The Kanonhstaton barricade is gone … kinda

KANONHSTATON/CALEDONIA — The barricade in front of the former Douglas Creek Estates site near Caledonia, has been removed … kinda. Maybe the better word would be that it has been repurposed.

“We took the old hydro tower apart piece by piece and gave it to Bear Iron Welding, of Six Nations, and they have refitted that material into the new front gate,” said Six Nations land protector Jeff Henhawk.

The up-rights for the new gate were installed Monday and the front gates will be fitted soon. From the uprights at edge or the roadway into the site, more chain-link fencing will be going in along Argyle Street as soon as the front gate is completed, according to the Six Nations welder, who did not want his name published.

As of Monday, there had been no negative response from the Province or Haldimand County.

Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt has been relatively quiet on the situation after he and his council reacted to the installation of the chain-link fence along the Northern boundary of the Kanonhstaton land. Kanonhstaton is a Mohawk word meaning “the protected place” which has been adopted by Six Nations land protectors.

On April 20th, 2006, Six Nations residents dragged a partially constructed hydro tower across Argyle Street to protect the land from another possible assault by police or outraged Caledonia citizens. This was done in response to the early morning OPP raid on protesters occupying the site of a housing development being built, without consultation, on land the developers knew was under registered land claim and was never surrendered for sale.

The situation escalated into a standoff between Caledonia citizens, OPP, and Six Nations that made headline news across Canada, the USA and even into England. There was barricades set up across Argyle Street, blocking off Highway #6, except for local traffic and emergency vehicles.

Caledonia citizens set up their own blockade after Six Nations had removed theirs from the highway on the Victoria Day weekend. An incident resulted in one of the leaders on the Six Nations side was punched in the face by a Caledonia citizen, which prompted the tower to be dragged across the street again as tempers flared into a near riot.

Former Ontario Premier, David Peterson, negotiated a peaceful settlement with Six Nations Confederacy Chiefs to take down the blockade in exchange for land promised to be returned to Six Nations, in Burtch, South Cayuga and other locations.

But other provocations by certain Caledonia residents backed up by high profile white supremacists who were invited to Caledonia by agitator Gary McHale, caused Six Nations to keep the hydro tower close by just in case it might be needed again.

For several years since, the old tower has been sitting at the front entrance of the Kanonhstaton site while Caledonia residents and Haldimand Council have been trying to get them to haul it away.

Recent antics by McHale and his small group of followers have caused the situation to flare up again. To keep the piece, the Confederacy Chiefs authorized a fence to go around the site to protect the land and a Six Nations resident assigned to remain on the land to hold in on behalf of the people of Six Nations.

The Chiefs also authorized the removal of the hydro tower, but it was to be replaced with the installation of a gate across the entrance to the site. Someone came up with the idea of repurposing the hydro tower to continue to serve as a protective barrier, but in a new, more aesthetically pleasing reincarnation.

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  1. Here are some things to think about.

    The Five (later Six) Nations Iroquois from the New York area just south of Lake Ontario surrendered a huge tract of land including land in what is now the U.S.A. and land in what is now southwestern Ontario and along the Grand River to the British Crown and “for ever quit claime” to that land according to the Albany (Nanfan) Treaty in 1701.

    After the American Revolution, Governor Haldimand bought the land along the Grand River for the Crown from the Ojibwa Mississauga Indians on May 22, 1784 before inviting Six Nations people from New York to enter, occupy and use the Crown’s land along the Grand River.

    Governor Simcoe offered the Six Nations of the Grand River a letter patent, a deed, to land along the Grand River in 1793. To offer a patent (deed), the land along the Grand River must have been the Crown’s land in 1793 but Joseph Brant and the Six Nations chiefs would not accept the 1793 Simcoe Patent so the land remained the Crown’s land.

    In the Six Nations very own claims booklet called “Land rights, Financial Justice, Creative Solutions”, Claim 16 about Oneida Township says “June 24, 1842 – In a petition of the Chiefs of the Six Nations, they reserved for their future residence all the lands on the south side of the Grand River lying between the Township of Cayuga and Burtch’s Landing (includes Oneida Township) except a tier of lots on each side of the contemplated Plank Road and on the north side of the Grand River”.

    The 4th item in an October 4, 1843 report to the Executive Council of government mentions and outlines that petition.
    Source: The Committee of Council, 1843; Library and Archives Canada, RG 10, Vol. 717, pages 232 -238.

    To write a petition to the Crown government, the Six Nations chiefs in 1842 must have understood and known how to read and write English.

    The chiefs didn’t want the tier of lots on each side of the contemplated Plank Road.

    The DCE land is part of that tier of lots along the Plank Road (now Hwy 6).

    And records show that what is now the DCE land was sold to a George Marlot Ryckman in 1845 for 57 pounds and 10 shillings and the Crown issued a patent (a deed) to Ryckman in 1848.

    After that, the DCE land would have been transferred on occasion until the Henning brothers got title and finally the Ontario government got title to the DCE land in 2006. The Onataio government says it stands by its land titles system

    In addition, the Canadian federal government has said the Six Nations of the Grand River doesn’t have a valid claim to the DCE land. The Six Nations can’t claim land that belonged to the Crown. The Six Nations claims are about money, not land.

    Given the history. how can people from the Six Nations of the Grand River now claim the Six Nations owns or should own the DCE land?

    1. When the Six Nations of the Grand River can’t claim land that belonged to the Crown and when the Six Nations claims are about money not land, what gave Six Nations people the right to take over the DCE land from the Hennings?

      When Ontario government officials now say the Ontario government owns the DEC land and has title to the DCE land in Caledonia, what gives Six Nations people the right to build a fence without without consulting and permission on the DCE land the Ontario government owns?

  2. @John – I’m not sure to whom you are addressing your comment but, I’ll have a go at it. As far as the first question about welcoming a White person’s money, I’ll answer by saying: Probably for the same reasons White folks in Hagersville, Caledonia and Brantford welcomes our money….all 130 million dollars of our estimated annual disposable income. As far as not allowing White folks on the property known as Kanonhstaton, you’re misinformed. Any person of the good mind is more than welcome, always has been. But people such as Gary McHale and those of his ilk, are not. I hope that answers your questions.

    1. Please tell me why you welcome the White person’s money and allow them on other parts of the Reservation but will not allow them onto this part ?

  3. Written proof is required for ownership of this particular piece of property. If you claim all land then why not take over more.

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