Thursday, July 27, 2006

MNN What goes 'round comes around...

The article below, about Six Nations women title holders and wind-mills on the Haldimand Tract, was written by Kahentinetha Horn, MNN Mohawk Nation News.


MNN. July 27, 2006. Last January we were called by a Mohawk resident from the community of Tyendinaga who lives at the source of the Grand River. He told us about a huge business development. The "Melancthon Wind Mill Farm" was being built on Haldimand Tract land without the knowledge of the owners, the Six Nations. They want to use our wind to make energy for sale to non-native people.

Two Women Title Holders from Akwesasne and Kahnawake then sent out an objection to this invasion of Kanien’ke:haka/Mohawk territory by a corporation, the Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. Along with this we attached a map, the Haldimand Proclamation and the “Mohawk Manifesto” with all the laws and precedents to support our objection.

It showed clearly their incursion onto our land is illegal. Canadian Hydro Developers contacted us to “have a chat and a coffee”. On June 20th we sent out another notice to have a formal meeting with an agenda. Beforehand we wanted all the information on this project such as financials, projections, plans and so on. They knew that their publicly traded company was soliciting funds for a project on land they did not own.

We asked them to obey the laws under the Kaianereh’ko:wa, the Constitution of Canada and the Charter of the United Nations. We told them to stop this encroachment immediately. Canada must abide by the international law principle that there can be no development on Indigenous land without consulting and getting the consent of the Title Holders.

On July 25th in the Orangeville Banner Canadian Hydro Developers ran a media spin calling it, “Wind Farm phase 2 delayed”. The article states that a longer than expected provincial approval process for phase 2 of the Malancthon Wind Project will push the start-up date for construction back roughly a year [or forever]. They are hoping to build 88 more turbines. The delay they say is the result of the Ministry of Environment, the residents and other “stake holder” complaints [that’s us!].

The company will have to pay out $10 million in capital costs. According to Ann Hughes, Executive Vice President of Canadian Hydro Developers, “It will still be viable. We are very much committed to working through the process”. Is she referring to talking to the Indigenous land owners, the Six Nations, and discussing why they are putting their development on our land without asking us? Thanks Ann. We’ll see you at our table.

This apparently is one of several developments backed by the Ontario government. We say, “Thanks for the windmills. Now we can sit down and talk about what we’re going to give you out of it, if we want to. The windmills are on our property. It’s ours! You’ll just have to keep your hands off them and talk to us about it.

They say they are confident the project will go ahead. They just don’t get it, do they? I’d like to see how they’d react if someone started building windmills in their back yard! They know that they belong to us now. They just want a piece of the action. So we’ll think about it. That’s what we'll talk about.

They can’t seize anything on Indian territory, which is all of Canada. They should have made a deal with us beforehand. This Johnny-come-lately deal-making is not the proper way to do business with us.

Are they throwing us into their bag of “environmental concerns”. We’re more than that! We’re the landlords! They hope it will be resolved. Nothing is going to change the fact that this is Six Nations land and it is not for sale.

On October 25, 1784, General Frederick Haldimand pledged Britain’s protection for the Rotino’shon:ni people on a tract of land within our traditional domain extending six miles deep on either side of the Grand River running from its mouth in Lake Erie to its source, “to them and their posterity forever”. This promise has not been honored. It’s mostly been breached. Encroachment is just not legal!

Canada has allowed most of our land and resources to be stolen through illegal land transfers and fraud. Dozens of cities and towns have been established on our land without our consent.

We have had enough! Now they’re stealing another of our resources, our wind. They never brought this over from Europe, did they?

We demanded that Canadian Hydro Developers cease and desist immediately. They are trespassing on our territory. We noticed that the Consumers Gas Company has also pulled back its construction of a pipeline near the windmills. As well, a new huge subdivision project has disappeared like the wind. What gives?

Now they have to consult with us to ask for our consent to do anything. No doubt about it, all governments, corporations, their agents, assigns and developers now have to respect the Guswentha/Two Row Wampum Agreement and engage in nation-to-nation dialogue with us. Canada, Ontario and Canadian Hydro Developers do not supersede this constitution-to-constitution relationship between nations. So stop violating our jurisdiction.

In Canada we took an action in the Supreme Court of Canada – Kanion’ke:haka Kaianereh’ko:wa Kanon’ses:neh v. Attorney General of Canada and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, Court File: 05-CV-030785. That’s the basis of our objection.

There is one good sign. They’ve decided to meet with the traditional Confederacy representatives of Six Nations. Let’s hope they realize that signatures to any agreement are worthless unless they have been ratified by our people as a whole. In the old agreements they always asked if they got the consent of all the people.

Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News

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