Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Haudenosaunee Permit Granted to Showstoppers and Friends of Red Hill
A permit to camp in the Red Hill Valley has been granted to representatives of two groups who are interested in protecting the ecology of the valley.
The Friends of Red Hill and the Showstoppers have been granted permits by the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), who have inherent Aboriginal rights to camp, hunt, and fish in the Red Hill Valley. Along with the right to use the valley, the Haudenosaunee have the responsibility of protecting the valley for future generations. The Haudenosaunee people, whose traditional territory stretches between modern-day United States and Canada, lived in harmony with the natural world for hundreds and thousands of years, but in today's world, we face new environmental problems that our ancestors never had to consider.
The Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force was formed about ten years ago to work towards solutions of some of these environmental problems. More information about the Task Force can be found at www.hetfonline.org
Norm Jacobs, delegate to the Haudenosaunee Task Force, is currently in hospital in Hamilton and was unable to personally attend the rally in Red Hill Valley yesterday. On behalf of Norm Jacobs and the Haudenosaunee people, yesterday's rally was opened with the traditional Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving address, by Al Loft. Mr. Loft gave some background information about the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force and announced that permits had been granted to the Showstoppers and to Friends of Red Hill.
The permit is valid only if the permit-holders abide by both Kaianara:kowa (the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace), and the Showstoppers "Basis of Unity". The Basis of Unity consists of the following six points:
  • Our attitude will be one of openness, friendliness, and respect towards all people we encounter.
  • We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person.
  • We will not damage any property.
  • We will not bring or use any drugs or alcohol other than for medical purposes.
  • We will carry no weapons.
  • We will make decisions by consensus.
The Haudenosaunee have never granted a permit to the City of Hamilton, and have not signed any agreements with the City of Hamilton about the Red Hill valley. The City of Hamilton signed an agreement with the Six Nations band council, as represented by Chief Roberta Jamieson, on June 30, 2003. The City of Hamilton and Six Nations have agreed to appoint a city-paid facilitator for discussions about archaeological activity in the Red Hill valley. However, the Six Nations band council is only one of the stakeholders with regard to archaeological activity in the valley, and the City of Hamilton also has a responsibility to consult with other stakeholders including the Haudenosaunee, the Mississaugas of the New Credit, and others.

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