CALEDONIA – About 40 to 50 Six Nations residents scrambled for shelter under tarps and umbrellas at the former Douglas Creek Estates land when a torrential rainfall threatened to cancel Tuesday’s community meeting regarding the latest barricades on Highway 6.
The discussion was the same one on the agenda at Monday night’s community members meeting at the Ohsweken Speedway. Tuesday night, the same questions and discussion points were to be addressed at the Elected Council meeting in an attempt to find a people based solution that would bring the divided community together.
The big question of what to do about the blockade that has shut down traffic on Argyle Street just outside of Caledonia, the sight of the 2006 standoff?
The highway has been closed since Friday morning after members of the Six Nations community dragged a piece of the original blockade from 2006 across Argyle Street.
The rain didn’t last long and the meeting went on as scheduled. There was a lot of reasonable discussion on all sides of the issue behind the protest. Some saying to leave the blockade up until Canada and Ontario correct the reneging of a 2006 promise that brought down the barricades.
Others suggested a show of good faith by opening one lane of Highway 6 at the Kanonhstaton (Caledonia) site.
Others talked about asking the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to move it’s blockade from the corner of Sixth Line and Highway Six closer to the Kanonhstaton site to allow traffic for businesses at that end of the street and access to Sixth Line. Some spoke of rotating the protest to the Highway 6 bypass or the railway line as to not disrupt Caledonia’s downtown merchants.
There was also discussion about why the case of Six Nations farmer Kris Hill is a part of the demands being made by the protesters.
An Elected District Councillor told the group that Elected Chief Ava Hill was in Ottawa and will not be in attendance at Tuesday’s general meeting. In the discussions it came out that Chief Hill was in Ottawa meeting with Ken Hewitt and Ontario in Ottawa. She was also meeting with lawyers regarding the recently filed injunction against Kris Hill.
One of the demands being made is that SNEC drop its injunction and in turn Hill drop her legal action against Band Council. Some felt that the Hill case should be a separate issue since it involved.
The speeches and opinions were strong and deeply entrenched but remained respectful.
The immediate decision was that the barricade will remain in place until at least after Tuesday night’s Elected Council Meeting.
The people demanded that both the HCCC and the SNEC find a way to work together on issues of such broad-based importance to all the residents of Six Nations. Cayuga Chief Blake Bomberry was on hand to listen to the views of the people on behalf of the HCCC.
The meeting broke with a request that all also attend Tuesday nights Elected Council meeting.
NOTE: This article contains no directly attributed quotes, as a condition of covering the meeting for the TRT. We are happy to comply in this case.