A Samsung spokesperson has confirmed that bones were found on the Samsung solar farm just southeast of Cayuga early last week. Account Director, Counsel Public Affairs Inc., Marcus Staviss initially told the Two Row Times, “Remains were indeed found at one of Samsung’s solar sites. As soon as the remains were found, construction was immediately halted. There is currently no work going on, near or at the site.
“Samsung, has notified Stantec Consulting who has expertise in dealing with remains found on construction sites. Stantec will be at the site on Monday morning. We have also notified our partners in Six Nations leadership to inform them and will remain in regular communication with our Six Nations partners.
“Samsung has great respect for the Six Nations community and is very fortunate to be working in partnership with the community. We are working with our partners to ensure that the site is handled in an appropriate and sensitive manner.”
Upon further investigation by Stantec Consulting, the bones were found to be non-human in origin. According to Tim Smitheman, Manager of Communications, Government and Public Relations, “As you are aware, bones were found on the (Samsung solar farm) construction site (near Cayuga). We notified Six Nations Elected Council as well as the HDI monitors who were on site. Construction was halted in that area and Stantec was called in to examine the remains. Stantec has concluded that these are not human remains and as such construction has resumed.”
The solar farm is currently being constructed in Haldimand County and once complete, will be one of the largest solar and wind farms in the world. Since it is within the Haldimand Tract, both the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) under the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and the Six Nations Elected Band Council (SNEC) have entered into partnerships and agreements with Samsung Inc., which is an international, multi-billion dollar company based in Korea.
In November 2011, the HDI placed a cease and desist order on Samsung. In exchange for $7,000 however, the HDI lifted the order and promised to keep future ‘protestors’ from preventing work on the construction site.
Back in May 2012, SNEC former Chief Bill Montour entered into Band Council’s own negotiations with Samsung by signing an agreement that would see part of the firm’s 250-megawatt Grand River Renewable Energy Project built on Haudenosaunee land. In return, Samsung will be paying SNEC $55 million in lease or royalty payments over the next 20 years.
Samsung is also constructing wind turbines in Haldimand County. It is part of a $7-billion investment to build 2,500 mega watts of wind and solar electrical generation, in a deal that was signed in 2010 with the Ontario government.
According to the Samsung website, “Samsung C&T, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and its partners are building the world’s largest renewable energy cluster in Southern Ontario.” The website goes on to state, “The Haldimand Proclamation of 1784 states Six Nations is entitled to take possession of and settle upon six miles on either side of the banks of the Grand River from Lake Erie to its source, approximately 950,000 acres. The lands were granted in partial recognition of the loss sustained by the Six Nations in the aftermath of their alliance with the British Crown during the American War of Independence, and were to be protected by the Crown.”