5/26/2006

Caledonia Protest: Near the End?

Is the media losing patience with the Native protest in Caledonia? Notice the wording in the opening paragraph of this article from the Star.
Businesses that suffered financially because of the aboriginal occupation in Caledonia...
Interesting.
I am so used to hearing about how this land was stolen from the Natives. Today I read the words "aboriginal occupation," which implies something entirely different. One cannot occupy (in the sense implied) what they already own.
The month-long blockade was removed this week, but only after confrontations between the Six Nations protesters and Caledonia residents turned violent last weekend. The article at Canada.com adds that the intent of removing the blockade is to show some goodwill. Later on in the article however, the word "occupation" is also used again.
Part of the reason for the protest is that the Natives say the subdivision is being built on land stolen from them more than 200 years ago. The property was leased in 1835, but there is some debate as to whether or not that land was later sold to the Crown. I wasn't there. Neither was anyone involved in the protest. Neither was any citizen or government member that is currently alive. Now, I'm not saying that there probably is no right side. There is. I just think that, with the information we currently have, it will probably be difficult to figure out who is right and who is wrong.
The better course of action is to try and determine what is best for all.
In my opinion, this is the wrong time for their protest. Complaints should have been lodged when plans for the subdivision were being developed. There is always a certain amount of time allotted during which people can file their concerns or complaints. As I have already mentioned elsewhere, there is a subdivision going up in my area, and there is a big sign down the road informing concerned parties of where they can take their issues. In the case of this development out in Caledonia, no complaints were lodged until after that time expired... and it would appear that instead of doing things in a reasonable manner, everyone jumped straight to the violent protest stage.
In Saskatchewan, more than 30 aboriginal protesters blocked traffic on the Yellowhead Highway near North Battleford for several hours Monday as a show of solidarity for the Caledonia occupation.
I find this to be totally wrong. The protest has nothing to do with anyone out in Saskatchewan. Why add more fuel to the fire? These people should be trying to assist their fellow Natives in finding a workable solution. Standing on the sidelines yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight!" is immature and does nothing.
According to the Star, local residents and Six Nations members have asked the federal government to step in and resolve the issue, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has insisted the issue is a provincial matter, and he has no plans to visit the occupation site.
Good for him.
I wouldn't touch this situation with a ten foot pole. If the Federal government were to get involved, it would end in a lot of money being dumped on the situation to make it all go away. I definitely do not think that is the answer, since it's been done before.

1 comment:

Ottawa Core said...

they don't have a team of lawyers involved in the city planning division. when news (what is happening on the ground) got to them there was immediate action to affirm their presence and assert their rights. months went by before legal action by the developer led to the OPP being used for his lack of understanding towards the native people's position.

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