Kanata village celebrates anniversary of Haldimand Proclamation
By Chase Jarrett, Writer
The dinner at Kanata came only a few days after Mayor Chris Friel said "enough is enough" and Brantford City Council ruled to stop paying utility bills at Kanata Village, saying taxpayers money should not go to what Counc. Carpenter called an illegally occupied site. Still, the Haldimand Proclamation was celebrated.
Cheryl Squire says taking time to recognize the Haldimand Proclamation is "more important than ever" - especially since Brantford will no longer be paying utilities at Kanata Village.
The Mohawk workers group welcomed all to their potluck dinner held at Kanata village last Thursday in celebration of the 228th anniversary of the Haldimand Proclamation. Issued in 1784, the Haldimand Proclamation was a royal proclamation by the British crown that promised Six Nations land along the Grand River, six miles wide, forever.
The Mohawk workers group told Brantford City Council to pay almost $700 billion in overdue land leases in response to complaints from Brantford over high utility bills.
Brantford city council voted to pull the plug on Kanata utilities including gas and hydro.
Just under 40 people came to eat, acknowledge the proclamation, and hear words from Ted Squire who introduced himself as a Mohawk chief.
Ted Squire said Canada doesn't recognize the Haldimand Proclamation but that the land is for Haudenosaunee. "It was certainly a place put aside for us to enjoy, for us to raise our children, and do whatever people do," he said. "At this point in time we're in quite a struggle to be recognized."
Squires said the area along the Grand River belongs to natives. "We hope someday we'll be recognized, or re-established, as the rightful protectors of this territory. Now we're not talking about Kanata village here, or Six Nations. We're talking about 80 to 100 miles up the Grand River 12 miles wide," he told the gathering. "There's a lot of territory that belongs to us."
Luke Stewart, 26, a student who says he is an ally of Six Nations, called Brantford shutting off power to the site "despicable."
"It shows that Brantford city council is not taking their relationship with Mohawks seriously. We're here celebrating the Haldimand deed and they're cutting off the power next week," he said.
Jason Bowman, who described himself as special assistant to Bill Squire and the Kanata Mohawks, says he was ceremoniously given a voice and called the dinner "bittersweet."
He said the public is noticing how Brantford City Councillors are behaving. "They're giving the impression Brantford doesn't need to respect anything traditional," he said. "Despite their best efforts we've taken the higher path; we're celebrating," he said of Brantford's
decision not to pay Kanata utilities. "We have a lot to be thankful for. The winds of change are blowing."