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Mediator 'good first step'

Six Nations Confederacy wants 'meaningful talks'

John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 28, 2006)

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

The Six Nations Confederacy Council says Ottawa's appointment of a mediator to investigate issues surrounding the Six Nations protest at a Caledonia building site is a positive first step toward settlement.

But the Haudenosaunee chiefs -- who announced yesterday that their council supports the protest -- say the federal government has already had some 300 years to figure out those issues.

Ottawa could end the protest tomorrow by freezing construction and opening meaningful talks on land claims which would include the Confederacy, Chief Leroy "Cayuga Bear" Hill, a sub-chief, told a news conference at the Onandaga Longhouse.

Reading a statement first in the Cayuga language and then in English, Hill said Ottawa needs to send someone with authority to straighten out claims and do more than just investigate.

They want Ottawa's "runner," mediator Michael Coyle, to go back to Parliament Hill and tell Minister of Indian Affairs Jim Prentice the protest will end if the government puts a moratorium on construction in writing and freezes further development of disputed lands while "meaningful talks" are held.

"Then the people would leave," said Hill.

Any talks would be expected to lead to resolution of outstanding land claims the Six Nations Confederacy says cover most of Southern Ontario and an estimated value of $400 billion in what the chiefs say are outstanding leases, illegal sales and loss of money held in trust by Ottawa.

Hill said Six Nations citizens launched "a reclamation" of some of those lands at Caledonia three weeks ago when developer Don Henning of Henco Industries began building homes on Six Nations' land that has not been surrendered.

The land in question, the chiefs say, was taken by the Crown in 1848 and sold off.

Hill praised the Ontario Provincial Police for "being respectful and careful" since the protest began at the entrance of Douglas Creek Estates off Argyle Street in Caledonia Feb. 28.

"Our people there are not criminals," said Hill. "The OPP understand this. We hope Ottawa gives the order to disengage. It is in their hands."

The Haudenosaunee chiefs also praised the clan mothers who have maintained peace at the protest site.

The chiefs also said they find it insulting that Ottawa will deal with the elected band council on the reserve on the land claims issue when that council was established by the federal government in 1924. They claim the elected council does not represent the people.

"The community is against the elected council dealing with land claims," Hill said.

"But that is who Ottawa deals with."

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