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E-mail threatens lacrosse game

Caledonia citizens are being called on to 'restrict access' to Six Nations match

Daniel Nolan
Hamilton Spectator
Caledonia (Jun 6, 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.]

Town residents are being asked to rally at the arena tomorrow night to disrupt a lacrosse game staged by the Six Nations Minor Lacrosse Association.

A mysterious e-mail, obtained by The Spectator, is calling on residents to gather at the Haldimand County Caledonia Centre to "restrict access to the arena to people who are not welcome in our community."

The rally, being called Caledonia Unites, asks people who receive it to pass it on to at least 10 others "and try to get as many people out as possible." It wants people to gather at 6 p.m. for five hours at the Haddington Street facility.

Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer says officials are aware of the threat and are looking to relocate the game to another site.

A practice last night was relocated to Hagersville, but an arena spokesperson could not say if it was because of the threat. He also understood tomorrow's game was still being held in Caledonia. A spokesperson for the lacrosse association could not be reached for comment.

"It's sad," Trainer said. "It's just another wedge that keeps us (native and non-native) apart."

The call to action comes during another tense period in town over the three-month occupation of a housing project by natives. Sunday night saw what Ontario Provincial Police call a "confrontation" after a OPP officer drove onto the Six Nations Reserve. The OPP has said they would not go onto Six Nations land after the failed April 20 raid to evict protesters from the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision. The car was surrounded by native protesters.

Trainer said she's been told the officer was from Sudbury and did not know the roads.

There was a media report Six Nations Police charged the OPP officers with trespassing, but Six Nations Police spokesman Jody Hill said yesterday that was not true.

Hundreds of townsfolk and protesters also faced off against each other on Argyle Street South, near the scene where a native barricade stood until May 25.

A car belonging to Sheprott K-9 Security was torched. The security firm was hired by Hydro One to protect the Caledonia Transformer Station from another vandalism attack like the one on Victoria Day that blacked out Haldimand-Norfolk and parts of Six Nations. The lone guard was ordered to leave the car and the area by about 10 people who confronted him at about 10 p.m. A barn also burned down and police say they are investigating two assaults.

Native protesters say Six Nations never surrendered the land being eyed for the 600-home subdivision. Canada and Ontario say it was surrendered and sold in 1841. Two other barricades put up after the OPP raid, on the Highway 6 Bypass and a rail line, remain in force.

Caledonia resident Jon Buttenham received the e-mail about the arena rally on the weekend, but said he had no idea who sent it.

"It's just something that is going around," he said. He plans to attend because "who's protecting us? That's all I've got to say."

Trainer said a state of emergency remains on the books for Caledonia, but said it may be lifted this week when Hydro One has completed repairs to the transformer station. Damage from the arson has been estimated at more than $1.5 million. As a result of Sunday's incident, Sheprott last night placed two guards at the Argyle Street station.

Meanwhile, a Conservative party motion calling for an inquiry into the Liberal government's handling of the Caledonia standoff passed unexpectedly in the Ontario legislature yesterday. Motions are not binding on the government, but the vote caught the government with too few members present and might prove embarrassing for the McGuinty government.

"I'm just delighted the legislature has voted in favour of this," said a gleeful Conservative leader John Tory.

"I look forward to the commencement of the inquiry."

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