Saturday, October 21, 2006

Breaking News from the Spectator

Well, not exactly breaking news, but posted this morning.

The Hamilton Spectator has an article titled "Six Nations Evidence Due". I'm giving you the title so you can search it out if the links don't work here. Torstar links hate me.

Anyway, Ottawa apparently has told Six Nations that they don't have legal title to the land at DCE, but a federal negotiator said "Ottawa could be wrong". (Uh-huh...)

...Ron Doering, a lawyer hired by the Conservative government to help deal with the land claim, says two recent court rulings uphold special constitutional rights for natives so Ottawa has to try to negotiate a deal that reconciles native and non-native rights...

Did you get that? Special constitutional rights. What does that mean? Does that explain the two-tier justice?

The article continues:

"...Six Nations officials are to return to a Nov. 3 meeting with evidence to prove the Argyle Street South site was not surrendered in the 1840s. Doering said Ottawa has documents from 1844 indicating the Douglas Creek Estates land was surrendered and sold...."

Meanwhile, Jim Prentice was apparently unaware of Dalton's ultimatum to Ottawa (again a Torstar link - Star, "Ottawa to Get Tab for Standoff":

The premier's remarks appeared to catch the office of Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice off guard, with spokesman Bill Rodgers saying officials were unaware of the concerns until they heard them in the news. "We certainly weren't given a heads-up on it," said Rodgers. Prentice was travelling in rural Alberta and couldn't be reached.

I don't see this getting resolved anytime soon.

Winter may be just around the corner, but I suspect things will remain hot in Caledonia.

* * * *

Sunday Update: Check out Christina Bizzard in the Toronto Sun - Feds MIA in Caledonia.


Mac said...

The Constitution does contain recognition of native rights. The Supreme Court has made some rather remarkable rulings on native rights. Ask commercial fishermen what they think of special native rights.

Under the former Liberal regime, the usual routine to deal with unsubstantiated land claims or treaty claims was to pay for a researcher, usually someone from the tribe in question, to bring together all the evidence for review by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. This often entailed trips to the National Archives, searching for documents, pictures, etc.

The problem is "oral history" is more easily manipulated and subject to interpretative error than documents and photographs. The Liberals didn't like to say "No" to natives; it's not politically correct to do so. Instead, they paid natives to search for alternative forms of evidence to substantiate of the oral history which the natives were referring to in their claims.

I wonder how many millions of dollars were spent for this kind of research? We'll never know since the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs isn't subjected to scrutiny by the Auditor General.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac that's very helpful and interesting. Yes, I know all about native rights regarding fishing. The gill nets are doing an excellent job of cleaning out the pickerel in Northern Ontario lakes. It makes it hard for fishing camps to stay viable.