Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Caledonia blockade solution near: Chief

Barricade likely gone 'within week' - Land claims talks a turning point

Richard Brennan - GTA Bureau Chief
Toronto Star
May 13, 2006. 01:00 AM

[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.]

In an effort to quell local tensions, Mohawk traditional chief Allen MacNaughton said yesterday a controversial barricade on Highway 6 near Caledonia could come down within a week. "I appreciate the patience that everybody has shown in both communities and we feel that a peaceful resolution is very close now," he told the Toronto Star.

"It's about building trust with our communities again. The thing is we have been good neighbours — the Six Nations and Caledonia — and we would like to see it get back to that. And barricades coming down are part of that."

MacNaughton said the barricade on the highway bypass, a major thoroughfare, and another at a disputed subdivision and a railway line will "probably come down within the week."

"The turning point is ... that the province and the federal governments have agreed to deal with the underlying issues (with respect to land claims)."

Earlier, MacNaughton told Hamilton's CHML radio station that "I think we are close to a solution. I am very happy with the way things are going."

It is the first real sign of a thaw in the 75-day-old protest that started with Six Nations protestors occupying Douglas Creek Estates subdivision, claiming the 40 hectares was part of their territory and never relinquished.

"I would have to say this is extraordinarily positive ... a cause for great optimism," former Ontario Liberal premier David Peterson told the Star.

Appointed by the province to help get all sides — federal, provincial and municipal representatives — talking, Peterson acknowledged the barricades "have been very hard on the community and has exacerbated tensions."

Peterson emphasized the Douglas Creek Estates developer is "an innocent bystander" in all of this. "These are good local people and we are going to make sure they are made whole. Nobody is going to ask that this huge national issue be carried on the back of a local developer."

MacNaughton credited Peterson for getting all the sides to the table. "Everybody was dragging their feet but he has been able to come in and make calls and make things happen," he said.

MacNaughton said the Douglas Creek property dispute needs to be resolved before the larger issues, including land claims along the Grand River.

Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters in Guelph the province has been working hard to find middle ground. "One of the things we're working very hard on, to see if we can turn the temperature down, is to see if we can clear away some of the roadblocks," he said. Yesterday, local businesses and community members said they were forming the Caledonia Citizens' Alliance due to frustration over the slow pace of negotiations. "The Alliance stresses in strong terms their need to be at the table for any negotiations to help settle any disputes," said spokesman Ken Hewitt.

Progressive Conservative justice critic Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North) has claimed the price tag for dealing with the protest has reached $8 million.

With files from Rob Ferguson

BackBack to updates

Back Top