September 19th, 2020
We are concerned for the safety and rights of the Haudenosaunee land defenders and the supporters (Indigenous, settlers and/or displaced) of 1492 Land Back Lane who have been protecting their lands since July 19th, 2020. We are also concerned for the safety and rights of folks that took Highway 6 to defend their territory and to remove the O.P.P. from the Six Nations reservation. We are concerned for the safety and rights of those who have been criminalized so far and who continue to risk criminal or civil charges. As allies we have come to understand that many Six Nations community members feel as though proper consultation was not done prior to the development of McKenzie Meadows because consultation was limited to the band council. We hear the demands of the land defenders and their supporters. We support a moratorium on the development of unceded and disputed Six Nations territories. The settler government must stop the enforcement of the extended injunction against the named Jane and John Doe and Skyler Williams as of August 25th. The settler government must meet with the land defenders and supporters in accordance with the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Canada’s promise for Truth & Reconciliation.
Hamilton 350 recognizes the commitment, resilience, and tireless efforts of the 1492 Land Back Lane defenders and supporters to resist colonization. As a group comprised mostly of settlers, we know that this statement cannot stand alone and that we have much work to do. We are committed to educating ourselves and our community to understand the situation, where we are positioned relative, and how we can best help. We are also committed to building greater momentum within our community to pressure Foxgate Developments to not pursue civil litigation against any named individuals. The O.P.P. has arrested a number of land defenders and supporters including an independent Indigenous journalist and researcher in an effort to silence Indigenous media. The O.P.P. are part of our colonial system. It is our responsibility to hold them accountable for their divisive behaviour. They are actively continuing to use imperial force against Haudenosaunee land defenders and supporters involved in this land dispute and it must stop.
We urge Hamilton community members to learn more about the Haldimand Proclamation and the responsibility of the “Government of Canada” to uphold treaty commitments, to educate themselves and their loved ones about Indigenous land sovereignty, and to continue to speak about what is happening at 1492 Land Back Lane. We encourage Hamilton community members to push settler governments to meet the demands of land defenders and to call their MPPs and the O.P.P. to demand an end to criminalizing Indigenous peoples engaged in land disputes. Moreover, Hamilton community members can provide material support to the land defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane, including physically visiting the site.
Stay tuned for the latest 350 news.