HAMILTON – The past and the present have clashed again as two Six Nations, men who are affiliated with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), have challenged their right for hunting and fishing on Haudenosaunee land, as outlined by the Nanfan Treaty of 1701.
To exercise their treaty rights, Wayne Hill and Todd Williams have laid rabbit traps along the path of two proposed oil pipelines, Line No. 10 and Line No. 11.
This simple move has stopped Enbridge Pipelines Inc. in its tracks, but only temporarily it would seem.
Enbridge is countering by seeking an injunction to remove the two and their traps.
According to Suzanne Wilton, media relations officer for Enbridge, “On multiple occasions over the last month, two individuals who represent the Haudenosaunee Development Institute have blocked access to and entered Enbridge preventative pipeline maintenance worksites on private property in the Hamilton area without authorization.”
They suggest that preventing the tests that the company are conducting along the tracks of the two old lines would be a safety hazard.
“Interference with preventative maintenance work puts people, including Enbridge personnel, and the environment at risk,” Wilton continues. “Safety is our top priority and Enbridge cannot allow interference with preventative maintenance work.”
She also refers to a working agreement with the HDI on Line No. 10.
“Enbridge has been working with the HDI on Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement Project and we are committed to continuing a respectful dialogue,” she says. “Enbridge has reached out, in person and in writing, to understand HDI’s concerns but a negotiated resolution has not been achieved and the two individuals continue to interfere with the preventative maintenance work. Enbridge has therefore filed an injunction application in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Enbridge cannot comment on the substance of its legal filing as the matter is now before the court.
“To ensure the safety of both Enbridge crews and the environment, we have taken this legal action to protect our right to safely access these sites located on private land and to undertake this important preventative maintenance work.”
The injunction hearings were slated for this past week; however, as of print time, the HDI has not released to the TRT any information regarding the men’s challenge using the Nanfan Treaty, and pickup trucks to block the workers from entering.