Six Nations people have shut down Cockshutt Road at Highway 18 just outside Brantford today in support of the Wet’suwet’en. An Oneida caravan that slowed traffic on the 401 this morning has joined them. (Photo by Justin Lethbridge)
By Lynda Powless
The Six Nations Mens’ Fire have shut down Cockshutt Road and Highway 18 this morning (Friday, January 11, 2019) in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary chiefs and their supporters who established a checkpoint preventing a natural gas pipeline company from accessing their traditional territory.
At the same time caravans left Oneida and Akwesasne at about 6:30 a.m. today (Friday Jan 11, 2019) slowing traffic on the 401, Canada’s busiest highway. OPP have formed buffer zones around the convoys as traffic becomes snarled.
Both support events are held in support of B.C. hereditary chiefs and their supporters who shut down a pipeline route in B.C.,. and were hit by a heavily armed RCMP raid earlier this week arresting 14 people.
Six Nations. Oneida and Akwesasne also have a hereditary system under the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
They are the only two hereditary systems left in Canada.
Six Nations Mens’ Fire said they are supporting the Wet’suwet’en right to assert their inherent sovereign rights to occupy their unceded traditional lands. They said in a press release they also want to draw attention to “the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs being forced to comply with “RCMP/oil industry interests for the safety and protection of their people. Forced compliance is NOT consent, and elected band council is on consent is not the true consent of the people.”
The Men’s Fire said the Six Nations elected council has stepped “outside of their jurisdiction in making land agreements with Hydro One on the Niagara Reinforcement Line, and with the City of Brantford. This blockade stands for all Six Nations Onkwehone;we who do not consent with the agreements our elected council makes on our behalf.”
The Six Nations Men’s Fire said “take this opportunity to stand with our Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs council, a call to action to stand by and empower our traditional chiefs and clanmothers in the face of blatant disregard for their right to free, prior and informed consent as within its eight points of jurisdiction.
The Men’s Fire said they are sending a “direct message for Brantford’s Mayor Davis who has told the media “he has no initial intent to deal with anyone at Six Nations except the Elected Band Council and the Elected Chief. He sees no reason to involve the Traditional Chiefs Council for much, if anything.”
The Men’s Fire said “this sentiment will not be taken lightly as the City of Brantford makes plans to develop the Glebe lands belonging to Six Nations, and the surrounding Mohawk Lake area. Mayor Davis must learn that he has a responsibility to consult with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs council and no one else.”
The statement said “As long as Canada and its subjects continue to make deals with their own elected band council systems, and not the traditional leaders of the people, there will be action. The right to self determination belongs to all Onkwehon:we and we will keep fighting for our rights to the land as we have done since Contact.”
A second road block was held for two hours on Argyle Street in Caledonia.