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Land negotiators join native talks

Barb McKay
Hamilton Spectator
May 4, 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.]

Federal and provincial land claims negotiators have been appointed to join talks with natives in Caledonia that are expected to resume next Tuesday.

The federal government has named Barbara McDougall as its negotiator with Six Nations leaders over all of their claims related to lands originally given to them in 1784 in what is called the Haldimand Tract. McDougall, a former Conservative MP, served as Minister of State for Finance and the Status of Women, Minister of Employment and Immigration and Minister of External Affairs.

Former federal minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Jane Stewart will represent Ontario at the table. Ontario's Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay said Stewart was the obvious choice for the job.

"They are both outstanding people, people with great experience," he said. "I know Jane Stewart more than Barbara McDougall and one thing I remember is her interpersonal skills. You could meet her 10 years ago and 10 years later she would pick up the conversation again. She has the background and knowledge, being a former minister, and she knows the geography and the history."

Ramsay said the job of the two negotiators will be to work out a long-term resolution for land claims in the area.

"This is more of an accounting of the land," he said. "Were they properly credited for the land as it was disposed of?"

Ramsay said former premier David Peterson will remain involved for the short term to try to find a solution to the native occupation of one piece of disputed land, the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision.

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer was excited to learn negotiators have been appointed.

"It's wonderful," she said. "Now we'll have to wait and find out from the natives who their representatives will be. It's wonderful to get the show on the road. People are getting frustrated."

Trainer is pleased persons as knowledgeable and experienced as McDougall and Stewart will lead the next phase of discussions, and hopes the appointment of two women to the positions will also please the Six Nations clan mothers. "We'll be expecting great things from these ladies. They've had men handling it so far. Maybe the gals will do it better."

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