Six Nations Solidarity
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Updated Fri. May. 19 2006 11:47 PM ET
[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.]
TORONTO -- The provincial government has indefinitely banned construction at the site of a tense aboriginal land dispute in southwestern Ontario despite angry objections from the developer.
The province has sent a letter to the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy Council confirming that all work on a subdivision at the site in Caledonia, Ont., near Hamilton, will be halted for a period of time to be agreed upon by aboriginal representatives and federal and provincial officials.
The Six Nations protesters have been camped out on the land since Feb. 28, claiming it was wrongly taken from them in the 1840s.
"We're trying to find some ways to cool the situation down," David Ramsay, Ontario's minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, said Friday.
The moratorium will "give us some breathing room" to work out a longer-term solution, Ramsay said.
But a lawyer for developer Henco Industries said the company's owners are furious that they were not consulted about the construction ban.
"We're outraged," said Michael Bruder.
He said Henco only learned about the moratorium through an aboriginal website called Six Nations Solidarity, which posted the May 17 letter from Ramsay.
Bruder said the province apparently proposed the moratorium and further archeological assessment of the site during discussions between aboriginal and government representatives to end the dispute, but Henco made it clear it did not back either move.
"I sent a letter to the government last Friday saying we would not agree to either of those two conditions," he said.
But Ramsay said it was his understanding that government officials have been keeping Henco officials informed on the progress of the talks.
He said the moratorium is aimed at convincing the protesters to remove barricades they have set up on the main highway through Caledonia.
The blockade went up April 20 after provincial police unsuccessfully raided the site of the occupation.
Six Nations spokeswoman Janie Jamieson said Friday the protesters are reviewing their options, and in the meantime, the blockade and occupation will continue.
"That is something that we did want, that was requested," Jamieson said of the moratorium.
"But they're saying, 'If you clear all of those transportation ways, this is what we'll give you,' and we haven't said, 'Yes, we agree to that.'"
Bruder said Henco is "fed up'' with the situation, adding that the government has put the company in an untenable position.
He said the only way out is for the province to buy the property from the company at fair market value.
"We've said all the way along that we didn't want to sell, but they've backed us into a corner," Bruder said.
"What other options do they have? Sit by idly and watch their entire life savings go down the drain? They can't do that."