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Native activists deny extortion attempt

Paul Legall
Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (May 6, 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.]

Native activists have been quick to distance themselves from an individual who is alleged to have said he represented them while trying to extort money from the developers of Douglas Creek Estates.

A native spokesperson said she wasn't aware that anybody was acting on their behalf and suggested somebody was attempting to discredit them.

Michael Bruder, a lawyer representing Henco Industries, said someone contacted him by telephone and asked how much John and Don Henning were willing to pay for the return of their corporate documents. He said Henco declined to discuss the offer.

Bruder said the documents were stolen on April 20 when people were seen on television removing property from a model home that Henco Industries had been using as a company office on the Douglas Creek Estates site.

He said the caller identified himself as an "intermediary" phoning on behalf of protesters who have been occupying the housing site since Feb. 28.

He said he reported the situation to Six Nations Confederacy Chief Allen MacNaughton, who promised to investigate and get back to him.

Bruder said he decided to go public because nobody from the Confederacy had gotten back to him.

MacNaughton was in Ottawa yesterday and couldn't be reached for comment.

In a press release, the Henning brothers said they were "extremely angry and frustrated that the protesters are holding our possessions for ransom and in effect holding the town of Caledonia hostage."

Native spokesperson Janie Jamieson wasn't aware of the alleged extortion attempt until she was shown a Henco press release yesterday and had no idea who Bruder was talking about.

"It's the first time I've heard of that person. If he exists, who is it?

"It's another attempt to discredit us, that's all that is," she said.

Historically, she added, there have been repeated attempts to discredit native people and the connection to their lands.

As far as she knows, none of the contents of Henco's model home are missing. Asked whether it would be returned, she replied: "It's not up to me."

She also dismissed allegations -- contained in a Henco press release May 4 -- that protesters were building onto houses in Douglas Creek Estates.

"We haven't built onto any houses," she said. "It's a false accusation. Show us the proof. They (police) have planes flying over the site all the time. They can find it in a heart beat."

OPP Sergeant Dave Rektor said police haven't heard about any extortion attempt but were aware that property was removed from the model home.

"We're aware of the looting and we are investigating and if we can identify the people involved, we'll lay charges. It's a criminal act and won't be tolerated," he said.

With files from Marissa Nelson

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