On August 20, the land defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane tweeted: “We call on our allies to continue to amplify our demand for peace and safety.”
These Six Nations land defenders began a re-occupation of their territory on July 19 to uphold their right to free, prior and informed consent and in opposition to the construction of the McKenzie Meadows housing development on unceded lands near the city of Caledonia in the province of Ontario in central Canada.
The 1492 Land Back Lane tweet further notes: “We fear that instead of engaging with us in good faith, [settler politicians including Ontario Premier Doug Ford] have instead chosen to vilify us. This is a tactic meant to legitimize their claims over our territory, and in doing so, they encourage vigilantism.”
That tweet adds: “Members of our community are being targeted on social media by individuals who seek to intimidate us and our supporters and disrupt our fundraising efforts. We have also witnessed vigilantism in the form of surveillance that include following community members in their vehicles, the use of private drones to surveil our community, and emboldened individuals coming to our community to engage in confrontations.”
Earlier this week the customary leaders of the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse, also known as Iroquois or Six Nations) stated: “The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council is opposed to this [housing] development and as the holder of collective rights for the Haudenosaunee people has not granted any type of consent which would allow this development to proceed.”
The Council is made up of Chiefs from each of the Six Nations — Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora — that form the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
The Chiefs thanked the land defenders who they say are “taking peaceful steps to protect and save the land for our future generations, who will have nowhere to live and prosper if the settler population continues to unlawfully encroach upon our lands.”
Their legal defence fund asks: “We urge you to donate what you can to assist us in our legal fund to support Land Defenders facing current charges and any future charges that may result from the numerous injunctions against us in this particular issue.”
If you live in the Brantford area, there will be a peaceful rally in front of the Superior Court of Justice (70 Wellington St.) on Tuesday August 25 starting at 8:45 am.
And for a more in-depth discussion on this, please listen to this 48-minute interview by Pam Palmater with land defenders Skyler Williams and Myka Burning where they explain that the land rightfully belongs to Six Nations as part of the Haldimand Tract deed.