Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Community group condemns harassment of Caledonia supporter of Six Nations

The following just arrived in my email box – as you may have noticed i have been out of town for over a week, and thus have not been able to keep up my regular blogging. My apologies for letting the ball drop – the context for the below is a flare-up in racist violence in Caledonia last week, and “get tough on the Indians” posturing from various politicians.

The forward this widely:

Caledonia -- August 14, 2006. "Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations" condemns the recent harassment directed against one of its members by Caledonians opposed to the reclamation site. Jan Watson, a Caledonia resident and a member of the group has been repeatedly threatened by other Caledonians because of her peaceful but persistent support of the Six Nations reclamation of the Douglas Creek Estates. Watson has had eggs and other objects thrown at her house, has been accosted by an angry mob of protesters armed with baseball bats and iron bars who threatened to roll her car and physically attack her, and most recently has had people attempt to kick in her door late at night. Linsay Hinshelwood, a spokesperson for the Community Friends group condemns the harassment that has been directed against Watson. "This kind of thuggish behavior is completely inappropriate" said Hinshelwood, adding that it "brought disgrace to the handful of residents in Caledonia who are behaving this way".

Watson, for her part, vows to continue in her work in support of Six Nations in Caledonia. According to Watson "I am not going to be intimidated by this kind of violence and hatred. It is my right as a Caledonia resident and citizen of this country to advocate that our government treat the people of Six Nations justly and I will continue to do so, for as long as it takes to get a resolution to this conflict."

Community Friends is a group of Caledonia residents and labor and community activists who are seeking to achieve a just resolution to the conflict over the Douglas Creek Estates. For the past three months group members have been leafleting and going door-to-door in Caledonia, organizing small group meetings between people from Six Nations and Caledonia, and have also been involved in trying to defuse confrontations between protesting Caledonians and members of the reclamation site.

For more information please contact group spokesperson Linsay Hinshelwood at 289-284-0154 or e-mail


  1. Thanks so much for posting this!

    Email CommUNITY Friends at the above address if you want to express your support for Six Nations and for our efforts to promote peace and understanding between Caledonia/Canadians and Six Nations.
    All volunteers welcome!

  2. It seems to me that the Caledonian racist thugs are the ones crossing the "line" by going to the blockade and hurling rocks and racist remarks.
    I'd be interested in knowing of those people that throw sticks and stones have ever read The Great Law, Haldimand Proclamation, Plank Road Agreement, The Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763 or for that matter, section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is it possible even our public school systems may be at fault, in not educating our Canadians.
    But then again, the general concensus by the average shmoe thinks Canadian History is boring.
    Right? Ya right, about as right-wing as one can get.
    I see a similarity of the mind-set of those foolish people throwing rocks and racial slurs at Six Nations as I see Harper hurling our young Armed Forces at Afghanistan.
    What a sickening shame.
    In Solidarity, Dan.
    Hi June,
    I meant to cc you this response by me of the Toronto Star’s article that Phil sent me.
    It seems to me extremely important that the message gets out to the general public
    about the Mohawk’s Great Law :

    In Solidarity, Dan.

    Hi Phil,
    I don't know who and how KEN COATES AND GREG POELZER of the Toronto Star could feel proud to write such diatribe.
    They seem to be nothing more than fear mongering the Canadian people to think that they (KEN COATES AND GREG POELZER of the Toronto Star) are more knowledgable within their right-wing newspaper propaganda machine than The Mohawks and the Great Law ( )
    If Canadians had taken the time to read the Great Law in it's entirety, The people of Canada would have a full understanding of the position of The Mohawk.
    Unfortunately, most people of Canada have not, or do not take the time (1/2 hour) to read the Great Law.
    They only hear what mainstream right-wing-for-the-corporate-good media tell people, and the majority of people still are being sucked in to believe what they only hear from those that don't want the Mohawk to have any jurisdiction to the real truth.
    I really hope, I do not stand alone on this issue.
    The Mohawks have a true understanding of their status, and as for this Canadian, I am proud to be at their side in supporting the Great Law.
    re: article below

    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:44 PM
    Subject: [coalofcoal-l] Caledonia's ominous message]
    Caledonia's ominous message
    Aug. 18, 2006. 01:00 AM
    Toronto Star

    The lingering dispute between the Six Nations native band and the
    non-aboriginal residents of Caledonia is rapidly taking on national
    significance. What for months was a minor standoff between the Six
    Nations and a developer has escalated into a tense legal and political
    conflict. But the most important element of this standoff - what
    Caledonia says about native relations with other Canadians - is not well
    Six Nations has long insisted on attention to its historical claims and
    there is a great deal of legal substance to its position.
    The months-long conflict escalated slowly, but now includes regular and
    bitter conflicts at the barricades; many days before an increasingly
    irate provincial court judge; extensive (and largely successful)
    negotiations; and endless debate about the legitimacy of the protests,
    the provincial settlement with the developers and the impact on local
    non-aboriginal relations.
    However important the details and nuances of the Caledonia situation,
    something much more important is at play.

    For the last three decades, native people have been fighting for
    recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights. They have won many of the
    battles and have seen the extension and entrenchment of their rights
    under Canadian law.
    Native people have attempted, with uneven success, to seek redress for
    hundreds of claims of government mismanagement of their assets. With
    each legal advance, however, Canadian support for native rights appears
    to be slipping.
    There is a great irony in this reality. Twenty years ago, when native
    people struggled to gain the attention of politicians and the courts,
    Canadians routinely indicated a high level of support for indigenous
    legal aspirations.
    As land claims deals were finalized, resource rights restored,
    government malfeasance corrected, non-aboriginal support for native
    rights dwindled.
    In other words, Canadian enthusiasm for the idea of aboriginal rights
    proved much stronger than support for the actual existence and exercise
    of those rights.
    This is particularly true for those individuals - such as the residents
    of Caledonia and fishers in B.C. and the Maritimes and resource users
    across the country - who find their rights and opportunities
    circumscribed by the empowerment and protests of aboriginal people
    Canada has changed dramatically over the past decades. It has rapidly
    became urban and southern-based, both demographically and altitudinally.
    Increasingly, non-aboriginal Canadians have limited day-to-day
    interactions with aboriginal people and do not carry the sense of
    generational guilt that previously convinced many to support native
    Equally important is the arrival of hundreds of thousands of new
    Canadians who have altered the political dynamics of this country.
    New Canadians and their children, most coming from non-European
    countries, have enriched Canada in many ways. But, these immigrants
    understandably have little connection with the historical grievances and
    priorities of aboriginal Canadians. Urban and southern-based, they, too,
    have little contact with native peoples and do not share the sense of
    generational guilt surrounding their grievances.
    The result, perhaps best seen in Caledonia, is a new face to
    aboriginal-non-aboriginal relations in Canada.
    Aboriginal youth, facing huge educational challenges and limited job
    prospects are angry and much more likely to ignore the political
    leadership and take direct action.
    Equally, non-aboriginal people are increasingly willing to voice their
    objections to native claims and rights, whether it is on the docks in
    New Brunswick, the fishing boats on the Fraser River or in protests at
    The new reality, where governments are scrambling to contain
    frustrations and limit conflicts, has upsetting elements. Angry words,
    spoken by both sides, will poison the air for years. Financial losses
    borne by small businesses, and inconveniences to homeowners and resource
    users, create bitterness that will linger long after the barricades come
    Aboriginal youth, far angrier than in the past and, to this point,
    largely controlled by elders and native politicians, have an increasing
    level of frustration. Many feel they have little to lose from joining
    the protests. The preconditions for increasing, even violent, conflict
    are in place.
    For close to 40 years, Canadians have relied on the sanctity of the
    courtroom and the unseen backroom negotiations at the treaty table and
    claims discussions to resolve aboriginal disputes. Native leaders,
    winning more often than they lost, have pressed the agenda, but with an
    increasing sense of urgency, largely because of difficult conditions in
    their communities.
    Other Canadians have become frustrated and angry about the time, cost
    and outcomes of these processes. It turns out, rather surprisingly, that
    support for the empowerment of aboriginal people was much thinner than
    Canadians are making their anger public and expressing frustrations in
    no uncertain terms.
    In the past, the major protests saw aboriginal people standing face to
    face with representatives of the state at conflicts from Oka to
    Gustafson Lake. Increasing, the conflicts see aboriginal and
    non-aboriginal people squaring off, with the government trying to keep
    the protestors apart.
    Canada finds itself one punch, one thrust of a knife blade, or some
    other tragic incident from seeing a local protest erupt into a major
    conflict. Perhaps most significantly in the current environment, one
    local conflict could easily spark a dozen or more outbreaks across the
    A different, more comprehensive and faster system for addressing native
    claims and for mediating between the needs and aspirations of indigenous
    and other Canadians is urgently required. It is time to recognize that
    the current model for resolving aboriginal claims simply does not work.
    six_nations_info mailing list

  3. I agree with their conclusion. Our government simply is not handling Indigenous land claims and sovereignty the way they should. It is becoming an international embarrassment for Canada! Our credibility as a tolerant nation and a world leader in human rights certainly is taking a long overdue beating! Nelson Mandela had it right when he chided Canada for its racist policies and behaviour toward natives!!

    It is because of the government's intransigence that local opposition grows. Fact is, the government has already acknowledged Haudenosaunee title to the Haldimand tract and they are now negotiating the money and land settlement. Of course, our government won't acknowledge that publicly ... they'll just try to drag out the negotiations until after the next election. This puts Canadians in danger, as we have seen in Caledonia: Hard line anti-native protestors now harass and attack Six Nations and their supporters. AN ABORIGINAL PERSON CAN NOT SAFELY WALK THE STREETS OF CALEDONIA NOW. I hope the government is proud of it's disruption to lives and communities. It's on their head!!

  4. Have you heard about the rally Wake Up Caledonia is plans to hold on the Douglas Creek Estates on Oct. 15??? It's disgusting, I think we all need to go down their and show our support for the Six Nations and let these losers know that don't want a Ku Klux Kaledonia, but instead want the land returned to Six Nations.