SIX NATIONS – A declaration was presented during Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council this weekend calling for the immediate dismantlement of HDI and dismissal of lawyer Aaron Detlor, HDI Director Hazel Hill and HDI board member Brian Doolittle.
This declaration, read aloud in council by Cayuga Wolf Chief Sam General, calls for the dismantlement of the HDI for not negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Confederacy, the immediate dismissal and removal of Detlor, Hill and Doolittle for misrepresenting the Confederacy, immediate halting of all HDI business and the launch of a full investigation into HDI by the Confederacy.
These demands come after copies of two Engagement Agreements HDI signed with with Samsung in 2013 and 2014, locally known as ‘the Samsung deals’, were leaked to clan families.
Those leaked documents reveal that HDI agreed to, on behalf of the HCCC and all Haudenosaunee member nations, waive Haudenosaunee sovereign immunity and any other claim of traditional or treaty rights surrounding Haudenosaunee right to lands that the projects are utilizing in exchange for financial compensation.
Speaker for the Onondaga Beaver clan family Steve Hill is acting in proxy for Arnie General on behalf of the Onondaga Beavers while General deals with health issues. Hill also brought forward the concerns of his clan family at council regarding HDI.
Hill told the council he has been trying to get copies of the Samsung agreements from HDI offices for the last eight months and didn’t receive anything – until leaked documents were delivered to him by a community member.
Hill told the council, “I showed that Samsung deal to several chiefs and they said they’ve never seen it.”
Hill also told the council he travelled to other Haudenosaunee communities and spoke with several Haudenosaunee Confederacy chiefs. All stated they knew nothing of the Samsung Engagement Agreements signed on their behalf by the HDI.
Hill addressed Detlor saying he had specific concerns about HDI signing the agreement and waiving Haudenosaunee sovereignty on behalf of Haudenosaunee member nations.
Detlor responded, saying that although sovereign immunity doesn’t apply under Canadian law, HDI decided that agreeing to waive sovereign immunity in the context of this agreement meant that Samsung agrees the Haudenosaunee have sovereign immunity to begin with.
It was on those merits Detlor said an unnamed collective of HDI board members, chiefs and clan mothers came to the decision to go ahead sign the agreement, waiving that sovereign immunity.
Detlor said these two particular Engagement Agreements were brought into Confederacy Council and passed through. Something at least five chiefs and clan mothers mentioned during this weekend’s council disagreed with.
Hill challenged Detlor on that and said, “I’ve never seen it, Arnold Jacobs has never seen it, my cousin over here has never seen it.”
Detlor stuttered as he spoke to the question, explaining that this was the “first major agreement that the chiefs had gotten into”.
He continued to explain on behalf of the HDI saying, “…what we were trying to develop is this idea that we did have sovereign immunity on the basis that we shouldn’t be treated any differently from the – from the – tribes in the states.”
Deltor also said that those involved in looking over these Engagement agreements identified that clause as something they were uncomfortable with, however they decided to sign on behalf of HCCC anyways.
Detlor said that the term “sovereign immunity” does not mean “sovereignty” and that HDI subsequently removed that language from any further agreements.
The declaration, as read aloud during council by Cayuga Wolf Chief Sam General, states that the HCCC dismantle HDI for
- Not negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Confederacy (hiding what the agreement stated from the chiefs and the people)
- Remove/dismiss Aaron Detlor, Hazel Hill and Brian Doolittle for misrepresenting the Confederacy and our sovereignty
- Freeze all activity in regards to HDI and Samsung and any other negotiations taking place until all HDI business has been investigated by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.
The Engagement Agreements were signed on behalf of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council in 2013 and 2014 by HDI Director Hazel Hill.