Thursday, April 20, 2006

Canadian military may be arriving at Hamilton Airport at 9:30am.

According to someone I spoke with at the Hamilton Airport, located near the Six Nations blockade, preparations are presently underway for the arrival of the Canadian military at the airport in just a few hours. Hours earlier, the morning of April 20th, Ontario Provincial Police attacked protesters reclaiming land lost to them in decades of swindles and lies. Sketchy Thoughts has more on the attack by police here.

According to a provincial police spokesperson, the police invasion was the result of the growing threat of violence at the site. This is a complete fabrication. I was there the day before the invasion, and there was not a hint of any threat, at least on the side of the protestors.

The OPP had earlier "signalled that they had learned a lesson from the disastrous 1995 attack on protesters occupying Ipperwash Provincial Park. A marksman killed protester Dudley George 11 years ago, prompting accusations of police and government racism and an inquiry that is still under way." (more on Dudley George's murder here)


"On April 6th the Canadian government said that the Six Nations dispute is not about land rights. "This is not a lands-claim matter," said Deirdre McCracken, a spokesperson for Minister of Indian Affairs Jim Prentice. She also said that the blockade "has nothing to do with the federal government."

But according to a statement released on March 20th by the women of Rotinoshon'non:we (meaning Iroquois or Haudenosaunee, depending on the language being spoken), the blockade has quite a lot to do with land, and with the Canadian government.

The statement outlines how "General Haldimand confirmed that Britain would affirm the right of the Six Nations to a tract of land six miles deep on either side of the Grand River running from its mouth to its source." The piece of land immediately under dispute is only a small part of the much larger "Haldimand Tract."

This piece of history is not being debated. A plaque erected in Cayuga, Ontario by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board says much the same thing. The sign also notes that the land was awarded in 1784 in recognition of the Six Nations' help to the British Crown during the American Revolution. What the plaque says next is where the stories diverge. "In later years, large areas of this tract... were sold to white settlers."

According to the women of the Rotinoshon'non:we, however, "None of this land [the Haldimand tract] was ever legally surrendered." The women's statement carries a great deal of weight, given that, "Women are the 'Title Holders' of the land of Rotinoshon’non:we as recalled by Wampum 44 of the Kaianereh'ko:wa."

Though many people came today, there were few people on the canadian side of the barricades but gawkers this past night. The OPP has cordoned off a couple of roads off the highway (presumably also police staging areas), but the highway to Caledonia is still open. You can show your support by going there as a witness tomorrow or whenever you can, or please write or call immediately:

Stephen Harper, Prime Minister,

OPP Brian Haggith 905-772-3322

OPP Indian Advisor Jim Potts 613-795-3907

RCMP London 519-640-7267, 519-756-7050

Brantford-Hamilton 905-572-2401

OPP Caledonia 905-765-2339

C. P. Wright 289-260-9345

Michaelle Jean, Governor General
Phone: (613) 993-8200
Toll Free: 1-800-465-6890
Fax: (613) 998-1664

Michael Bryant,
Ontario Attorney General
Phone: (416) 326-2220 or (416) 326-2210
Toll Free: 1-800-518-7901
Fax: (416) 326-4007Email:


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