On land defenders at McKenzie Meadows: a statement from hereditary chiefs

We trust this finds you in good health and good spirits.

As you are aware, a number of steps have recently been taken by Haudenosaunee people to protect our lands, rights, and interests which has included the lawful use, occupation, and possession of our lands by our People on the proposed Mckenzie Meadows residential development site.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council is opposed to this development and as the holder of collective rights for the Haudenosaunee people has not granted any type of consent which would allow this development to proceed.

This development is proceeding in our ‘red zone’ which clearly sets out there will be a development moratorium within his area.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council has a process for granting consent in this area and it has not been followed on this development.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council supports and thanks to our people and our allies who are taking peaceful steps to protect and save the land for our future generations who will have nowhere to live and prosper if the settler population continues to unlawfully encroach upon our lands. We are once again calling on the governments of Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Ford to sit down in good faith and return to the negotiation table to address land issues with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

We deeply hope to avoid repeating the events of 2006 which involved the reclamation of Kanonstathon where after many years of discussion, negotiation and moving towards a resolution, the Federal Government simply walked away from the negotiation table. We know that this issue will not be resolved by the use of injunctions which escalate matters with the attempt to impose Canadian law and criminalize our people for simply asking that the Crown honour its treaty commitments. This matter will be resolved when the Crown begins to properly understand that it is the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, which holds rights collectively on behalf of the Haudenosaunee.

Bodies and entities have a role when they have been delegated by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council however the respect and recognition that forms our treaty relationship with the Crown must first be extended by the Crown to our people through their government – the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

This request is made respectfully where we know that Canada has made similar agreements with other nations where Hereditary Chiefs still govern.

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