Received this, written by Hazel Hill at the Reclamation Site outside of Caledonia a couple of days ago:
Well, there are a few things that have happened since my last up date. First, the appeal against Justice Marshall’s ruling was heard on August 22nd, and the actual appeal was put over until September 25th and 26th. There was a ruling as far as the negotiation process, and the threat of contempt against the Federal and Provincial governments was lifted in order that the negotiations could continue. And for the record, before everyone jumps all over me for the use of the word……’negotiations’ in my writings it is strictly intended to mean ‘talks’…………our Haudenesonne delegation do understand that the land is NOT negotiateable. Ok, thank you for letting me say that. I get just as frustrated over words and i know there is so much concern by the Onkwehonweh people that even using those words will lead us into the trap. While I can’t speak for everyone, I believe that the people’s eyes are wide open, and that again, nothing that is decided at the main table talks is legal until it goes back to the people and the men and women’s council fire for ratification and concensus. That has been understood from the beginning of our relcamation and nothing has changed that fact
Now, as far as the contempt against the people however, and whether Marshall’s entire ruling should be stayed, there is a court date set for today, and reason’s will be given on what specifics I don’t know, but it will be in respect to marshall’s ruling of August 8th. The side table dealing with Kanenhstaton got right back to work on the 23rd as scheduled, and the Crown’s historian gave an oral presentation on their understanding of some of the transactions with respect to the land, and later in the afternoon a video of Chief Cleveland General was shown which described an understanding that has been handed down from our ancestors with respect to our land, and how it was intended to be protected. For example, when leased for farming, how “plows depth” was always the intended use, as opposed to sales. Six Nations research expert Phil Monture then gave a brief outline of the understanding from Six Nations perspective and showed quite clearly how you can’t take a document such as the 1841 surrender, and accept it as verbatum without looking at the rest of the history at the time…..an example of this is the fact that Samuel Jarvis who was the superintendent of Indian Affairs at that time, was also a shareholder in the Grand River Navigation Company and that alone was a breach of trust. Ultimately Jarvis was looking after HIS interests alone, and not that of the Six Nations. It was also evident that the only interests that were being protected were that of the white squatters, and not the Six Nations who were the title holders……a comment was made that this practice still continues to this day. Anyway, there is alot of discussions to take place with respect to the lands at Kanenhstaton, and this is not going to happen in a short period of time.
The main table discussion began yesterday and basically the presentation from all of the side table’s was given.
The side table which I am involved with, the Archaeology/Improvements is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, August 29th at which time we will hopefully have the walkabout with potential archaeologists, and have interviews take place later on in the afternoon. The goal is to have the archaeological study done as soon as possible to confirm exactly what is/was on the lands at Kanenhstaton. The Education side table is being reviewed to make sure the focus is on communication and education within educational facilities as well as government offices etc., along the Grand River Tract to provide the History of the Six Nations from our perspective and have an on-going dialogue in the hopes of preventing future displays of the racial discrimination that has occurred since the reclamation. The reaction that has been shown is evident of the need to provide this information because many people within Caledonia who might have recently moved into the area, do not have the same understanding and knowledge as the residents who’s family’s have been here for generations and who understand the land rights of the Six Nations. Another of the side tables is the Consultation side table and unfortunately, i don’t have anything to report on that one, other than there are people who are working to ensure that the Haudenesonne are being respected and that any future developments must come through the Six Nations people and our council. Again, another area that will be difficult, but if the willingness and respect is there on the part of the communities and townships along the Grand, then there will be no need for future reclamations to prevent major developments on our land base.
Oh, and rest assured, the focus of the reclamation has not been sidelined by any of these side tables. Some people feel the old divide and conquer tactic is being used to try and break us down through these side tables. We are remaining at Kanenhstaton until the land comes back into the Six Nations name, according to original title and not according to the Indian Act. If the Crown’s representatives are honest and forthright in their intentions, we will arrive at that goal through the peaceful process now underway. They were very quick to give Caledonia funding for their so-called losses, (what did it take, 3 months?) and we are only now getting to the real deal as far as the Six Nations are concerned………the land.(we’ve only been waiting a couple of hundred years) Money is not an issue. If it was, our people would have taken Ken Hewitt up on his offer when he told one of our men that they (CCA) have an open cheque book from the government, and we could be part of it…………what do they have to do to keep their money coming……………..keep creating diversions to try and get the world to look at the Onkwehonweh people as the criminals and terrorists they are trying to paint us to be. It is not going to happen. Meantime, the school board is putting up a temporary 8′ fence between the school yard and the north side of the site so that the parents will feel that their children are safe when school resumes next week. We have already indicated to the feds and the province that that is their choice. We will continue to make plans as far as Kanenhstaton as we see fit, and whether it be playgrounds, parks, or flower gardens, the choice and action will be taken by the people, and not decided in any meeting. So, i guess in a nutshell that’s about it for now. The main table talks will resume on September 11th and in the meantime, the side table’s will be working hard to get through all of the paperwork and or responsiblities that arise during these next couple of weeks. I will be doing my best to keep everyone informed as to what is happening and if there are any changes.
In Peace, Light and Love,