Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Settler "Backlash" in Caledonia

The way it's being presented is innocent apolitical non-natives just want "their" town back. Or else maybe it's not their town at all, maybe they're one of the yuppies from Hamilton or Toronto who simply want the luxury home they were promised.


What i see is that same old same old – settlers want something that belongs to some indigenous nation they take it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a river, a piece of land, a cultural artifact, a woman, child or man… i mean the whole fucking continent attests to this – five hundred years of history showing what to expect from the Great European Gimme-Gimme Tribe.

So the “backlash” in Caledonia seems to be nothing but more of the same. Everyone gets along fine, whole town is happy, just so long as the First Nations people don’t claim any “special rights”, you know the ones normally reserved for non-Natives.


Here’s an article from today’s Hamilton Spectator:

Rally urges action to end occupation  
Hagersville lawyer claims 'laws are being flagrantly violated'
By Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator
CALEDONIA (Apr 5, 2006)

Frustration is rearing its head in Caledonia over a month-long occupation of a housing project by protesters who claim it's on native land.

A few hundred people came to a rally last night to pressure authorities to end the occupation at Douglas Creek Estates, off Argyle Street in the south part of town.

Organizer Jamie McMaster estimated the crowd at 500, including couples who have bought homes that are now behind barricades marked by the flag of the controversial Warriors Society and other banners.

"I think people are just getting sick and tired of it," said Dana Whitelaw, who along with McMaster and a few others began organizing the rally Sunday.

"Everyone's getting sick and tired of talking about it, but we need to stop it ... If that was us sitting out there holding a protest, we would have been taken out the first day."

The rally was staged in front of the Haldimand County municipal office. Organizers handed out papers with e-mail addresses of local politicians and federal Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice and urged people to let them know the situation was upsetting the town and must come to an end.

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer told reporters after the rally that she's travelling to Ottawa Friday to meet with Prentice and local cabinet minister Diane Finley to try to find a resolution to the standoff.

Some in the crowd waved signs saying such things as Municipal Provincial Federal Do Something; Put an End to This Now; and We Want our Town Back.

Many blamed the provincial Liberal government for letting the situation drag on by preventing the Ontario Provincial Police from evicting the protesters, possibly because of the tragedy at Ipperwash where native protester Dudley George was shot and killed by an OPP officer. They said in Caledonia there is no reason for violence to occur.

A judge has granted a court order to evict the protesters from the land being developed by Henco Industries, but the OPP has not enforced it. Police are keeping an eye on the protest with constant patrols, and have set up a command centre in an old school north of town, but said yesterday they are trying to resolve the standoff through dialogue.

"The laws are being flagrantly violated," Hagersville lawyer Ed McCarthy told the rally. "There's a need to bring this to an end and to bring it to an end promptly."

McCarthy, a lawyer since 1970, said the disputed land was surrendered by Six Nations in 1841.

There was one disturbing moment involving a man standing behind McCarthy.

He said something about whisky and another time said, "So we can shoot them when?" Organizers moved quickly to shut him up and he left soon after.

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1 comment:

  1. if the OPP wanted to evict the natives, they should have done it when there were just two of them. Now the Warriors are there, and it's their job to protect. Now the OPP can't get them off the land without a fight, and that ain't gonna happen.

    The Haudenosaunee don't believe the elected tribal council had the right to sign away any land. Of course, the Haudenosaunee have been mostly ignored by the government since some time in the 1920s, and there lies the problem. On issues on land claims, there are two main factions within the Six Nations and the government only acknowledges one, the elected tribal council.

    The federal government is about to engage in a 'fact finding mission' at Caledonia. There is concern that the person the Fed gov't picks will be seen as an 'Indian Agent' and not get cooperation from the Haudenosaunee.

    So, the real thing to watch here is who will the Feds send in and how will he/she be received?

    thanks for an interesting post!