BRANTFORD — After a community member was left without police assistance following an assault at a Six Nations Reserve location within Brantford’s city limits — Brantford Police say they are updating their response protocols.
In an emailed statement to TRT, Brantford Police Chief Rob Davis says the policing agreement that covers how Six Nations and Brantford Police work together to cover jurisdictional loopholes at the Glebe Property is being updated.
The Glebe Lands are reserve land, and are a part of the Six Nations territory. The property was a part of the Mohawk Institute Residential School grounds and are a part of the planned grounds search for unmarked graves.
Six Nations man Alex Jamieson says he was assaulted at the Glebe after he tried to educate trespassers about the historic importance of the property. Jamieson said ATV and 4×4 drivers have torn up the property leaving behind motor oil, trash and destruction to the grounds. He also says the property is littered with used naloxone kits, used injection materials and a homeless encampment. The destruction to the site is so significant and can be seen from arial footage shown on Google Earth.
Jamieson called police after he was assaulted and no one responded to the call. The issue was addressed by Six Nations Police who said that despite jurisdictional confusion during the incident — their police officers followed protocol and passed the issue over to Brantford Police as the matter occurred on the roadway in front of the Glebe, technically within the Brantford Police’s jurisdiction.
However, that is where things fell apart and Jamieson says no one attended the scene. Instead, he says, he left and went home. The following day, about 8 hours after his call for help, Brantford Police showed up at his home to follow up.
Six Nations Police told TRT earlier that the Glebe property is part of a policing agreement between the two police services that was first penned in 2012 and has not been updated in over a decade.
In a statement from Brantford Police, emailed to TRT, the service writes, “As identified, the jurisdiction of the Glebe lands is covered by a memorandum of understanding that, prior to this incident, is in the process of being updated thru partnership of the Brantford Police Service and Six Nations Police Service. Citizens can be assured that the Glebe property is policed. Safety of the public is the primary concern of BPS. Should an emergency situation arise, citizens are encouraged to call 911.”
According to BPS, Chief Rob Davis, who is also a Six Nations band member and now leader of the Brantford Police Service, says he has invested time to work with Six Nations Police to improve the areas where investigations would require both forces to work in cooperation.
“The Brantford Police Service has a close, valued working relationship with the Six Nations Police Service and Chief of Police Darren Montour. Chief Davis has been actively developing collaborative opportunities for officers from Six Nations Police and the Brantford Police Service to learn from each other, which is an immense benefit to community safety,” says the statement. “By pursuing these shared learning opportunities, we will increase understanding of the unique needs that exist for Indigenous people and communities.”
Brantford Police are also a part of the Mohawk Institute Investigation which is seeking information and evidence for the recovery of unmarked graves associated with the former residential school.
The Glebe property was the farmland associated with the Mohawk Institute. In 2022, Six Nations Survivors Secretariat lead Kimberly Murray, now Special Interlocutor for Unmarked Graves, said the Six Nations investigation was planning to search the Glebe Lands for those unrecovered burial sites.
“This partnership on the Mohawk Institute Investigation is a prime example of how a close collaboration between our two services can be of immense benefit to our respective communities,” says the statement.
Six Nations Police Deputy Chief Tim Bomberry said that the current protocol that exists sees Brantford Police responding to emergency calls with an agreement that if the matter requires further investigations, Six Nations Police reserve the right to take over.
“The Brantford Police Service has agreed to respond to any incidents on the Glebe Land located within the City of Brantford, reserve the right to transfer any investigation that occurred on the Glebe Land to the Six Nations Police, provide reasonable assistance as may be requested by the Six Nations Police and to immediately notify the Six Nations Police of any major incidents ( homicides, robbery, assaults of any nature, political protests, motor vehicle collisions resulting in serious or fatal injuries and incidents involving bodily harm),” wrote Bomberry.
The Glebe Lands were a part of the parish lands connected to the Mohawk Institute Residential School as it was part of the New England Company’s Mission properties. According to historical documents, in the early years of the school the property was used by the students for farming and the funds from the sale of goods grown were there used by the school.
Later, in 1922, the property was legally identified by Duncan Campbell Scott, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, as belonging to the Six Nations Indian Band and rented out to farmers with funds from the lease going to the Six Nations Council.
The lands were part of a contentious feud between Six Nations and Brantford from the mid 1970s all the way to 2019 when Brantford city officials wanted to build a roadway through the property. That plan was abandoned officially when the city declared it would never again include the Glebe Lands in any transportation plans.
It was also the site of a cholera gravesite — something that concerned historians when the city was looking to disturb the grounds as cholera could potentially have been reactivated if those graves were exposed.
Last week, TRT reached out to Six Nations Elected Council for comment about the concerns over the destruction of the Glebe as well as the issues surrounding the policing agreement. They did not provide a response,