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Barrier on road with grafitti

Blockade near Six Nations in support of 1492 Land Back. Photo: Rachelle Friesen

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Community Action Toolkit: 1492 Land Back Lane

Community Action Toolkit: 1492 Land Back Lane

Blockade near Six Nations in support of 1492 Land Back. Photo: Rachelle Friesen

Stay Informed!

Social media is the best way to stay informed about what is happening at 1492 Land Back Lane. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Background

The Six Nations Land Defenders are mobilizing at 1492 Land Back Lane to stop another development project – “McKenzie Meadows,” right on Six Nations’ doorstep (located in southwestern Ontario, Canada). McKenzie Meadows is within the Haldimand Tract, the land stretching back six miles on either side of the Grand River that was set aside for the Six Nations in 1784 as compensation for 4 million acres lost in the American Revolution, as agreed upon in the Haldimand Proclamation. Since then, the governments of Ontario and Canada have unlawfully sold or seized the vast majority of the Haldimand Tract. Six Nations has consistently resisted land theft and development. Their Land Claims Research Office has made 29 separate land claims since 1974, but only one has been resolved. To make matters worse, the Federal Government closed the remaining 28 unresolved claims in 1995.

In 1853 the Canadian Indian Agent sold the Oneida Township plot (now McKenzie Meadows/1492 Land Back Lane) to a third party, which was deemed to have extinguished the Crown’s duty to consult for the land. The hereditary government resisted these illegitimate sales; however, in 1924, the Federal Government imposed the Elected Band Council system at gunpoint on the Six Nations community, arresting the hereditary leadership. Other colonial interference has taken place over time, including prohibiting Indigenous people from seeking legal representation and punishing and disbarring lawyers representing them. In 1990, The Elected Band Council filed a land claim over the Oneida Township lands. In 2000, a Superior Court case ruled that third parties are not liable for the duty to consult on Indigenous lands that have been illegally sold or surrendered by the Crown. This means
Foxgate, the developer, never actually had to consult Six

Nations. The Crown’s illegitimate actions can only be remedied by a money payment, not by returning stolen land. In 2013 a series of community meetings at Six Nations regarding McKenzie Meadows, 66 of 78 participants voted against the development. In 2016 the Elected Band Council, recognizing this impossible situation, signed an accommodation agreement with Foxgate for $352,000 for 42 acres. This agreement should not have been interpreted as the “consultation” required of the Crown. This colonial legal framework legitimizes land theft and perpetuates injustice. This leaves communities who do not want development in their territories left with only one option: ‘illegal’ land defense action.

Since July 19, 2020, Haudenosaunee Land Defenders from Six Nations have peacefully reclaimed the McKenzie Meadows construction site, which they have renamed “1492 Land Back Lane.” Yet Land Defenders and their allies have been repeatedly harassed and criminalized by the Ontario Provincial Police. On Wednesday, August 5, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) fired rubber bullets and used tasers on peaceful Land Defenders, arresting nine. In total, over 26 people have been arrested in association with 1492 Land Back Lane. It is time for us to stand together and demand: 

  1. That the Provincial and Federal Governments respect and uphold Indigenous people’s rights over their own land and allow community members to develop solutions within their own community and in their own way.
  2. McKenzie Meadows be returned to the Haudenosaunee People and their sovereignty respected.
  3. An end the criminalization of the Haudenosaunee Land Defenders and their allies.

The Six Nations Land Defenders are mobilizing at 1492 Land Back Lane to stop another development project – “McKenzie Meadows,” right on Six Nations’ doorstep (located in southwestern Ontario, Canada). McKenzie Meadows is within the Haldimand Tract, the land stretching back six miles on either side of the Grand River that was set aside for the Six Nations in 1784 as compensation for 4 million acres lost in the American Revolution, as agreed upon in the Haldimand Proclamation. Since then, the governments of Ontario and Canada have unlawfully sold or seized the vast majority of the Haldimand Tract. Six Nations has consistently resisted land theft and development. Their Land Claims Research Office has made 29 separate land claims since 1974, but only one has been resolved. To make matters worse, the Federal Government closed the remaining 28 unresolved claims in 1995.

In 1853 the Canadian Indian Agent sold the Oneida Township plot (now McKenzie Meadows/1492 Land Back Lane) to a third party, which was deemed to have extinguished the Crown’s duty to consult for the land. The hereditary government resisted these illegitimate sales; however, in 1924, the Federal Government imposed the Elected Band Council system at gunpoint on the Six Nations community, arresting the hereditary leadership. Other colonial interference has taken place over time, including prohibiting Indigenous people from seeking legal representation and punishing and disbarring lawyers representing them. In 1990, The Elected Band Council filed a land claim over the Oneida Township lands. In 2000, a Superior Court case ruled that third parties are not liable for the duty to consult on Indigenous lands that have been illegally sold or surrendered by the Crown. This means Foxgate, the developer, never actually had to consult Six Nations. The Crown’s illegitimate actions can only be remedied by a money payment, not by returning stolen land. In 2013 a series of community meetings at Six Nations regarding McKenzie Meadows, 66 of 78 participants voted against the development. In 2016 the Elected Band Council, recognizing this impossible situation, signed an accommodation agreement with Foxgate for $352,000 for 42 acres. This agreement should not have been interpreted as the “consultation” required of the Crown. This colonial legal framework legitimizes land theft and perpetuates injustice. This leaves communities who do not want development in their territories left with only one option: ‘illegal’ land defense action.

Since July 19, 2020, Haudenosaunee Land Defenders from Six Nations have peacefully reclaimed the McKenzie Meadows construction site, which they have renamed “1492 Land Back Lane.” Yet Land Defenders and their allies have been repeatedly harassed and criminalized by the Ontario Provincial Police. On Wednesday, August 5, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) fired rubber bullets and used tasers on peaceful Land Defenders, arresting nine. In total, over 26 people have been arrested in association with 1492 Land Back Lane. It is time for us to stand together and demand: 

  1. That the Provincial and Federal Governments respect and uphold Indigenous people’s rights over their own land and allow community members to develop solutions within their own community and in their own way.
  2. McKenzie Meadows be returned to the Haudenosaunee People and their sovereignty respected.
  3. An end the criminalization of the Haudenosaunee Land Defenders and their allies.
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Mobilize Your Community and Take Action

Host a fundraiser/Donate

Many of the Land Defenders and their allies are facing mounting legal charges. Host a fundraiser for justice and contribute to the legal defense fund. Or you can donate to their legal fund to help fight these charges.

E- transfers can be sent to: landback6nations@gmail.com

Solidarity Visits and Supply Drop-off

As the camp continues, the Land Defenders need solidarity and supplies. Come on down to 1492 Land Back Lane and show your support. Please keep in mind that visiting the site is an act of civil disobedience. 

If you are coming and want to drop off supplies but have legal concerns, you can email LandBackLaneLegalSupport@protonmail.com.

Here are a few things that are needed:

Host a Letter Writing Party and/or Write to the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford

Host a letter-writing party in your community. Write to the Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, and provincial Minister Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford to respect Haudenosaunee sovereignty. Let them know you want the land returned to the Haudenosaunee and demand they stop criminalizing the land defenders.

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Email: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Telephone: 416-325-1941
Email: premier@ontario.ca

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs
Suite 400
160 Bloor St. E
Toronto, ON M7A 2E6
Telephone: 416-327-4464

Stay Informed!

Social media is the best way to stay informed about what is happening at 1492 Land Back Lane. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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