The following letter was presented on behalf of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council by Colin Martin at a public meeting on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at the Six Nations Community Hall. The meeting was called by the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation in response to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council sending a cease and desist notice to Hydro One regarding the construction of the Niagara Reinforcement Line project. It is published here in it’s entirety.
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2019
RE: Actions of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation
OSWE:GE GRAND RIVER TERRITORY:
The Roya’ner n Yakoya’ner of the Haudenosaune Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) met with Representatives from The Development Corporation at a duly convened Chiefs Council on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Onondaga Longhouse.
The Development Corporation requested to be on the Council Agenda that day so that they could present who they are n what their mandate is.
A heated discussion ensued between the Chiefs n the representatives of the Development Corporation. A result of this heated dialogue was the Chiefs Wampum, which represents the Fire, fell to floor from the bench upon which it was situated. The Roya’ner n Yokaya’ner immediately decided it to be a bad omen n shut down further discussion on the issue. A person was then selected to immediately burn tobacco to ask that nothing negative happens from the Fire falling to the floor.
The HCCC is governed by the Kaianerenko:wa (Great Peace) and have been following our ways since time immemorial. The original agreement, Treaties with settlers or as we refer to them as, “Our Brothers” were made by Hereditary Chiefs.
The Development Corporation is an entity that has told just hat they are “Apolitical” and does not want to get involved into the politics of our Territory. This entity was developed by the Band Administration, which is an arm of the Canadian Government.
The Band Administration continues to push Canada’s agenda of division and colonialism by creating entities such as the Development Corporation.
The Royaner n Yakoya’ner are aware that the Development Corporation was created by the Band Administration after the HCCC created the Haudenosaune Development Institute. This was done with the obvious goal of undermining and taking away from the HCCC and the people.
Further entities created by HDI were later copied and instituted by the Band Administration.
In our eyes, the Development Corporation cannot claim “Apolitical” status when the deals they are making, deal with land and are based on the Collective Rights of the People. It has been unfortunately a regular occurrence where entities of the band administration have chosen to proceed with activities and developments by making decisions that are not inclusive of the People of Grand River. The proposed arrangement with Hydro One is another example of expediency trumping inclusiveness. Deals that are not inclusive of the People; nor has the Roya’ner n Yokaya’ner been consulted on Development Corporation activities.
The lands of our Territory falulnder the first point of the “8” Points of Jurisdiction held by the HCCC. The Development Corporation is operating under our Collective Rights, which is rightfully in the hands of the HCCC.
The only reason they have decided to engage with the HCCC is because of the actions of our people in stopping the work of the Niagara Reinforcement Line (NRL) AND bringing forth he awareness of the deal they have made, without the consultation and sanction of the HCCC. We are of the mind that the deal is all about money, which we recognize is a definite need in our Territory, but we have to wonder if they are just heading our people down the road into taxation or municipality status of Ontario.
We learned of the deal made with Hydro One, not from the Development Corporation, but from an outside investment firm that we have now entered into an agreement with. We have not had any dialogue with the Development Corporation. Further, we are concerned about the Development Corporations intentions for our territory. It appears that the Corporation and the Elected Council are pushing for more division within our territory.
The Roya’ner n Yokaya’ner look forward to creating more benefit from opportunities for the territory. We recognize the present situation has impacted valuable members of our territory and we are working with their best interests in mind to come to a resolution in a timely matter.
We ask for your continued patience and understanding with this matter.