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Crowds gather in Caledonia, no trouble reported

Canadian Press
Updated Fri. Apr. 28 2006 11:36 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.]

CALEDONIA, Ont. -- More than 500 residents gathered near the site of the aboriginal standoff in Caledonia, Ont., on Friday night but there was no major trouble reported as tempers remained in check.

Police presence was heavy as the town faced another large rally of residents upset with the blockade that has closed a main street.

Dozens of provincial police officers stood between the residents and the blockade, which native protesters put up on April 20 after a failed police raid to evict them.

The largely peaceful crowd mostly milled around in front of the police line with only a few minor incidents -- one case involved several young men taunting police for not ejecting aboriginals and their supporters from the housing site.

The occupation, which protesters call a land reclamation, hit its 60th day Friday.

Negotiations to end the dispute without violence resumed Wednesday at an undisclosed location and some progress was reported. They were to continue on Monday.

Protesters say Six Nations never surrendered the land, but Canada and Ontario say it was surrendered and sold in 1841 to make way for a highway.

Meanwhile, the Ontario government has offered to compensate the developer of the Douglas Creek Estates.

The subdivision was designed to hold 600 homes and add about 2,000 people to Caledonia's population of 10,000.

A provincial representative offered a deal on Thursday to brothers Don and John Henning and the six builders left idle by the occupation.

The brothers say they bought the property in 1992, invested $6 million in the site and now face financial ruin.

Anne-Marie Flanagan, spokeswoman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay, said the developers and builders have asked for the offer to be kept confidential.

"An offer was made to them, but we don't have a final agreement yet," she said. "(Special provincial adviser Rob Chadwick) spoke with them and he made a recommendation to the government and we've made an offer based on that."

But the Hennings suggested the provincial offer isn't a clear matter of compensation.

"After discussions with a provincial representative, we are gratified that some progress is being made and that the province is now seriously considering how they might provide us with interim financial assistance," they said in a release.

"We expect to have a temporary resolution within the next few days."

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