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We are publishing our press release dated July 11, 2022 that provides detailed information about our plans and our media platform, including our Journal. our main focus has always been to restore the Haldimand Tract to its rightful owners. We have already begun this process and we are now ready to announce it. Read Press Release

Grand Back Movement Sounds the Alarm to Protect the Haldimand Tract

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER TERRITORY – Outside the Onondaga Longhouse on April 20, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council at Ohsweken/Six Nations of the Grand River Territory announced a moratorium on further development along the Haldimand Tract.

“The Haudenosaunee and its governing authority have inherited the rights to the land from time immemorial. Land is a birthright, essential to the expression of our children and culture,” (APTN, 2021) announced Deyohowe:to Cayuga Snipe Chief Roger Silversmith. “With these land rights comes specific responsibilities that have been defined by our law from the Creation Story, the original instructions from the Great Law of Peace, the Gayanęhsra'go:wa and the good message, the Gaihwi:yo.” The statement emphasizes our responsibilities to the land, as it provides for us, we are bound to the responsibility to care and protect it for future generations."

“Our children are relying on us to protect them," says Roger, "This is a sacred responsibility that every Haudenosaunee person must uphold, and no one, not Canada Ontario and certainly no municipality has any right to interfere in our right to protect the lands and waters that belong to our children.” Six Nations Elected Band Council Chief Mark Hill also acknowledged the call for the moratorium.

The Haldimand Tract was granted to the “Mohawk Nation and such others of the Six Nations Indians," by Governor Frederick Haldimand on October 25, 1784, in appreciation of their alliance with the British and for reparations from the loss of their traditional homelands during the American Revolution. This tract covered 950,000 acres of land within Haudenosaunee beaver hunting grounds, six miles deep along the banks of the Grand River, from its head to its source at Lake Erie, "which Them and Their Posterity are to enjoy forever.

Over time, parcels of that land were leased by Six Nations to settler farmers as a source of revenue for the people, but many were instead sold off to third parties, who continued to build and prosper on lands in which Six Nations were not compensated for. Piece by piece, farmlands became settlements, which became townships and cities. Today, Six Nations occupies less than 5% of their original Treaty territory.

In support of the moratorium on the Grand River, a group of Six Nations community members, with the support of settler allies living in town, began organizing efforts to raise awareness and educate the public on the Haldimand Tract and the current developments happening in Tsi Kanatáhere (Brantford, ON). On May 8 they held a COVID-safe caravan rally to various development sites in the city, speaking to the tract, the moratorium and the need for developers to gain Six Nations’ consent to develop. The caravan grew to 30 cars deep for the first rally and is expected to grow in upcoming rallies.

The “Grand Back” movement has gained the attention and support of Friends of Arrowdale. This group consists of residents of Brantford who have been fighting hard against the city council to protect Arrowdale golf course – one of the only beloved green spaces left in the city – from being sold to development. Brantford residents in opposition to the proposed Oak Park road extension – to be built over a cemetery and straight across the Grand River – have also shown their support of Grand Back’s efforts. Longtime Brantford residents are also feeling the encroachment of development as housing expenses skyrocket in Toronto and the surrounding area. Many big-city dwellers are making their way out of the city due to the high cost of living in smaller towns like Brantford, which further drive up the housing costs for locals.

With the movement charging forward to target developments in municipalities all along the Grand, it’s clear that awareness, education, and allyship with townsfolk will ensure this movement will gain momentum in supporting the moratorium. The Grand Back caravan will continue to move further north of the Grand to Paris, Cambridge, and beyond.

Published May 12, 2021: https://www.indigenousclimateaction.com/entries/grand-back-movement-sounds-the-alarm-to-protect-the-haldimand-tract

By Benjamin Doolittle UE · May 12, 2021, 8:52 pm · Comments: 0 · RSS · Permalink


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