Former Chief concerned with non-natives “Grants, etc., of reserved lands void”

Letter to the Editor,

The behind the scenes relationships and joint ventures of the local business community recently came out of the shadows and should be concerning to the people of Six Nations.

The biggest concern surfaced this past 10 days when the Lone Wolf cage was rattled. What has come to light is the unlawful residency of a non-native business man who has been actually residing on the Territory, in contravention of the Indian Act. It has been alleged that this person has been using one of our deceased member’s status card to import smoking paraphernalia from China, circumventing the federal law (The Indian Act) Section 28, (1) and (2) as follows;

Grants, etc., of reserve lands void

28 (1) Subject to subsection (2), any deed, lease, contract, instrument, document or agreement of any kind, whether written or oral, by which a band or a member of a band purports to permit a person other than a member of that band to occupy or use a reserve or to reside or otherwise exercise any rights on a reserve is void.

28 (2) The Minister may by permit in writing authorize any person for a period not exceeding one year, or with the consent of the council of the band for any longer period, to occupy or use a reserve or to reside or otherwise exercise rights on a reserve.

This Section 28 is quite clear in its intent, which was to prevent unauthorized use of “Lands Reserved for Indians” from being exploited by unscrupulous individuals. But now I understand that a Justice in Brantford has issued an injunction against the deceased member’s widow and John Doe from accessing the Six Nations property acquired by the Lone Wolf business relationship.

Was this an oversight or misunderstanding of the learned Justice on the Indian Act, which is Canadian Law?

Now I know there will be those that say they don’t want anything to do with the Indian Act, Band Council or any other control over their lands, business ventures or Treaty Rights.

But the way I see it, is this thinking has opened the door to business partnerships whose only goal is to exploit their Six Nation partner and become exceedingly rich at the expense of their partner. The question now becomes how many more one sided partnerships exist on our Territory. How many more Six Nations widows and children will be denied the fruits of their spouse’s business success that was intended to create long lasting family wealth.

We all need to have a look at our obligations to the seventh generation such was envisioned seven generations ago by our grandfathers and grandmothers. The Haldimand Treaty is very clear, as follows;

“, and I do hereby in His Majesty’s name authorize and permit the said Mohawk Nation and such others of the Six Nation Indians as wish to settle in that quarter to take possession of and settle upon the Banks of the River commonly called Ours [Ouse] or Grand River, running into Lake Erie, allotting to them for that purpose six miles deep from each side of the river beginning at Lake Erie and extending in that proportion to the head of the said river, which them and their posterity are to enjoy forever.” … The operative statement being that “them and their posterity (all of Six Nations today) are to enjoy forever”.

This is a people issue and needs all of our attention to protect our heritage for our future and protect our businesses that employ community members.

Bill Montour

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1 Comment

  1. never have a Non Native partner in any business venture, they always screw you and take all the monies.

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