October 23, 2020
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is outraged at the October 22 provincial court decision to grant a permanent injunction against the 1492 Land Defenders. The Federation further denounces the violence that ensued between the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and peaceful Haudenosaunee Land Defenders protecting their traditional territory.
Labour leaders from across Ontario will converge on Land Back Lane camps in the coming days, to bring solidarity support and to stand shoulder to shoulder with these brave Land Defenders.
“The court’s decision demonstrates the ongoing systemic injustices and harms experienced by Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Patty Coates. “For a country that continues to stress its commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, this decision openly pits Canada against Indigenous peoples and is a backward step in the collective journey towards reconciliation.”
Since July 19, 2020, Haudenosaunee Land Defenders have been peacefully reclaiming land along the Haldimand Tract in Caledonia, Ontario. The Haldimand Tract was land given to Six Nations in 1784, for supporting the British during the American Revolution. However, the Canadian government has unlawfully sold the land, just South of Caledonia, Ontario, to McKenzie Meadows – a developer.
The OFL continues to support and stands in solidarity with the Haudenosaunee people, who have voiced that ‘the injunctions serve as a colonial mechanism to deny its people their ancestral lands and resources, which fundamentally violates their rights as sovereign Indigenous people.’
“Violence is not a solution to peace,” said Coates. “It is the inherent right of the Haudenosaunee people to assert their self-determination and to free, prior and informed consent.”
The OFL demands that governments honour their past agreements, stop the state’s violent imposition of its power on Land Defenders and uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Solidarity actions continue to ramp up. For more information and to get involved in supporting 1492 Land Back Lane Defenders:
- 1492 Land Back Lane Facebook group
- KAIROS solidarity and support for the 1492 Land Back Lane Defenders
- Audio: One dish, one mic, guest skyler williams live from 1492 land back lane
- Audio: #337 1492 Land Back Lane
- Mohawk lawyer explains the 1492 Land Back Lane camp
- Audio: 1492 Land Back Lane
- Demonstrators calling for meeting with federal ministers over Caledonia development
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls of Action