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Caledonia talks 'pivotal'

We need 'concrete' proposal on land claims: Spokesperson

Marissa Nelson
Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 15, 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.]

Talks between the government and Six Nations people set to resume today are "pivotal," says an aboriginal spokesperson.

Janie Jamieson said since they have now removed barricades from the railway and roads, the government has no excuse to avoid tackling their land claims.

"It's a turning point. They have no other reasons not to proceed," she said.

Jamieson, who will be at the talks, said they need to see something "concrete."

Negotiators will update the Six Nations community after the talks end tonight. But expectations will be high.

The Six Nations people have occupied the Douglas Creek Estates site in Caledonia since late February and then set up barricades on roads and a railway following a botched OPP raid of the site in mid-April.

Barbara MacDougall, the federal representative, will not be at the table today; but her provincial counterpart Jane Stewart will be there.

An adviser with MacDougall said she is in constant contact with Ron Doering, the federal negotiator who will be there.

Ken Hewitt, spokesperson for the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, questioned how substantive the talks will be, since Stewart said they wouldn't talk about land claims until the protesters were off Douglas Creek Estates.

"All the conversations that have occurred to date have been to relieve tensions between the community of Caledonia and the native protesters," Hewitt said. "Jane Stewart made it clear to us that that land (Douglas Creek) will never be transferred to native ownership."

OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface, who has been criticized for her silence on Caledonia, testified yesterday at the inquiry into the death of a native protesteer [sic] at Ipperwash in 1995.

She told the inquiry that the occupation in Caledonia shows land claims remain a sore point with natives. Land claims must be addressed by the federal government because they cannot be resolved by police, she said.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the traditional native government, issued a news release yesterday saying the seven people wanted by the OPP will not be at the Douglas Creek site until the Confederacy completes its own investigation.

The news release also outlined a different explanation for the most serious incident last week, which involved the swarming of an SUV vehicle and injuries to two OPP officers.

The confederacy release says the vehicle involved belonged to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), not the U.S. border patrol as has been reported. The ATF was made infamous by their involvement in the disaster in Waco, Texas, in 1993 that left dozens of people dead.

Confederacy spokesperson April Powless said they found documentation in the SUV that confirmed the ATF was there.

The ATF did not return requests for information about whether their agents were involved. Mike Friel, spokesperson with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, confirmed they had two agents involved, and that their vehicle was stolen then returned, minus some personal items. He did not know if the ATF was also involved.

He said the officers were there on a familiarization tour.

With files from Canadian Press

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