Barricades Taken Down Outside Caledonia, Ending Occupation

Land defenders blockade outside Caledonia ends

Barricades erected by Six Nations people near Caledonia have been dismantled, marking an end to an occupation that lasted for nearly a month.

An OPP spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that officers intercepted the development on Monday. A “verbal interaction” occurred between land defenders and OPP officers and they were subsequently instructed to leave, said Rod Leclair. Officials are on-site clearing leftover debris, he added.

The issue is linked to a contentious move by the Six Nations Elected Band Council to place a parcel of land into a federal corporation, ostensibly defaulting on a promise entered into by Ontario and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in 2006 to stem the Caledonia Standoff, a protest that grew to a fever pitch after Indigenous people occupied a subdivision called the Douglas Creek Estates.

The unelected, hereditary council want the Burtch lands, located near Brantford, to be independent from the Canadian government, citing expropriation concerns. It validates its position through a letter signed by former Ontario premier David Peterson which says the land will return to its original state and status under the Haldimand Proclamation, an official order of 1784 that gave land to the Haudenosaunee people for their military allegiance to the British during the American Revolutionary War.

The blockade was initially located on Argyle St., a thoroughfare outside Caledonia. On Monday, the barricade was transplanted to Highway 6 and Sixth Line Rd., where it was later shut down, said Caledonia councillor Craig Grice.

“As of right now, Argyle St. is clear, Sixth Line is clear,” he said. “We’re just waiting for the reopening of the bypass. It was a small group of protestors that didn’t have the support inside Six Nations and I think that was proved last night.”

The OPP is investigating a fire that was set on Saturday on railroad tracks near the site of the botched occupation. No demonstrators were seen on Monday afternoon in the area, said Leclair, and no arrests have been made.

Grice said he is relieved, that the hope is to move on.

Torstar News Service





Demonstrators Vow to Maintain Blockade For ‘As Long As It Takes’

Friday marked the second straight day of protesters blocking off one of the main roads into Caledonia.

“We’re still here, and we’re staying here as long as it takes,” said Doreen Silversmith, one of several protesters who spent the day at the Argyle Street blockade.

The site carries a lot of significance in the area, as it’s the same spot blocked for several weeks during the 2006 dispute over the Douglas Creek Estates.

The protesters are supporters of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, who are backing Kristine Hill.

Hill has been farming on the Burtch lands, a Brant County property that once housed a correctional facility, for the past three years.

Earlier this year, the province turned the land over to a corporation controlled by the Six Nations elected council – which has been working to evict Hill.

That case has been making its way through the court system. It was most recently in court Thursday, for a hearing on a contempt of court motion alleging Hill was on the property after being told to stay off it. That hearing was adjourned with no decision made.

The chiefs council says the Burtch lands were supposed to be given to them, instead of the elected council, as part of the resolution of the 2006 land dispute.

The protesters have demanded that the elected council stop pursuing legal action against Hill, that the Burtch lands are returned to the Haudenosaunee council, and that the provincial and federal governments return to negotiations with the Haudenosaunee council.

Through her lawyer, Hill told CTV News that she was not involved in the blockade and had nothing to do with its formation.

Police say they’re monitoring the situation closely.

“We’re working with the groups involved, and we’re just asking the public to remain calm and patient while we work through this,” OPP Const. Rod LeClair told reporters.

With reporting by Nicole Lampa

CTV Kitchener


Six Nations Land Claim Dispute Heats Up With New Caledonia Development

 Hamilton Spectator file photo Members of The Haudenosaunee Confederacy want a developer to consult with them on the construction of a massive 3,500 home development on the northern outskirts of Caledonia.

Members of The Haudenosaunee Confederacy want a developer to consult with them on the construction of a massive 3,500 home development on the northern outskirts of Caledonia. Hamilton Spectator file photo.

By Red Power Media, Staff

Another land claims dispute is heating up in Caledonia

Indigenous treaty rights are at the heart of a dispute over plans for a massive subdivision that will bring thousands of new residents to the outskirts of Caledonia.

A notice was sent out by Six Nations ‘Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs saying they are unanimously opposed to a new development.

The developer “Empire Communities” says on its website that its new neighbourhood “Avalon” is coming to Caledonia this March with 3 000 homes on more than 500 acres at McClung road and Haldimand road 66.

There’s already a show home on the site and Six Nations Confederacy Chiefs say they weren’t consulted.

Empire Communities has also barred Six Nations opponents of its Avalon project from the site through a temporary injunction. They wanted no indigenous presence there during the attempted sale of the lots.

Some project opponents plan to fight a permanent injunction when the matter goes to Cayuga court on Jan. 27.

The Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs wants the developer and Six Nations to hash out the issues.

Six Nations says the province should be negotiating; not the developer

Avalon is just a few kilometres away from the former Douglas Creek Estates.


Six Nations protesters stand on top of their barricade moments before taking it down in Caledonia, Ont. May 23, 2006

In 2006 the same disputed land ignited conflict at the Douglas Creek Estates resulting in First Nations groups occupying the lands, tensions between Six Nations, OPP and Caledonia town residents ran high.

The Douglas Creek Estates was never built.

The Haudenosaunee claim they own the land and the Federal government contends that the land was surrendered in an 1844 treaty.

A lawyer representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy suggests that if the Province doesn’t halt  construction of the Avalon subdivision so that issues can be resolved, things could escalate quickly.


Sides In Talks Over DCE Barricade

The barrier barring entrance to Douglas Creek Estates as seen in 2012. (BRIAN THOMPSON / BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR)

The barrier barring entrance to Douglas Creek Estates as seen in 2012. (BRIAN THOMPSON / BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR)

Brantford Expositor

CALEDONIA – Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer convened a summit meeting Wednesday with Six Nations and Haldimand County leaders to find a solution to escalating tensions surrounding the former Douglas Creek Estates property.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the tensions that have arisen since Haldimand council passed a resolution to hire a contractor to remove a security barrier erected at Surrey Street, an entrance to the site, in response to alleged mischief incidents.

The meeting at an undisclosed time and place included Zimmer, Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid, Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt and Six Nations elected Chief Ava Hill.

Details concerning the outcome of the meeting were not available Wednesday evening.

The Six Nations Confederacy was invited to send a chief to the meeting, but the day before issued a statement that it “must respectfully decline the invitation to meet with Minister Zimmer, Minister Duguid, Mayor Hewitt and the representative of the Indian Act system” (the Confederacy’s terminology for the elected council chief).

“The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs council have, through the communication protocol established with Ontario, repeatedly expressed their concerns to the province over the disruption of peace that continues to grow from the Crown’s side of the Two Row Wampum,” the statement says.

“We would remind Ontario that this issue was dealt with in 2006 when Ontario agreed to remove all third party interests with the purchase of the land in question, without prejudice to our position that the land in question is Haudenosaunee land.

“It is within the authority to Ontario to rectify any outstanding issues with regard to third-party interests that affect Haudenosaunee lands at Kanonhstaton.”

On the morning of the meeting Scott Cavan, a spokesman from Zimmer’s office, expressed disappointment that the Confederacy would not be attending it.

“The province intends to proceed with the meeting and remains hopeful the Confederacy will reconsider their decision not to attend,” Cavan said at the time. But the Confederacy did not change its mind.

Hewitt said he has glad the meeting was taking place.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “Hopefully we can take some steps to get in a direction we need to go.”

The former Douglas Creek Estates property has been the site of recurring disputes since Haudenosaunee activists occupied the site of the incomplete housing subdivision in February 2006, declared the action a “reclamation” and called the site “Kanonhstaton.”

The Ontario government bought out the developer and has kept control over the property. 
A relative peace had prevailed through most of the ensuing years. But, more recently, the site has been the scene of mischief and acts of agitation by activists opposed to the natives.

Haldimand council decided in a closed-door meeting June 23 that it wants the barricade removed because of concerns about emergency access to the property. Hewitt said a contractor was hired to do the job and the OPP would be on hand to keep the piece while the work was done.

Hill issued a statement on behalf of the elected council asking that Haldimand reconsider its move, citing the potential to re-open controversy.

Hewitt and Hill have had some discussions since then, leading up to the meeting.

Meeting to remove blockade today


July 9, 2014

The provincial government says it’s trying to work out a resolution to the long-running stand off over Six Nations land claims in Caledonia.  As we first told you last night — the liberal government called a meeting for today with parties involved in the dispute — but one of the Six Nations groups decided not to attend.

This dispute over the land occupied by natives in Caledonia has been going on for more than eight years now. But less than a month after re-election, the provincial government says it has some fresh ideas and wants to try to work things out.

Natives were back on the occupied land today. The local county council voted recently to take down the blockade. and there were fears there could be some effort to do that today. That didn’t happen. Instead, a lawyer for the traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy on Six Nations provided an update on the latest events, and said the traditional chiefs decided not to attend today’s meeting with the provincial government without knowing more about the goals of the meeting. Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer says it’s time to move forward in Caledonia, and they want to sit down and talk.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer: “All the parties, whether its municipal parties or the first nations parties, there are frustrations on everybody’s part. What this meeting is designed to do is to get at the root of some of those frustrations and see if we can’t find some common ground to resolve it so it’s in everybody’s interest — so everybody’s happy with the solution.”

Aaron Detlor, Haudenosaunee Confederacy: “If there’s going to be a meeting to meaningfully address issues that have arisen with respect to the site there needs to be some kind of process or protocal and an assurance that something positive is going to come out of the meeting versus political discussions that have been going on for some time.”

Today’s meeting follows the latest confrontation by non-native protesters at the occupation site over the weekend. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy says the Ontario government could start resolving the issues by taking the road to the protest site out of municipal control to prevent confrontations like that in the future.

The province was planning to go ahead with the meeting today with representatives from Haldimand County and the Six Nations elected council. It says safety is the chief concern that must be addressed immediately. The meeting is being kept secret with no word on where or when it will take place.