Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council said they’re getting a one-time payment of about $250,000 for a massive Amazon warehouse being built on traditional lands in Cambridge but it skipped out on a bigger payment in exchange for trees being and environmental protection.
Six Nations Lands and Resources Consultation Supervisor Peter Graham told about 50 people who turned out for a community engagement session at The Gathering Place last week that although the amount seems small, it’s because Six Nations wanted trees planted instead.
The company is building a warehouse on Old Mill Road in Cambridge, an area covered by the Haldimand Treaty and Fort Albany Nanfan Treaty.
Six Nations has signed an agreement with Broccolini Construction and is now seeking community input on the project.
The agreement, according to SNGR, recognizes that developers should accommodate Six Nations of the Grand River for structures built on its traditional and treaty territory. The company has agreed to a 10 to one tree placement ratio, long-term protection of a nearby wetland and a payment of $250,000 to Six Nations of the Grand River.
Graham said the company has also consulted with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI), which represents the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, and that he heard a “rumour” that the HDI signed a confidential agreement with the company for less than $100,000 compensation.
The Two Row Times contacted the HDI for confirmation but did not hear back by press time.
All comments, questions and answers are being gathered into a report that will be presented to elected council.
Elected Council said it will then decide based on the report whether they think there is enough community support for them to be comfortable to go forward with the agreement.
Elected Council said the only way to stop the project would be through litigation and that the proponent/developer currently aren’t legally required to give anything to Six Nations and that they duty to accommodate rests with the Crown.
Six Nations is expected to head to court this year in a 30-year-plus land claim case against the Crown for expropriation of its lands along the Haldimand Tract.
The area where the project sits is part of the Six Nations’ land claims litigation case.