Archive for June 18, 2007

Aboriginal land claims should be resolved as quickly as possible, but not in isolation from the big-picture issues that plague Canada’s First Nations, says former prime minister Paul Martin. (Edit: The same Paul Martin who failed miserably as PM and was thrown out on his keester by Canada)

The Conservatives have tried to ease growing aboriginal frustration by promising a new effort to clear a backlog of more than 800 claims that includes an independent tribunal and $250 million over 10 years, compared to the $1.9 million committed by the previous government.

The 68-year-old Martin said he plans to “commit a good portion of the rest of his life” to aboriginal rights and lend his support to the First Nations plight at a public forum in Toronto two days before the national day of action June 29.

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It’s not entirely hard to understand that, for the people of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, the sight of an Ontario Provincial Police cruiser brings about some unease.

The OPP, in the eyes of many on the reserve, is the symbol of hostility and distrust among Ontario native people since the debacle at Ipperwash in 1995 when aboriginal protester Dudley George was killed. The results of an expensive inquiry were recently released placing blame in several directions and George has become a sort of figurehead in the aboriginal community, the symbol of how far activists may have to go.

(EDIT: Activists?? Symbol?? Try Martyr and Terrorists)

The recent incident along Highway 49, however, are the things of which nightmares are made…

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Policing on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory may change next year when a contract expires with the Ontario Provincial Police to administer the reserve’s police force.

A grassroots community working group has been gauging public opinion since last year as well as examining alternatives to the current arrangement, which sees the OPP handle administrative tasks for the local Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory Police, said Brant Bardy, spokesman for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Tyendinaga has an eight-member force, although its chief is currently suspended for allegedly making comments about what he deemed to be “racism” in the OPP.

Edit: Is anyone else laughing right now at the astounding irony in this?

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Lorraine Bergstrand is not the type of politician who will hold her tongue if she thinks something is wrong.

“I’m probably going to get myself into trouble during this election,” Bergstrand said from her Dunnville home yesterday. “I’ve lived my life that way and I’m not going to change.”

She hopes it’s her willingness to be open and her tell-it-like-it-is style that will win over local voters as she runs for the provincial Liberals in the new riding of Haldimand-Norfolk leading up to this fall’s election.

“I think people will see a difference in style,” she said, comparing herself to current MPP Toby Barrett.

She said she is a supporter of Premier Dalton McGuinty.

EDIT: Maybe she should click HERE, then HERE, and then HERE to learn a bit about him before backing a man who supports Terrorism.

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Two young offenders from Six Nations caught throwing debris off the train bridge over Highway 54 in Caledonia, have been processed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

“They thought it was pretty funny that they did it,” said one local woman whose brand new truck was scratched and dented as a result. Her husband chased the teens down himself while police did nothing.

Since the native land occupation began in Douglas Creek Estates last February there have been numerous reports of materials being chucked onto 54 from above. police say its unlikely the costs of repairs totaling $1287 will be recovered.

(EDIT: Sounds like some trying to get an early start to June 29th to me)

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HALDIMAND COUNTY, Ont. — A Caledonia woman narrowly escaped injury after her windshield was shattered by a rock thrown from a highway overpass.

Two vehicles travelling north on the Highway 6 bypass early Saturday morning were approaching the Stirling Road bridge when a volleyball sized object came crashing down on them.

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VANCOUVER — The B.C. Supreme Court has wiped out one of the most contentious aspects of the federal Indian Act, striking down part of Ottawa’s definition of a status Indian and opening the door to hundreds of thousands of new applications for native services. The ruling alters the federal law that has long created two classes of aboriginals in Canada: the 767,000 who fit the definition of status Indian and the several hundred thousand more who don’t.

Aboriginals with status qualify for prescription drug coverage and can apply for postsecondary assistance. Status Indians are also exempt from paying taxes on income earned on reserves.

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Turtle Island News reporters have been told they cannot enter the Six Nations Reclamation site. The announcement came from two men at the site. One man refused to allow reporter Donna Duric to take a photo of the site’s support of Dudley George. He said site supporters didn’t like recent coverage of incidents at the site.

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Six Nations Reclamation site supporters prevented police from arresting the brother of a site spokeswoman last Friday morning when the man was caught speeding and driving without a license along Fourth Line.

The vehicle was occupied by a driver and four passengers. The driver refused to produced a driver’s license, ownership or proof of insurance. All five occupants began shouting at Six Nations Police that they “had no jurisdiction” to arrest anyone and that the police “did not know the Great Law.”

The occupants used cell phones and radios to call 13 more people to the scene who police said continued to interfere with Six Nations Police attempt to arrest the driver.

Police recognized the driver as Terrence Alan Jamieson, 39, who had a previous conviction for impaired driving causing death, in which a local woman was killed. Jamieson is a prohibited driver as a result of the conviction.

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CALEDONIA – A 13-year-old Caledonia youth is facing charges of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and careless use of a firearm after shots from an air gun were fired at the Six Nations Reclamation site on the outskirts of Caledonia Sunday.

The shots sparked a night of fires being set at the Reclamation site Monday, arguments with Caledonia people and threats from site supporters to shut down Sixth Line Road.

Sources told Turtle Island News fires were set behind a home on Argyle Street and along the side near Argyle Street with angry site youth arguing with OPP whom they accused of not charging those involved. 

Several Six Nations people showed up at the site and a verbal altercation with Caledonia residents ensued for several hours.

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Six Nations community members issued a resounding no to a Brantford developer’s plan to build a $500 million project on lands under claim in Brantford. King and Benton wants to build a 4.7 million sq. ft. industrial park and retail power centre at the corner of Oak Park Rd. and Hwy. 403, the site of a former industrial gravel pit.

“No more development,” said Six Nations resident Kelly Powless. “What are we supposed to be, happy?” said Six Nations resident Robert Douglas. He said if the developer didn’t heed Six Nations’ concerns, “we can deal with this the same way we dealt with it in Caledonia.”

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