The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 18           May 8, 2006  
Native peoples protest in Ontario,
demand Ottawa honor land claims
CALEDONIA, Ontario—Native people in Ontario and Quebec organized solidarity actions in response to an April 20 pre-dawn raid by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The cops were seeking to enforce a court injunction to end a “land reclamation” occupation by the Six Nations Confederacy on a housing project being built on their land. Members of the Six Nations pushed back the cops, maintaining the occupation, and swelling their ranks in the process.

Near Montreal, Mohawks from the town of Kahnawake stopped traffic on a major bridge as they hoisted solidarity flags on the structure. Others from the Tyendinaga reserve near the town of Belleville halted at least 12 freight and passenger trains on the Canadian National rail lines between Montreal and Toronto for more than 24 hours.

The occupation of the multimillion-dollar Douglas Creek Estates, owned by Henco Industries, began February 28. The Six Nations Confederacy Chiefs are demanding a moratorium on construction on the site and discussions with the federal government to settle their historic claims to this land. The chiefs insist that the site is part of a large parcel of land given to them by the British colonizers in 1784. Provincial government officials claim the land was sold in 1841. The Six Nations reserve now occupies only 5 percent of the original 950,000-acre grant.

The Native people will stay on the land in dispute “as long as it takes,” said Confederacy spokesperson Janie Jamieson, who reported to CBC News World that the cops had beaten and pepper-sprayed Six Nation defenders. CH News reported the provincial police has a force of 1,000 on the scene, including riot cops on standby. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s federal cops, have also moved into the area to reinforce the OPP.

Six Nations Confederacy member Carole Bonberry told the Militant that now “for the first time since 1924 when the Confederacy chiefs were forced out by the Indian Act, representatives of the federal and provincial governments are sitting down to talk with representatives of the traditional longhouse government.”  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home