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Talks over Caledonia property to resume today

CBC News:
Last updated Apr 26 2006 09:03 AM EDT

[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.]

Talks in the dispute over a Caledonia housing development occupied by aboriginal protesters were set to resume Wednesday.

The negotiations, involving police, protesters, the province and Ottawa, had been put off for a few days so Six Nations officials could consider what was discussed on the weekend, Premier Dalton McGuinty told the legislature Tuesday.

He asked both sides to "stay cool, stay calm and remain patient."

Protesters from the Six Nations reserve have occupied the property, about an hour southwest of Toronto, since Feb 28, arguing the land belongs to them.

The conflict made headlines again Tuesday as two aboriginal protesters angrily confronted Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer at a blockade in Caledonia after she made comments that they interpreted as labelling them as welfare recipients.

In an appearance on CBC Newsworld earlier in the day, the mayor said residents of the town were being hurt economically by the protest and don't have money coming in automatically every month. When she arrived at the blockade, an unidentified woman took her to task.

"I don't know where you get off. Your redneck attitude is what's causing this whole thing," the woman said.

"There's no way you're going to make us come off as welfare recipients. You put it right on the air and I just seen it. You had no damn business saying it."

Native spokesman Clyde Powless, who had warmly greeted Trainer minutes earlier, then joined the fray.

"I'm deeply saddened by comments I've heard you made about my people waiting for a monthly cheque," Powless said. "I'm shocked at you and I will never want to address you again."

Following the confrontation, Trainer defended her remarks to journalists.

"They needed to know what the Caledonia people thought," Trainer said. "I have to stick up for my people, just like they're sticking up for themselves."

The incident marked a further deterioration in relations between the protesters and town residents following a noisy confrontation at the barricades Monday night that led to the arrest of one person.

Angry rally as standoff enters 57th day

About 500 residents headed to the site after a rally, at which they called on authorities to end the seven-week-old native demonstration at the housing development.

There are plans to build 250 homes on the 40-hectare site, which the natives say is on their land.

At the meeting, about 3,000 non-native residents voiced their mounting frustration over the blockade.

"As Caledonians we feel that we have had our lives disrupted," one angry man said.

"I have six-year-olds who are terrified to come home and sleep at night," a woman yelled.

Some said they understood that police were on hand to keep the peace, but they felt let down by government efforts to end the dispute.

"Our politicians are hiding," another man said, "and it makes me sick."

Then some in the crowd started heading toward the barricade, but a line of about 100 police officers kept them at bay.

Still, the demonstrators released their anger by smashing a police vehicle. One resident was arrested.

Site occupied for two months

The native demonstrators, mostly members of the nearby Six Nations reserve, want to stop construction of the housing project by Henco Industries on land they say was stolen from the Six Nations more than 200 years ago.

The province says aboriginals gave up the land in 1841 to make way for a new highway, an agreement a Six Nations spokesperson said was only meant to be a lease.

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