Elected Council fights back on claims they are trying to turn Six Nations into a municipality

OHSWEKEN — Six Nations Elected Council issued a statement late last week, to correct rumours they are secretly trying to turn the reserve into a municipality.

“There is a concern circulating in the community that on June 20, 2019, First Nations will be turning into a municipality. This rumour is incorrect and is believed to have originated from concerns regarding the Federal Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework,” said the statement.

Protest signs outside the SNEC Central Administration Office, which has been blocked by demonstrators for the last three weeks, announced claims the Elected Council was in a plan to terminate land and treaty rights of Six Nations effective June 20, and warning residents to take immediate action.

This is the latest accusation demonstrators have lobbed into the public sphere about the actions of elected council — all without public documentation to support their claims.

At the beginning of the month, demonstrators claimed SNEC Chief Ava Hill had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and alleged SAO Dayle Bomberry was also receiving $800 per truckload of fill being shipped into the Six Nations Landfill site as it undergoes transition from dump to transfer station.

SNEC said they have been working against the Federal Framework, publicly declaring their opposition to the framework on several occasions.

“SNEC would like to confirm its complete opposition to the federal framework as well as the legislative agenda put forward by the Liberal Government over the past 4 years. The Federal Government has totally ignored the rights of Indigenous people through an approached that lacked respect for our inherent and Treaty rights and has not sought our consent on matters that impact our lives and well-being,” said the council.

SNEC says they have officially opposed the Federal Framework since 2016, formally rejecting it in July 2018, and funding travel for community members and councillors to participate in a nation-wide rally against the Framework in Ottawa.

“In July 2018 we took a principled position and formerly rejected the Framework based on the need to safeguarding Six Nations of the Grand River’s sovereignty and inherent rights. It should be noted that the framework was rejected for three main reasons: delegated authority is the only option on the table, supremacy of the Canadian Constitution and “Self-government” as defined by Canadian policy is not true sovereignty as we define it,” said the council. “It should also be noted that the only purpose of the Framework, from Canada’s perspective was to create certainty for the government that Indigenous Peoples will not ‘get in the way’ of development on traditional territories or assert rights over their traditional territories. The Federal government is only interested in access to our lands.”

SNEC also made declaration in the June 20 statement that they oppose the federal bills C-91 and C-92 Indigenous Languages Act and First Nations Child Welfare Act.

“These attempts to legislate our lives, our children and our languages are totally unacceptable, disrespectful and ignores the principal’s reconciliation and more importantly the Nation to Nation relationship. It is obvious that the underlying intent of the federal Indigenous agenda is to expedite plans and create a legislation path, all without our Free, Prior and Informed Consent. This does not bring Honour to the Crown,” said the council.

SNEC says the legislation is “paternalistic in its view of co-development, places barriers to us asserting our own jurisdiction, and actually prevents Six Nation from moving forward to create and deliver a responsive ‘wrap around’ services to address language retention, poverty, housing, social services, and education services focused that are child and family focused.”

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