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Tension rises at blockade

Natives, townsfolk at odds in Ontario

Natalie Pona - Sun Media
Edmonton Sun
Monday, May 22, 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.]

CALEDONIA, Ont. -- A couple of Caledonia residents got nose to nose in an angry confrontation with members of the Six Nations near the native blockade here yesterday, just as word began to spread the barricades may come down this morning.

The blockade stems from a native occupation Feb. 28 of a partially completed subdivision over a disputed land claim. After a police raid in April, Six Nations members blocked the main route through the community of Caledonia.

Blockade spokesman Clyde Powless said talks are ongoing to get the road open this morning.

Negotiations between former premier David Peterson and Six Nations Confederacy Chief Allen McNaughton have been on for more than two weeks.

"We're working hard to get it open," Powless said. "Hopefully we'll get there."

Word the blockade may come down came after the province temporarily banned construction at the disputed housing development.

Yesterday afternoon, police were trying to defuse tensions between about a dozen Caledonia residents and a few Six Nations members who had been trying to drive through the residents' impromptu blockade, which was stationed in front of the natives' barricade.

"Lately it's been getting under our skin. You wake up in the morning and think, 'Something's got to be done,' " said Leonard Sherritt, a carpenter in Caledonia participating in the counter-blockade.

He said negotiators haven't been working quickly enough to dismantle the Six Nations barricade.

While tempers were running hot, a couple of hundred people, loaded on to six school buses, arrived from Toronto.

Zainade Amadany of the Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty said the group brought in supplies to Six Nations members who were camped out at the housing development.

They were also there to "demonstrate that with all the negative publicity, and some of the redneck things going on, that they have a lot of support."

Police directed the buses through a back route, past the blockade, to avoid skirmishes with counter-protesters.

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