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McDougall, Stewart join team

Peterson suggests province buy protest site

Daniel Nolan
Hamilton Spectator
BRANTFORD (May 11, 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.]

David Peterson has broached the idea with the Henning brothers of having the province buy their housing site which is being occupied by native protesters.

But the former Ontario premier, appointed by the province to try to resolve the standoff at Douglas Creek Estates, stresses nothing has been agreed to by any parties involved in discussions.

Don and John Henning, whose project has been occupied by native protesters since Feb. 28, have consistently said they are not interested in selling the site and just want to get back to work developing the first phase of 600 homes planned for the Argyle Street South development.

"I've talked to the Hennings (on) how do they see it," Peterson told The Spectator after a day of talks with Six Nations Confederacy representatives.

"I've talked to the community on how they see it. I'm trying to gather up the best wisdom and creative ideas from constructive people to try to make this thing work."

The protesters say Six Nations never surrendered the land, but the province and Canada say the property was surrendered and sold to help develop the Plank Road (Highway 6) between Hamilton and Port Dover.

Talks on the Douglas Creek standoff resumed at the Best Western Inn in Brantford yesterday with the addition of two new government appointees. Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Barbara McDougall and former federal Liberal cabinet minister and Brant MP Jane Stewart met their Six Nations negotiating partners for the first time.

While Peterson is working on trying to resolve the Caledonia standoff, including the blockade of two roads and a rail line, the other two appointees are to work on resolving all of Six Nations' outstanding land claims. The blockades were thrown up on Argyle Street, the Highway 6 Bypass and the Southern Ontario Railway line April 20 after a failed OPP raid on the housing site.

Peterson said other issues talked about include:

* Hiring a person to do an independent archeological survey of Douglas Creek Estates because of claims there may be native burial sites on the land. The Hennings hired a firm to do a survey and it found no evidence of graves.

"There's no clear assertions of what's there and what isn't there," said Peterson. "The Hennings have a report, but it's the Hennings's report."

* Having Haldimand County and Six Nations develop a joint community centre.

"One of the things you want to try and find in a situation like this is something that is good for the whole community," said Peterson. "Something that brings the whole community back together."

Peterson couldn't offer a date for removal of the blockades, but said it was discussed .

"Every day we are closer."

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