Six Nations Solidarity
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CTV.ca News Staff
Sat. Apr. 22 2006 11:23 PM ET
[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 provincial and federal governments and the Six Nations have agreed to work towards a solution to a bitter land claim dispute in Caledonia, Ont., but demonstrators refuse to bring down barricades just yet.
The parties have each agreed to appoint a representative who will be authorized to work out a draft agreement, which would then be subject to a ratification vote. Representatives will be appointed within two weeks.
Negotiations lasted from 9 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday, with more talks scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
"We are all trying to find a good, peaceful resolution to the issue here and the situation," one Native leader said Saturday.
But continuing talks and the hope for a negotiated end to the land claims dispute was not enough to prompt demonstrators to pull down barricades.
Clyde Powless, spokesperson for the demonstrators, said the negotiations haven't changed much yet but they are positive.
"They've agreed to keep on speaking, which is always a good thing 'cause if dialogue was open, I truly believe this (demonstration) would never have took place," Powless said.
"I don't see (the barricades coming down). We're very tense as long as we see (the Ontario Provincial Police). We know the RCMP's sitting at the airport. We're aware of presences all around."
The protesters are occupying land they claim belongs to them under a land grant dating back to 1784. The Government, however, believes the land was surrendered in 1841 so that a highway could be built.
Since Feb. 28, dozens of Six Nations members have occupied the still unfinished Douglas Creek Estates housing development in Caledonia, a town of 10,000 located south of Hamilton.
Tensions heightened on Thursday, however, when police raided the site and arrested 16 people in an attempt to shut down the occupation. It had the opposite effect, however, galvanizing protesters' resolve and drawing dozens more to the scene.
Police backed off, and now say they have no plans of raiding the property again.
Some nearby residents are upset about the protest, saying Natives are exempt from paying taxes on the land.
Meanwhile, demonstrators near Marysville, Ont. have removed a barricade they erected as a sympathy protest on Friday morning, blocking one of Canada's busiest rail corridors.
The blockade about 200 kilometres east of Toronto shut down rail traffic between Montreal and Toronto, forcing Via Rail to bus passengers to their destinations.
A court injunction was eventually granted, ordering the removal of the barricade. Protesters removed their blockade voluntarily, however, after getting word that negotiations in Caledonia were progressing, said CTV's Kathy Tomlinson.
The old school buses they had used to block the tracks were removed late Friday, and trains resumed travel after an inspector gave his approval.
Protesters from the nearby Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory had begun their demonstration before dawn, lighting bonfires on both sides of the tracks.
With files from The Canadian Press