Threat of enforcement hangs over Caledonia-area land dispute after two injunctions served

Latest injunctions were handed down on Aug. 7 after nine were arrested on Aug. 5


Police say they served two injunctions on Friday but won’t provide information on when officers might enforce them as a dispute continues over a parcel of land situated on the outskirts of Caledonia, adjacent to Six Nations of the Grand River’s northeast border.

“Open dialogue is continuing,” said Const. Rodney Leclair in an email. “I don’t have any information as to when enforcement would occur.”

Skyler Williams, a Six Nations community member at the camp, said just how police will enforce the injunction has some people nervous.

OPP raided a camp at McKenzie Meadows called 1492 Land Back Lane on Aug. 5, arresting nine. One injunction bars anyone from occupying that site.

Foxgate Developments plans on building 218 homes on approximately 25 acres at the Meadows, but the camp’s presence has halted construction.

The second injunction prevents anyone from blockading or hindering access to roads in Haldimand County.

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A court sheriff read the injunction order out loud at multiple sites in Caledonia, including at the camp and on Argyle Street at the former Douglas Creek Estates site, where conflict erupted in 2006 over a different proposed housing development.

The sheriff also read the injunction out loud at a site on Highway 6.

A small group of demonstrators from Six Nations maintain they are peacefully occupying the site on McKenzie Rd.

On Aug. 6, Williams told APTN that while the elected council supported the development, it does not have consent from the community.

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They say multiple rubber bullets were fired when police enforced the first injunction on Aug. 5, at which point blockades went up at the Argyle Street and Highway 6 sites. But police maintain a single rubber bullet was fired after people threw rocks at officers.

Police presence in Caledonia appears to have increased.

Six Nations elected chief and council, which is the governing authority under the Indian Act, signed an agreement in 2019 with Foxgate to publicly support the proposed development.

APTN News revealed the contents of the previously private agreement, which was made public when Foxgate submitted it as an exhibit in Ontario Superior Court.

However, it’s unclear whether the development has much support among Six Nations community members.

According to the elected council’s website, approximately 2,000 people voted in the community’s 2019 election. Of those, 700 cast their ballot of the current elected chief, Mark Hill.

Allana is a graduate of the Indigenous Studies program at Trent University and the new media journalism program at Sheridan College. She worked at Sudbury.com and TVO before coming to APTN National News where she now covers Indigenous stories in Southern Ontario as a video journalist. McDougall is a member of Hiawatha First Nation.