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End to protest may be in sight

Susan Gamble - Expositor Staff
The Brantford Expositor
Saturday, May 13, 2006 @ 01:00

[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 blockades on roads around Caledonia may come down as early as next week according to those involved in discussions with the provincial and federal government.

Leroy Hill, a Six Nations Confederacy representative, has been in meetings at the Best Western Brant Park Inn all week. He is buoyed by the positive nature of the discussions about the 74-day protest in Caledonia.

“Instead of being months or weeks away from an agreement, it’s a matter of days,” Hill said Friday afternoon. “We’re at a point where we’re moving closer than we’ve ever been and hopefully, by next week, we’ll have some good news on the roads.”

Hill said the talks were beefed up this week with the arrival of former premier David Peterson who is representing the provincial government.

Next week, former cabinet ministers Barbara McDougall and Jane Stewart will join talks for the federal government and the provincial government, respectively.

“One of the biggest accomplishments this week has been in the arrival of negotiators who have a mandate and the authority to deal with the issues,” said Hill. “It has certainly changed the landscape at the table. We’re getting the ball rolling now.”

Peterson told a radio talk show that good progress is being made in the talks. He has been focusing specifically on the roadblocks.

“I think everyone is very optimistic now,” he said.

On Friday afternoon, Peterson met with the Caledonia Citizens’ Alliance to provide an update, offering hope but no specifics on when the roads will be opened.

A large part of the discussions has been aimed at planning how to difuse the tensions between Caledonia residents and the Six Nations protesters.

Removing the road blockades, said Hill, will help, especially when those in Caledonia realize it is for them.

“This is for the people in the town. We’re acknowledging their patience and we believe we’re close to restoring normality.”

While Henco Industries, the developers building homes on the contested property, hasn’t been in the discussion for the past few weeks, the Henning brothers issued a news release saying they are optimistic the situation will soon come to an end in a manner that’s satisfactory for all involved parties.

Six Nations member Lisa VanEvery joined the talks Friday and was also delighted with their tone.

“Everybody is very excited. This is historical and very uplifting to our spirits because we’re finally being acknowledged for our rights,” said VanEvery.

While there have been parts of the protest she hasn’t fully agreed with, VanEvery said the blockade has served a noble purpose.

“It brought people to the table and made the government realize this is a serious issue. Whatever people think about civil disobedience, it does attract attention.”

Hill said the Confederacy hopes the positive work will continue long after the roads are open again.

“We’re looking at reconciliation with Canada and Ontario. We remember when there was true honour with our treaties and we would like to help restore the honour of the Crown.”

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