Skyler Williams, the spokesperson for the 1492 Land Back Lane reclamation camp in Caledonia, Ont., turned himself in to police at the Cayuga OPP detachment on May 19. He was arrested, served documents, released and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Cayuga at a later date to answer to the charges.
Williams, who had two warrants out for his arrest, faces six charges connected to the ongoing occupation of the McKenzie housing development, also known as 1492 Land Back Lane. He was released on the condition that he not return to the site.
The OPP charged 37-year-old Williams of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation Territory with with two counts of mischief, two counts of disobeying court orders, intimidation, and failure to comply with an undertaking.
Williams told the Hamilton Spectator he plans to continue advocating for Haudenosaunee land rights along the Grand River.
“I’m certainly not giving up or giving in. The fight still goes on,” he said. “Every waking hour of my life for the last 10 months has been Land Back Lane. I need to be able to spend some time with my kids and leave the reserve without having to look over my shoulder.”
Ken Hewitt, mayor of Haldimand County, called for Williams to be arrested, and said his quick release was consistent with others charged in connection to the demonstration have been dealt with.
“Unfortunately, that precedent has been set,” Hewitt told the Hamilton Spectator. “But we hope that when his day in court comes, as with the rest of them, they’re charged with the activities that occurred that are unlawful — just as anybody else would be, regardless of who you are.”