Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Six-Month Anniversary Caledonia!

It was six months ago today that natives arrived at the Douglas Creek housing development in Caledonia and barred workers from the site as they asserted their land reclamation.

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.


PGP said...

Welcome back Jo.

No the situation has not changed..the aboriginal position is still based on BS and wishfull thinking while emboldened by lack of response through Queens Park the rhetoric of self proclaimed native spkespersons has ramped up a notch or two.
The provincial government such as it is ...still content to cave in to lawbreakers and the OPP still is not enforcing the law while thugs attempt to terrorize residents of Caledonia and the vandalism continues.

How was your vaction?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, PGP. Great time away! Very therapeutic to be without internet access for a while.

So same old thing here I guess.

Now before anyone gets hot-headed about a possible 'racist' nuance to your remarks (BS and wishfull thinking), I'd like to point out that in the eyes of the Six Nations, this is fact, not fiction. Very likely in their minds, all the land in Canada rightfully belongs to various native populations, and the area within the six kilometres of the Grand belongs specifically to the S.N.

Now, my question is that if that is true, how do we go about dealing with that in a realistic fashion? What do they suggest?

And let's keep in mind that not just "white men" occupy the contested land now. In fact, white men are very likely in the minority in many of the towns and cities affected by the larger land claim. So where should all those people go?

PGP said...

The only substance to the native argument is the document of granting by the colonial government.

The natives selectively refuse to acknowledge that the granting was intended to reward the immediate grantees and to protect them from immediate threats such as foreign usurpers (French, American, competing tribal groups or others) and never did preclude the British from use of those lands.

Further the natives choose to selectively ignore that those same grantees had free reign for their lifetimes and in many cases local chiefs elected to sell access to new Scots ancestors among them.

Further that land grants of this nature were subject to 'English Common Law' and that means the grantees who did not remain on the land in question gave up their rights to it as soon as that land was abandoned. ( yes there are particular cases where natives were forced out by individuals, many such cases, but there was never a government race based agenda or policy to allow this .) The law of the day was "If you don't use it you lose it!"

Another fact that is selectively ignored is that the colonial government of the time was by definition a transitory administration without any power to enforce any rulings or edict beyond its term of existence. The military governorship of the day was replaced first by successive civil governors who's mandate was not to sustain land grants but to ensure growth and exploitation of the resources within its jurisdiction and later by the Confederation of Canada.

Canada never had any obligation to protect or sustain the older colonial grants and so never did.

What the native groups are trying to do is to re-write history in their favour. The justification?

There is none and that's why I call it BS.

What is a realistic resolution to this?
First- current governments need to enforce the existing laws and reinforce the fact that just because a group of people have a grievance they do not have an inherent right to break the law.
Second - Since the claims of these groups have repeatedly been denied by courts and governments because they have no merit. The government needs to articulate this fact clearly.

Anonymous said...

perfectly well said, PGP......couldn't agree more.. now please cross-post that to Christian Coinservative's post on this same issue. Time to start telling the truth, and not the Media-inspired truth.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes, PGP makes a very compelling argument. I'm trying very hard to hear both sides of the story. I sincerely hope that Ottawa Core drops by to address his points. I would like to hear his (or her?) POV minus the rhetoric.

Neo Conservative said...

Apparently there's a massacre scheduled for Labour Day.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what PGP said fully. The problem is that we need to get the support of Canadians behind ALL these ISSUES, just like how the NATIVES have all there people pushing there ISSUES 110%.
A time to take a stand is now CANADA! So stand up and be heard!!
Support your fellow Canadians in need any way you can. Sign petitions, support information based websites, and support a movement to stand up to the natives in and around Canada!!

Anonymous said...

pgp I think what you fail to understand and address is the question that they (First Nations) have been asking for years (since first contact) is who gave the colonialists the supreme right in the first place to force their laws upon others. Especially ones that the First Nations perceived to be self serving as evidence and history indicate that they were. They also question how it is possible that an individual or individuals made from flesh and blood such as you and I can be empowered to dictate and exact policy and rule over an area and it's people whilst remaining over seas having never set foot or having prior lineage established in their lands to fortify their right to rule? To them it would have appeared more plausible had the Europeans been able to establish proof of prior occupation and historical evidence that would not only signify but fortify their claims to the right of governing and possessing these lands. Instead they wonder, if the British and other European colonies did indeed hold right to title and to rule as they self proclaim, why was deceit, underhandedness and cunning employed as vehicles to usurp the original inhabitants? To them these tactics as well as attempts at extermination and then assimilation further undermine European claims.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, I'm afraid this one got lost. I'll reference it in the comments of a more recent post.