Today the site is owned by the Province of Ontario, and occupied by Six Nations protestors who have been allowed to stay until at least the end of September. Negotiations continue in spite of Justice David Marshall's suggestion that the site should be cleared first. The rule of law appears to have been put aside in order to keep the political peace, even though the homeowners have suffered mental stress and declining house values. Racial tensions continue to simmer on both sides.
The Hamilton Spectator has an excellent article which includes a timeline of major events. As the piece states, this land claim appears to be only the beginning:
That assertion dates back to a land claim with its roots in 200-year-old history. Natives say 10 kilometres on either side of the Grand River granted to Six Nations after the American Revolutionary War should properly still belong to them.
Six Nations spokesman Clyde Powless obviously sees this as symbolic of a greater goal:
The dispute in Caledonia is about more than land. The ironworker, who pulls out a pocket knife to clean his fingernails, says his people are standing up to "your government" and its forced assimilation.
"A lot of people on our reserve don't know our own ways or traditional values," he said.
"It was dying out and now I see it resurging."
Powless likens the situation to the civil rights movement in the U.S.
Ontario Conservative leader John Tory has asked Premier Dalton McGuinty to "clarify the Liberal government's position on how long protesters can stay on the site without being evicted." He has also asked for some noise and nighttime activity restrictions, which seems like a reasonable request.
I have a request too. Could Premier McGuinty please let us know if he plans to continue buying up properties and cities along the Grand River as they are reclaimed by the natives? Will this be the mode of operation for future protests? What's the plan, Premier?
To me, that's the elephant in the room at this anniversary party.