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Peterson says Caledonia 'very fragile'

April Kemick - Free Press Reporter
London Free Press
Fri, June 16, 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.]

Former Ontario premier David Peterson returned to his old London turf yesterday to receive an honorary degree in a graduation ceremony with a family feel.

Peterson, called in to help negotiate an end to the Caledonia standoff, also expressed optimism the impasse would soon be peacefully settled.

The former Ontario Liberal leader, a 1965 University of Western Ontario graduate, was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in yesterday's convocation ceremony.

His sister-in-law, Deb Matthews, Liberal MPP for London-North-Centre, received her PhD in sociology at the same ceremony.

Peterson, who served as premier from 1985 to 1990, is a provincial negotiator in the standoff.

"It's been very tough -- as tough as things get," he said. "But this didn't turn into an Oka or an Ipperwash and I don't think it will."

Violence erupted last week at Caledonia, where protesting natives clashed with authorities, reporters and passersby. The OPP has issued arrest warrants for several men.

Peterson called the standoff a "very fragile situation" with resentment, frustration and anger on both sides but predicted cool heads will prevail. Mediators are working to rebuild trust, he said.

"Some good things are happening," he said. "We're working with the local community to make up for some of the damage they've suffered and we're working with the aboriginal community. We're working hard to build understanding."

But the simmering mistrust, fury and frustration felt by Six Nations and Caledonia residents are volatile emotions that can change quickly, he said.

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