Speaking About Land Reclamations with 'Boots' from Six Nations
Boots has been living in a teepee on a construction site in Brantford, Ontario, since July. He's from Six Nations, and they've been shutting numerous development sites over the years due to concerns of land rights and ecology. What most people think began in February 2006 on the edge of Caledonia, the site that blew up into a world-renowned conflict, actually began long before that, and has kept going ever since. The site Boots has been living on was slated to be a fiberglass insulation factory, right next to a large Hampton Inn hotel, which has also been shut down.
All of Brantford, as well as many other Southern Ontario settlements like Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Fergus, Elora, Caledonia, and more, all are within the Haldimand Tract, a section of land that spans 6 miles on either side of the Grand River. The Six Nations (Haudenosaunee as they call themselves) were given this land back in 1784, to repay them for fighting on the side of the British, and to give them a safe place on the north side of Lake Erie, where they could live out their days in peace. The problem is, since then the Haudenosaunee have been crammed into a reserve that is less than 5% of their original land grant, and have seen the rivers polluted, the forests clearcut, wild animals driven away, the air poisoned, wild plant populations become scarce, and so on. Not to mention the many acts that constitute genocide under international law, perpetrated by the Canadian government, church-run residential schools, the RCMP, and so on. A lot of people are feeling like enough is enough.
In that spirit, Boots and many other members of his community have been taking action against development sites. They have been so successful that the city of Brantford is trying to get the permission to have the Canadian army on standby to suppress protests that become too big to manage for the local police. That might not make Brantford the first Canadian town in history to have the army on standby to protect the settler economy from the Original People standing up for their land rights, but it definitely stands out in recent memory.
For more information see:
Download 16:00  Recorded October 1, 2008
Note: I am having difficulties with my regular server, so this is hosted by rabble.ca. That's the reason for the intro ad for rabble.