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Double standards

In speaking only for myself and not the rest of the Elected Council, I believe there is a double standard in our community when it comes to accommodation deals with developers wanting to develop on our land and I’m fed up with it. Both the Elected Council (EC) and the Confederacy Council (CC)/Haudenosaunnee Development Institute (HDI) make deals on behalf of the community and both councils should be held to the same standards of accountability. But that doesn’t happen. Oh yes, rest assured the EC is held accountable but when it comes to the CC/HDI the community and the media close a blind eye.

In speaking only for myself and not the rest of the Elected Council, I believe there is a double standard in our community when it comes to accommodation deals with developers wanting to develop on our land and I’m fed up with it. Both the Elected Council (EC) and the Confederacy Council (CC)/Haudenosaunnee Development Institute (HDI) make deals on behalf of the community and both councils should be held to the same standards of accountability. But that doesn’t happen. Oh yes, rest assured the EC is held accountable but when it comes to the CC/HDI the community and the media close a blind eye.

The EC holds comprehensive community engagement sessions on a proposed project. Agreeably the turnout at the community sessions is dismal but the EC also gives people various other ways to voice their concerns and opinions. That’s more than what can be said for the CC/HDI.

The CC/HDI has authorized Hazel Hill to sign two agreements that we know of: Capital Power and Pattern Renewable Energy without any consultation with the people. That’s right the CC has given Hazel, who works for the HDI, the authority to sign on behalf of and to bind the “HDI, the CC and all of its member nations” to the agreements. Both deals are to fetch millions of dollars over 20 years for the CC. And not a word said from the community or the media about the lack of community consultation. I’d be willing to bet most people don’t even know Hazel signed these agreements on their behalf.

The EC signed the final Samsung deal in public. Right now Council has advertised the approval of Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm and the Port Ryerse Wind project for everyone to read. Council just completed a public engagement session on the ProWind and Borolax projects. More information is on our website.

On the other hand what the CC/HDI does is take a few chiefs and maybe a couple clan mothers to the meetings with developers and call that consulting. Geez that sounds Stephen Harperish doesn’t it? Even I know that isn’t how the traditional system works.

The Iroquois Confederacy is touted as the “oldest democracy in the world” but where is the “democracy” when the chiefs are excluding the people? I’m hearing the chiefs won’t even listen to the Clan Mothers. And whatever happened to Consensus which is the foundation of the traditional system? But why isn’t the CC/HDI willing to be aboveboard and willing to share the development deals with the community like the EC does? What is their reason for not wanting to do that?

Are people aware the CC/HDI makes developers agree to Five-Year Non-Disclosure conditions in their agreements? This means the CC/HDI or any of the partners cannot tell the community for five years what the agreement says. Are people aware the CC/HDI makes the developer and partners agree to not publish any part of the agreement in the newspapers or any other publication? Is there something in the agreements the CC/HDI doesn’t want the community to know about? The EC does not have these conditions stipulated in their signed agreements.

Why doesn’t Council negotiate for 50% ownership people ask? Why isn’t Council asking for more education money people ask? The provincial government has what is called a Consultation List for developers. This list includes the EC and the CC. It’s a government tactic called Divide and Conquer. The developers know this means they will have to not only cut a deal with the EC but fork over money to the CC/HDI as well. Now if the CC were willing to team up with the EC we could demand 50%. The provincial government does not know the CC/HDI do not consult with the community.

Of late Council is hearing that Local 736 members and trades people in our community are angry because Council hasn’t ensured employment opportunities in the accommodation deals. I can understand their anger. We do require that Six Nations people are hired but unfortunately, the EC has no direct involvement with the hiring of contractors or sub-contractors. But this is an important issue and we need to find a way to write the hiring of Six Nations Ironworkers and trades people in stone.

Do we know if the HDI negotiated the hiring of Six Nations people other than archeologist monitors? No we don’t. But to my knowledge no one is questioning that. Isn’t the point of negotiating an accommodation deal so the whole community benefits? When the CC/HDI starts getting millions of dollars on our behalf it’s time for people to take off the blinders and start holding the CC/HDI accountable.

Councillor Helen Miller
2251 chiefswood rd Ohsweken 519 445-4561

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2 Comments

  • Heyotedok
    March 29, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I have to agree with Mr Dockstader re: enhancing the mainstream government’s oldest tactic of divide and conquer. Also the reminder of the imaginary power that we are Allowing our future to be further assimilated. We only need to Unite for our children, for no other reason. Not money not power not control and certainly not any further divisions.
    Then Our Minds Will Be One!
    Peace and Love to Our Peace On Earth

    REPLY
  • KarlD
    March 29, 2014, 8:56 am

    Councillor,

    I want to thank you for taking the time to write a letter and for your service to your people. I do not agree with your public presentation of criticisms and I think that instead of working together with traditional council that instead band councils should swear off the Queen and work for the traditional council. I am sure that I could roll out a bunch of tired arguments about why the band council is a useless imposed form of “governance” but I do not want to further the rift. I personally think that if the band office does things to help people that it should be praised because helping our people is a good thing.

    In terms of writing a letter publicly criticizing the traditional council I fear that you are inadvertently helping to empower the mainstream financial system system and government that has used guns, residential schools, CAS, and every other tool at it’s disposal to wipe out our traditional ways. I realize that this wasn’t your intent, and I think that it fair to raise criticism about anybody who is in a leadership role, but if you want to work with traditional council than perhaps you could write letters proposing a real path to shared leadership.

    Everything that you wrote may be true about the HCC, but I think that airing out the dirty laundry in front of everybody will only further the divide imposed upon us. The letter reads like an American politicians tactical approach to me. What are your stated aims? To show the imperfection of a government that was forced into hiding at gunpoint? To get more money and power for the band council? To bicker about numbers that only have imaginary power (currency/coins/etc.)?

    Promoting a transparent process of accountability to increase the “participation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian economy” sounds like a tune I have heard played by a different band, and if that is what your message is, then let me change the station.

    This is only my opinion, I hope I haven’t offended you. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

    Karl Dockstader.

    REPLY
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