Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Natives build cookhouse on protest site in one day

Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Apr 8, 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.]

Protesters occupying a housing project they claim sits on native land have built their first structure on the site.

The building arose on the same day Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer and other county officials met with Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice in Ottawa to talk about ways to resolve the five-week standoff.

Workmen completed the finishing touches last night at about 6 p.m. on a wooden shelter designed to be a cookhouse and a meeting place. It will replace a large blue tent.

The cookhouse -- which looks like an enclosed carport -- sits on the roadway off Argyle Street South into Douglas Creek Estates, and not directly on one of the 200 lots in the $6-million subdivision, but one of the protesters warned more wooden structures could rise.

"We'll see how it goes, but we do own the land so we can do anything we want to the land," said Karen, a member of the Onondaga tribe, who declined to give her last name.

She said men on the site decided to build the cookhouse because "they didn't want the women to be in (the tent) anymore because of the rain and snow."

"They put it up in one day. They just started and then they were finished."

Natives have been staying on the housing site, which is south of town, in a motorhome, tents and a large teepee. There are about nine or 10 homes in various states of completion, but Karen said they are not being used. She said that was an agreement struck when the occupation began Feb. 28.

"Our guys really want something to do and could finish them, but we've agreed not to touch them," said Karen.

Neecha, a 28-year-old Ojibwa from near Sioux Lookout, has been living in the teepee for the last week. She said it's been comfortable.

"It's my connection to my ancestors," said Neecha. "There's a fire inside so it's warm. We're good to go."

The protesters claim the land was never surrendered by Six Nations and was part of the huge land grant given to Six Nations in 1784 by the British Crown for services during the American War of Independence. Canada and Ontario, however, say the land was surrendered in 1841 to help build the Plank Road (Highway 6).

Trainer said last night the county delegation met with Prentice and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, who represents Haldimand-Norfolk, for two hours. Also at the meeting was Brantford MP Lloyd St. Amand.

Trainer said she painted a picture of how the standoff is upsetting the whole town and that some find it "frightening" especially after one protester said he was prepared to die.

She said Prentice has a few ideas on how to resolve the standoff, but asked the county not to reveal them to the media. She also said Prentice is waiting for a report on the situation from a fact-finder. No time limit was mentioned.

"I thought the discussion was very good and they gave us a fair amount of time," said Trainer. "I'm hoping something will happen sooner than later."

BackBack to updates

Top Top