News Roundup: Railways, land Claims, Six Nations, and June 29th
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News Roundup: Railways, land Claims, Six Nations, and June 29th

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John Ahni Schertow
May 21, 2007
 

There’s been alot going on lately with regard to Land Claims issues, actions among Six Nations, and matters related to the June 29th National Day of Protest.

I’m short on time at the moment, but want to post an overview of what’s been going on:

Railways and June 29th

It seems AFN’s Phil Fontaine has pretty much had a change of heart, finally realizing that taking beaurocratic routing to address indigenous Issues is a complete waste of time. It’s still unfortunate that he keeps talking about money, and suggests that ‘we just want what Canada already has…’ There are some that think like this, but not everyone. In fact, I’d venture to say that most people have something very different in mind.

In any case, here’s a recent speech by Phil: Negotiation of Confrontation? It’s Canada’s Choice.

The barricading of railway lines has also been getting alot of attention. Particularly CN Rail’s efforts to sue Shawn Brant and other Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte in Eastern Ontario, for an absurd 100 million dollars (the amount of money est. to have been lost during the blockade.) And just a couple days ago, the Court barred any further barricading of Rails owned by CN.

Then of course was the recent youtube video “When Justice fails Stop the rails” which has since been deleted.

Aswell, Roseau River’s Chief Terrance Nelson has been getting a great deal of attention for his intention to set up a 24-hour railway blockade for June 29th, first announced in April.

If you’d like to read more about the Rail lines issue, have a look at this article, Railways and Colonialism.

And what is Canada’s response to all this? moral-sounding words and Promises

Turning to Six Nations

Last Week, Ruby Montour told the Mayors of Brantford and the Country of Brant that they must stop the proposed land jurisdiction transfer until the land claim in the area has been settled…

In the article from the Paris Star, Ruby’s quoted as saying:

“The time has come when you have to face us and you have to deal with us… Don’t talk down to us-we’ve got the federal government doing that… We’re not here to go on the warpath with you but we want to be recognized as people who have needs as you do,” She advised the two communities that neighbour hers to “change things while you can still change things”. And urged the two mayors to, “Please listen. Please listen…this is serious times. I’m here in peace.” Here’s another article about this.

Also in Brantford, another notice was sent out against the development of a 116-unit condominium.

From the Brantford Expositor article

“Wesley Elliott, a Confederacy member, warned that the proposed development is in the Johnson Tract, an area subject to a land claim. He also said the Confederacy was not informed about the proposal.

For city council to go ahead and approve it – especially after a meeting with the Confederacy council in the Onondaga Longhouse two weeks ago – would be “a large slap in the face,” he said.

“I’ve been told to come here and give you hell. I totally object to everything being done here. Whatever you decide here is on your heads because you have been told and told and told.”

Elliott said he would prefer to avoid another Kanonhstaton, the Mohawk term meaning protected place that natives have given to the former Douglas Creek Estates development in Caledonia, which they took over more than a year ago in what they call a “land reclamation.””

Last but not least, a couple days ago the repaving/expansion of a Chruch parking lot (directly next to Douglas Creek Estates) was put to a halt. Janie Jamieson said months ago that Six Nations agreed the church could pave the existing parking lot, but not to an expansion or to a culvert being put in. This land falls within the Haldimand tract.

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