The Hamilton Spectator
(Oct 23, 2007)
The Six Nations elected band council is seeking an injunction against two smoke shops that have recently set up on band land without permission.
Elected Chief Dave General says the parcels of land off Highway 6 at 5th Line belong to the Six Nations community but are being used for personal profit by the smoke shop owners whom he describes as “lawless.”
“This is business activity occurring on community-owned land without any benefit to the Six Nations community,” said General.
The plots of farmland along Highway 6 were bought by the Six Nations band council in the early 1990s. The council has applied to have the lands added to the Six Nations reserve. But while the process drags on, the lands remain under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Provincial Police and Haldimand County.
General said the community-owned lands are a small fraction of the wider reserve and that most of them are leased for agriculture. Money collected by the band council is then redistributed through programs and services in the community, he said.
Their presence has raised concerns among Caledonia residents as well.
Doug Fleming recently started selling cigarettes out of the back of his pickup truck to protest what he describes as police inaction around the shops. He fears that others will see the brisk business the two shops are doing and decide to set up along the high-traffic route as well.
OPP spokesperson Dave Rektor said police are still investigating Fleming’s “antics.” He added he is not aware of the injunction and would not speculate on what the OPP would do if it is granted.
Jeff Henhawk, who also goes by the name Jeff Hawk, set up his shop on the Highway 6 land last spring and says he does not recognize the authority of the band council which he sees as an agent of the federal government.
He said he would not be swayed by an injunction.
“It would be no different to me than the Henning brothers’ injunction,” said Henhawk, who was involved in the early occupation of the former Douglas Creek development.