Six Nations man to lead Brantford Truth and Reconciliation path

BRANTFORD, ON: The City of Brantford has hired a Six Nations man to work to  improve its relationships with “First Nations” and urban Indigenous residents.

Lucas Isaacs

In a statement released Friday, Feb., 25th the city announced it has hired Lucas Isaacs as its first Indigenous Affairs Advisor.

The new role the city says means it will be working to fullfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action that affect municipalities. It also says  Isaacs will lead the city’s “Indigenous community engagement process” and the development and implementation of the City of Brantford Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan.

The city has had a contentious history with Six Nations of the Grand marked by protests and land rights court cases. The city grew up on Six Nations treaty lands held by Six Nations under the Haldimand Treaty of October 25, 1784 .  The city is currently in another court case this time with Six Nations Land Defenders over the former Arrowdale Golf Course lands. Land Rights Defender Trevor Bomberry maintains the city failed to consult with either the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council or Six Nations Elected Council before deciding to close the golf course in December 2019 and sell 32 acres of the property to a developer and use the remaining 17 acres for a community park.

City lands are also part of the Six Nations 1995 statement of claim that alleges the Crown stole nearly all of the 950,000-acre Haldimand Tract from the Six Nations, also known as the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy. The land stretches six miles from either bank of the Grand River and was granted them “to enjoy forever” in 1784 and is expected to open in court in 2023.

In its statement Friday the city says it “honours and takes great pride in the rich history of Indigenous Peoples and supports efforts to advance truth and reconciliation and renew relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”

The City says “it has continuously supported and worked within the parameters of the Grand River Notification Agreement with both the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation to ensure their respective interests are considered. ”

The statement says the City “recognizes the unique status and cultural diversity of Indigenous communities and are proud to stand with both nations, as well as the nearly 10,000 Indigenous people who call Brantford home.

Isaacs has worked as an Independent Indigenous Legal Consultant, Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer, Native Awareness Cultural Presenter, and Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living Program Worker with the Nogojiwanong Native Friendship Centre. He  holds a degree in Law, including Human Rights legislation and Indigenous studies, and is a licensed Paralegal under the Law Society of Ontario.

“I look forward to applying my heritage, knowledge, and experience as an advocate for Indigenous People to leading the City of Brantford’s efforts to further support efforts to advance truth and reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual respect and friendship,” he says .

Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis said he welcomes him to the staff. “I am very pleased to welcome Lucas to the City of Brantford,” said Mayor Kevin Davis. “There is a lot of work to do to advance truth and reconciliation and Lucas has an important role to play to help ensure Council and City departments have the advice and input needed to make meaningful progress.”

 

 

 

 

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