Haudenosaunnee Development Institute launches libel suit against Six Nations publication

By Lynda Powless


OHSWEKEN, ONTARIO, -The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council’s business arm has launched a libel suit against a weekly publication for publishing what it says were “false and defamatory statements about the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HCI) and its director Aaron Detlor.

The suit was launched Monday, May 8 against Garlow Media, the publication Two Row Times, its publisher and sole proprietor Jonathan Garlow and editor (and spouse) Nahnda Garlow for publishing “false and defamatory statements” in their publication, the claim says.

The statement of claim is seeking $100,000 in general damages and $50,000 in aggravated, exemplary or punitive damages.

The suit claims the company published six articles containing libelous statements between Feb., 22 and March 23rd.

A statement released Monday by HDI says the “HDI had hoped to resolve this matter out of court. It served Two Row Times with four separate libel notices on March 27 and April 11, 2023. The libel notices identified specific articles and specific statements that HDI alleges are false and defamatory and included reasons for our allegation.”

The statement goes on to say the HDI asked the publication to “issue retractions and apologies for those statements, but they refused.”

The statement said “Garlow Media responded by saying the matter should be addressed internally pursuant to the Great Law but HDI has not been informed of any steps taken to date.”

HDI says the suit was launched to “protect HDI and Mr. Detlor’s reputation from false, unfair and malicious attacks.”

It cites an example, from one of the publications that described HDI as “outlaws”, “crooks, scammers, and con men”, and HDI’s activities as “organized crime and extortion”.

HDI said in its release  “Two Row Times, Jonathan Garlow and Nahnda Garlow should be held to the same journalistic standards as any other publication. They should only disseminate information that is, to the best of their knowledge, true and accurate and when it is brought to their attention that they have published untruths, they should take steps to correct it.”

The statement says “HDI has spent over 16 years building relations, goodwill, and trust with the Haudenosaunee community and external government entities, and have earned a reputation for facilitating peaceful, effective and informed engagement during land development. “

The suit says the publication has “deliberately and maliciously undermined HDI’s intentions and affairs with respect to the Haudenosaunee community, and HDI’s esteem more generally.”

The statement adds “We are hopeful that this litigation will put an end to their baseless attacks. “

Requests for comment from Jonathan and Nahnda Garlow have not been received.

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