Burger stand closure could open more than expected

issue3-thumbnail-03Toronto lawyer , Katherine Hensel and co-council, Six Nations own Bev Jacobs, were in Cayuga Court last week defending Derek Sandy and Nolan Hill who were served papers initiated by Haldimand County in an effort to have their Plank Road Smoke Shop and Burger Stand removed from a piece of land near the Caledonia bypass on Highway #6.

Sandy was first served papers of closure July 12 remained open for business.

There were six issues stated by the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit, which they say Sandy and Hill are in violations of, including:

1) There is no constant source of power to provide reliable refrigeration.
2) Food being removed from premises going to an undisclosed residence
therefore proper handling of food not confirmed.
3) Water available is of unknown quality and source.
4) No ready source of hot water
5) No dedicated hand wash sink available to food handlers
6) No washroom facility available which meets the requirements of
Section 68 of the Food Premises Regulation.

“The water we bring in from Hagersville,” says Sandy. “We are hooked up to generators 24-7, we only use frozen meet that we keep frozen in the bottom rack of the freezer, and we boil hot water to wash up.”

After being served with the closure papers in July, he went around to other burger and hot dog stands to see if the same restrictions placed upon him were being enforced elsewhere.

“They say we don’t have a designated toilet,” says Sandy. “We have two portable Johns close by. The oasis in Caledonia doesn’t have a dedicated washroom either. They’re washroom is next door in the antique shop. That sure isn’t a designated washroom, is it. But that seems to be OK.”

Hensel, who was involved with the Ipperwash Inquery, is widely known as a legal specialist in Onkwehon:we issues including Treaty Rights, injunctions, duty to consult, and other matters concerning First Nations and the federal or provincial Crown.

“This really has no bearing on me,” said Sandy. “This is our land. They have no jurisdiction over it and I have no intention of closing.”

Recent reports indicating that the Six Nations Confederacy Council was planning on leasing land along the Plank Road to Sandy and Hill as well as other Six Nations business people for $1 per year have put the entire issue in a different light. But that decision has not changed the stance Sandy and Hill have had since putting up the Plank Road, One th, but chose to ignore the order and Stop Smoke Shop five years ago.

The case will begin in earnest in early October.

The Burger and Fries stand at the rear of the property went up last summer, but didn’t begin full time operations until this summer. After being visited by a few protesting Caledonia residents, Haldimand County began seeking an injunction to shut down not only the Burger Stand, but all Six Nations businesses along Highway #6 who are there without the formal sanctioning of Haldimand Council or Ontario.

It has been Six Nations stance since the Douglas Creek Estates reclamation of 2006 and before, that the land the former plank road or Highway #6, is on along with one-half mile on either side of it, were leased to the Crown for that purpose in the 1830’s but were never surrendered, and never fully paid for.

Both the Elected Band Council and the Confederacy Council experts agree with that historical assessment.

Elected Council’s official website posts:

The Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road, which later became Highway 6, is located in the Townships of Oneida and Seneca. The lands used to construct the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road and the tier of lots on each side of the road consists of approximately 10,406.527 acres (deed plotted); 1,946.340 acres are in Seneca Township and 8,460.187 are in Oneida

Township, including the Town plot of Caledonia.

There is no lawful surrender from Six Nations to the Crown for the lands taken for use of a road being the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road, or for the tier of lots on each side of the road.

Six Nations were deprived of continual rental revenues for the land and royalty revenues of the mineral resources there under of the tier of lots on each side of the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road.

Six Nations never received compensation for the lands used to construct the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road, nor did they receive full and fair compensation for the tier of lots on each side of the road.

The Crown has not shown that all the purported sums paid on the tier of lots on each side of the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road were credited to the Six Nations Trust Fund Accounts.

This same information is also agreed to by the Confederacy.

By Jim Windle

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  1. Sooner or later, Canada is going to have to resolve this issue. I don’t have a lot of faith in their legal system. NOTE: I don’t use the term Justice System). This system was originally designed by a judge named Robinson to marginalize Indigenous peoples and to specifically deprive us of our lands and human rights. They will follow this tactic using these flawed laws to justify any decision that may result from this action. It will take an exceptionally bright lawyer to turn their own laws against them in order to acquire justice for our people. I expect however, that the prime stakeholder (Ottawa) with whom these Treaties and contracts were entered into with, will do as it has always done and that is to say, “this is not our responsibility. Let the province deal with it.” Without stirring the pot, I ask: what in hell is it going to take to bring Ottawa to the table? Another Caledonia scenario? They (Ottawa and Ontario) say they can prove they paid us. I say, “stop with the same old rhetoric and PRODUCE THE DAMN EVIDENCE!!!” It’s long overdue!

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