"Do local governments have a responsibility to consult indigenous peoples?": Six Nations

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"Do local governments have a responsibility to consult indigenous peoples?": Six Nations

Brantford Expositor: Letter to Editor

[Note: My comments are added in square brackets.]

 

  Do local governments have a responsibility to consult indigenous peoples?

The issue of whether municipalities, like Brantford have an obligation to consult and accommodate indigenous peoples before permitting development on Native "land claim" area seems to be a crucial consideration in the current conflict over development in Brantford.

The Canadian Supreme Court has said in Taku River and the Haida Nation that the Crown has a duty to consult/accommodate Natives where rights and/or title may be adversely impacted by proposed developments.

Canadian provincial and federal governments are the Crown, according to the court and have such obligations whereas third party proponents like developers, forestry and mining companies do not.

The court was not specific on whether local governments like municipalities are also deemed to have such an obligation. There appears to be growing consensus though among Canadian legal minds that local governments indeed have an obligation to consult and/or accommodate aboriginal people.

In Ontario the provincial government is now directing third party proponents to carry out consultation with aboriginal people to the province's satisfaction.

Private energy developers for example, are now required to carry out consultations with affected aboriginal peoples as a condition of their service contracts with the province.

Brantford's situation is no different. Like the provinces or federal government, Brantford is also an elected body that has the authority to grant permits regarding development in its jurisdiction.

The similarities end there however as Brantford city council believes it has no such parallel obligation to consult/ accommodate aboriginal people. Brantford, therefore does not stipulate aboriginal consultation as a condition to the developer permit process.

Fairly recent changes to the Ontario Municipal Act allow municipalities to make and enforce bylaws providing more autonomy to local governments. Local governments are not the "creatures of the province" they once were.

While Brantford enjoys increased autonomy they deny the added responsibility (like duty to consult) such autonomy brings.

Maybe Brantford is just too busy counting its millions in development fees and taxes from Six Nations lands to pay attention to what the vast majority of Canadian legal minds, governments and associations have to say on the issue of whether municipalities have a duty to consult/ accommodate aboriginal peoples.

[Brantford's backlog of leasing monies owed to Six Nations was calculated by the former Mayor to be $252b about 2005. That does not include other Six Nations lands simply encroached upon and 'sold', and under claim.]

Federation of Canadian Municipalities: "The City of Vaughan, Ontario was charged with failing to conduct a proper environmental assessment. The suit with First Nations regarding a proposed road widening and extension within a municipal road allowance" ... "the federation supports the right to Aboriginal self-government ... (and) believes that the realization of self-government should evolve through negotiations with other governments, including municipal, against a backdrop of positive and active community relations."

Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs: "Whenever a municipality exercises its legal authority in a way which might negatively impact on the exercise of an Aboriginal or Treaty right, a duty to consult with affected First Nations communities will arise ... failing to consult could have very serious consequences."

Association of Ontario Municipalities Conference 2008. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to Ontario Municipalities power point presentation: "Based on the direction in recent case law, it is the province's view that local governments will likely be found to have a duty to consult in some circumstances. Aboriginal assertions increasingly draw in lands and processes in which municipalities have an interest, for example: archaeological/burial site issues raised in land use planning and the development process impact of growth and on hunting and fishing rights."

Report "The Impact of Aboriginal Land Claims and Self-Government on Canadian Municipalities: The Local Government Perspective: Theresa M. Dust, Q. C. City Solicitor, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:

"Urban Councils are not third parties. Federal, and to a lesser extent provincial, officials have adopted the practice of lumping together all groups which are affected by aboriginal land claims, from tourist camp operators to mining companies to Urban Councils, and treating them as one "third party" constituency.

This narrow constitutional law approach ignores the reality that Urban Councils are the elected governments of their communities, and are not just the Fish and Game League.

This approach causes significant resentment at the local level, and that resentment is turned against the entire land claims process."

Brantford City Council is not being totally up front with its constituents on the advice they received from the Ontario Government on at least two occasions. They have not been totally honest with developers that native land claims blanket Brantford.

[[url=http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1400705]City sued for $10m [/url] ... Kingspan claims the city received a letter from the Haudenosaunee putting Brantford on notice of potential claims to the property. The letter advised the city the Haudenosaunee would take all legal and peaceful steps necessary to protect their rights until the issue was resolved. The letter was dated Sept. 28, 2007, prior to the Oct. 19, 2007, closing date of the sale of the property from the city to Kingspan, the statement says.
Brantford breached its obligations and duties to disclose the letter prior to the closing date, choosing instead to withhold the letter.
]

In light of the numerous recommendations and legal perspectives that municipalities have a duty to consult why would Brantford city council then engage in lawsuits, court injunctions and arrests against Six Nations?

If Brantford is successful in selling of all "its" land there will be no threat of losing any back to Six Nations through land claims processes.

Likely Brantford City Council also feels it will be off the hook for any financial compensation to Six Nations in lieu of returning land it already sold to third parties.

Local governments with their increase autonomy and power to further alienate traditional lands from Indigenous people however have in effect become the Crown too along with the provinces and federal government.

So along with a moratorium on selling further Crown land the City of Brantford should also start a Six Nations land claims compensation fund. That fund would be preparation to reimburse Six Nations for the billions in past taxes and development fees (and interest accrued) it acquired from Six Nations land.

It's too bad Brantford has to be forced (likely by the courts) to consult with Six Nations. It was the morally right thing to do anyway.

[Ref: [url=http://www.scribd.com/doc/13041574/Factum]Report of the Amicus to Brantford Superior Court [/url]]

There will be no bailout packages coming for the squattocratic Corporation of the City of Brantford in regards to the money it owes Six Nations.

Brantford will either have to work with Six Nations in a mutually respectful way, while repaying its ill begotten gains in installments, or go bankrupt. This time, financially.

Alexander Jamieson Jr., Six Nations Territory

Article ID# 1467251


 [Injunction hearing, City of Brantford v Haudenosaunee Six Nations, resumes Monday morning March 9 in Brantford Superior Court ]

saga saga's picture
LeighT

"Fairly recent changes to the Ontario Municipal Act allow municipalities to make and enforce bylaws providing more autonomy to local governments. Local governments are not the "creatures of the province" they once were.

who made this statement Saga? 

it appears the article is in print form only (?- and thanks for the reports by the way) so i can't check it.

the reason i'm asking is because some changes to the Municipal Act were not benign at all.  Municipalities were given 'free' rein in some areas, but not in the most significant, esp. with respect to resources bylaws,  relevant in the play between how regs intersect with trade deals.

and yes we do know that the province has shuffled responsibility to private bodies, through various mechanisms, so what happens is that all resources planning gets privatized, through the clauses.

thus the scenario is entrenched for the indigenous community representatives to be forced to deal directly with the Big Bucks financiers, yet with insufficient $ to argue their case.

 

 

 

 

 

LeighT

so, given the Haida decision requirement on the feds , and the Frontenac Ventures case decision w.r.t the Province, the Brantford case is attempting to extend the same parameters to the municipality.

 

 

LeighT

ie) just as neither the feds nor the province can pass off resources directly to the private $$ financiers, neither can the municipalities, and all the clauses in the Municipal Act which force Indigenous community reps to become subservient to the private $ sector and the 'free trade' investment deals directly will be overridden.

this would indeed be very good.

saga saga's picture

LeighT wrote:

"Fairly recent changes to the Ontario Municipal Act allow municipalities to make and enforce bylaws providing more autonomy to local governments. Local governments are not the "creatures of the province" they once were.

who made this statement Saga? 

it appears the article is in print form only (?- and thanks for the reports by the way) so i can't check it.

the reason i'm asking is because some changes to the Municipal Act were not benign at all.  Municipalities were given 'free' rein in some areas, but not in the most significant, esp. with respect to resources bylaws,  relevant in the play between how regs intersect with trade deals.

and yes we do know that the province has shuffled responsibility to private bodies, through various mechanisms, so what happens is that all resources planning gets privatized, through the clauses.

thus the scenario is entrenched for the indigenous community representatives to be forced to deal directly with the Big Bucks financiers, yet with insufficient $ to argue their case.

 

It is, as shown above, a letter to the Brantford Expositor from Alex Jamieson Jr, Six Nations Territory.

 Here's the link I apparently forgot:

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1467251

 

The memorandum of agreement that Brantford signed with the province included some funds for Six Nations for the consultation process.

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1450210

Establish a process that could see the Haudenosaunee Six Nations benefit financially from the development process;

Acknowledge the Haudenosaunee have "multiple unresolved assertions" (land and compensation claims) involving Brantford and other parts of Ontario;

And encourage Canada to resolve the outstanding claims affecting Brantford "in an expeditious manner."

The memorandum further says:

Discussions should be confidential unless the parties otherwise agree.

The city would agree to ask the Superior Court to adjourn its injunction motion against the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and others for a three-month period, unless further protests occur.

The elected council would agree to put its legal action against the city and Ontario in abeyance while the discussions take place.

The Haudenosaunee leadership would agree to "use its best efforts" to halt all protests that delay or stop work on any development sites to give the talks a chance to succeed.

The province would give the Haudenosaunee $100,000 to help pay their costs in the talks.

 

However, the Confederacy is still considering aspects of that memorandum and has not signed on:

 http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1452246

Leaders from the Six Nations elected and traditional councils say they are still willing to work toward an agreement with Brantford and Ontario that could put an end to court injunctions and blockades of construction sites, and allow natives to benefit financially from development.

But they made it clear in news conferences and interviews Wednesday that they won't bother considering any further a confidential draft memorandum of understanding negotiated by the province between the city, the Confederacy council and elected band council.

"That document is right out the window," Mohawk Chief Allan MacNaughton of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy told reporters in a foyer of the Oneida Business Centre on Fourth Line, where ongoing land claims negotiations were being conducted.

If all parties had agreed to the memorandum, over a three-month period the city would have stopped its injunction application against protesters, the Confederacy council would have gotten activists to stop disruptive activities at construction sites, and the elected band council would have delayed its legal action against Brantford and Ontario.

Eventually, a formula would have been implemented to allow Six Nations to benefit financially from development projects.

But MacNaughton said both the Confederacy and elected councils had decided in a joint meeting last Sunday not to consider the draft memorandum, "not because of its contents," but because they believed an agreed process involving strict confidentiality was not being followed.

It was "tainted" by a leak from Brantford's council immediately following its consideration of the document in a closed-door session last week, he said, and was further violated when Brantford Mayor Mike Hancock released it to the media.

MacNaughton also recounted an instance from last week when "some lawyer" held up a document in a proceeding and said: "There's an agreement" -- when it was still supposed to be confidential until all councils had a chance to review it.

saga saga's picture

LeighT wrote:

ie) just as neither the feds nor the province can pass off resources directly to the private $$ financiers, neither can the municipalities, and all the clauses in the Municipal Act which force Indigenous community reps to become subservient to the private $ sector and the 'free trade' investment deals directly will be overridden.

this would indeed be very good.

I hope you are right. The Mining Act revisions may tell the tale.

 These are 'constitutionally mandated' processes, however, and carry the weight of constitutional law.

The municipalities encroached on the land, and benefited from that. It only makes sense that they have the duty now to consult with Six Nations about those issues, and to accommodate Six Nations Aboriginal rights (no doubt with some support from other levels of government).

 In the most recent injunction hearing I attended, re the Hagersville site, the judge gave an interim order for construction to continue on sewers and roadways, but explicitly forbade any structures on the property. He, thus, showed some attempt to prevent the land from being alienated from land claims settlement (ie, with a structure that can be occupied.) 

 It's slowly filtering down through the courts, and back to the responsible parties.

LeighT

"I hope you are right. "

I'm saying that if Six Nations wins the substantial issues in the case, then the problematic clauses in the changes to the Municipal Act ( ie. the regs of the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act- think it was called, been a year or so..) would be functionally annulled, which would be good. 

But if Six Nations doesn't get the relevant obligations put on the City, then Six Nations will have to face down the financiers/developers directly, in areas of jurisdiction that aren't covered by the province or feds (ie beyond the Haida and the FV decisions.)

In the latter scenario, other Acts are relevant too, besides the Mining Act, related to water, for example.  At present, watershed planning has been downloaded to the Conservation Authorities (CAs), which are mandated to have ONE First Nations rep on each CA Source Planning Protection Cttee in the province, covering the various regions.  It is these SPP committees (terminology intentional in the White Paper that originally conceived those terms when 'source protection' planning was initiated) which are tasked with the watershed management, ie) collating info on how much water is in the ground, in aquifers, in water systems, how much being taken by industry, commercial, residential, etc. 

Some of these CAs, and their SPP cttees are not only too large, but as noted, have minimal First Nations input.  And, as the bit of news I stuck up at the beginning of the eco-eco thread noted, the Trent Severn Waterway is being lauded by Jim Prentice as a 'new water management model'. 

Money is being thrown at this 'new water management model', by Harper in his budget which it seems he is trying to force down everyone's throat.  We know the funds are subject to parameters under the Building Canada Fund, and other funds with qualifications for the money to 'flow' through public-private partnerships, which in the context of the 'free trade' investment deals means that some big global infrastructure corp. is going to be getting some sweet contracts across the province, controlling water management, with essentially No control by First Nations.

Basically the financiers and their friends who write policy set up a lovely mess of legislation and regulation related to water, with the feds taking a hands off approach, and the province downloading water management to the Conservation Authorities, who, to get funding, will have to contract management to our friends the desperate financiers who will treat our water the same way they have treated the financial system.

Down the drain.

So the requirement to consult with First Nations would mean a lot more than the current one rep on a cttee that is forced to privatize water management.  If Six Nations wins a ruling that requires more municipal obligation to consult then this may have some implication for the water Source Protection Planning committees. 

The SPP cttees do the actual planning/ watershed management,  'overseen' by a parallel SPP Board in each Conservation Authority region.  The SPP Boards are made up of municipal councillors.  So if those municipal councillors in each CA SPP Board have to consult with First Nations at a direct and higher level, it would, seems to me, put an important brake on the water management privatization process in the province.

See right now, the province can just say 'well we have FNs consulting on the SPP committees'.  What we really need is a brake at the SPP Board level, and the province as a whole.

There was, on another thread in the aboriginal issues section of babble , mention of a process going on in Northern Ontario, where FNs were looking for more than duty to consult, what was the word...consent.  That the province would have to first receive Consent from FNs. That of course would give FNs more power than the rubber-stamp role they have now where their hands are tied by the structure and regs of each water 'source protection' committee.

 

LeighT

This also means that sewerage isn't a minor issue either.  Municipal sewage is a key part of watershed planning, part of what is called, believe it, the 'water budget'- how much water is available from ground and river systems, and how much can be taken. 

And 'how much' is determined by the consulting firms who do the hydrological and hydrogeological studies on the one hand, and those who do the collation and data management on the other.  Stream and ground flow is supposed to maintained at certain minimal levels, but if the data management is contracted out, you can have all the volunteers in the world doing community measurements, but the collation of numbers will be done by whichever infrastructure corp gets the contract.  Trust 'em?

I'm just mentioning all this to flag for folks some of the issues. 

Glad you mentioned the sewage part, it's all part of the water system management, along with the hydro canals, groundwater, and watershed management.   We don't really want any of it privatized, upstream sources nor sewerage.

saga saga's picture

LeighT wrote:

There was, on another thread in the aboriginal issues section of babble , mention of a process going on in Northern Ontario, where FNs were looking for more than duty to consult, what was the word...consent.  That the province would have to first receive Consent from FNs. That of course would give FNs more power than the rubber-stamp role they have now where their hands are tied by the structure and regs of each water 'source protection' committee.

 

 Awesome information Leigh!

Our water is up for sale then?

There are parallels in every industry that affects the land - forestry, mining, urban development, like in Brantford.

Unbelievable, the web of protection woven for industry ... on Indigenous land ... on our behalf.

 To review the current court case:

The City of Brantford is seeking an interlocutory injunction against some Six Nations leaders and members and agencies (HDI), to bar them from interrupting development on disputed land (Brantford).

All development was stopped by Six Nations people, in spite of an interim injunction, and in spite of the fact that  many Six Nations people were arrested and charged. (More just keep coming!)

(The court drama ... Smitheman called HDI "a sham" ... "collecting  protection money".  Aaron Dettlor begins to respond for Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) ... Monday morning in Brantford Superior Court ... to address Smitheman's "defamation".)

Brantford is scrambling to get out of court ... hastily signed up with the province, made a commitment to consult with HCCC/Six Nations, "to the satisfaction of the province", it appears, and to withdraw the injunction ... to avoid the light of law on their actions. For example, in the Factum (posted above) it was noted that Brantford's "in camera" meetings about the injunction were a violation of the Municipal Act.

IMO, they don't want any more facts coming out in court, so they want to pull the injunction application, because they are losing before Six Nations even starts to present their rock solid case in Canadian and Haudenosaunee law.  :lol:

In the court of public opinion, Smitheman made no legal case and may have committed an illegal act.

Haudenosaunee Six Nations Confederacy and Elected Council agree that they are not ready to enter into an agreement at present, due to lack of good faith procedures by Brantford. In the interim, court will continue and Brantford will no doubt become increasingly more desperate to accommodate Six Nations rights, to get out of court. Wink

 The remedies suggested by the Amicus in the Factum include an injunction contingent upon certain activities of the principals.

It's essentially an order to consult 'meaningfully', and to accommodate 'adequately' (according to SCC precedent) Six Nations Aboriginal rights:

A say in development and a share in revenues on traditional and treaty land.

 It is the same issue as Ardoch Algonquins and KI: The right to halt development (without injunction/police/jail/court action) when they have not yet been consulted, and the right to say no.

Yes, it can come down to "consent", and that is the wording of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and I believe that's the test that would be used in the International Courts. However, I'm not sure whether/where that applies in the Brantford injunction, but 'Douglas Creek Estates' in Caledonia won't be developed.

I hope this is the beginning of constructive dialogue. Dare we hope?Undecided

Refuge Refuge's picture

saga wrote:
It is the same issue as Ardoch Algonquins and KI: The right to halt development (without injunction/police/jail/court action) when they have not yet been consulted, and the right to say no.

I think the bigger issue in this is that FN communities need to be consulted before the development even takes place.  When a developer is planning a development he has to apply to several places for permits and meet several requirements depending on where he is building.  It can be municiple, regional and conservation authorities.  FN groups need to be added to this list.  Each of these authorities can veto the development.  Here is an example of Brant Country vetoing a development

http://brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1463177

If issues are dealt with while still in the planning stages then there would have to be no work stoppages.  If the proposal is given over to the Haudenosaunee government to approve or disapprove based on their own laws just as the proposal is given to the Municipal, Regional government and conservation authority (which was created by the Ontario Provincial Legislature) to approve or disapprove based on their own laws.

The only reason that they are having to stop development that is currently going on is because not only were they not allowed to rule on that development in the way that it will impact their community but they are continually not being allowed to rule on development that is right now in the process of planning.

LeighT wrote:
But if Six Nations doesn't get the relevant obligations put on the City, then Six Nations will have to face down the financiers/developers directly

I don't know if they even should be consulting with the Municiple governments.  According to the two row they stay in their canoe and Brantford stays in theirs.  They shouldn't be telling Brantford what to do.  However Brantford could approve a development based on their laws and the Haudenosaunee could disapprove a development based on theirs, just as the Conservation Authority could disapprove a development that the municiple government approves.

The only reason that Brantford is sueing the Haudenosaunee is because they are saying that they are threatening the revenues that they take in from development by doing something illegal.  The Haudenosaunee is saying they are not doing anything illegal.

In the legal statements of defenense I have seen notification of the city of Brantford that the permits are on Haudenosaunee Territory and that the developers need to be notified of this. I have seen testimony that says the point of the injucuncion is the stop the Canadian laws around Rights and Treaties.  I have seen testimony on how the HDI is being set up to consult on projects and their impact on Haudenosaunee territory.  I did not see any requests for consultation with the Municiple government.

This is the first steps towards self governance.  If there are projects on Haudenosaunee land they should be dealing with the projects independently as a nation not trying to mess with the Canadian system by consulting with the municiple system.

To me this is what the lawsuit is about: 

They have understood from the begining that self governance not only means that they need to look after their own affairs but they need to respect Canada as looking after it's own affairs.  This is something that Canada has a hard time understanding and arguably never did do.  It is time that Canada stood up and allowed the Haudenosaunee the respect and independence that it needs to do without Canada trying to intefere.

Refuge Refuge's picture

LeighT wrote:
But if Six Nations doesn't get the relevant obligations put on the City, then Six Nations will have to face down the financiers/developers directly, in areas of jurisdiction that aren't covered by the province or feds (ie beyond the Haida and the FV decisions.)

On second reading of this I would also like to say that I disagree with it not supporting the cases.  All the judements say is that the FN groups did not do anything illegal (or as in the case of the FV case that they didn't do anything so illegal to warrant the sentences and if the injunction had been appealed they would likely have thrown it out because they don't see the FN group as doing anything illegal).  They were not doing anything illegal, just asserting their rights within Canadian Law and either the provincal or the federal goverment were chastised for this.

It states that the government has to consult with FN group but it does not say how.  I don't see allowing the Haudenosaunee government to make their own decisions based on development in their territory would be seen as not being covered by the two cases.

How do you think it could be spun so that it doesn't agree with the cases?

saga saga's picture

The letter to the editor, posted above, addresses some elements of the Factum of the Amicus, presented in Brantford Superior Court:

 

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13041574/Factum

 

 It clarifies that the municipalities are also subject to the duty of the Crown to "consult and to accommodate" Aboriginal Rights.It is the municipalities that make expansion plans, infringing on Aboriginal territory and rights. Thus, it is the municipalities that must consult with Six Nations when their plans affect Six Nations rights.

 In Canada, the federal, provincial and municipal governments have independent responsibility for different aspects of the duties of 'the Crown'. Thus, if an Indigenous community wants input to local planning and development, they must speak to the level of our government that controls local land uses: The municipality. Likewise, it is becoming clear now in law, the municipalities must speak to Indigenous Nations before planning development on traditional or treaty land.

 Speaking to (eg) Stephen Harper about a local planning issue isn't helpful because he has no power to do anything about it - no power to give orders to the municipality. It's a dead end, a brick wall, because it's a responsibility of the municipality, accountable to the courts, but not to the federal government.

 Witness, for example, the fact that Brantford made no attempt to consult with Six Nations until the court revealed its responsibility.

 It has been revealed now, and has implications for all local governments, and their duty to consult and to accommodate Aboriginal rights.

 

 It's important to remember that the courts ... the judiciary ... are also an independent part of government in Canada. The three branches of government include Executive (Cabinet and bureaucracy), Legislative (all legislatures) and Judicial (all courts).

A ruling by the courts is also a ruling of 'the nation', and it does respect a nation-to-nation relationship, because all other levels and branches of government answer to the courts - the Judicial branch of government.

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

saga wrote:
 It is the municipalities that make expansion plans

But it is not the minicipality that makes expansion plans, it merely approves them. It is the property owner, ie developer that makes up the expansion plan and makes a proposal to the municipality, the region and/or the conservation authority.

I guess it is the wording that I am getting stuck on.  When people talk of consultation in general I worry that it will turn into a general consultation of rules which is not what the meaning of consultation is.

  When you say

saga wrote:
A say in development and a share in revenues on traditional and treaty land......if an Indigenous community wants input to local planning and development

it strikes me as general consultation not specific consultation on each and every project. The message that I am getting, which I don't know if you mean to send me or not, is that they will be involved with the municiple governement in setting rules and regulations.

  When there was a letter written in 1830 they used the wording when asking a Haudenosaunee representitive to take their proposal and "desires you will assemble in council , the Indian Cheifs of the Six Nations residing on the Grand River, and you will submit to them the following proposals".  It then goes on to say what they want to do, why and how the Six Nations people will benefit.

I don't think that Haudenosaunee should have "input" into development.  I say that the government should take the proposal and submit it to the Haudenosaunee as it was originally done if they want to do any work or change anything within the territory, or it should be the private developer that deals with them seperately.  The Haudenosaunee can then come back with a yes, no, or maybe but we have a problem in these areas.

But again it is not the City of Brantford they are consulting with, it is the proposal of the developer they are deciding on.  If the government wants to make the City of Brantford the middleman in delivering it that is fine but the Haudenosaunee should be dealing directly with at least the developers proposal.

section 175 of the amicus report wrote:
In this case, the right to issue building and development permits delegated by the Ontario crown to Brantford.  To the extent that such building and development permits may affect asserted by Aboriginal peoples, the duty to consult is triggered when Brantford, as agents of the Crown, consider issuing the permit.
  

It is up to the Canadian government if they want to have the government give the proposal to the Haudenosaunee or if they want the developer to deal directly with them - again Canadian rules or Canadian laws are their business.  But the point is they need to be consulted in every case.

We have to make sure that our government realizes that consulting with Haudenosaunee means not that the city talks about abstracts and generalities about rules and regulations for permits but that each and every permit proposal from the developer is given to the Haudenosaunee government.  This is what I mean by the Haudenosaunee need to be dealing directly with the developers.  Not consulting with legislation that will in the future pass or fail projects that might come about and then consider that consultation.

saga saga's picture

I get it.

That's beyond my depth of knowledge and involvement in how the process should work. However, in practice in other jurisdictions in Canada I believe it is based directly on the developers' proposals.

I am only glad that the municipalities are now acknowledging the responsibility to submit their plans, committing to the process of consultation and accommodation, after three years of dodging, and apparently direct advice from the province.

 Haldimand County Council has now met with provincial officials as well, perhaps to find a way forward:

 

County, provincial officials meet behind closed doors
Posted By KAREN BEST, CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Posted 11 hours ago

Haldimand County council members were unable to comment on discussions with representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.

For about 30 minutes on March 2, council met behind closed doors with senior negotiator John Nolan and assistant deputy minister Doug Carr who oversees the negotiations and reconciliation division of the ministry.

Neither could provide any information on meeting discussions.

In general terms, Coun. Craig Grice commented on gist of the meeting.

"It relates to lines of communication finally opening up," he said.

In his opinion, some ideas made sense but others did not and some were non-starters.

"I would hope the powers that be at Six Nations would recognize that it's about what could be if we want to truly move forward," stated Grice.

He said a positive point of view was discussed and described it as stepping out of the problem to find an answer.

"It's got to start somewhere," Grice pointed out.

The closed meeting occurred nine hours after three Six Nations women asked developer John Voortman to stop construction of 46 townhouses in Hagersville. He agreed to contact provincial officials to ask them to negotatiate this land dispute with Six Nations.

More than a week ago a Six Nations, Brantford and Ontario draft memorandum was leaked out to the public after a closed Brantford council session.

Grice indicated that Haldimand's discussions were not in the same vein.

The Brantford Expositor identified the memorandum as a provincial document and an interim agreement. Within it were clauses about potential financial benefits to Six Nations, acknowledgement of multiple claims and rights assertions of Six Nations in Brantford and other parts of the province and encouragement for expeditious federal resolution of outstanding claims.

Other memorandum clauses set out discussions as confidential, a three-month abeyance of Brantford's injunction against the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and individuals and abeyance of Six Nations elected council's lawsuit against the city and province.

In turn, the province agreed to give the Haudenosaunee $100,000 to pay for talk costs and Haudenosaunee leaders were to use their best efforts to halt all development delays to give talks a chance to succeed.

Further talks about memorandum were scuttled after Confederacy chiefs heard about the leak.

Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton said the chiefs will look at another avenue to address related issues.

-with files from the Brantford Expositor
Article ID# 1465202

 

It has to start ... with the municipalities consulting with Six Nations.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Yes I agree it has to start with the municipalities consulting with Six Nations on each and every development proposal.  Outside of court ordered consultation have you heard of any voluntary consultation in Canada by the governement?  I have heard of a few companies themselves voluntarily consulting with FN groups but have not heard a whisper of voluntary consultation from the government.

Forgive me (and I am sure you will Wink ) if I am a little sceptical of the government and what their plans are for consultation.  I mean they have done such a good job with negotiations!

saga saga's picture

The government hasn't yet been ordered to consult by the court, but the Amicus report sent Brantford scrambling to do so. They now desperately want to pull their request for injunction out of court and go into 'consultation', but Six Nations is returning to court in the morning because they are not yet prepared to sign an agreement to consult, due to bad faith 'leak' by Brantford. (detailed above).

 I guess how well the municipality 'consults' will depend on how much they want to develop. I think Six Nations is in a fairly strong bargaining position, having shut down all the development despite the court and the City Council. Wink

 

saga saga's picture

Brantford v Six Nations people:

Continues in Brantford Superior Court Mon-Wed

Smitheman finished presenting the case for the City, but unfortunately (not) I missed it. However, from the Expositor report last week it wasn't clear what legal arguments he presented, though he seemed to rely on Common Law (property statute of limitations), hyperbole and direct insults, referred to by Aaron Dettlor as "defamation".

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1448034
http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1450189

TODAY:

I missed Aaron Detlor ... but I'll bet he demolished Smitheman. Laughing

I was in court today for the continuing presentation by Six Nations lawyers. Three issues were addressed while I was there:

1) When permits are granted under laws that do not respect constitutional Aboriginal rights:
- EG, the Mining Act, as addressed in Frontenac
http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/decisions/2008/july/2008ONCA0534.htm

==> Aboriginal Rights override the Mining Act
-> Aboriginal Rights must override the Planning Act too.

2) Process of considering permits does trigger the 'Duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal Rights.
- Based on the necessity (Sparrow, etc.) for reconciliation of Aboriginal Rights
- Now, it depends on whether the particular government (province, municipal) respects Aboriginal rights, or abdicates its responsibility.

3) WHO has the responsibility to consult and accommodate?
"The Crown"
-> Must be a government that represents the Crown
- Feds said "not us".
- Province said "not us".
- Brantford (Smitheman) reportedly said ... "Not us ... We're a Corporation."(not a government?)

 (Do you believe that slimy move?? That's why I say it doesn't look like the City has much of a case. Ok, so I'm not 'objective'. Wink)

=> Brantford is an elected municipal government, not just a Corporation.

=> A government MUST comply with the Constitution.

(Sorry, I missed the case reference for this ... )

Governments cannot evade constitutional responsibilities by devolving (delegating, designating) responsibility for development/'permits' to a different level of government nor to a non-government body.

==> Government retains the responsibility to consult with Six Nations and accommodate their constitutional rights because of the necessity to establish relationships that will allow reconciliation of aboriginal rights.
==> Consideration of building (or other) permits and plans triggers the duty to consult.

Tomorrow, the Amicus will present and be questioned on her FACTUM report:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/13041574/Factum

... to be continued ...

 

saga saga's picture

Well, the real issues continued to be presented in court today by Six Nations lawyers.

Their presentation refuted all of the points in case law presented by the City's lawyer, Smitheman. Judging from this (I did not hear Smitheman's presentation), it appears that Smitheman relied on Common law (Property Act, Planning Act, etc) for things like 'statute of limitations', 'interference with property rights', etc., along with labour 'blockades'.

Smitheman apparently did not use ANY relevant case law related to Constitutional rights, Aboriginal rights, etc. - ie, Sec. 35 'existing Aboriginal and treaty rights, Charter rights, the Crown's Duty to Consult, etc.

Needless to say, it was easy for SN lawyers to refute his position, though they spent some time clarifying for the judge as he didn't seem knowledgeable about these issues either (which makes me a bit nervous.)

All in all, a very informative day.

Tomorrow continues with the Amicus presenting a summary of his position.

Quite a few familiar faces from Six Nations there today, but no one supporting the City except their lawyers. ;D

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13041574/Factum

Reminder re Factum of the Amicus Remedies available:

"The remedies open to the Court to consider under these circumstances are:

a) An outright dismissal of the motion for the injunction;
b) A compensated injunction;
c) An order adding Six Nations Elected Council, Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council, the Crown in Right of Canada and the Crown in Right of Ontario as parties to this proceeding, and
i) an injunction with a mandated consultation process; and
ii) an adjournment of the motion for an injunction pending the completion of a mandated consultation process."

See link above for further details.

 And note ... Brantford already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the province for a consultation process with Six Nations band and confederacy councils.

 

 And Haldimand County is finally talking too ...

 Haldimand-Six Nations to talk development

Three Haldimand County councillors will act as delegates in development talks with representatives of Six Nations band council and Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs council. ...

On March 5, Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer, Grice, Boyko and Sloat met with representatives of both Six Nations councils. Boyko called it an investigative meeting to determine if there was any point in pursuing discusssions.

"All parties agreed there was," added Boyko, pointing out that Six Nations participants were not speaking for their respective councils. Those bodies were expected to officially consider engaging in talks.

...

saga saga's picture

[url=http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1471999]
Lawyers bid to stop injunction[/url]
NATIVE AFFAIRS
Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, EXPOSITOR STAFF
Posted 14 hours ago

Lawyers arging for the dismissal of the city's injunction against native protesters say litigation isn't the way to solve differences.

livewire

Update from court today:

The Amicus report was prestented. At the end the judge asked for his specific recommendations. As best I could get them they were:

A Limited Injunction with respect to listed properies, (no blocking exits or entrances but that was all injunction would cover

B Ontario be introduced as a party

C Order mandating Consultation between HDI / Brantford and Ontario

D Add a term for parties to return to court if there are flare ups on the sites.

After various recesses Haudenoshaunee response

Not sure about A, yes to the rest as they have been saying consultation all along if

A All development permits for large construction projects are no longer issued until consultation happens

B Funding for consultation is from Ontario

C Brantford agrees to either a stay on the bylaws or to not enforce them

Smitheman for Brantford basically did not agree as he said development must continue, the injunction must go in as it stands and to include 4 more sites, the consultation will only be those 10 sites (no future sites discussed during consultation), that Brantford concedes to Consultation with no prejudice (ie admitting they need to) but the consultattion is with prejudice (ie if they fail the Haudenoshaunee admit that there was proper consultation).

6N lawyer rebutted saying strongly object to leaving by-laws in, don't think there should be with prejudice during consultation and they must freeze development

Court resumes tomorrow with Smitheman rebutting the 6N case presented this week.

saga saga's picture
saga saga's picture

This is this afternoon's update.

Continued good work by Susan Gamble.

Judge plans to order talks
Posted By Susan Gamble, Expositor Staff
Posted 1 hour ago

A representative of the province might want to appear in court today, warned Justice Harrison Arrell.

“There may be something occurring that will interest them,” said the judge, who will eventually rule on Brantford’s push for an injunction against native protesters.

In an effort to get development in the city back on track after numerous protests last spring, the city applied for and received a temporary injunction.

It also passed bylaws against protesting at a handful of construction sites and filed a $110-million court action against certain protesters and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute.

Arrell told almost a dozen lawyers involved in the complex case that he plans to order Brantford to consult with the natives about development sites around the city.

And, said Arrell, he will order Ontario to get involved as well.

But the defence team was unhappy with the judge’s apparent direction, urging Arrell to include in his decision three secondary orders affecting the consultation time.

“The HDI has always been ready to consult,” said Lou Strezos, who represents the institute. “We request
- that the city issue no new development permits,
- that there be costs assessed and
- that Brantford either stay or agree not to enforce the bylaws during this process.”

But here the court reached an impasse.

The judge asked Strezos whether HDI, as a representative of Six Nations, would be able to guarantee that there would be no protests if a ruling included staying or ignoring the bylaws for a few months.

“We can’t say they have control over every individual but good faith negotiations will go a long way to ending protests,” Strezos said.

The city also argued against the defence team’s three-part request noting, in particular, that building permits are issued by a provincially designated official and the Building Code Act says a permit shall be issued unless there is one of six exceptions.

Today, Arrell will hear final arguments about the injunction and then, after a break, the case will move into considerations of the city’s bylaws.

“There’s a simple answer to all this,” said Strezos (HDI) after the judge had left the bench.

“Brantford city council needs to spend less time in chambers and more time outside, talking to its neighbours.”

---------

Building Code Act

(2) The chief building official shall issue a permit referred to in subsection (1) unless,

(a) the proposed building, construction or demolition will contravene this Act, the building code or any other applicable law;

I'm quite certain that Sec 35 of the Constitution is "applicable law" to stop the building permits.

Weak argument from the City, but the bureaucrats need the clarification from the court.

livewire

Thanks Saga.

Update from Court today:

Judge ordered Ontario to be a party. Court will resume next Tuesday at 11:30 when Smitheman will finish. Court is also set for Wednesday of next week.

saga saga's picture


[url=Province">http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1478239][b]Province ordered to join court action
[/url]
INJUNCTION HEARING
Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, EXPOSITOR STAFF
Posted 6 hours ago
    
Justice Harrison Arrell ordered the province to join the court action that's part of Brantford's ongoing push for an injunction against native protesters.

Lawyers for all others involved in the motion consented to the judge's order Friday.

When lawyers for Ontario show up March 17, the judge plans to hear from everyone about how the province's involvement will play out.

"Provincial participation will be determined after hearing submissions from all parties," Arrell said.

He has already warned the city and Six Nations that his inclination is to order a court mandated consultation process that will force the parties to negotiate a settlement with one another.

The city has been pushing for a long-term injunction against native protesters at development sites in Brantford, and have filed a $110-million court action against some of the protesters and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute.

Brant MPP Dave Levac said the province will be fine with the judge's order.

"We're ready to enter into negotiations at the level the judge is talking about," Levac said Friday. "We're already talking about a memorandum of understanding so I don't see why we wouldn't be a willing participant."

Earlier this week, Levac opposed a private member's bill from MPP Toby Barrett, pushing for an inquiry into protests in Caledonia.

Levac called the bill ill-advised and said it's premature to insinuate an injunction is an appropriate way to deal with protesters at this time.

On Thursday, the judge and the lawyers involved pondered how a mandated consultation could proceed. They made suggestions about how long it might go on, how often they'll return to the court for guidance, who will pay if a negotiator is needed and what kind of provision will be included for emergency flare-ups.

Arrell said he's likely going to have consultations include some future development and is unlikely to freeze development until a decision is reached on the injunction.

"For you to tell me 'no permits' until I reach my decision is not feasible," Arrell told Lou Strezos, the lawyer for the Haudenosaunee Development Institute. "What I'm trying to do now is simply strike a balance.

"You talk, Mr. Strezos, about a lot of good faith. I'm going to order (your clients) to consult and I'm going to order you people to try and settle this and if you don't settle it, you come back to court."

The hearing continues Tuesday at 11:30 a. m. in Superior Court.

saga saga's picture

Judge favours forcing two-month dialogue

INUNCTION HEARING: Provincial representative shows up at action over Six Nations protests
Posted By SUSAN GAMBLE, EXPOSITOR STAFF
Updated 2 hours ago

A representative of the province finally showed up Tuesday at the hearing into the city's push for an injunction against native protesters.

Last week, Justice Harrison Arrell ordered the province to join the court action initiated by Brantford.

He said his inclination is to force Brantford, Ontario and Six Nations into a two-month consultation process to try to work out the problem of protests at development sites around the city.

But lawyer David Feliciant, representing the Ministry of the Attorney General, came to court only to press for more time, suggesting he be granted two weeks to get clarification from those he represents and work out a submission to the judge.

A number of the lawyers for native defendants objected to that idea, suggesting the province has received copies -- and plenty of warning -- about what was happening.

Judge Arrell was disinclined to slow the process, noting that, after this week, future hearing dates are set for May and he wants a consultation report back from the group by that point.

"I'm prepared to give you some time," allowed the judge. "I'll expect you back on Friday morning."

Earlier in the day, Neal Smitheman, lawyer for the city, was rebutting points made by the contingent of lawyers representing the natives.

He suggested that the early treaties of the 1800s somehow were parlayed into an emotional stewardship or cultural connection with all the land, but that there was little evidence of legal rights that could be claimed today.

"Any right that could affect development has been surrendered or it's out of time," said Smitheman, noting that, while natives complained about land being taken over by non-natives, no official land claim was filed in many cases.

"Even if it wasn't surrendered, it's too late to make the claim and there is strong evidence of a valid surrender.

Continued After Advertisement Below

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"Doing nothing with knowledge of the situation equals acquiescence."

Smitheman went over documents that had been signed by various Six Nations chiefs during the 1800s, noting that the chiefs had clearly expressed their intention to surrender the land through the documents.

If the natives weren't properly paid for that land, Smitheman suggested they needed to take the government to court for a settlement.

The city lawyer also said Brantford has been held hostage in the situation as he began to outline his case for the intimidation and extortion charges the city has made.

He also began to explain why the city feels entitled to $110 million in damages because of public nuisance.

"We have evidence of another quasi-public body (the Haudenosaunee Development Institute) acting without any authority except for the Haudenosaunee attempting to act as a municipality imposing fees and requirements that could uniquely harm the city of Brantford.

"Brantford is suffering because of the actions of the HDI."

Smitheman said the city's reputation has been harmed and the blockades have made builders fearful.

The lawyer said the blockades have also changed the way police have operated in the city.

He recalled Police Insp. Scott Easto had said earlier in the case that the police have relied on directions from the Ipperwash Inquiry in order to try to maintain a neutral role.

"No trespassing charges have been laid to my knowledge and that in itself speaks volumes," Smitheman told the judge. "Easto said police are attempting to remain neutral even in the face of criminal activity."

The injunction hearing continues this week in Superior Court and will then take a hiatus until May 19.

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1483024   

madmax

I still believe that it will put the Governments and Six Nations in a room, with lots of catered buffetts and little progress. In the meantime, I see properties that will be fully developed during this period that are contested. 

What is supposed to happen when open greenspace gets developed along the Grand River?

The Judge is trying to take matters into his own hands, but the task is far more difficult then a single ruling.

The fact is, the Judge can't grant an injunction, that jig is up. So he wants to order negotiations.

However, if the judge can't grant an injunction, isn't it the protests, law suits from pissed off companies and overall public pressure that forces the government to get at the table???

Charter Rights

I do believe the jude is following the Frontenac test which requires the Crown to fully negotiate before any injunction can be issued. Failing that the Court will have to deny the injunction - there is no question in that. However, by requiring consultation it narrows the door opening for an appeal on the grounds that he did not attempt to find a remedy, before dismissing the appeal. If SN continues in attempting  to stop development, it may tip the balance of harm in favour of Brantford which would be grounds for a limited injunction.

I think the judge knows he is in between a rock and a hard place, but that it would not be realistic for him to allow the complete arrest of development. It has greater implications than the injunction.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Tekawennake wrote:

The Brantford Injunction Case returned to court earlier than expected due to what Hazel Hill, named respondent on the injunction, said was improper negotiation participation from the province.

The court case had been put on hold for approximately 90 days while court ordered talks were taking place between Six Nations, the Province of Ontario and the City of Brantford.

During the 90 day period any of the three parties could request to be back before the judge if they felt another party was not displaying meaningful negotiations.  The Haudenosaunee Development Institute and named Six Nations respondents did just that.  They evoked a 48 hour clause set in the order by Justice Harrison Arrell that brought all parties back to the courtroom on May 13, 2009.

Hazel Hill, named respondent and the HDI's interim director, said that the Province of Ontario was not fulfilling the role they had been ordered to play.

"We went back to court because we weren't getting any participation from Ontario with respect to what we understood that the order was and what they were  trying to do," said Hill. "They were to be participants, they are trying to act as facilitator when they have been ordered to be a part of the talks so there can be full consultation and accomodation and a fair and equitable one at that."

Hill also said that there were issues around the funding for the Haudenosaunee to participate in the court ordered talk, a fiduciary responsibility that fell on the province.

........................

The new order by Justice Arrell orders the province to participate in the talks as a party, not a mediator or facilitator.

"We had a really good day in court because basically the court ordered Ontario to sit down with Brantford and the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and the Haudenosaunee people and begin this process," said Hill. "It (the new order) stopped Ontario from unilaterally making decisions because that's what they were trying to do from that order (the original), they were trying to take over and say this is what we are going to do, this is what we can do, trying to tell us how many people we could have on our team, how many legal advisors we could have, just really pulling the great white father attitude.  The judge put a stop to that."

Hill said that the city of Brantford asked the court that their costs be covered as well, the City's request was denied.

The talks will resume under third party mediation and with full participation from the province.  The talks include members of the HDI, legal representation and Six nations community members.

For the full article please buy the May 20, 2009 issue of the Tekawennake.

 

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Turtle Island News wrote:

Ontario and Six Nations Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) faced off in Brantford Superior Court last Wednesday (May 13), when HDI lawyers sought court relief to order the province into mediation.

"I've been requesting mediation funding for weeks," HDI lawyer Len Strezos told the court.

Strezos told the court that after weeks of trying to get the province to agree to have a mediator settle the funding issue, he got an email at 5:06 the night before advising him Ontario finally agreed.

............................

HDI interim director Hazel Hill said she's encouraged by the small victory last Wednesday.

She said she was also pleased Justice H.S. Arrell changed offensive wording in an earlier court order after the court's advisor said by-laws against the HDI are racially tainted.

"It is an absolute win for us.  I'm encouraged by it," said Hill.

Justice HS Arrell had ordered Ontario to "inititate, arrange, and commence, consultation, negotiation, accommodation and reconciliation" process among Six Nations, Brantford and the province.

But those talks have yet to begin.

HDI legal adviser Aaron Detlor said it was a "reasonable request" to ask the province to mediate the costs and "they took an unreasonable position in forcing us to come to court to get an order."

"We suggested that the issue of what was reasonable could easily be mediated.  They didn't want it to be mediated.  They wanted to have the final say," he said.

Detlor said Justice Colin Campbell will mediate the discussion.

.................

Deltor said the decision about mediation was significant because in the land rights negotiations Ontario want to unilaterally decide the expenses.  "This is the first time this has happened...that they've been forced into a position where they can't act uiliaterally," he said.

Deltor's lawyer, Jessica Orkin, was pleased with the outcome.  "We arrived at a solution that accomadated our needs," she said.

Arrell ordered the parties to return July 14, 15, 16.

"We've got a date that still keeps the feet to the fire of Ontario and Brantford," said Orkin.

The court plans to hear the HDI's application against the anti-HDI city by-laws.

For the full article please buy the May 20 2009 Turtle Island News.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Brantford Expositor wrote:
City hall continues talks with Six Nations

There's a sense of relief at city hall and Six Nations as continuing talks over the land claims dispute keeps proceedings for a permanent injunction from returning to court.

Lawyers for the city, the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy and activists named in a temporary injunction were tentatively scheduled to return to Superior Court today regarding a permanent injunction and other legal matters, but the date has been put off while negotiations mandated by Justice Harrison Arrell continue.

"We very much want a settlement," Mayor Mike Hancock said Monday.

But he added that he cannot comment on details of the legal or mediated proceedings.

The city's bid to gain a full injunction against protests by native activists aimed at stalling development projects has been out of court since March 20, when Arrell ordered the city, the province and a native group to work out their differences.

"The court is prepared to make a decision," Arrell said at the time, "but without a doubt a negotiated resolution is better for the process as a whole."

Arrell's order required natives to stop blocking workers and equipment from construction sites for the period of the talks, and the city not to enforce anti-protesting bylaws.

Since then, attempts to negotiate have been strained by some of the legal proceedings the city is seeking, and a lawsuit launched by Six Nations, but all sides continue to signal at least their willingness to talk.

Meanwhile, a truce has prevailed at construction sites, where Haudenosaunee activists have refrained from protest activities for the past five months since a group succeeded in halting work temporarily at an Empire Communities development in the Shellard Lane subdivisions.

For the full article go here.  But a warning that the comment from Miller to me are laughable.  It shows that she has no true understanding of what is going on in the community or what has gone on.

The fact that she talks about people being elected or appointed by the people of Six Nations (my guess alluding to the fact that it is not the "elected" band council that is making the decisions since in the next paragraph she praises the band council) shows her little understanding of both the culture of the Haudensaunee and her own understanding of what the colonial mindset has done not only to the Haudensaunee but also to her.

Helen Miller wrote:

"We've all noticed of late the absence of protests on development sites," elected Coun. Helen Miller said in a statement published on today's Comment page.

"I believe the protests have stopped for two reasons: the people don't want to be arrested and they know they don't have the support of the Six Nations community any more.

"Truth is, today the majority of Six Nations people whom I've spoken with are fed up with the protests, fed up with these groups of people and individuals claiming to speak for them and fed up with the smoke shops on Highway 6."

Miller also was critical of groups and individuals who purport to speak for Six Nations while they carry out their activities.

"As for who represents Six Nations," she said, "let me put it this way: the Mohawk Workers, Women of the Mohawk Nation, the Men's Fire, or individuals, like Steve "Boots" Powless or Floyd and Ruby Montour, were not elected, appointed or authorized by the people of Six Nations to be their representatives or to speak on their behalf."

Miller lauded the elected council's simultaneous moves to return to negotiation with a document detailing its understanding of consultation and accommodation, and to reinstate the 1995 court case for an accounting of the Six Nations trust fund and lands.

"After three years of little to no progress at the lands table and confusion and frustration from development," she said, "there is no legitimate reason why Six Nations cannot litigate and negotiate at the same time."

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Turtle Island News wrote:
 

Letters: Not gonna take it anymore reader says...

Ed Note:An open letter to councillor Helen Miller

Dear Helen: In response to what you put in the Expoisitor about Floyd and I this time I feel the need to set you straight on a few facts. You see in print an article by someone who doesn't live on Six Nations, and as a result you are critical of your people again. Do you not know yet who the band council is? You seem to be insecure about who the big authoritarian is. What part don't you get. You keep up the rhetoric about who is in charge, don't you think that after all the times you have printed how you feel, that we haven't got it yet? Just because we don't reply to your nasty letters doesn't mean we all agree with you. My husband Floyd and I go out because we feel and see the need to do all we can to ensure our future generations will have a land base for them. That includes your future family. You critiize everyone who is trying to make a change. I say good for all who put themselves on the line to protect what little land is left for them and yours. Maybe if you spent more time stopping developments on our land and less time tearing and shredding those who are doing what you were hired to do, we could be able to sit in our homes and relax . But until you get the over all picture of why we do what we do erase our names from your nasty memory and do somethig so we won't have to. I'm still waiting and hoping that one day you'll print something uplifting and encouraging if you even know how..........

For the rest of the article buy the Turtle Island News or subscribe online here

 

I wish Ruby was on line, I think she would make an excellent addition to this forum.Wink

Refuge Refuge's picture

Wrong thread.  That has to do with Akwesasne, not Six Nations and the Brantford case.  Please post that article here.

NDPP

moved to Akwesasne thread

Refuge Refuge's picture

Quote:

Judge orders natives to halt blockades at Brantford construction sites

BRANTFORD – A judge has ordered natives to halt protests at development projects they claim are being built on unsurrendered land.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell has upheld a Brantford bylaw prohibiting such activities at designated construction sites and ordered protesters and their supporters to “cease and desist from stopping work in any manner whatsoever.”

The judge has also upheld a city bylaw to halt the Haudenosaunee Development Institute, a land planning group supported by the traditional Confederacy government, from collecting fees for permitting developments to proceed on the sites and has ordered the HDI to halt such activity.

Court heard the HDI asked the developer of a Brantford hotel for a $3,000 fee and that another company had been asked to pay $7,000. These requests included the levying of an annual development fee.

Arrell’s much-anticipated 27-page judgment comes after the issues first came to the courts in 2008 following regular blockades and the passing of the two bylaws by Brantford council.

Members of Six Nations first occupied a Caledonia housing project in 2006, claiming it was being built on unsurrendered land, and the protests spread to Brantford in 2007 and 2008. The Caledonia situation remains unresolved, but the Douglas Creek Estates housing project never proceeded and the province bought the land from the developers. Ottawa says Six Nations has no claim to the site and surrendered the land in 1844.

rest of the article here

boo.  I don't think six nations will run home, though.