the way in which contemporary anti-native groups are claiming the language of white victimhood and using similar language to the new and more “respectable” racist organizations pioneered by people like David Duke, please check out Katie Milley’s article “Where is John Wayne When You Need Him? Anti-Native Organizing and the Caledonia Crisis” in Upping the Anti #9.
Anti-Native Organizing: CANACE, the Caledonia “Militia”, and CWUC
One of the most common claims in opposition to the reclamation of Kanonhstaton is that “white victims” of “native lawlessness” are oppressed by a two-tiered system of justice which discriminates against non-natives. Beginning June 2006, these claims have been the basis for the formation of “Caledonia Wake Up Call” (CWUC), created by Gary McHale, and “Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality” (CANACE), founded by key anti-native organizers including Gary McHale, Mark Vandermas, Merlyn Kinrade and Mary Lou LaPratt, the organizer of ONFIRE in Ipperwash. ONFIRE had upwards of a thousand members, and in addition to other events organized a supportive rally outside the courthouse for Sergeant Kenneth Deane, the OPP officer who shot at killed unarmed Native land defender, Dudley George at Ipperwash. These groups call for increased police action against First Nations activists.
Gary McHale, (editor of CWUC and president of CANACE) describes himself as “a full time Civil Rights Advocate working to stop violence and the OPP racially based policing during Aboriginal land claims.”[i] CANACE has recently become incorporated, and advertises its services to businesses on their website. According to Tom Keefer:
“McHale and CANACE…are actively making links with other non-native communities elsewhere in Canada affected by land claims (such as Ipperwash and Deseronto) and, because they mix activism with research and ongoing lobbying efforts aimed at all levels of government, they are able to push governments from below and get them to take action that they might not otherwise see as politically feasible. Indeed, CANACE has managed to shift the public political debate around native land rights to the right. While McHale and his group are very careful to stay away from overt forms of racism and hate speech, their work provides fertile ground on which neo-Nazi and other far right groups can organize.” (Keefer 2008:121)
Most recently, these claims have served as the basis for the formation of the Caledonia “Peacekeepers” (called the Caledonia “Militia” in previous press releases) in July of 2009. The same figures are behind the organization of the “Militia” (Gary McHale is their spokesperson) though it is officially headed by Caledonian citizen Doug Fleming. In a call out for the Militia, Fleming writes, “Enough is enough! Due to the ongoing reality that the OPP refuses to enforce the Criminal Code with regards to people’s property rights I am forming the Caledonia Militia to ensure that the criminal code is upheld.”[ii] He has told the press that the Caledonia “Militia”/ “Peacekeepers” would patrol areas of Caledonia by car and foot, with uniforms and radios, and would use “reasonable force” in conducting arrests when informed of “native lawlessness.” Their intent is to focus on the Douglas Creek Estates (Kanonhstaton) site, which Fleming has called a “safe-zone for native criminals.”[iii] Their stated goal is to provoke confrontation, forcing the police to act.
These groups depict unarmed Native activists as “terrorists” and “insurgents” inciting fear and panic, echoing classic colonial tropes of savagery and barbarism. McHale has created a “Homeland Security” section of CWUC, and in his “Introduction to Terrorist Threat in Caledonia,” warns Americans that “These web pages are created to education the American people to a Real Terrorist Threat just north of your border.”[iv] In “Power Grid Terrorist Threat—Previous Attacks,” McHale implies that Natives are dangerous and murderous, writing that a security guard was “swarmed by a number of the protesters who smashed the security car while he was inside the vehicle, threatened him with death if he did not leave, then put gasoline on the car, lit it on fire,” implying that Natives killed a security guard. According to McHale, “This Native element is extremely well organized and weaponized.”[v] In “Why have the Natives Won?” he claims that (white) “women and children are living in fear and in direct danger to their lives.”[vi] With regard to the provincial government, McHale writes “the very reason they don’t want to send in the police (there will be bloodshed) proves that the people protesting in Caledonia are well armed and well motived[sic] to commit such violence…the OPP and the Ontario Government are convinced that these particular protesters in Caledonia will respond with open war—bloodshed is their fear.” He also states that “Native Laws and Native Constitution gives them [the Natives] the right to attack the occupiers [innocent Canadians]…Natives teach their children these things.”[vii]
This is a gross misrepresentation, and a fabrication of non-existing “Native Laws”. (Contrast with the Kaianero’kó:wa/Great Law of Peace.) The security guard was not lit on fire, and the “Native element” is not “weaponized”, nor are they attacking. McHale, Vandermaas, and these other figures appropriate the language of the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular, and they claim to be anti-racist, going so far as to hold an “Anti-racism” Rally in Caledonia on the International Day for the Elimination of Racism on March 21st 2010. Notably, the only other groups organizing events for that day based on the claim that white people are racially disadvantaged were neo-nazis in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. McHale and his supporters call for increased criminalization of Native activists, and cultural genocide. McHale is openly supported by white supremacists and neo-nazis who have attended his rallies and seem to find his message very appealing.[viii] McHale’s activities are supported and advertised on the world’s most popular English-language neo-nazi website, Stormfront.org, whose slogan is “White Pride World Wide”[ix]. As reposted on Stormfront, McHale scoffs at insinuations that he is racist. “Obviously anyone takes a stand against a group in Canada, people throw out the racist card. I make no racist statements against them…The concept of equality, multiculturalism, the concept of freedom are not exclusive to any one group.”[x] With respect to the presence of neo-nazis at his events, he has stated that they “have a right to be there. I can’t stop them.”[xi]
While it might be tempting to dismiss McHale, Vandermas, and Fleming as unrepresentative right wing agitators, it is important to note that when McHale ran as an independent candidate in the Haldimand Norfolk region in 2008, he got nearly 5000 votes, which tied him with the New Democratic Party (NDP)[xii]. He won most of the polls in the non-native communities neighbouring Six nations. As Kate Milley argues:
“…it is important to think about the ways in which the “far-right” ideology, particularly with respect to Aboriginal peoples, is already embedded in the mainstream of Canadian law, politics, and everyday life. Understanding colonialism solely as a state-run practice works to make invisible the importance of “ordinary” white settlers in its organization, implementation, and maintenance. It is perhaps tempting to cast anti-Native groups as extremists, or to view them as having little or no relevance to most white Canadians. However, to do so is to belie the connections between the common-sense understandings of everyday white settlers and the perspectives of self-described white nationalist or neo-Nazi groups.” (Milley 2009:93)
[i] As described in his biography updated Feb 6, 2010. Retrieved from http://joincanace.wordpress.com/about-2/resume/ on April 4, 2010.
[ii] Posted to Gary McHale’s online discussion forum on July 14, 2009 and retrieved April 4, 2010 from http://www.marchforfreedom.com/smf/index.php?topic=466.0
[iii] For more information see CUPE 3903’s First Nations Solidarity Working Group Callout, “Protest the Formation of the “Caledonia Militia”, accessed April 10 from http://www.peaceculture.org/drupal/node/314
[iv] McHale, Gary. “Introduction to Terrorist Threat in Caledonia” (Sept 5, 2006) Retrieved from http://caledoniawakeupcall.com/homeland/intro.html on April 5, 2010.
[v] McHale, Gary. “Power Grid Terrorist Threat—Previous Attacks” (Sept 5, 2006). Retrieved from http://caledoniawakeupcall.com/homeland/powergrid.html on April 5, 2010.
[vi] McHale, Gary. “Why the Natives have Won?” (Aug 26, 2006) Retrieved from http://caledoniawakeupcall.com/news/nativewon.html on April 5, 2010.
[vii] McHale, Gary. “McGuinty Negotiates with Terrorists” (Aug 27, 2006). Retrieved from
[viii] For more information on this, see the links and videos of Paul Fromm and the Northern Alliance at McHale “March for Freedom” (Oct 15th 2006) posted on https://6nsolidarity.wordpress.com/the-far-right/
[ix] White supremacists discuss McHale’s events: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=604501; http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=351029&page=1; http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=442352&highlight=McHale; http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=354309&highlight=Gary+McHale; http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=351714&highlight=Gary+McHale; http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=333171&highlight=Gary+McHale
[x] Quote retrieved from http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=333171&highlight=Gary+McHale on April 5, 2010.
[xi] Marissa Nelson, “It’s about accountability: McHale” Hamilton Spectator, January 20th 2007, pg A12
[xii] Non-Canadian readers might note that the NDP is not a marginal party, but has governed the province of Ontario in the recent past.
Paul Fromm is one of Canada’s most well known white supremacist organizers. He began his far right organizing in 1967 with the Edmund Burke Society, and then was the founder of the Western Guard, Canada’s most significant neo-Nazi grouping in the 1970s. Fromm had his Ontario teaching license revoked in 1997 due “failure to maintain professional standards; not complying with college regulations and bylaws; disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional and/or unbecoming conduct; and practising while in a conflict of interest” after being conspicously linked with the Neo-nazi Heritage Front. Wikipedia has a well-documented resource page on him that is worth checking out.
The following is a youtube video that Fromm released after having made links with people in Caledonia opposing Six Nations. He was spotted (and photographed) with several other neo-nazis at McHale and Vandermas’ January 20th 2007 flag raising protest, and was part of a group of about 30 people led by McHale who conveyed from the protest over to the Chatwell’s residence which backs out onto DCE. He released this YouTube video discussing the Chatwell’s circumstances in July of 2007. In it he uses many of the same images of Six Nations protests publicized by McHale on http://www.caledoniawakeupcall.com and speaks in almost exactly the same way as many members of CANACE. He avoids racist slurs, plays up white victimhood, and casts activists from Six Nations as terrorists.
Evidence of White Supremacist Participation in protests against Six Nations
This video was taken on the May 24 weekend. The protest was not organized by McHale, and in fact occurred before he arrived on the scene a few months later, but it does provide evidence of both the racist attitudes of participants in the protest and the involvement of somebody who appears to be a white supremacist organizer in his tone and demeanor.
These two links are to videos of two neo-nazi’s present at Gary McHales Oct 15th 2006 “March for Freedom”. The first shows a interview of Mark Rudd, a long time member of the Northern Alliance in London Ontario who came into Caledonia that day for McHale’s rally with a half dozen other neo-nazis.
This video shows a neo-nazi from St. Mary’s Ontario talking about the need for armed revolution.
Stormfront discussions on Gary McHales Protests
Stormfront is the world’s most popular English-language neo-Nazi website. Here
are a couple of discussion threads that discuss McHale’s various activities
and protests in Caledonia and which provide some information about neo-Nazi
participation in them.
The Northern Alliance
The Northern alliance is a neo-Nazi group based out of London Ontario. It is one of the longest-running neo-Nazi groups in Canada that is still currently active. The following are some of the pictures that they themselves took and posted online of their presense at Gary Mchales Oct. 15th “March for Freedom.”
Along with Paul Fromm they have attended a number of Gary McHale’s events including the March For Freedom on October 15th 2006 and a January 20th, 2007 event.