The provincial government says it’s trying to work out a resolution to the long-running stand off over Six Nations land claims in Caledonia. As we first told you last night — the liberal government called a meeting for today with parties involved in the dispute — but one of the Six Nations groups decided not to attend.
This dispute over the land occupied by natives in Caledonia has been going on for more than eight years now. But less than a month after re-election, the provincial government says it has some fresh ideas and wants to try to work things out.
Natives were back on the occupied land today. The local county council voted recently to take down the blockade. and there were fears there could be some effort to do that today. That didn’t happen. Instead, a lawyer for the traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy on Six Nations provided an update on the latest events, and said the traditional chiefs decided not to attend today’s meeting with the provincial government without knowing more about the goals of the meeting. Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer says it’s time to move forward in Caledonia, and they want to sit down and talk.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer: “All the parties, whether its municipal parties or the first nations parties, there are frustrations on everybody’s part. What this meeting is designed to do is to get at the root of some of those frustrations and see if we can’t find some common ground to resolve it so it’s in everybody’s interest — so everybody’s happy with the solution.”
Aaron Detlor, Haudenosaunee Confederacy: “If there’s going to be a meeting to meaningfully address issues that have arisen with respect to the site there needs to be some kind of process or protocal and an assurance that something positive is going to come out of the meeting versus political discussions that have been going on for some time.”
Today’s meeting follows the latest confrontation by non-native protesters at the occupation site over the weekend. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy says the Ontario government could start resolving the issues by taking the road to the protest site out of municipal control to prevent confrontations like that in the future.
The province was planning to go ahead with the meeting today with representatives from Haldimand County and the Six Nations elected council. It says safety is the chief concern that must be addressed immediately. The meeting is being kept secret with no word on where or when it will take place.