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Caledonia residents protest at Queen's Park

CTV News Staff
Updated Wed. Jun. 21 2006 3:27 PM ET

[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.]

Dozens of non-native Caledonia residents rallied at Queen's Park Wednesday afternoon voicing their concerns over the long-standing aboriginal standoff in their community.

The citizens protested outside the Metro Convention Centre in the morning where Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was giving a speech.

The residents fear the land dispute will fall out of the spotlight once the legislature breaks for the summer, and they worry negotiations to resolve the dispute will stall.

Three of the individuals met with McGuinty and expressed their concern, and while the premier listened, he didn't make any new promises about a possible solution, CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss reported.

The protestors held signs and chanted "Where's Dalton?" because they feel McGuinty has not acted to restore order and law to their town.

Numerous violent clashes between residents and protestors have erupted since the standoff by Six Nations members began in late February.

"I'm here because we want our life back in Caledonia," one elderly resident said.

"We want safety for our children. We are worried about our homes, our taxes, and we all feel we are something like hostages in our own town."

McGuinty called the long-standing land dispute a "complicated, delicate situation," but said he will be working with the federal government to resolve it as soon as possible.

"I fully expect that I will come under some criticism from a variety of corners....but I will do whatever I think is necessary to ensure that we deal with the situation in the best possible way," he told reporters when asked why the province hasn't revealed how much it paid to buy the land from the developer.

The Ontario Provincial Police have also been criticized for its response to the tense situation.

The protest by Caledonia residents, who plan to attend question period and demonstrate outside the legislature, comes one day after the government announced it would be compensating homeowners who have suffered because of the standoff.

No dollar figure has been announced.

Businesses hit hard by the protest have been promised $1.7 million in compensation, and developers building on the disputed land have already been compensated.

Meanwhile, one of several native suspects wanted in connection to the Caledonia clashes has been arrested and charged.

Ken Hill, 47, of Ohsweken, Ont., is charged with two counts of assault for his alleged role in a confrontation between aboriginals and residents on June 4, police said.

Hill is to appear in Cayuga court next month.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss

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