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Window closing on peaceful resolution

Karen Best - Chronicle Staff Writer
Dunville Chronicle
Local News - Wednesday, April 12, 2006 @ 05:00

[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.]

CAYUGA -- A prominent chief and the county’s mayor say time is running out for a peaceful resolution to a stand off in a Caledonia subdivision.

“Everyone will not sit back and be patient much longer on all sides,”said Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer after council had a private meeting with Six Nations elected band council Chief David General, Pentiction indian Band Chief Stewart Phillip and others. “I think patience is running thin.”

“We’re running out of time. The window is closing very quickly,” said Stewart later. He was asked by OPP to assist in a peaceful resolution to Six Nation occupation of the subdivision, according to General. Phillip described the situation as very volatile and very serious. He will stay as long as he is called upon to share his knowledge and experience with land dispute resolution.

On Feb. 28, several natives set up blockades on the survey that has room for 600 homes.

Three days later the development company, Henco Industries, secured an injunction that ordered native activists to leave the property. On March 17, they were found in contempt of the order. Warrants for the arrests of persons on the property were issued in late March.

Phillip, who supported the Mohawks at Oka, had a very similar experience. When a ski hill development was proposed on seven mountains and in the watershed of the Penticton Indian Band territory in British Columbia, the community demanded an environmental assessment. When it was refused, natives set up a blockade that remained in place for 35 days. The provincial government provided the developer with an $8 million emergency loan to offset losses.

Meanwhile, racial tension between natives and non-natives was extremely high. When the situation was at the point of blowing up, the federal and provincial government set aside their policy to refuse to negotiate over barricades, said Phillip. Through a more orderly process, an agreement was proposed and put to a referendum in the band community. They agreed. Now both sides are notified about any possible problems in order to resolve them before they become conflicts.

While the developer did go bankrupt, another company came in and amicable relations continue with band which is consulted before any development is started in the resort. The British Columbia government set up a $100 million trust fund to support ongoing negotiations.

The Caledonia situation has got to the point that every effort is being made to resolve it, said Phillip. “There’s been a tremendous amount of effort behind the scenes to bring around a resolution,” he said. “We’re here to lend assistance to parties seeking a peaceful resolution.”

Early Sunday evening, he arrived in Toronto and was whisked into a meeting that ended after midnight. Meetings continue with several parties but he is uncertain if any will include individuals from the subdivision land reclamation. That will be up to the parties, he added.

According to Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer, who met with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (IANC) minister Jim Prentice on April 7, the minister will not with deal with “the radicals (in the subdivision) out there” and she agreed with his position. She said the minister agreed to some consultation with Confederacy chiefs who are part of the Six Nations traditional government. OPP will arrange meetings with all concerned parties including the elected band council, Confederacy chiefs, and municipal, provincial and federal government representatives, continued Trainer.

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