#1492 Land Back Lane & The Ongoing Six Nations Struggle for Land: Resources for Learning & Un-Learning

2020, 3 pp

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 27, 2020)

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