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Blockade removed as act of goodwill

CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, May 23, 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 native barricade was taken down again Tuesday in an act of goodwill in an Ontario community where a land claim dispute has strained relations between natives and non-natives.

The step was seen as a cautious, constructive move as negotiations were held Tuesday between representatives of the Six Nations Confederacy and provincially appointed negotiator David Peterson.

With the barricade down, vehicles were allowed to drive along Caledonia’s Argyle Street for the first time since it went up in April.

However, native protesters continue to occupy the land they’ve claimed as their own.

"This is a step toward repairing the relationship," Peterson, a former Ontario premier, said Tuesday.

"There are lots of things that have yet to be done. There’s lots of deep distrust, there’s lots of people who are still unhappy."

Since Feb. 28, members of the Six Nations reserve have occupied the 40-hectare tract of land, claiming it was their land that had been illegally sold.

Police raided the site April 20 and arrested 16 people while enforcing a court injunction obtained by the land developer.

"People need to realize all the time and money that has been wasted has been strictly on the barricades. The land issue hasn’t even been touched," said Janie Jamieson, a Six Nations spokesperson, on Tuesday.

No new construction is permitted on the disputed land, provided progress continues towards a settlement.

Earlier this week, the barricade came down but was quickly put up again after violence erupted Monday between the native and non-native sides.

During the melee, a nearby transformer was seriously damaged, knocking out power to thousands of area residents.

Barbara MacDougall and Jane Stewart, both former federal cabinet ministers, are helping settle the dispute, and meetings were said to be ongoing.

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