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Stress and anxiety hits home in Caledonia

Karen Best - Haldimand Review staff
Haldimand Review
Local News - Friday, June 16, 2006 @ 09:00

[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 -- A six-year-old girl carefully filled baby doll bottles with water and set them around her bed. When her mother asked why, the girl said the plastic would melt and the water would put out the fire. She knew Six Nations persons had threatened to burn her home.

After the threat was levelled to home owners alongside Douglas Creek Estates subdivision and the rail line, they spent the night of June 9 on alert. Some sat in their backyards with hoses. One person photographed possessions and packed suitcases to be ready for a quick escape.

The six year old’s mother got one hour of sleep that night. Due to significant fear for her family, she declined to give her name.

Since Six Nations individuals began occupation of the Caledonia construction site on Feb. 28, people in Caledonia have suffered with stress and anxiety that has had a physical and psychological toll.

A woman said natives have videotaped Caledonia residents and were revving ATV engines and shining lights near homes. Police told her this was intimidation. Once she waited 20 minutes for police to respond. One man has received 37 death threats. People are afraid to stay in their homes and afraid to leave. They have seen natives carrying guns.

Mayor Marie Trainer said people have videos of natives carrying weapons. Caledonia residents are arming themselves with bats, she added. “I start to cry with them. When they ask, what they should do, I tell them to call me anytime. It helps to know that someone cares. They are feeling so vulnerable and abandoned,” she said.

The six year old’s mother, who has a poor appetite, said her pulse was racing at 150 on the weekend. Her husband is now smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. “You can’t eat. It consumes you,” she said.

People have reported chest pains, heart palpitations, heart burn, insomnia, severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels, panic attacks, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, depression, and other stress related symptoms.

“Unless you live in this town, you don’t understand the pressure we are under,” said one man.

Haldimand Norfolk MP Diane Finley has also lost sleep over the incidents as a wide range of people kept her updated.

“There’s a lot of us in Ottawa tearing our hair out too,”she said when told about Caledonia resident stress reactions.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, a branch of Health Canada, has several documents on Responding to Stressful Events. Talking about feelings and thoughts, exercise and treating each other with patience and understanding can help as can attending information meetings. “In the case of terrorism or war, don’t let racism poison your community,” stated the report.

Children suffer similar physical and emotional impacts along with bed wetting and tantrums. Parents can help by giving extra attention and reassurance to the child.

Teens might experience problems at school and may spend more or less time with friends. Parents can help by talking to them and listening. If anger and revenge thoughts surface, parents can talk about underlying emotions and act to stop aggressive behaviour.

For more information, go to the Health Canada website and click into the mental and behavioural section of diseases and conditions. There you will find a report on coping with the stress of terrorism and armed conflict. The direct web address is:

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