By Chris Pickup
The animosity on Six Nations between followers of the elected band council and the unelected hereditary Haudenosaunee has reared its ugly head yet again in Caledonia.
A dozen or so native protesters have shut down construction at a housing development on McKenzie Road since Sunday.
While a spokesman for the protesters acknowledged the band council has approved the subdivision, to be constructed by Losani Homes, he claimed there has been insufficient transparency and community consultation with the people of the Six Nations.
“The bottom line is, this is Haudensaunee land. We are just people of Six Nations sending a reminder we need consultation.
“Here we are again on Grand River Territory. We are not pleased with band council.”
While OPP were at the site on Sunday, they have not made an appearance since.
Meantime, a sign that reads “Landback” sits on a piece of construction equipment, and yet again Mohawk flags are flying.
The roots of the Haldimand Tract problem appear to stem from the pleas of a substantial number of members of the native population on Six Nations who appealed to the province back in the nineteen twenties for an elected council rather than the rule of hereditary chiefs.
It seems every elected council decision on land matters is disputed by hereditary followers who never accepted the elected band council.
The dispute on Caledonia’s Douglas Creek estates was never settled, despite Ottawa official records of land sale signed by, ironically, unelected Six Nations Chiefs of the Haldimand Tract. The Haudosaunee refused to accept the records as valid. There is also some question of what happened to the sale funds.
The site still sits like an ugly wartime bomb site on the edge of Caledonia, under the authority of the provincial government.
This won’t be the last protest. Some Haldimand county development plans for the future are on land disputed by elements of Six Nations.