NIPISSING FIRST NATION, ON – (CCNMatthews – April 21, 2006) Grand Council Chief John Beaucage is urging Anishinabek Nation citizens to stay away from the confrontation near Six Nations of the Grand River.
“The safety and well-being of our community members are first and foremost in our minds. We need to see cooler heads prevail to prevent any further conflict, violence or injury. We must all learn from the lessons taught to us by Dudley George.
“We cannot negotiate across barricades. The best course of action is peace and negotiation between our First Nations governments and the Crown.”
At the same time Beaucage said the federal and provincial governments need to act to reduce tensions at the housing development site near Caledonia, where Six Nations residents launched a protest Feb. 28. Protesters say the proposed subdivision sits on the Haldimand Tract – six-mile-long strips on either side of the Grand River granted to the Mohawks in 1784 by the British Crown in recognition of their military alliance in the American Revolutionary War.
“I implore the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to intervene by placing an immediate moratorium on further development of this construction site and look into the claim brought forward by these grass-roots people,” Beaucage said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Clan Mothers and Haudenausonee leadership during the course of this action. We understand your concern and desire to see resolution to this long-standing land dispute.
“The Crown has a duty to reassure our people that this issue will be dealt with. Further barricades will be erected across the country unless these land claims are settled fairly and expeditiously.”
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.