UPDATE July 27/10: On July 14/10 the Six Nations newspaper Tekawennake published the first of two ‘clarifications’ and an op-ed series which make it clear the paper had NO evidence that Mark Vandermaas (VoC), Gary McHale, Merlyn Kinrade and Doug Fleming were associated with white supremacist groups:
- Tekawennake News op-ed series, July 14-21/10: Healing Two Communities [PDF, 7p] (complete series)
Last week, a number of notices under the Libel and Slander Act were served on various individuals and media outlets in connection with the June 23/09 CUPE 3903 protest in Cayuga against Doug Fleming’s Caledonia Militia/Peacekeepers concept.
CUPE 3903’s smear campaign
Members of CUPE 3903’s First Nations Solidarity Working Group – which has been involved in Caledonia for 3 years and openly supports the Haudenosaunee Men’s Fire – and their supporters did their best to paint Gary McHale, Doug Fleming and me as white supremacists for speaking out and/or acting on behalf of Caledonia’s victims.
Media outlets take the bait
Several media outlets published some of the sleazy allegations and/or the statements on signs carried by the protesters without even attempting to verify if the statements were true or not. One media outlet also attacked Merlyn Kinrade’s character. Two other outlets named had previously published disgusting editorial content making fun of Gary McHale’s injuries after he was viciously swarmed and attacked by supporters of an illegal smokeshack in Caledonia on Dec 01/07. Another has already settled a previous action for libel brought by Gary McHale.
The letters served are required in order to give the alleged defamers a chance to apologize and correct their statements before a lawsuit is commenced. A refusal to do so may add to the damages.
The letters will not be published until after the defendants have had a chance to respond, and the statement of claims have been served.
CANACE position on racism and supremacist ideology
Unfortunately, making false accusations of belonging to and/or being supported by ‘white supremacist’ organizations are a common tactic used by those who are desperate to stop CANACE’s effective campaign to turn public opinion against those who use violence or crime against innocents during land claim disputes. This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last.
For the record, all founders of CANACE have renounced racism and supremacist ideology via a page on the CANACE website (www.canace.ca) entitled, ‘We Believe…’ which was created on Aug 31/07 and has never been altered since. Much of the content was taken verbatim from a copy of ‘Ontario’s Policy on Race Relations’ signed by former premier David Peterson which hangs still on the wall of the Cayuga courthouse. A staff member was kind enough to photocopy it for us on Aug 27/07 – which I still have today:
- CANACE Statement of Principles: ‘We Believe…’
Any person, group or media outlet that attempts to link CANACE founders to white supremacist organizations should fully expect to face legal action.
On a personal note, new readers who want additional info about my personal beliefs and motivations should visit this page. It has links to my speeches and writings, including a separate section entitled, ‘Is the struggle against Two Tier Justice about racism towards native people?’:
- VoC feature: Our Struggle
The Libel and Slander Act gives Plaintiffs 6 weeks to file notices FROM THE DATE THEY FIRST BECAME AWARE OF THE ALLEGED DEFAMATION. This means that if you have reprinted defamatory allegations from someone else, including a media outlet, you are open to legal action for 6 weeks once we discover your website/publication – NOT from the date of publication.
I suggest, therefore, that you remove any such material from your website ASAP.
- VoC, June 23/09: CUPE 3903 protests in support of organized crime
- VoC, June 24/09: CUPE and criminals work together against Haldimand victims
- Brantford Expositor, letter to editor, Helen Miller, July 14/09: Only elected council can speak for Six Nations PDF
- Brantford Expositor, July 14/09: City hall continues talks with Six Nations PDF
- VoC, June 09/09: Let healing begin with Six Nations apology
- VoC, June 08/09: Proof positive native extremists have lost PR battle
- CANACE reference feature: Race-Based Policing