Mohawk Land Claims
Whereas His Majesty having been pleased to direct that in consideration of the early attachment to his cause manifested by the Mohawk Indians, and of the loss of their settlement which they thereby sustained– that a convenient tract of land under his protection should be chosen as a safe and comfortable retreat for them and others of the Six Nations, who have either lost their settlements within the Territory of the American States, or wish to retire from them to the British — I have at the earnest desire of many of these His Majesty’s faithful Allies purchased a tract of land from the Indians situated between the Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron and I do hereby in His Majesty’s name authorize and permit the said Mohawk Nation and such others of the Six Nation Indians as wish to settle in that quarter to take possession of and settle upon the Banks of the River commonly called Ours [Ouse] or Grand River, running into Lake Erie, allotting to them for that purpose six miles deep from each side of the river beginning at Lake Erie and extending in that proportion to the head of the said river, which them and their posterity are to enjoy for ever.
Mohawks of the 5 Nation Confederacy
Brantford City Council June 4th, 2013
c/o Lori Wolfe, MPA – City Clerk & Director
City Clerk’s Department, City Hall
100 Wellington Square
Brantford, Ontario, N3T 2M3
i) Claim No. 774719 – City of Brantford
ii) Grand River Navigation Company
iii) 431 West St. and 110 Gilkison St.
iv) June 13, 2012 Vacant City Properties List Compiled by John Wyatt
Mayor Friel and Council,
I am Ohrerekó:wa, known as Edwin (Ted) Squire Hill, Principle Chief for Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka Wolf Clan (Mohawks) of Grand River. I carry Chief’s antlers and a title for my people as set out within the foundation of what is known as the 5 Nation Confederacy or League of Great Peace. I convey my kind greetings on the part of my people who are Onkwehon:we, to this Council, and to the residents of Brantford. I advise that I have recently received reply to my appeal sent under seal of the Mohawks of Grand River, to my ally, your Queen Elizabeth II in respect of matters which includes the above-referenced outstanding arrears claim, a request for an accounting for the period from 1784 to 1867, etc.
As you are aware, on August 30th, 2012 the Mohawk Workers identified the City of Brantford and 7 other parties deemed to have acted without color of right in respect of lands within the Haldimand Tract. The “Lawful Notices of Intent” (LNIs), reiterated prior cease and desist notices in respect of unauthorized improper personation, representation, negotiation, development, maintenance, construction, etc. Parties formally directed to cease and desist from any further unauthorized actions in respect of lands within the Haldimand Tract.
The LNIs seeking to establish communication protocols were delivered to:
- The Corporation of the City of Brantford as Mayor Chris Friel;
- The Corporation of Brant County as Mayor Ron Eddy;
- The Corporation of Haldimand County as Mayor Ken Hewitt;
- Walton International Group Inc. as C.E.O. Patrick J. Doherty;
- Samsung Electronics Co. as C.E.O. Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon;
- Six Nations Elected Band Council as Elected Chief William Montour;
- Association of Iroquois and Allied Nations as Elected Grand Chief Gord Peters; and,
- Ontario Municipal Board as Chair Lynda Tanaka.
On September 6th, 2012 Brant County Mayor Ron Eddy came to our fire at Kanata where we, together with Mohawk Workers, exchanged visions looking forward. He registered himself pursuant to the LNI notice with my office, and commenced a dialogue marking an historic new chapter in Onkwehon:we relations within Brant County. He received a gift as a token of gesture on our part, and departed with a better understanding after reminding us that he had taken part in the planting of a “Tree of Peace” at Kanata on an occasion prior, and came of his own “free will”.
On October 22nd, Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah Turtle, Wolf and Bear clan representatives sent a delegation to address this Council in order to reiterate the seriousness of this Council’s course of seemingly increasingly obstructive and defiant conduct. This Council was invited – indeed urged to include my voice at future discussions and to meaningfully engage these matters with a view to resolution. Copies of the August 30th, 2012 LNI, Invoice No.: CB20121019DA dated October 19th 2012, and my November 27th 1972 correspondence from Brigadier General André Garneau on the part of Canada’s Governor General acknowledging my appointment as Principle Chief, were each provided to this Council on that occasion.
Despite exhaustive attempts made on the part of the Mohawk Workers to engage dialogue in order to speak to these matters with this Council, we faced little choice other than to pursue damages and protect interests asserted on the part of my people accordingly by other means.
Accordingly, on November 2, 2012, my administration acting as the Mohawk Workers, forwarded a synthesis of pertinent information as requested by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Mr. Anaya’s direction in an October 31, 2012 letter from the Office of the high Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
The allegation synthesis was also copied to Ontario’s provincial Ministers of Environment, Culture, and the Attorney General with the express hope that the alleged offending entities including branches / arms of Canadian governments be compelled to respect relevant international protocols including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as endorsed on Canada’s part. Concerns set out included our fear that further disturbances, digging and disruption / corruption of Tutela Heights and other sacred sites including other irreparable harm will be permitted to occur within our territorial lands at the hands of the Ontario Superior Court and / or other Canadian entities notwithstanding our allegations and objections, and contrary to the rights of my people as protected and enshrined within Canada’s codified laws and applicable treaties.
I draw to your attention the following affirmation of our Grand River land holdings and authority, as confirmed by the words of King George III’s representative in Upper Canada who, after John Graves Simcoe returned to the UK in 1796, was the highest ranking Imperial official of both the Executive and Legislative Councils holding the office of Administrator of Upper Canada, from 1775 to 1799:
On July 3rd, 1797 Peter Russell assured Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah Principle Chief Joseph Brant on the part of my people unequivocally in writing that:
“Agreeable to the promise I made you in my letter of the 26th. I loss no time in laying before a full council the Request you made to me in your letter of that date. And I have now the pleasure to inform you that was their Unanimous Opinion that the Request of the Five Nations (as signified to me by you) respecting their having permission to dispose of their Lands on the Grand River agreeable to their own pleasure shall be immediately complied with, without my waiting for an answer from the Secretary of State to the letter I had written to him on their subject.
You will therefore be pleased to inform the Five Nations in my name that they may consider themselves at liberty in to dispose of such Parts of the Lands which they now possess on the Grand River as they may judge proper, for the purpose of securing an Annuity to be a future Provision to themselves & their Posterity forever.
And that I shall be ready from time to time, agreeable to their desire as signified by you, to confirm by the King’s Grants under the Great Seal of this Province the free Possession of any Parts there of to such persons as they may dispose of them to upon the five nations surrendering the Same to His Majesty by such a legal Instrument as the Kings Attorney General shall approve and the Persons, who may authorized by the five Nations or their agent to receive the Deeds therefore, paying the Fees of office there on and subscribing the Declaration & taking the Oaths of Allegiance as prescribed by law.
Having prorogued the Provincial Parliament this afternoon, the Chief Justice & the members of the two Houses leave this to morrow in the Mohawk. The Quantity of Business which I have to attend to preventing my accompanying them, it maybe some days before I can have an Opportunity to return to Newark. Upon my arrival then I shall have the pleasure of writing you again and I have the Honor to be in the mean time with Regard
your Most Obedient
the Government of Upper Canada”
Accordingly, I now draw your attention to the following instances of unlawful conveyances in respect of Grand River Territory made by various parties:
1) On February 19, 1823, Seventeen (17) “Principle Chiefs of the Six Nations” entered into an unauthorized lease with Marshal Lewis for the express purpose of constructing and operating a Grist Mill on the Grand River. On November 1, 1828, Marshal Lewis unlawfully conveyed said unlawfully leased lands to Julius Morgan for £750, who subsequently, on March 9, 1830, unlawfully conveyed same, excepting the Grist Mill and Lot containing ½ an acre, to Nathan Gage for $1,250.00. On February 25, 1840, fraudulent Letters Patent was issued to Nathan Gage for Park Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and westerly 4/5 of number 25 and numbers 26, 27, 28, 29 in Brantford. Also on this date, a Letters Patent was issued to Nathan Gage for Park Lots 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36.
2) On April 19th, 1830, the “Six Nations” again usurped, by ceding to the Crown, without color of right, 807 acres for an unincorporated private Town Plot at Brant’s Ford to be divided into lots and sold for “Six Nations’” benefit. Three trustees were to take charge of “Six Nations’” monies. It is said that on this date, twenty-nine (29) “Sachems and Chiefs of Six Nations” including a party listed as “Teacup” purportedly surrendered (Surrender No. 30) to the King for sale an estimated 807 acres for a Town Plot known henceforth as Brantford. On December 1st, 1831, Peter Robinson, Commissioner of Crown Lands, issued a public notice advising of the rules established by the Government for regulating the disposal of public lands.
3) Lands were to be surveyed, valued, sold at public auctions at prices per acre to be recommended by the Commissioner of Crown Lands. The notice also regulated the terms of payment of purchase money. John Macaulay, Surveyor General, subdivided the Town Plot of Brantford in order that lots be sold on June 29th, 1837. On September 15th, 1838 “Six Nations” reported that Sir John Colborne had advised them to surrender to the Government the lands around the Brantford Bridge and he would then compel the squatters to leave their lands. A purported ‘surrender’ was taken for that purpose which also fails to bear neither my title’s endorsement, nor indeed that of any recognized Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka Principle Chief of the 5 Nations.
4) On February 24th, 1846, William Walker, Deputy Provincial Surveyor, received instructions from the Surveyor General for the Indian Department, to survey the remaining Town Lots of the Town of Brantford. Fraudulent Letters Patent No. 708 was issued the Municipal Council of the Town of Brantford containing 19 2/10 acres on November 5th, 1851. These lands were in the original Town of Brantford. The patent stipulated an amount of £8 which was only for the patent fee.
5) From 1830 to 1842, specific valuations and sale conditions were issued for Purported Surrender No. 30. Over the years, to-date, numerous other allegations of outright theft and fraud must now be examined and accounted for. For example, descriptive plans were not signed, witnessed and attached to purported ‘Surrender’ No. 30, and others, in accordance with 1812 Governor’s Instructions for the “Alienation of Indian lands”.
6) Further, as stated above, there has not been a single lawful conveyance of Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka Grand River lands from the 5 Nations to any party since 1812 bearing the endorsement of Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka Principle Chiefs’ Titles or their appointed representatives. Despite this, unauthorized actions on the part of “Six Nations” and other parties have caused our lands to be usurped and disposed of under their appraised value. Some lands were never appraised and disposed of nevertheless. Other lands were obtained by individuals as ‘free grants’ and no payments whatsoever were made. Yet other lands were taken for ‘public purposes’ in lieu of authorization and any payment whatsoever. In some cases our records indicated that certain lands were obtained by way of schemes whereby only payment to the government of a patent or administration fee, etc. was required in order to obtain title to our Grand River Lands now situated within the City of Brantford.
These issues form, inter alia, the basis for my appeal which was forwarded to Queen Elizabeth II on January 15th, 2013. The Queen has advised that she intends to act though the Governor General, on the advice of her Canadian Ministers.
To be clear, neither the purported surrender in respect of the Brantford Town Plot on April 19th, 1830, nor indeed the January 28th, 1842 purported general surrender in respect of other Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka Grand River territory conformed to the Governor’s Instructions of May 1st 1812. Further, said purported “surrenders” bear neither my title’s endorsement, nor indeed the endorsement of any recognized Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah Principle Chief of the Five Nations.
The Report on the Affairs of the Indian in Canada, 1844, part ii, 142-56 states:
“If the property of these Indians had been properly managed, they would at the present time have been an opulent people. Of the extensive Tracts which they have surrendered, a large portion has been sold for their benefit, and large quantities of excellent timber have been either sold or pilfered from their lands. There is at present a sum of £25,733 arising from this source, invested in the British funds – a further sum of £38,000 has been invested upon the Authority of Sir John Colborne in the Grand River Navigation Company, in which they hold three fourths of the Stock. This investment which was made by the Lieutenant Governor, in the expectation that it would not only yield an early profit, but greatly enhance the value of the remainder of the Indian Lands, has proved very unfortunate. It has absorbed all their funds, for the last Seven Years, leaving no surplus for distribution in money or provisions, as formally…” See: “The Past and Present Condition of the Six Nations”, 1842 [P.R.O., C.O. 42, v. 515, Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada, 1844, part ii, 142-56]
THE GRAND RIVER NAVIGATION COMPANY & THE CITY OF BRANTFORD
Brantford was incorporated as a town in 1847. I understand that on November 6th, 1848, The Grand River Navigation Company officially opened the canal and commercial navigation of the Grand River for a distance of fifty seven miles from Brantford to Dunnville was made possible. My people contend that this change contributed monumentally to the growth of Brantford’s corporate expansion and industrial wealth. We contend further that the wholesale theft of our natural resources including timber occurred between the period of 1784, through the 18th and 19th centuries by which time Brantford would become not only the third largest exporter, but also the third largest manufacturing centre for exported goods in all of Canada, after only Toronto and Montreal. Until the 1980s Brantford capitalists prospered and battled for our resources and land. This gave rise to a booming industrial city, boasting the highest paid factory wages in Ontario, including the auto industry – but by the end of 1988 Brantford began to lose its most significant industries, and unemployment in the city sky-rocketed to 24%.
I am advised that the Town of Brantford foreclosed on the Grand River Navigation Company in 1861 and the upper canal system was sold to Alfred Watts in 1875 for $1. He, in turn, set up a small dynamo at the locks on Locks Road and, by 1885, I am told that certain businesses and streets were lit with Brantford’s own hydro electric power generated by the natural force of the Grand River. This power plant was the first in Ontario. I understand that the company passed through several stages until May 15th, 1911, when hydro from DeCew Falls began servicing Brantford. Indeed the (November 1901) Industrial Recorder of Canada published the following statement:
“The opening of the canal was undoubtedly one of the chief factors in the early prosperity of Brantford, as it was for several years the only available avenue through which the produce of the district could reach the outside market, besides contributing to the establishment of mills and factories along the river.” Pg. 4
I wish to formally request an accounting of the City’s dealings with the Grand River Navigation Company and the commencement of a dialogue between our Peoples for the purpose of moving forward in respect of this matter.
CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF BRANTFORD – CLAIM NO. 774719
Collection counsel have advised our commercial collectors to seek our instructions in respect of moving the claim forward in a March 14th, 2013 communication in response to Corporation of the City of Brantford Assistant City Solicitor Kimberly A. Farrington’s December 27th, 2012 WITHOUT PREJUDICE letter to our collection counsel RE: Mohawks of Grand River – Corporation of the City of Brantford Claim No. 774719.
Understand that given the circumstances, essentially, we intend to put the City on notice that given its position as set out within its assistant solicitor’s December 27th, 2012 correspondence letter, that is to say that the City deems responsibility for Grand River Mohawk lease / arrears claims against the city lay with the Federal Government, and given that the City at the same times denies indebtedness to the Grand River Mohawks, there is no alternative other than to register the Grand River Mohawk’s Haldimand interest formally.
I trust that this Council, and indeed the residents of Brantford agree to halt the liquidation / development / corruption of contested Haldimand Lands within City boundaries in respect of the above-noted parcels until such time as our appeal / claims are addressed. In such a scenario, and with an undertaking to this effect, we would not feel compelled to exercise our rights in respect of preservation of assets against the City.
Further to the foregoing, I advise that the complicit pollution and corruption of our lands and waters at the hand of the City will also require engagement and redress without further delay. The City-operated Mohawk Street landfill is in fact a polluted dump within vital Grand River wetlands under claim which is somehow operated currently as a corporate revenue source by, and for, the City.
To be clear, I make no hesitation in recommending the appointment of a receiver in these drastic circumstances in the regrettable event that this Council fails to rise to the occasion of adequately addressing my bona fide concerns as outlined in meaningful fashion.
Rule 375 of the Federal Court provides that on motion, a judge may appoint a receiver in any proceeding and an order under subsection (1) shall set out the remuneration to be paid to, and the amount of security to be given by, the receiver. Rule 377 provides that on motion, the Court may make an order for the custody or preservation of property that is, or will be, the subject-matter of a proceeding or as to which a question may arise therein. Such interlocutory injunctions are granted with a view to preserving the status quo so that the subject matter of the litigation is not destroyed or irreversibly altered before trial by some act of the proposed Defendant.
As guardians of these lands for my people and their posterity forever, I must therefore look to the City today as a proposed Defendant who’s net assets, ability to pay, means or sources of revenue, and past conduct (including bad faith) command that prudent steps be now taken, as provided in law, in order to ensure that those resources will be available after a judgment has been obtained to recover whatever amount or property or other consideration the court may grant in the event. Accordingly, in addition to the undertaking requested, I request a meeting with city representatives in order to discuss these matters and to examine mutually agreeable options outside of litigation.
My people’s long standing and historic relationship with the City over time will require many years to in order to become well again. In the meantime, we will be conducting a complete and comprehensive enquiry to obtain all relevant documents in order to cover the nature of the claim and this Council’s potential exposure to liabilities. I remain confident that by engaging issues in a mutually optimistic spirit of moving forward, our sides may to some better understanding of what the Two Row Wampum means to each of us in today’s context, in particular:
· Inclusive prosperity, which involves forging a prosperity that includes all;
· Environmental prosperity, which emphasizes that our collective well-being involves environmental balance including sustainable economic models;
· Engagement with my people in order to facilitate representation and enhanced participation in decisions moving forward; and,
· Mutual respect and non-interference within respective internal affairs.
In closing, I trust that Prince Philip’s visit to Toronto earlier this year, and in particular, his breakfast reception meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Lieutenant–Governor David Onley at Queen’s Park in Toronto shall serve to mark a new chapter in Crown-Onkwehon:we relations. Indeed, I have copied this notice to Provincial Development Facilitator Paula Dill, Brant M.P.P. Dave Levac, and others, in order that each may be aware of the facts as they stand, as a precursor to imminent formal engagement with Imperial, Federal and Provincial officials. I expect to engage all relevant parties in the hopes of commencing resolution discussions in advance of U.N. Special Rapporteur James Anaya’s upcoming county visit to Canada and our anticipated meeting.
[Original signed & sealed by:]
OHREREKÓ:WA (Edwin Ted Squire Hill)
Principle Chief – Ka-nyen-geh-ha-ka (Mohawk) Wolf Clan
Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Carolyn Bennett, Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development
Jean Crowder, NDP Critic for Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development
Paula Dill, Provincial Development Facilitator – Ministry of Infrastructure
Dave Levac, M.P.P. – Brant
James Anaya, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
John Oddi, President, Brantford Regional Real Estate Association
Phil Dorner, President, Ontario Real Estate Association
Richard Payne, Morrison and Payne Barristers and Solicitors
PARIS – A long-running Ontario Municipal Board battle over an attempt by a developer to establish a controversial industrial and commercial park just north of Cainsville has become a lot more complicated.
The protagonists in an appeal against a decision nearly four years ago by Brant council to allow Hopewell to build the park gathered in the county council chamber for the seventh pre-hearing conference Monday.
They were hoping finally to set dates for the hearing – only to find they have much more on their plates, and potentially more participants in the battle.
The City of Brantford, the Sustainable Brant group and the Province of Ontario are the appellants of record against Hopewell and the county in the municipality’s decision to rezone 180 acres of agricultural land on the northeast corner of Highway 403 and Garden Avenue for development.
But Monday morning, the chamber filled with more lawyers and interested parties.
Officials from the Mohawk Workers native activist group showed up to “express an interest” in the case, and maybe become a party to the dispute.
Jason Bowman, special adviser to Mohawk Workers leader Bill Squire, along with elder Oh-way-go-ah, told reporters and hearing vice-chairwoman Jyoti Zuidema of their concern that the company and the two municipalities in the legal wrangling don’t have the authority to make decisions in the area, which they hold is in the Johnson Tract land claim.
“What we have here is a scenario where we can’t see any clear title to these lands,” Bowman said in an interview.
“I’m not sure by what authority they are dealing with Mohawk land. The reason we’re here is that these parties have been served ‘cease and desist’ notices to refrain from any activities concerning proposed development.”
Also in the chamber were Brant Mayor Ron Eddy and councillors Shirley Simon and Murray Powell.
Eddy said the county is not budging from its position.
“Council decided to designate the land for development. There has been no change in our position,” he said.
“The city has refused to extend services. They have that right. But the challenge has not been concluded and this development has been on hold for more than five years. It would be good if there is progress soon.”
The appellants and the county are also caught in a legal quagmire over the recent approval by the Ontario government of the county’s new official plan, two years after it was completed.
The main hearing was largely stalled for nearly a year while the protagonists were waiting for the province to approve the official plan, because parts of it have some impact on the proceedings.
But its very approval brought out more parties Monday, who want to launch appeals on the new official plan’s contents concerning the Hopewell development and other unrelated matters.
Zuidema said that she wants to hear more from each participant about the merits of consolidating the cases specific to the Hopewell matter, and scheduling the others separately.
In its appeals of the Hopewell matter and the official plan, Sustainable Brant opposes the redesignation of agricultural land and has contracted the Canadian Environmental Law Association to present its case.
In its appeals, Brantford is not opposed to the re-designation of the agricultural land, but says that the county is allowing a development without a prior agreement with the city for water and sewer services, which was necessary under the old official plan.
The county has amended its policy to say that while developments along its borders still have to be serviced, they don’t have to be done with the city, but could be serviced independently.