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Old 06-29-2006, 06:02 AM   #1
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Are OPP sacrificing the law to keep natives happy?

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FROM: THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR NEWSPAPER
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Are OPP sacrificing the law to keep natives happy?

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(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) By Susan Clairmont
The Hamilton Spectator
_More articles by this columnist_
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(Jun 27, 2006)
The volatile native land occupation in Caledonia began just one day after
the conclusion of an OPP hearing that revealed a long-standing habit of
sacrificing officer and public safety on "hostile" native reserves.
The Ontario Provincial Police classifies native reserves as "hostile towards
police," yet officers are regularly ordered to take fewer tactical
precautions on reserves out of fear of insulting or inciting the natives.
That was the testimony from members of the disbanded Barrie Tactical and
Rescue Unit during a long and controversial Police Act Hearing that ended Feb.
27 -- the day before First Nations protesters and the OPP began vigils at a
disputed land site in Caledonia.
Many of the complaints and criticisms heard from TRU members at the hearing
are being echoed by OPP officers on the ground in Caledonia who have been
ordered to do things they feel are unsafe even though the situation is volatile
and -- at times -- violent.
Not long ago, officers met with the Ontario Provincial Police Association
after being told not to wear riot gear, after TRU team members were ordered not
to wear tactical uniforms and officers were sent out without proper backup.
At the time, OPPA president Karl Walsh spoke out against the orders.
But since that interview two weeks ago, he has not returned any calls to The
Spectator, leaving OPP officers without an official voice.
There seems to be mounting evidence that the OPP is more concerned about
keeping the natives happy than in upholding the law and keeping officers and the
public safe.
That revelation was repeated numerous times at the public disciplinary
hearing for Constable Ron Heinemann, a 12-year member of the elite TRU team.
While in a native home on the Chippewas of the Thames reserve near London
two and a half years ago, Heinemann defaced a native warrior flag and drew an X
through the famous photo of a soldier and a warrior nose to nose at Oka.
Heinemann admitted his actions -- which came at the end of a long, tense and
largely mishandled standoff -- were stupid but not racist. He testified that
he believes -- and has been told during OPP training -- that the warriors
are similar to other organized crime units.
He pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct and deceit and his entire TRU
team was disbanded after other members tried to coverup what Heinemann did.
Heinemann and fellow TRU team members testified to a long history of poor
relations with native warriors and a volatile past that includes Oka and
Ipperwash.
They told the hearing that, despite experience and intelligence information
that makes it clear to them they are entering "hostile" territory every time
they go on a reserve, they are told to abandon their own standard operating
procedures in favour of appearing less intimidating and friendlier to the
natives.
"They were limited in the way they could proceed because of the extra
sensitivity," says high-profile criminal lawyer John Rosen, who represented
Heinemann at the hearing.
"There is a disconnect really between what goes on on the ground and what
goes on in the upper echelons ... They're more concerned about PR than tactics.
At least it's the perception of officers in the field, and that goes
directly to morale."
The OPP never refuted those claims during the hearing. And it did not
respond to repeated interview requests for this column.
Hearing transcripts show that at least four times at the Chippewa call,
officers were ordered to deviate from the way they have been trained to operate:
* Standard operating procedure on a reserve is to have two TRU teams respond
to calls. A request for a second team was made and denied.
* A roadblock set up by TRU was moved closer to a barricaded shooter to
allow a variety store to remain open.
* Requests by TRU to shoot the tires out of vehicles parked in the driveway
of a target home were denied.
* TRU snipers were denied access to a house next door to the target home
because the native family didn't want to leave or be seen talking to police.
The entire operation nearly turned disastrous when the family who wouldn't
leave wound up outside at the same time people from the target house were
coming out and getting in a truck that had not been disabled.
"It's the worst-case scenario, that now you've got an innocent family in
between a heavily armed tactical unit and an active shooter, somebody who had
been actively shooting," Heinemann testified. "So their lives were put at
risk."
Other testimony during the hearing included fascinating insight into police
intelligence on the native criminal element.
Mention was made of OPP officers being run off the Oneida Reserve near
London at gunpoint by warriors carrying AK47s.
Of the Mohawk warriors there offering $50,000 to anyone who shoots down an
OPP helicopter.
Of armed warriors guarding marijuana grow operations.
Of warriors hiding in bush lines training high-powered, scoped weapons at
TRU officers performing duties on reserves.
And warrior plans to kill Ken Deane, the OPP officer who fatally shot Dudley
George, an unarmed native protester at Ipperwash.
Susan Clairmont's commentary appears regularly in The Spectator.
[email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected]) or 905-526-3539.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:03 AM   #2
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FROM: THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR NEWSPAPER - LETTERS TO EDITOR
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Natives were late in starting protest

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(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) By Carol Fields, Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 27, 2006)
Re: 'Henco gets $12.3m for land; McGuinty implores native protesters to leave
Douglas Creek Estates property' (June 23)
Enough is enough.
Correct me if I'm wrong -- and I'm sure someone will -- but why did the
natives wait until now? A hundred years have passed, and they wait until houses
are built before they stage their takeover? Why didn't they do this before
construction started?
Don't get me wrong, I respect the native interest, but come on, they were a
little late in starting their protest. They should have voiced their objection
before all this happened, before millions of dollars have been paid out and
wasted. I can only imagine if the shoe was on the other foot!
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:03 AM   #3
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Caledonia and the case of the missing prime minister


Afs Aerial Photography Inc.
The gulf between natives and non-natives in the Caledonia and Six Nations
area is largely the result of federal non-action, writer John Zemanovich says.

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(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) Natives and non-natives
in Caledonia have a common problem: the federal government ... (It) has not
dealt with claims in a timely manner and suspicions abound that there is no
political will to truly settle outstanding issues.
By John Zemanovich
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 26, 2006)
Let's face it. Everyone has had enough of this Caledonia issue.
Natives want their land claims addressed. The non-native Caledonians want
peace and quiet in their community. The OPP would rather not be in the position
of having to use violence to secure the peace and Dalton McGuinty wants
someone else to start wearing the bull's eye someone painted on his forehead
while he took a nap.
The federal government, representing the citizens of Canada, has created a
mess and failed to deal with it. Historically, the federal strategy for
dealing with native issues has been akin to standing in a leaking boat and putting
all one's resources into bailing water.
Wouldn't it be simpler to locate the leak and plug it?
The federal government is directly responsible for native issues and the
land claims process, as well as the mistreatment of natives over more than a
century since Confederation. That mistreatment has included tainted water
supplies, the destruction of language and culture, the residential schools policy
and numerous others.
Expecting the Ontario Provincial Police to use force to settle this issue is
unreasonable and will only lead to increased violence and confrontation in
the future. The federal strategy of allowing blame to fall on the shoulders of
Dalton McGuinty may be astute politically but is morally reprehensible.
Violent actions have only hurt the cause of natives, as they detract from
the inherent truth of a just cause. Numerous organizations, including the
United Nations, have attested that aboriginal peoples have not been treated with
respect and have suffered greatly at the hands of many governments.
Their lands have been stolen and treaties and other agreements have not been
respected or adhered to by various governments -- of all political stripes
-- in Canada. There is enough blame for all political parties to share.
Of course, Canadians haven't paid much attention of late. They expected
their government was dealing with this problem. The federal government created a
land claims process to deal with land alienated from native peoples.
Unfortunately, the process is flawed and woefully inadequate.
Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine pointed out on May 23, 2006:
"Under the current process, Canada acts as judge and jury in claims against
itself.
"There are approximately 1,000 specific claims before Canada, 300 of which
have been validated and must work their way through the claims process. Yet it
takes on average 10 years to resolve a legitimate, specific claim. This is
much too long. (A recent) report by the Auditor General of Canada noted that
six comprehensive claims agreements have been concluded since 2001 and it has
taken on average 29 years to finalize these claims. This is unacceptable.
This is an agonizingly slow pace for First Nations, for whom land is central to
our cultures and our economies. It creates frustration and anger on the
ground and can erode trust."
The Caledonia land claim must be addressed. According to Phil Monture, a Six
Nations land claim researcher, this particular claim has been in dispute for
well over 100 years.
"In 1890, they (Six Nations) went back to The Hague and Six Nations put an
offer on the table saying they'd appoint their representative, Britain would
appoint theirs and Canada would appoint theirs," Monture said in the native
publication Windspeaker this month.
"Britain agreed but Canada reneged and refused to be party to it. They have
no one to blame but themselves. Buy time, hopefully the next election will
come or the minister will get shifted and we'll have to start again and the
game goes on."
Is there a black-and-white answer to this land claim? No. Both sides lack
definitive evidence of land ownership. When asked about that, Monture's
statement in Windspeaker demonstrates the flexibility of the native position.
"I can't say that because we still have to sit down and go through the
process. That's what a claim is. You put your claim in and then you sit down and
to and fro with the facts and you work yourself to a stage of agreed upon
facts and that's something that hasn't been done yet."
The prime minister isn't the only one who should take leadership. The
warriors also need to change their tactics.
The recent escalation of violence at Caledonia is unacceptable.
Individuals who steal cars and try to run over police officers should be
held accountable for their actions. The individuals responsible for such
behaviour have done a great disservice to the native cause, as it damages the
progress being made in negotiations and ultimately lessens the odds of achieving a
peaceful resolution.
These youthful warriors would be wise to learn from the story of
Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear). Big Bear sought peaceful means of resolving problems,
including aggressive negotiations with the Canadian government, because he was wise
enough to understand that violence would not help his people. His former
warriors, led by his son Ayimisis (Little Bad Man) and the war chief,
Kapapamahchakwew (Wandering Spirit) effectively ignored his advice and undermined his
authority. Such actions ensured the accelerated suffering of their people and
the weakening of their cause.
Some would argue that the warriors in Caledonia today are effectively
repeating this mistake by not heeding the wise counsel of the elders who ask that
they refrain from needless violence.
If these warriors truly wish to defend their people as is their mandate,
they should be courageous and surrender to the Canadian law enforcement agencies
to answer for their actions. They should not ask their brothers to turn them
over. They should do it themselves despite their brothers' protection. There
is no weakness or shame in taking responsibility for one's actions in order
to serve your family. Doing so is honorable.
The sad irony of this situation is that both the natives and non-natives in
Caledonia have a common problem: the federal government. Our government has
not dealt with claims in a timely manner and, given the First Nations
experience with governmental processes, suspicions abound within the community that
there is no political will to truly settle outstanding issues. Can we honestly
blame them? Where is Prime Minister Stephen Harper?
Caledonia is a wakeup call for the federal government. By neglecting its
responsibilities to effectively and efficiently deal with land claims, it has
not only empowered those with extremist political views on both sides of the
issue, it has effectively ensured that more confrontations will occur and that
more Canadians will experience conflict with aboriginals.
Prime Minister Harper: The buck stops at your desk. Get on with it.
Leadership means getting things done.
John Zemanovich lives in Mansfield, Ont., and is a non-status Indian of Cree
heritage and the former CEO of Raven Investment Management Ltd.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:04 AM   #4
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FROM: CBC NEWS ONLINE
_http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/06/27/land-claims.html_
(http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/natio...nd-claims.html)
Government Falling Behind In Land Claims
Last Updated Tue, 27 Jun 2006 1219 EDT
_CBC News_ (http://www.cbc.ca/news/credit.html)

The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs hasn't address all of the 750
unresolved native land claims due to a lack of resources, information
obtained by CBC News shows.
Briefing notes to Minister Jim Prentice show that per-capita spending for
services like housing and clean drinking water on reserves has gone down by six
per cent over the last decade.
During the same time period, however, the department's spending has gone up
by 36 per cent.
The department has been hampered by the cost of resolving land claims, which
have tripled in the last 15 years. It spent $536 million negotiating and
implementing land claims during the fiscal year ended in 2005.
Prentice said he will spend a part of the summer addressing the rising costs
of settling land claims.
"The Liberals left 750 specific claims backlogged in the system," he said.
"That's not acceptable and we have to deal with it."
Negotiating costs soar
The lengthy process of negotiating land claims has sent costs skyrocketing.
It took more than 30 years to negotiate the Carcross Tagish self-government
and land-claim agreement in the Yukon. The First Nation received a settlement
package of $44 million over 15 years.
Carcross Chief Mark Wedge said his community had to take out nearly $3
million in loans to cover its cost to negotiate the deal.
"It would be great if Canada would consider forgiving, or redirecting or
reinvesting payments back into the First Nation when there is such a large
requirement for resources in the communities," Wedge said.
Prentice has said the government will not forgive loans because it's not
fair to other communities that have paid off borrowed money.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:10 AM   #5
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FROM: THE TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER - EDITORIALS

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Inaction Tarnishes OPP's Reputation

Jun. 27, 2006. 01:00 AM

While natives continue to occupy a tract of disputed land in Caledonia and
the provincial government throws around cash in an effort to defuse tensions,
our once honoured provincial police service is taking a public relations
beating.
And deservedly so.
Over the course of the 110-plus days of this standoff, the Ontario
Provincial Police have literally served as a human wall between protestors and angry
residents.
But the actions or more to the point inactions of the police service
have tainted the image of the venerable OPP among Haldimand County residents.
On the outside of the barricade erected by protestors occupying what was to
be the Douglas Creek subdivision, the rule of law is applied. A demonstration
or protest getting out of hand may result in arrests.
Inside the occupied territory, lawlessness (by Canadian standards) prevails.
Allegations abound of OPP officers standing by watching blatant
transgressions of the law including theft and assault with nothing being done.
Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter said the OPP presence in Caledonia
has been a success because nobody has been killed.
It's a sad statement when land claim disputes are being measured by
casualties. It doesn't change the fact that the people of Caledonia are living in
fear and have lost confidence in their police service.
The silence from the office of OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface is deafening.
Boniface owes it to her officers, the residents of Caledonia and the people
of Ontario to account for OPP activities in this standoff.
But we fear the example has already been set. The protestors moved in, took
over the disputed land and bolstered their numbers.
They pushed the authorities, but the authorities didn't push back. Now, the
situation can be expected to escalate.
Six Nations spokeswoman Hazel Hill has indicated the occupation in Caledonia
is just a first step to reclaim all the lands granted to native peoples
following the American Revolution the length of the Grand River for 10
kilometres on either side.
"It's all ours," Hill is reported as saying. "It's not just Douglas Creek.
The whole six miles on either side is ours, for our use and interests,
forever."
Look out, Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo. The lawlessness could be coming
your way. And the precedent has been set that it will happen with minimal
provincial police resistance.

____________________________________
This is an edited version of an editorial that appeared Friday in the St.
Catharines Standard.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:18 AM   #6
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FROM: THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR NEWSPAPER
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yout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151445023727&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1
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Expect More Caledonia-Type Clashes: Expert

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110,150,152,230,284,342,409,421,449,6149,6177,6265 ,6321,6323,6396,6398,6406,64
07,6408,6409,6419,6442,6443,6444,6656,6661,6677,66 79,6681&RawValues=TID,327832
0122eklt&Redirect=http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/marketing/summer_camp_fund/
)
(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) The Hamilton Spectator
Ottawa (Jun 28, 2006)
An aboriginal expert says more Caledonia-type conflicts are brewing as the
number of native land claims nears 800 and the average wait time for
settlements tops nine years.
Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, who teaches aboriginal studies at the University
of Toronto and has helped write and research several land claims, predicts
more high-profile clashes.
"That's exactly what's going to happen because one of the messages that gets
transmitted is: Unless you become a hot spot, nobody's going to sit down
with you and do any negotiating."
Frustration over land claims most recently erupted in Caledonia in a series
of nasty confrontations over a subdivision on land claimed by Six Nations.
Darrell Doxtdator, legal adviser to the Six Nations Band Council, said last
night the native occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates has made Ottawa more
aware change is needed.
"We would look forward to concrete proposals for improvements in the
(claims) resolution system," he said.
Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice says he plans a major "retooling" of a
badly flawed system that critics blame for rising tensions and stunted
development.
A three-day conference starting today in Quebec will gather experts on ways
to push for improvements.
With files from John Burman, The Hamilton Spectator
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:19 AM   #7
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FROM: THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR NEWSPAPER - LETTERS TO EDITOR
_http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/La
yout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151445023370&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1
112876262536_
(http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NAS...l_pageid=10204
20665036&col=1112876262536)
Governments Co-Operating On Caledonia

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110,150,152,230,284,342,409,421,449,6149,6177,6265 ,6321,6323,6396,6398,6406,64
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0122eklt&Redirect=http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/marketing/summer_camp_fund/
)
(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 28, 2006)
Re: 'Government spat hampers land claims' (June 24)
We both read this article regarding the situation in Caledonia, and Canada
and Ontario can assure you that we are working together.
We have been in frequent contact with each other and that spirit of
co-operation extends to all the officials representing both governments at the
discussion table, including Barbara McDougall and Jane Stewart who are,
respectively, the federal and provincial negotiators.
Each government brings different powers to the table, so we must work
together and we can assure your readers that we are, in fact, committed to
resolving all issues in this complex situation in a manner that is respectful to all
parties involved.
-- Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and
Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, Government of Canada;
-- David Ramsay, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Government of
Ontario
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:20 AM   #8
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FROM: THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR NEWSPAPER - LETTERS TO EDITOR
_http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/La
yout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151445023373&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1
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It's time to right some wrongs

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07,6408,6409,6419,6442,6443,6444,6656,6661,6677,66 79,6681&RawValues=TID,327832
0122eklt&Red
irect=http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/marketing/summer_camp_fund/)
(http://ads.thestar.com/click.ng/site...&HChannel=news) By John Hill,Six Nations
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 28, 2006)
Why does the non-native population have such a strong dislike of the natives
of Canada?
I'd like to believe it's because of a lack of education and not racism.
I read and see that most of them seem to be against the natives with a bit
of venom mixed in. I'm sure most of the letter writers would be more tolerant
if they knew the history of Canada and its natives.
If I am correct, the UN has cited Canada for human rights abuses towards its
native population to this very day. Do non-natives know the government has
tried to wipe the natives off the face of the Earth on many occasions over the
last 200 years?
This has been done by killing them outright, by killing off the food supply
(40 to 50 million buffalo), by sending natives to non-native schools to rob
them of their language and heritage, by putting natives on isolated, desolate
reserves where they are dependent on the government for life's necessities.
This is the Canadian holocaust, which goes on to this day. All of this has
led to alcoholism, unemployment, poverty, disease and suicide at several times
the national rates. And this does not even touch on land claims issues.
So while the people of Caledonia have a legitimate beef with the ongoing
occupation, it is time to right a few wrongs with the help of the good people of
Caledonia.
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