#1492 Land Back Lane & The Ongoing Six Nations Struggle for Land

Resources for Learning & Un-Learning

Since July 19, 2020, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Land Defenders have reclaimed land near Caledonia, Ontario (“Mackenzie Meadows”) that Foxgate Developments was preparing to build a subdivision on. In 2015, Foxgate paid $4 million to Haldimand Country for 10 hectares. Between 2016 and 2019, the Six Nations Elected Band Council received various accommodations from Foxgate and signed an agreement—“funds were paid and land was transferred” (Haldimand County Council). Yet the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council—the traditional governance structure of the Six Nations—did not sign the agreement and publicly stated (on August 15) that they had not granted consent to this development (see Statement Regarding Unlawful McKenzie Meadows Development). Land

Defenders have consistently asserted that the land in question has been Six Nations territory since the 1784 Haldimand Proclamation and that they have never relinquished title.

For decades, Six Nations has sought to settle their land concerns with the Government of Canada, but the Crown has refused to engage their claims (see Six Nations filed specific land claims). Land Defenders are calling on the Crown to meet with Six Nations and fulfill their outstanding land obligations and debts. Despite court injunctions and arrests and intimidation from provincial police, the Land Defenders remain on site—renamed #1492 Land Back Lane— and are determined to continue their struggle until there is a peaceful resolution.

The following is an introductory list of resources that can help folks grapple with the current situation, the history of how we got here, and how one can support the ongoing struggle of Six Nations to reclaim their lands, even now.

– Steve Heinrichs, Indigenous-Settler Relations director for Mennonite Church Canada. (November 20, 2020)

1492 Land Back on Social Media

Background History

APTN – Conflict in Caledonia: A timeline of the Grand River land dispute Read >>

Haldimand Treaty of 1784 (Six Nations Lands & Resources) Read >>

Six Nations of the Grand River Land Rights and Grievances against the Crowns of Canada (A Global Solution, 2019) Read >>

Grand River Land Dispute (Wikipedia) Read >>

Indigenous and Settler history along the Grand River (Canadian Mennonite) Read >>

Film: Land Reclamation at Caledonia (2006) – Day Zero: 10th Anniversary (Two Row Times) Watch >>

The Caledonia Crisis: The Grand River Land Dispute & The Haudenosaunee Confederacy -2006 (35 minute film) Read >>

Current News & Analysis

Tanya Talaga (Globe and Mail) Caledonia’s 1492 Land Back Lane camp is a monument tothe justice Canada has denied (Nov. 19) Read >>

Hamilton Spectator – Glimmer of hope in Caledonia land claims logjam (Nov. 16) Read >>

Ricochet – ‘A community that won’t back down’: The battle at Land Back Lane (Nov. 16) Read >>

One Dish, One Mic – Is Dialogue Coming to 1492 Land Back Lane? (Nov. 14) Read >>

CBC – Six Nations members call, again, for nation-to-nation negotiations in Caledonia landdispute (Nov. 14) Read >>

APTN – McKenzie Meadows phase 2 developer ‘undecided’ about future of remaining 83acres (Nov. 13) Read >>

Native Students Union (UVIC) – Confrontations at 1492 Land Back Lane bring someglaring colonial hypocrisy into light (Nov. 5) Read >>

Canadian Press – Indigenous Land Defenders at Caledonia site recall bitter 2006 dispute(Nov. 1) Read >>

Alicia Elliott (Chatelaine) 1492 Land Back Lane: Cold Handcuffs And Hot Anger For ThePeople Of Six Nations (Sep. 29) Read >>

Statement from the Mayor and Council of Haldimand County, RE: Caledonia Protest (Aug.19) Read >>

CBC – Mayor calls for OPP to enforce injunctions in Caledonia while demonstrators ask fortime (Aug. 19)    Read >>


Current Videos/Interviews

1492 Windsor Law Coalition – 1492 Land Back Lane Teach-In (60 minutes) Watch >>

APTN – Lawyer Bev Jacobs explains 1492 Land Back Lane Camp (3 minute overview) Watch >>

Video Interview with CBC reporter Jorge Barrera – Indigenous land claim vs. developers —inside the Six Nations Land Back Lane protests (Oct. 13) Watch >>

Pam Palmater (Warrior Podcast) Interviews Land Defender Skyler Williams (Oct. 12) Watch >>

Letter from Land Defenders

Yellowhead Institute – Open Letter from the Williams Family Regarding Their Rights and Safety (Oct. 28) Read >>

Solidarity Statements

Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council Statement Regarding Unlawful McKenzie Meadows Development (Aug. 15) Read >>

Yellowhead Statement Regarding Arrests at 1492 Land Back Lane (Sept. 8) Read >>

Statement from Concerned Haudenosaunee Women Regarding Injunctions At 1492 Land Back Lane (Aug. 24) Read >>

Ontario Federation of Labour Statement on 1492 Land Back Lane Injunction (Oct. 23) Read >>

Peel Labour Stands in Solidarity with Six Nations Land Defenders (Oct. 29) Read >>

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: Respect for Indigenous Land Protectors (Oct. 28) Read >>

Windsor Law Statement of Support for Land Defenders at Six Nations (Aug. 13) Read >>

KAIROS solidarity and support for the 1492 Land Back Lane Defenders (Aug. 14) Read >>


How to support

Donate to the Land Back Lane Legal Fund Give >>

Write to PM Trudeau in Support of Land Defenders Send >>

Community Action Toolkit: 1492 Land Back Lane Take Action >>

Further Learning

One Dish, One Mic – Independent, Indigenous journalism Read >>

Conflict at Caledonia: Aboriginal Land Rights & The Rule of Law (UBC, 2011) Read >>

In Divided Unity: Haudenosaunee Reclamation at Grand River (University of Arizona, 2016) Read >>

The Clay We Are Made Of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River (University of Manitoba Press, 2017) Read >>

Kayanerenkó:wa: The Great Law of Peace (University of Manitoba Press, 2018) Read >>

Land Back: A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper (2019) Read >>