SIX NATIONS ‑ The Men’s Fire have received the go ahead to keep on the path they have begun, which is to find a way to stop the McClung development in Caledonia unless or until proper consultation with the traditional government of Six Nations commences.
To date, Empire Homes has refused to deal with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) or the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) on the matter.
The Men’s Fire attended the HCCC meeting at the Onondaga Longhouse on Saturday, when they asked for the chiefs’ endorsement of their legal action against Haldimand and Empire, filed recently with the courts.
The Men’s Fire has become frustrated by the lack of involvement of the HDI in appealing a court injunction filed by Haldimand and Empire to keep Six Nations protesters from the proposed site of some 3400 new homes and businesses in Caledonia.
“We got the green light from the chiefs to keep going with the appeal,” said Bill Monture of Saturday’s decision. “I am very happy with that. It’s been a long time coming to get it, but we have it now.”
According to Monture, a letter will be drafted by the HCCC and sent to all developers in the area explaining their stance on the matter and seeking engagement with the HCCC or HDI who represent the traditional government on matters of land and land usage.
The Men’s Fire was clear that they do not want to work through the HDI, which they have had little success with in the past, and would prefer to carry the endorsement of the HCCC – not the HDI – into court.
“We don’t want to work with them [HDI],” Monture told the Two Row Times. “I don’t know what they are trying to achieve or what their mandate is, but as far as I am concerned, they should be the ones standing up for this and not us. I don’t see why my wife and I have to pay for this, but someone has to do it.”
A date has yet to be set for that hearing when they hope the courts will revoke the development proponent’s injunction. Their argument is based on new standards set through Supreme Court decisions that would make it necessary for Empire and Haldimand to involve the traditional government in the negotiation and accommodation process before construction begins.
As for Six Nations Elected Band Council, it has been confirmed that the council is in discussions with Empire and the province regarding the McClung Development.
“There is nothing approved at this point but once there is something to bring back to the community, we will” said Elected Chief Ava Hill.