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Native flags flying over properties in city

Susan Gamble
Brantford Expositor
Local News - Friday, June 23, 2006 @ 01:00

[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.]

Native flags are popping up around the city as reminders that the Caledonia protest is just the beginning, says a protest spokesperson.

Flags have gone up on the site of the proposed power centre at Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Henry Street and at a property on the top of West Street hill, across from Mount Hope Cemetery.

“This is to let people know,” said Janie Jamieson, “that the issue in Caledonia and with the Confederacy isn’t limited to the postage stamp property at Douglas Creek.”

Jamieson said the natives are particularly concerned about their future because of the newly announced Places to Grow vision that seeks to curb urban sprawl by creating higher densities in cities like St. Catharines, Barrie, Oakville and Brantford.

“With the push to develop southern Ontario,” said Jamieson, “people need to understand the land mass that’s involved in our situation.

“Our rights are being violated up and down the Grand (River).

“Right now, the spotlight is on Caledonia, but in reality all of these others parcels of land will be affected, including much of Brantford.”

The flags at the corner of Gretzky Parkway and Henry Street has been mounted on a permanent flagpole. The purple Six Nations flag flies above a red Mohawk Warriors flag.

At the top of West Street hill, both types of flags hang on a sign that, for years, has proclaimed “Adoption, Not Abortion.”

Once the home of Bill Fuller, who died on New Year’s Day, the West Street property is in the process of moving into native ownership. Fuller apparently wanted his land to go to native hands after his death.

Six Nations Chief Coun. Dave General confirmed Thursday that the documentation on the land, which was to be given to Six Nations upon Fuller’s death, is in the hands of the reserve’s lands and resources office.

“You can’t control any one individual’s enthusiasm in dealing with claims issues,” General said.

But, he added, it would be more informative if some kind of official signage was developed to identify land as part of Six Nations.

There are around a dozen land claims involving city properties that are part of litigation with the provincial and federal governments. And there are more parcels of land for which native-ownership cases can be made.

Brantford Mayor Mike Hancock said Thursday he isn't surprised by the implications of the flags.

"They're trying to send a message to Brantford and the governments of Ontario and Canada and they're using all possible means to do it.

"The people in Brantford are generally very supportive."

Chief General said he envisioned something a little more official, like a sign that could be erected.

“Maybe This parcel of land is part of the Six Nations land claim. Please help us find some resolution’ -- a positive message.”

Regardless, General said it’s time to get back to a sense of normalcy, letting tensions on the protest site cool and promoting the neighbourly relationship once shared by Six Nations and Caledonia.

“Let’s let the negotiating tables do what the tables are meant to do.”

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