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Residents desperate 'to live a normal life again'

Carmela Fragomeni
Hamilton Spectator
TORONTO (Jun 22, 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.]

Emotionally exhausted Caledonia residents are begging Queen's Park to give them their lives back by resolving the tense four-month native occupation in their town.

Seventy residents yesterday trekked to Toronto to protest government inaction and lack of communication that has left them facing lawlessness, intimidation and unsafe conditions.

Carrying placards demanding federal and provincial leadership and chanting "protect our kids" and "we want peace," they implored MPPs not to forget them when the legislature is in summer recess.

"I would like to live a normal life again," said a stressed-out Sandra Watson, whose home backs onto the occupied Douglas Creek Estates which natives say belongs to them. "I'd like to live without fear. I'd like my children to play outside safely again."

Earlier, at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, members of another Caledonia group, the Citizens Alliance, met briefly with Premier Dalton McGuinty.

McGuinty made no promises.

"I listened, I just heard them out."

The residents were glad someone has finally been able to meet face-to-face with the premier, and deemed their trip to Queen's Park a success.

Opposition Leader John Tory told the group he's impressed residents want to return to living in harmony with their aboriginal neighbours.

"If leadership had happened sooner, and in a more focused way, we could have avoided a lot of the pain," Tory said.

Native protester Doreen Silversmith challenged Tory for saying everyone should be subject to the same rule of law. She repeated the natives' stance that they are their own sovereign nation and have their own laws.

"Don't interfere with our lives," she said.

Later, she told the media non-aboriginals "are doing things to us, too. They're putting our own kids in danger, too ... They're not as innocent as people portray them."

With files from Canadian Press

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