By Lynda Powless
OHSWEKEN, SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER-Six Nations Elected Band Council has taken away $10,000 in donations given to the Six Nations Fire Department and paramedics by local farmer Kris Hill.
Hill had donated $5,000 each to the two emergency services more than two weeks ago but learned this week the donations were removed by Senior Administration Officer Dayle Bomberry.
Bomberry learned of the donations, and told band council in emails in late October that he had removed the donations from the two departments because he was concerned It would affect the band’s court action against Hill.
Bomberry says in an email he is concerned Hill would be able to go to court and say she had given donations to the band.
The move stunned some council members.
“Yes we did take it. Dayle (Bomberrry) said he did because she could go to court and say she gave money,” said Councillor Helen Miller.
Miller said she was against taking the donation. “The fire department and paramedics need the money so why not let them have it.”
When a councillor suggests giving the $10,000 to the food bank, an independent organization from band council. Bomberry told councillors it would still be accepting the donation.
Councillors decided to return the donation to Hill who has yet to receive it..
Hill and Six Nations band council are currently in settlement negotiations after provincial court granted the Six Nations Band Council a trespass injunction on the former Burtch property prohibiting Hill, and John and Jane Doe from trespassing on the property.
The former Burtch property had been negotiated for return to Six Nations during the 2006 Reclamation by a Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs team led by Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton who had negotiated its return free of crown incumbrance.
Instead Ontario instructed the Six Nations elected council to form a numbered company to hold the lands.
Six Nations Band Council is seeking $5 million from Hill.
Miller wasn’t the only councillor voting to let the two services keep the money.
Miller said she doesn’t support what the band council is doing. “I don’t support any of what they are doing. They are obsessed with this,” she said.
Hill said she was disappointed the council took the money away from needed services.
She said the community knows the services are underfunded and the fire department wanted to start a children’s program.. “It’s disheartening to see this happen,” she said.
Hill donated more than $45,000 to local schools, and organizations and held a harvest festival for the community three weeks ago.