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Ont. blames native impatience in negotiation breakdown

Keith Leslie
Canadian Press
Published: Monday, April 24, 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.]

TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government says talks with Six Nations leaders about disputed land in Caledonia, Ont., were going well until a "faction" of the community lost patience.

David Ramsay, the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, says negotiations between the Six Nations, Ottawa and the province had been making steady progress for two years.

But Ramsay says some natives grew impatient, leading nearly two months ago to a blockade of the land in the town of 10,000 south of Hamilton.

Public Safety Minister Monte Kwinter, meanwhile, says the Ontario Provincial Police attempted to break up the blockade last Thursday because of a court order.

Kwinter told the legislature the OPP did not deviate from their normal practice of negotiating a peaceful settlement of land claim disputes until the developer got a court order.

He says the OPP only decided to go in after the Superior Court of Ontario issued an injunction ordering them to remove the blockade so construction work could begin.

New Democrat leader Howard Hampton said Monday that the government could have headed off last week's confrontation between police and native protesters.

"When, literally, you've got Tasers and pepper spray being used, that doesn't sound like progress to people," Hampton told the legislature.

"Why did you allow this situation to disintegrate to the point where the OPP are using force once again against aboriginal people?"

Hampton said the province should have appointed a mediator to settle the dispute before the OPP raid, not after.

Talks to end the land dispute near Hamilton recessed Sunday after almost 24 hours of negotiations over two days.

Native leaders and provincial and federal officials met for about five hours Saturday night following a 19-hour marathon Friday in a bid to end the seven-week standoff.

Henco Industries said Sunday that it is on the verge of bankruptcy and needs a resolution soon.

The Six Nations claims the land was taken from them more than two centuries ago. They say they agreed to lease the property for a road in 1835 and dispute arguments that it was later sold to the Crown.

Non-native residents of Caledonia have organized plans for their own protest Monday, calling for a peaceful rally "to voice our anger, frustration and disappointment with our government."

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