Community raises concerns at CAP meeting

Six Nations – Six Nations Economic Development (SNED) held a community information session last week at the community hall to explain what their Consultation and Accommodation Procedure (CAP) is all about.
SNED currently has at least seven ongoing projects: 4 wind turbine projects, 2 solar projects and the McKenzie Meadows project.

Community Planner, Amy Lickers, told the crowd of about 50 people that the Crown has a legal duty to consult and accommodate Six Nations prior to development. Lickers explained that CAP was first implemented in 2009 and consists of Economic Development and Lands and Resources departments.

Lickers said that the purpose of CAP is to come to an agreement with those involved before a protest ensues. “A protest means something already happened and it’s already too late,” explained Lickers. “Protests are meant to be peaceful but there’s always a chance that it will turn un-peaceful. We want to do something before it gets to that point.”

Current projects that are on the go at SNED right now are the Samsung Renewable Energy Project, Port Ryerse, Gunn’s Hill Wind Farm, First Solar Walpole Project, NextEra Energy Summerhaven Project and Brantgate Solar Farm Partnership. Out of this, at least four have raised eyebrows outside of the Six Nations community. Many of the Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) projects are being built in surrounding neighborhoods without the consent and support of the community members affected. One resident even described the IWT’s as the ‘wind ghettos’. Many residents have complained of health issues since the turbines went up around their homes and many properties have depreciated in value since the IWTs were built.

Even though these projects may or may not affect the community of Six Nations directly, money is to be made and this is why SNED is partnering with the companies. For the Gunn’s Hill project, SNED will receive a 10% equity share and approximately 3 million dollars of revenue in the next 20 years. This left one community member asking what was going to happen with all this money?

Lickers explained that a trust fund has been set up called the Grand River Community Trust and once a year, money will be dispersed into the community.  Priority will be given to health care, social services (Elder and youth projects), culture and language projects, and roads etc.

Concerning the reported negative impacts of wind turbines, Lickers stated she did ‘a lot of research’ and found no negative impacts on environment and health. Lickers referred to the David Suzuki Foundation website which she referenced in her research. Upon looking at this website, the Two Row Times found out that only the positive impacts of wind turbines were listed. There are positive and negatives to everything. Lickers stated that  ‘nuclear energy far outweigh the (negative) impacts of turbines,’ suggesting that wind turbines do have some negative impacts but failed to explain what she had found in her research. “I want to assure everyone that we’re making sure the community is being taken care of (financially) in the future,” stated Lickers.

On the question of the dispersement of funds generated from the wind and solar projects, Director of SNED Matt Jamieson explained that Six Nations has two trust funds: one is an economic trust whose purpose if to hold the money for future projects. The second is economic community development trust, which goes into the community. Jamieson stated that any money left over from the economic trust will go into the community, suggesting that the first priority of the SNED is to keep investing the money they get into future off-reserve projects. Any funds left over from that will go back into the community (health, social etc).

One community member asked Jamieson if the Confederacy Council signed any agreements. Jamieson stated that Confederacy did sign the Samsung agreement with Council but went on to say that they are not a signatory with Six Nations Elected Council and that elected council is the only signing authority on behalf of the community.

Despite this, Jamieson stated that the HCCC have separate agreements with Samsung and at least one other company, but stated, “We don’t know what the rules are with that agreement,” indicating there is no communication between elected council and Confederacy Council in terms of signing agreements with various off-reserve projects.

Six Nations lands expert Phil Monture told those gathered that the community needs a ‘global solution’ in that ‘we want to get as much land returned in negotiations and get our share  (of funds) in negotiations as well.’ Monture explained, “Every day there is development going up in the Haldimand Tract when there is a case before the courts right now in the Supreme Court.”

Community member Ryan Davis got up before the crowd and explained he is a skilled trades worker with Local 736. “I have four kids to feed and got bills to pay just like everyone else,” said Davis. “Local 736 has some four to five hundred members from Six Nations alone. They had a meeting recently and raised concerns about not being able to get jobs with these projects (solar and wind farms) who choose rather to hire non-union workers. “Samsung, NextEra, they are taking our jobs and giving them to non-union workers,” stated Davis whose biggest concern he brought before SNED was to look for a way that skilled workers can become a part of the consultation process. “Is there a way we can sit down with developers and consult? Is there anyway we can put stipulations on them to hire our workers? Because giving the jobs to unskilled workers, non-union, that’s taking food off my plate.”

For anyone wanting to learn more about what projects the SNED is currently engaged in, you can visit their website at

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