By Chris Pickup
Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council have voted to extend an apology to Caledonia residents for the violence spawned by self-named land defenders at McKenzie Meadows building site and on Caledonia’s streets.
Melba Thomas put the motion forward, citing confusion from Caledonia residents as to how to treat their reserve neighbours. Elected councillor Hazel Johnson agreed, along with Kerry Bomberry, worrying about unresolved feelings possibly festering again between the communities.
While an apology would be nice, personally I feel it is coming from the wrong body. I’ve said recently in this column that I warrant a majority of Six Nations band members probably just want to live their life in peace along with their Caledonia neighbours.
They don’t want all the stress of road blockades, injunctions, clashes with police, the dragging in of ‘supporters’ from other areas, and the inadvertent blame of some neighbours for what the “land defenders” are doing.
Johnson noted other Six Nations members did not oppose the project but had no equal opportunity to have their opinions amplified in the national media.
The apology should be coming from those continually stirring the pot of strife and trouble, referencing “old hurts and mistrust” among community members, and making inflammatory statements to national media. Of course, we all know that will never happen.
It also doesn’t help that hereditary chiefs are apparently backing the “land defenders”, even though there is no land claim registered.
I think the best thing Caledonia residents can do is extend the hand of friendship to our neighbours (rioters and troublemakers excepted). No-one except the few want to face the nastiness that brewed over the last “reclamation”.