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Old 06-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #21
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #22
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FROM: THE GLOBE AND MAIL NEWSPAPER WEBSITE
_http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060624.CALEDONIA24/TPStory
/TPNational/Ontario/_
(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...ional/Ontario/)
'Liability' Hinders Resolution Of Caledonia Crisis, Report Says

Canadian Press

CALEDONIA, ONT. -- A confidential government report says the spat between
Ontario and the federal government over who should pay to settle an aboriginal
land claim is preventing the resolution of the Caledonia crisis.
The report was written by the federal government's "fact finder," sent to
Caledonia in March.
"Each takes the position that it is confident that if the Crown is liable for
wrongdoing in relation to Six Nations' land claims, it is the other
government that is legally responsible," Michael Coyle, an assistant professor of law
at the University of Western Ontario, writes in his report for the federal
government.
"It is difficult to see how the Crown will be able to reach a settlement of
Six Nations' land claims unless Canada and Ontario can agree on a reasonable
sharing between them," he says, adding the two governments can figure out "the
issue of liability immediately."

Mr. Coyle, appointed by the federal government on March 24, handed in his
report on April 7.
He was sent in to figure out the nature of the complaints, decipher
jurisdiction and look for a possible mediation process. Mr. Coyle was clearly
surprised by the tension.
"In 16 years of mediating land claims [including at Ipperwash], the writer
has never witnessed such a high level of sensitivity."
The paper delves into the history of the land and also suggests moves Indian
and Northern Affairs Minister Jim Prentice can make.
The report urges the minister to make sure a federal response doesn't
"exacerbate divisions within the Six Nations community."
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #23
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FROM: THE TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER

_http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Articl
e_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151099409986&call_pageid=1012319932217&col=101231992892
8_
(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...&col=101231992
8928)

Caledonia A Product Of Failed Indian Land Claims

Jun. 24, 2006. 12:01 PM
_THOMAS WALKOM_
(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...d=969907626796)

Eight months ago, the Caledonia dispute began as a quiet protest by a
handful of local Indians, angered by a developer's plan to build housing on land
they claimed as theirs. Now, after weeks of fistfights, name-calling, racial
taunts and outright sabotage, the name of this small Hamilton-area town has
become a metaphor for the bitterness and inconsistency that surround Indian land
claims.
In particular, Caledonia has raised two fundamental and competing questions.
First, do land claims place Indians above Canadian law? In effect, that's
what Ontario Superior Court Justice David Marshall is asking. He has called a
third hearing next week to find out why the Ontario Provincial Police never
enforced an injunction he issued in March ordering protestors to leave the
Douglas Creek housing development on Caledonia's outskirts.
Caledonia townspeople are asking the same question, particularly in light of
the OPPs' most recent announcement that it won't respond to emergency calls
from residents living next to the disputed area. The provincial force wants
those people to call Six Nations police.
To many non-natives, this makes no sense.
The competing question, raised by Six Nations protestors, is whether
Canadian governments are truly serious about solving land claims issues.
After 20 years of pursuing land claims through legal channels, they note,
they've managed to score only one small victory.
Yet, just 20 weeks of an illegal occupation gave them two. Premier Dalton
McGuinty has agreed to buy the disputed housing development and hold it in trust
until its legal status is resolved. He has also agreed to let the Six
Nations use, rent free, another 153-hectare chunk of land near Brantford that the
Indians claim.
The message seems clear: Civil disobedience works.
The history of Indians in Canada defies easy stereotypes. In 1784, when
Britain granted 385,000 hectares in what is now southern Ontario to its Seneca,
Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora and Onandaga allies from the American
Revolutionary War, the idea was to create a land base that these six aboriginal
nations would keep to use in perpetuity.
But good farmland was becoming increasingly valuable as new settlers swarmed
into Upper Canada. Both sides the Crown and the Six Nations found it
convenient to chip away at this base.
Even Joseph Brant, the legendary Mohawk chief who led the Six Nations into
southern Ontario, sold chunks of their land to white settlers, in spite of the
fact that such sales, according to a 2003 paper released by the federal
Indian claims commission, were in violation of treaties and British law.
Still, most of the pressure came from governments anxious for land on which
to build farms, towns, roads, railways and canals.
Not all of the transfers appear to have been carried out in good faith. In
1787, for instance, chiefs of the Mississaugas signed a document that the
British interpreted as surrendering the land under what is now Toronto.
It later turned out, however, that the chiefs had signed a blank piece of
paper.
Of the 29 claims filed by the Six Nations since the 1970s, only one
involving a 105-hectare railroad right-of-way has been settled. A subsequent
lawsuit filed in 1994 that focused on 14 allegations of government malfeasance
went nowhere for 10 years. That's when both sides agreed to temporarily put
formal litigation aside and focus on two small claims. But after two years, even
these haven't been solved.
Which is why protestors began occupying the Douglas Creek construction site.
The normal land claims system, they said, was too slow.
What's not clear, though, is whether the occupation and the government's
subsequent response will make matters any better.
Partly, that has to do with the politics of the Six Nations. Since 1924,
when the Canadian government replaced the traditional hereditary council with an
elected version, the community has been deeply split. Some support the
elected council while others back the hereditary chiefs.
The Caledonia occupation, spearheaded by supporters of the hereditary
chiefs, brought the traditionalists back into the centre of the action.
Before Caledonia, governments negotiated only with the elected council.
After Caledonia (and partly at the behest of elected council members), the
government established an entirely new set of negotiations to include the
hereditary chiefs.
More important, the new set of post-Caledonia negotiations are to deal not
just with the Douglas Creek issue but with its root causes land claims.
Up to now, the Six Nations have argued for so-called specific claims. That
means they don't necessarily want the actual land back. Rather, the claims
usually allege that the Indians were improperly compensated.
What is not clear now, however, is whether the hereditary chiefs will agree
to continue along this path. George Montour, an elected band councillor
involved in the new set of negotiations, said that hasn't been decided yet.
"I'm not sure," he said in a telephone interview from his home this week.
"We'll have to work out with the two councils (elected and hereditary) where to
go."
Throughout all of this, McGuinty's government has not covered itself in
glory. Desperate to avoid being seen as directing the police (a charge levelled
at the previous Conservative government after an OPP officer killed an Indian
during another land claim protest in 1995), it ended up appearing
directionless.
McGuinty's first provincial negotiator, former premier David Peterson,
managed to anger all sides. Before stepping down last week, Peterson did get the
Indians to agree to remove barricades from two roads and a rail line. But many
townspeople accused him of siding with the protestors and, by the end, would
heckle him when he appeared on Caledonia's main street.
At the same time, the ex-premier was getting flak from the Indian side.
"There was a little bit of bad faith that resulted in his removal," Montour said.
"Well, maybe `bad faith' is a bit strong. He stalled on a couple of issues
and we didn't take a fancy to that."
Meanwhile, the OPP had its own problems. It had been quietly working with
the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency to monitor the Caledonia protest.
But that relationship became embarrassingly public earlier this month after
protestors hijacked the American agents' vehicle, removed confidential
documents outlining police intelligence operations, and then released them to local
media.
Now, people on both sides of the Caledonia dispute are asking why American
law enforcement officers are patrolling Canada.
In short, it's been quite a mess. Caledonia has raised all of the
contradictions inherent in land claims issues and solved none of them.
"I hope we can stay at these negotiations until something is done," Montour
said. "It may take a long time. Everyone has some desire to settle these
issues."
_Additional articles by Thomas Walkom_
(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...lumnist&colid=
969907626796)
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