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Non-native man with Ongwehowe family given 1 day to leave Six Nations

A 27 year old non-Native man has been evicted from the reserve. This morning two constables of the Six Nations Police came to the home of Josh McFarland and served him with an official eviction notice signed by Six Nations Elected Council Chief Ava Hill. McFarland has been residing on the territory with his Ongwehoweh wife Misty (Hess) along their two children, one of whom attends school on Six Nations.

Updated: Yesterday morning a non-Native man living on the Six Nations Territory with his Ogwehoweh partner and their two young children, was served an eviction notice by the Six Nations Police. The letter came from Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) on the advice of Six Nations Lands & Membership.Using the 1986 Residency Bylaw, Josh McFarland, 27 was served papers to leave the territory within 15 days. The letter was signed on May 29, 2014 by SNEC Chief Ava Hill.

According to the bylaw, In pursuance of Sections 81(1)(p)(p.1) and (p.2) of the Indian Act, the Six Nations Council enacts as follows: (2) Only a registered band member of the Six Nations of the Grand River Indians shall be entitled to reside on the Six Nations of the Grand River Indian lands. (3) Any other person residing or trespassing or unlawfully frequenting for prohibited purposes on the Six Nations Indian Reserves No. 40 and No. 40B, in violation of any of the provisions of the by-law shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for term not exceeding THIRTY (30) days or BOTH.”

The bylaw was passed by SNEC on 18 December, 1986 by then Elected Chief William K. Montour.But since this bylaw may seem outdated with the reality of the situation on Six Nations, specifically in the cases where members marry non-members, the bylaw only kicks in when a member of Six Nations files an official complaint against a non-member. In 2012, then Elected Chief Montour told the Brantford Expositor that past estimates of the number of non-members living on Six Nations could be as high as 5,000.

SNEC Chief Hill also told Two Row Times that no updates to the 1986 Residency Bylaw have been made. “As I have stated in my recent up-dates to the community, we have put together a Committee to review the Residency By-Law and they will be having their initial meeting in a couple of weeks.”According to the Six Nations Police, eviction notices are carried out more then people realize, “The complaint was made specifically (against McFarland) and we actually carry out eviction notices quite frequently so this is not a rare occurrence,” stated Deputy Chief, Rocky Smith.

SNEC Chief Ava Hill also told the Two Row Times, “The Residency By-Law has been in place since the mid-1980′s and states that only Six Nations band members can reside on the Six Nations Indian Reserve. If we receive a complaint about an individual who is not a Band member residing here, the complaint goes to Lands and Membership for verification. “If they verify that the person being complained about is not a member, then Council discusses it and issues a letter to the individual advising them that they are in violation of the Residency By-Law and telling them that they must leave. The Police are then asked to serve the letter to the non-Band member.”

These letters are only issued when we receive an official complaint about a non-Band member residing here. Yes a complaint was made against Mr. McFarland and that is why it was acted on and he received the letter.”Six Nations Police were at the Hess home again this morning but not to enforce the eviction notice. Police arrested McFarland on charges stemming from allegations that he threatened his neighbours and he remains in custody at this time. Six Nations Police are currently investigating the situation.

Two Row Times also spoke with a friend of the family who made the allegations against McFarland but stated that they do not wish to make any statements at this time.

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