Category Archives: Six Nations

Mark Vandermaas interviewed by CBC re Tom Keefer march in Caledonia

Caledonia Victims ProjectNot long ago I finished a short, but great radio interview w/CBC radio (French) out of Toronto who wanted my perspective on today’s march through Caledonia as the founder of the Caledonia Victims Project.
 
They were given material by the organizers of today’s takeover of the streets of Caledonia by Tom Keefer and his anti-capitalist allies that left the impression today’s march was about ‘commemmorating’ the occupation, but I talked about the flyer delivered to Haldimand homes in which they make it clear that the purpose was not about commemoration, but because Gary McHale & company (of which I am proud to be one) decided to walk down a county road through DCE, and how they are using the circumstances of a mentally disturbed person who tried to commit suicide by driving his car into the house on DCE.
 
I told him that it doesn’t matter whether they’re commemorating the beginning of a reign of terror against innocent people or reacting to non-native people who dared to walk down a county road, their goal is to legitimize the use of violence against innocent people as a political tool, by denying the humanity of their victims by pretending they don’t exist, by blaming the victims for the violence against them, and by attacking those who speak out for them. I said this was the essence of a supremacist ideology and, as the son of parents who lived under Nazi occupation, I found it disgusting and despicable.
 
I made clear that the victims also include native people; I mentioned the two rapes of native women on DCE, and that as a former soldier/peacekeeper I have a duty to speak for them too.
 
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Caledonia milestone: Occupiers & OPP respect non-native right to place Truth & Reconciliation monument at entrance to DCE

Gary McHale, DCE occupation site, June 19/11

“I believe the greatest reason the OPP both acknowledged our Charter Rights and then protected them this past Sunday was because we have maintained a clear message of Equality under the Law for all people, that the Rule of Law demands all people obey the Law and that we have remained peaceful even in difficult situations.” – Gary McHale

Something changed in Caledonia yesterday. In a way never before seen in the history of the Caledonia crisis both the OPP and the occupiers of the Douglas Creek Estates displayed great respect for the rights of non-natives at yesterday’s CANACE/Caledonia Victims Project Truth & Reconciliation Rally yesterday, and that respect resulted in us being able to place our symbolic Apology/Reconciliation monument on the paved entrance to DCE while we made some short speeches and answered questions from the media.

The contrast between the conduct of the OPP and the occupiers yesterday compared to our Feb 27th and March 27th attempts to place our monument couldn’t have been more stark. During those attempts the OPP stood by as occupiers bumped, assaulted, and screamed insults at us from inches away, and falsely accused us of assault. During the March rally officers watched as our monument was stolen from us by occupiers, destroyed and then burnt with our Canadian flag. Yesterday’s event, however, was nothing short of remarkable.

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‘Violence Against Aboriginal Women’ author agrees w/Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller re futility of blaming colonization & residential schools

Counterpoise.caSince initially publishing Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller: ‘Stop blaming colonization & residential schools‘ VoiceofCanada has been made aware of an excellent article about violence against native women by a woman – whom I have met personally – with a 30-year connection to aboriginal communities and, as she says, “great respect for the indigenous way of life.”

She wrote to tell me  how pleased she was to have read Helen Miller’s observations about the futility of constantly blaming colonization and residential schools since she had written nearly identical words in her own article – before having read Miller’s letter.

Violence Against Aboriginal Women

CounterPoise.ca, May 27, 2011

On March 25, 2011, the Canadian House of Commons all-party Standing Committee on the Status of Women tabled Interim Report: Call Into the Night: An Overview of Violence Against Aboriginal Women (the final report should be ready by the fall of 2011).  Hedy Fry (Liberal, B.C.) is the chair of this committee, and Irene Mathyssen (NDP, Ontario) and Tilly O’Neill-Gordon (Conservative, New Brunswick) are the vice-chairs.  The committee traversed the country between April 2010 and February 2011, meeting with reserve, rural and urban stakeholders.  More than 150 witnesses provided testimony.  In her press release regarding the interim report, Fry said the problem was getting worse.

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Gary McHale to Six Nations: Beware what you teach your children

SEE ALSO: Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller: ‘Stop blaming colonization and residential schools’

About Gary McHale - click image.Beware What You Teach Your Children

by Gary McHale   [PDF]
Regional News (Caledonia), June 08, 2011  

For five years the youth on Six Nations have watched their leadership, their parents and so-called community protectors illegally occupy sub-divisions throughout Haldimand and Brant County. They have listened to the wisdom of their chiefs who have repeatedly supported criminal behaviour as the means to resolving issues. Now that these youth have learned their lessons well, they have decided to follow in the same footsteps and resolve their issues using illegal behaviour by occupying the old Police Station on Six Nations. 

So far this illegal occupation has resulted in zero police officers being hospitalized, no Six Nations residents have been attacked, no tire fires, no burning of people’s private properties, no roads have been dug up, no disruption of any public services and yet, suddenly, several people on Six Nations believe it is wrong, disrespectful, counter-productive and unhelpful for such tactics to be used. 

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Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller: ‘Stop blaming colonization & residential schools’

SEE ALSO: Gary McHale to Six Nations: Beware what you teach your children

dove“It’s no wonder so many of our youth seem lost, without direction and guidance, and are choosing the wrong road. Look at the examples they have to follow.” Six Nations Councillor Helen Miller, May 25/11

UPDATED June 11/11 — In the wake of the lawless takeover of the former Six Nations police station by youths Councillor Helen Miller has written a letter to the Turtle Island News in which she itemizes a brutally honest shopping list of reserve dysfunctionality and provides a shockingly fresh solution:

  • repeated vandalism of the Veterans’ hall.
  • Men’s Fire telling people provincial laws don’t apply, and that Six Nations Police have no authority, which promotes lawlessness.
  • People paying kids to steal cars and sell drugs.
  • Cigarette shops, some of which are fronts for drug dealers.
  • ATV drivers & Poker Run organizers refuse to respect farmers’ properties and crops.
  • People stealing reserve land, including the Glebe Lands.
  • Domestic violence is rampant.
  • Women and girls are being sexually assaulted.
  • Too many kids being raised by single parents because fathers refuse responsibility or mothers deny access.
  • Increased violence at sports games with racism on both sides.
  • More suicides among kids in last few years than in 10 years.
  • Kids being bullied at school, but no zero-tolerance policy adopted.
  • Drug addictions are plaguing the community, not just youth, but moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles. Several babies born addicted to drugs, or born w/Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
  • Elected council fighting with confederacy council with Mohawk Workers refusing to work with either council.

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Youth barricade of ‘reclaimed’ Six Nations police station represents teaching opportunity for elders

UPDATED — A group of youths on Six Nations have barricaded and ‘reclaimed’ the old police station on the reserve, lit a ‘sacred’ fire, and are demanding that Council turn over the keys so they can use it as a ‘youth centre.’    

Chief Bill Montour is refusing to do so because he says, “the building has health, structural and safety issues that have to be fixed.”    

One of the police station barricaders,  a young woman named Ojistaryo, is quoted as responding to the chief’s refusal: 

Band council doesn’t have any proof of their claims.”     

Not the first occupation on Six Nations    

On page 245 of her book Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How The Law Failed Us All, Christie Blatchfords recounts reading a front page story in the Jan 13/10 issue of the Turtle Island News about how a group of Six Nations residents stopped construction of the new police station:    

“Dominating the front page was a story about a group led by Dick Hill that had recently stopped the construction of a new Six Nations police station. Since Dick Hill stopping development was by then a classic of dog-bites-man, I cannot resist the impulse to ask how on earth this qualified as news”    

Irony of Six Nations occupation not lost on neighbours weary of native intimidation    

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OPP watch as natives destroy Reconciliation/Apology monument, then burn Canadian flag

UPDATED: Caledonia Victims Project, June 20/11: Caledonia Milestone: DCE occupiers & OPP respsect rights of non-natives during Truth & Reconciliation Rally

UPDATED April 03/11: Video of attack on Reconciliation/Apology monument

March 27/11 - Native occupiers of Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia burn our Truth & Reconciliation/Apology monument and our Canadian flag within minutes of attacking us - all while OPP officers watched

Our recent Truth and Reconciliation rally held on Sunday, March 27/11 proves that the OPP still – after five years – will not protect the rights or property of non-natives in Caledonia.

OPP officers watched as the Douglas Creek Estates occupiers swarmed and assaulted us, destroyed and stole our Truth & Reconciliation/Apology monument, and then burnt it along with our Canadian flag. The clearly visible side, partially obscured by the flag, says ‘ONTARIO APOLOGY.’ The side barely visible in the flames, says, ‘EQUALITY FOR ALL.’ The other two sides facing away from the camera say, ‘6N (SIX NATIONS) APOLOGY’ and, ‘OPP APOLOGY.’

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