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Peterson: Caledonia peace will take time

Hamilton Spectator
May 1, 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.]

The man appointed by the Ontario government to help end the Caledonia blockade says he can't say how long it might take to find a settlement.

Former Liberal premier David Peterson met with provincial officials yesterday before heading to Caledonia in the hope of meeting protesters' and town representatives. The occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision has gone on for two months now. Native protesters have blockaded the main road through Caledonia since an abortive OPP raid on the site a week and a half ago.

The protesters maintain the land where houses were being built belongs to Six Nations. Peterson talked to reporters outside a Burlington hotel yesterday. "Everyone feels aggrieved. Everyone feels their side is the victim and being taken advantage of," he said.

"The genius here is to find common ground ...The reality is this has been going on for 200 years, so we have to find something that everybody wins with and I can't guarantee anything. I can't guarantee timelines, can't guarantee success, (and) can't guarantee what the resolution will be, but we'll muck around and hopefully we can find something."

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer said she was pleased with Peterson's appointment as mediator.

Peterson said he didn't know how soon roadblocks might be removed. Wendy Hill, a spokesperson for the Six Nations clan mothers, was non-committal about Peterson's role. "It's all going to depend on how Canada deals with it," she said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay said, "The protest has been felt in all parts of the community and we must find a way to deal with these immediate issues. With Mr. Peterson working closely with Six Nations and the community on finding short-term solutions, others can focus on some of the root causes of the protest."

Peterson has high standing among aboriginal leaders as a result of successfully mediating discussions between the province and Ontario's First Nations over a dispute on provincial gambling revenues, Ramsay added.

"Being a former premier, he understands municipal issues. He's a business person and also understands the concerns that the developers would have."

The province says Peterson's job is to work with the protesters and the town to devise short term solutions. Queen's Park said it still expects to appoint a representative this week, along with Ottawa, to work out longer term issues.

Those representatives are being appointed under an agreement reached with Six Nations last month.

Last Friday, the province promised to find bridge financing for John and Don Henning of Henco Industries, whose construction site is being occupied.

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